Many of you might already have wondered how we and other (smaller) publications manage to get the necessary accreditations that allow for us to enter the pit from where we take our photos. The way it works is this: The labels or promotion agencies regularly send out a list of tours where they are offering up their artists’ show for reviews or photo coverage. Sites and magazines then request for accreditation. The labels and agencies put a lot of effort into this, and we do our best to cover the events we know you want to hear about (both if you were there or couldn’t be there). We still take pride in being an independent publication and we do not hesitate to write a negative review, if we deem for such a review to be necessary, but we are definitely not hell bent on writing bad reviews for a cheap laugh. This would not only betray our self-concept as an independent, yet fair publication, it would also betray the trust of the aforementioned labels and promotion agencies. We want this trust, we need this trust and we have no intention whatsoever to betray this trust.
In this particular case, AFM Records showed us their trust by making an effort to get us, i.e. myself and our guest writer, Judith, on the guest list. I as a photographer, Judith as a writer. A few days in advance of the Danzig gig in Cologne, things fell into place. All was good and we were looking forward to see Glenn Danzig do some of his classics songs like “Mother”, or “Her Black Wings”, but also his newer songs. So yes, Judith and I were really looking forward to this very special opportunity.
However, fate would have it that Judith fell ill during the day and therefore couldn’t attend. Bad luck! But then, this was not the first time for me to act both as a photographer and as a writer. So yes, I was more than willing to do both parts. And then, when I finally arrived at the venue I was directed to the special entrance for those who were on the guest list for one reason, or another. And yes, my name was on the guest list. No problems there. Problems only started when I was informed by the security that only yesterday ‘somebody’ had decided to not allow for any pictures to be taken that night! The security guards also expressed their surprise that I had obviously not been informed in advance, but that they had no choice but to enforce the “camera ban”. I was shocked. And yet, I was fully aware that the security was in no way to blame there. They even offered for me to store my camera somewhere so that I could still attend the gig as a regular attendee. I appreciated the offer, but there are too many stories of photographers who lost their gear that way and I just can’t afford to take any chances there. With this I do not(!) want to insinuate any bad intentions from the part of the security, but the venue was sold out and I was not willing to take the risk that they might be forced to intervene somewhere else, thereby possibly leaving my gear unattended. Anyway, if somebody from the security that night should read this then please, accept my cordial thanks! You tried to come up with a solution which I appreciate a lot. Also, you were kind and nice and showed the kind of professional demeanour that I have come to appreciate so much over the years. You are great!
Whoever nullified my photo pass, and any other photo pass that might have been issued was obviously not so great. And while it was never explicitly confirmed to me, I strongly suspect that it was Danzig himself who put this ban into effect. He did it before and will likely do it again. And this is sad. He jeopardised our effort and betrayed our trust, he jeopardised his label’s effort and also betrayed his label’s trust, he betrayed everybody’s trust, but why? Is it his ego? Was he afraid that the high temperatures could have led to pictures of a sweaty Glenn Danzig on stage? But why? Metal is supposed to be sweaty! And so is Punk! Or was he worried that temperatures would not allow for him to pull off a perfect show? Maybe. But then, so what? What is a perfect show anyway? Is it a show where everything goes exactly as planned? Or isn’t it rather a show where an artist manages to entertain his audience? And let me assure you, fans are much more forgiving than one should think. And so am I. I wanted to see Danzig succeed in delivering an entertaining set! I wanted to take pictures that capture his presence and energy on stage. I wanted to give our readers an idea as to how amazing Glenn Danzig, the “Elvis from hell” is!
But no, I got denied this chance, because somebody, i.e. likely Danzig himself, decided to betray the trust of everybody involved. All this work that was supposed to make Glenn Danzig look good was suddenly just a waste of time, a waste of effort, and definitely a waste of trust. This is not how you repay your own record label’s trust. This is not how you repay anybody’s trust. This is simply not how this whole thing is supposed to work! And yet, this is how it happened.
Anyway, thanks to everybody at AFM Records who was involved in this. Everybody at PoM appreciates your effort and your trust. No hard feelings at all. Also, thanks to the security. You were kind and professional and I hope that you had an easy going night. As for Danzig: Thanks for nothing!
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