Sunday, October 17, 2010

Train in Vain (The Clash-and Ian Dury)

I photographed in New York. In December 1979, eleven rock music fans were crushed to death by the crowd at a Who concert in Cincinnati, Ohio. I wasn't there, but we were all a little freaked out. Crowds rushing the stage, aisles filled with people, we were all used to this, but now it was particularly scary. Not too long after, I was photographing a Clash concert at the Palladium. All of a sudden, the aisles were full and people were pushing towards the stage. Security had their hands full, and they were certainly outnumbered. I was in the aisle at the foot of the stage in the area that made up the photo pit and people were starting to push me. Hard. Into the stage wall. I started to wonder if this was going to be a repeat of Cincinnati. All of a sudden, one of the security guys made his way over to me and told me to sit on the stage and get away from the crowd. He helped push me up there. That's where I spent the rest of the show. Sitting on the edge of the stage. It's good to have friends in the castle.

Oh, and while I was sitting there, Ian Dury showed up and sang with the Clash. Oddly enough, I did not remember that until I saw the negatives all these years later. Too much stress that night I guess. 

Joe Strummer and Ian Dury

But no one got hurt and that was a good thing. And I got some great pictures sitting on the stage. That was a good thing too.

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