2002: The Year in Photos

Pick my 19 favorite photos from 2002? It’s just not possible. That would be like picking my favorite 19 children out of the 20,000 or so I sired in the past year. Plus, given my obsessive-compulsive approach, it means having to go through each and every photo (in chronological order) and scientifically rate each one, taking into account all the factors – is it a great picture? Do I like the band? Would I like fries with it?

So, what I finally did was scrap all those ideas, and picked photos either because I like the band, like the photo, or just had a great time that night. No science.



I’ve been shooting these guys for a while, and have a bazillion great shots of their insane drummer, Ed; this is the first live picture of Amber that I was happy with. It also shows off her mighty “Rock Star” tattoo.


His hair might be thinning, and the spandex might be stretched near to it’s breaking point, but Diamond Dave hasn’t lost a bit of his showmanship over the past 25 years. He had the Music Midtown crowd eating out of the palm of his arthritic hand.


Seeing an energetic young band in a small club beats the crap out of any stadium show I’ve ever been to. Ampathy might sound a bit like Nirvana, but they play as if they invented the sound themselves – but they don’t forget to have a good time.


I thought this was a good shot, even though the band is a little too mainstream for my tastes. What does that No Doubt chick see in him?


Another performer who has a great time when she plays, and it shows. I’m kind of glad I didn’t see her when she was completely bald, though.


When this guy’s music career is over, he can go into politics. After this show, he signed autographs and chatted for over two hours, even going outside after the club shut down to make sure he spent time with anyone who was willing to wait for him. Most of the stuff he signed, he’d fill one side, then turn it over and fill the other side. The dude made a lot of kids happy that night. I’d vote for him.


Included only because she is one hundred times dreamier in person than any photo I’ve ever seen of her.


It’s the gum.


You might expect someone in a Smiths T-shirt to be singing every word of every song at this show (which they were), but I also saw leather-jacket metal heads openly weeping – tears of joy at the uplifting performance put forth at the Polyphonic Spree’s CMJ showcase. 20 people onstage, and every one of them passionately involved in the show. Don’t miss ‘em.


Pharell Williams of N.E.R.D. turns the tables and shows the young ladies in the audience his tits. The crowd loved this show (one of a series of FREE outdoor shows in downtown Atlanta last summer), and rightly so, except they ran out of songs and had to repeat a few. A good problem to have, I guess. Sort of.


Notable for being a slightly different venue than I’m used to.


Loved their song “Gotta Get Free”, and was expecting big things from this show, but I was disappointed; I like the visuals of this shot, though. Wish I’d been at the Boston gig where two drunken members of the band got into a fistfight onstage.


Feliz Navidad and “ooh la la.” Los Straitjackets, assisted by the Fabulous Pontani Sisters, put on the swankiest, sweatiest holiday dance party I’ve had the pleasure to attend. And you know nothing puts me in the holiday mood like Mexican wrestling.


I just love the light, and the look on the guy’s face, and the way that this shot captures the intensity of this band’s show that night. Lot’s of sweat and duct tape, the way it should be.


This was one of the funnest shows I saw last year – a supergroup of Atlanta bands (with members of The Forty-Fives, Ultrababyfat, Man… Or Astroman?, and more) got together and played The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street from start to finish, even taking brief breaks at the end of each album side.


I am a sucker for flaming props at rock shows (see Toilet Boys). This band sucked and were jerks, but they make my list based on the height of the pyrotechnics.


Now that James Brown is slowing down, these guys have got to be the hardest-working men in show business. The fact that they got signed to a major label gives me a little hope that the good guys don’t always finish last. Now, if they can just avoid being crushed by The Man.


Did I mention that I’m a sucker for flaming props at rock shows? Yes I did, see Lords of Altamont. If this photo doesn’t say “Rock and Roll” to you, then read the guy’s tattoo – it does. Literally.


One of my favorite shots – Trey (keyboards for The Forty-Fives) just goes nuts when he plays, and this shows it well. ◼

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