Atomic Dog- there's some fun memories, there. I photographed George Clinton with the P-Funk All Stars at an outdoor concert in the middle of downtown San Diego called Street Scene. They had 20 + stages scattered around the Gas Lamp Historical District, and the promoter brought in awesome blues, rock and country bands. Headliners played at night and newbs, some on their first tours, and warm-ups / openers played during the day. There were a lot of bands that got their first breaks there. 3 Day weekend.
I was in front of the stage with my trusty, very quick, assistant-stepson, who was finally old enough to work for me there for the first time. He'd been working for me for rent and extra allowance since he was 5 and he could take a shot up body I'd started the rewind on, hand me a rig ready to go, and remove and reload the film from the one I gave him in about 7 seconds, and, he kept the batteries changed in the cameras and flashes every 20 rolls.
As we were setting up, Alejandro (his real name was is Nathan. He came home from the 8th grade one day and informed us that from then on he would only respond to the name Alejandro. Lanky 14 year old white boy with blonde dreds- Alejandro?
He persisted in this foolishness for two whole days, so, what could we do? We gave in. Hey, as long as he came when we called him and went where we told him to go we were cool with it, is what we told the principal when we were called into her office, got read the riot act about our parenting practices, and we were informed that: "If Nathan wishes to be called Alejandro at school, you will have to go to juvenile court, have his name changed, and then provide the school proof you have done so by providing a notarized copy of a Name Change Affidavit".
"I will then, and only then, have the Registrar change Nathans name to Alejandro on the official register and we will likewise revise his Permanent File and Immunization Record, and send a memo to the attendance office. Then, and only then will we address Nathan as Alejandro. Is that clear?" "Yes Maam".
So the bitch finally releases us, they're such fucking bitches, jr, high principal's, even the men, and we walk out with the principal and 'ol Nathan is moping on the bench with his head down soaking up sympathy from a couple'a sickening jr. high school girls. We walk to freedom through the 600 lb swinging oak gate in the counter that if you're not careful will come back at you and take out a knee and the little woman looks at the principal and then looks at the boy and says, lets go ALEJANDRO. They huffed off doin' this kinda stiff neck-ed, noses up, walking off no lookin' back kiss our ass thing they did. Like whenever they outvoted me on where to go to dinner and walked to the car like that.
I looked back across the counter at the principal and said hey, I'm a step parent, there's nothing I can do, you see how she is, it's not the boys fault, you can see it's not the boys fault, why can't you just help me out and..."AFFIDAVIT sir". Whatever. Bitch. So anyway, Alejandro became a nickname that stuck).
Can you even believe that shit- now, now, name? Now these kids get to decide what sex they want to be. And they get to do it with whoever the hell they want to have sex with in some kind of a fucking pan. Name? They get to pick their own fucking pronouns, which pisser to use for god's sake, and I was marching off to court for a fucking NAME FUCKING CHANGE AFFIDAVIT?! I'd like to see the 26 years later version of the P&P's for all of this. Sex change affidavits, declarations of pisser preference and hormone protocols.
And I'm all for this trans, LGTBQ, sex in a pan, and sexual fluidity, and I tell you what, I'm starting to feel like I might have missed out on a awful, awful, lot of cool fucking sex goddammit, and maybe being part woman would have made a better man out of me somehow, I don't know and will always wonder. I'm so confused.
But I digress.
Where was I? Oh right. So me and Alejandro are in the pit before the concert and he spots George Clinton coming towards us. He stops and says hi to us and another guy there setting up and GC tells us we only get to shoot the first two songs. FUCK THAT sez me- pack up Alejandro! "What you mean beer barrel in a hundred dollar shirt?!" Really Mr. Clinton, $100, you think it looks that good, I thought it looked kinda good whe- "What the hell?" Well Mr. Clinton, 2 opening songs, 5-10 minutes- I want to make you all look good and I only do my best work in 5-10 minutes in bed so we'll just go. ALEJANDRO, THAT'S A WRAP! G.C. looked over at Alejandro and says "he always full of it like this, man?" And my boy looked up, and said "oh hell no George, that's exactly what my mom tells all her friends".
The guy laughed his ass off while shaking the shit out of the kid by the shoulders, then put his arm around Ale's neck, looked at me and said "ok 5 minute man, 5 songs". Hey, man, like the kid said sometimes I can go 10- "Don't worry, I'll tell you when it's time to go".
At the end of 5 numbers George came to the edge of the stage and told everyone to clear the pit so that security could move the barriers up to let fans get closer and make room for the crowd filing in from other stages. We made our way to the back of the crowd to the front of the control platform to break down and ran into the bands publicist who I had arranged our credentials with that the band required in addition to the press pass for the venue, Marci was her name AIR, and she was a very cool chick, indeed. She invited us to watch the rest of the show with her from the platform and they closed with a spectacular version of Atomic Dog that brought the house down. Been my favorite song since.
Marci invited us backstage after. Hanging out with them and the kid was as much fun as I've had in my life, and, I got a little work shooting some publicity pictures the next day. Undoubtedly my best job ever even though the nostalgia's a little sharp because me and the kid who now has a kid of his own are none to close anymore.
When that night comes to mind, while rooting through old work, buzzed and sorting through the memories of them days, or just popping into some thread and seeing the name of an old song, I like to think he remembers warmhearted, too.
Last edited by 3Flushes
on February 29th 2020, 12:28am, edited 1 time in total.
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