A Funny Thing Happened To Me On The Way To The Show

Nuclear Assault
Celebrity Theatre : Anaheim, CA
December 1989

Have you ever had one of those days when you wish you had just stayed in bed? Well, this was one of those days. At the time, I was hosting an extreme Metal Show on my college radio station and I was offered a couple of tickets to see a band that I was really into and supporting heavily on my show – Nuclear Assault.

Nuclear Assault had just had a great run with the Survive album. Now, with their newest release, Handle With Care, it was time for these East Coasters to be considered a serious threat to the Bay Area’s Thrash and Speed giants. My buddy Len and I really appreciated Nuclear Assault’s approach to their music. They were very socially aware, but they had a sense of humor. Nuclear assault also appealed to us because they fused speed metal and hardcore – long before it was popular to do such a thing.

Just before we left for the show, I got a phone call from their label rep. She knew that I was also going to be shooting the show for Creem Magazine’s Thrash Metal Special. She told me that if I arrived an hour early, I could snap some shots of the band in the dressing room before their set. I was blown away!! This was a chance for me to get something special, something timeless. Then I thought about it…I had no studio lighting, I didn’t even own a flash…that’s how broke I was. I needed to borrow something, pronto!

I would lose a little bit of time, but my roommate knew someone with a flash I could borrow. It took a bit longer than I hoped, but I got the flash. Unfortunately, the flash did not come with batteries. I was going to have to make another pit stop to pick some up on the way to the show. Now I was starting to stress out, I still had to pick up Len. If I was not at the venue early enough I would blow my photo opportunity in the dressing room.

I was about 30 minutes behind schedule when I finally picked up Len. As we were racing to the show, I spotted a Target off the freeway and pulled in. Len knew I needed batteries, but he also knew that I didn’t have a penny in my pocket. Len was smart and decided to play it safe and wait for me outside…I couldn’t blame him. Times were tough for me back then, so the batteries were going to have to somehow find their way into my pocket. It was Christmas time and the store was packed. I figured this would be a breeze, but I had to make it snappy.

I quickly found a 4 pack of Duracell AA Batteries and walked to another aisle that was a bit more crowded. As I mixed in with the other shoppers, I dropped the pack of batteries in my pocket. That was easy, almost too easy. I headed for the exit door, I could see Len pacing outside, looking at his watch. The moment I stepped outside the exit doors, an undercover security guard grabbed me. Before I knew what hit me, I was handcuffed and paraded through the store. I was quickly huddled into a small supply room where I was threatened and reprimanded by three or four security guards. To make things worse, I was wearing an Andrew Dice Clay t-shirt – that did not go over well with a couple of the security guards. They definitely were not fans of The Dice Man.

All I kept thinking was, “How long is this going to take? I gotta’ get outta’ here. Can’t I just say I am sorry and leave?” I must have been their only catch of the day…they really wanted to teach me a lesson. After about 30 minutes of this nonsense, I was released and told that I could never shop in that store again. When I got outside, Len was pissed. Then I think I pissed him off even more when I asked to borrow four dollars so I could get the batteries I still needed. Of course I also had to ask him to go into the store and buy them for me since I couldn’t shop there anymore.

Now we were really late. I was sure that we had no chance of making it on time, but I kept assuring Len that we would make it. We raced to the venue, grabbed our tickets and my photo pass and jumped inside. Dark Angel had just gone on stage. I couldn’t help myself…I had to snap some shots of Dark Angel. Now I was really pressing my luck, I was obsessed. I snapped a couple of songs and then jetted straight to Nuclear Assault’s dressing room.

As I entered their dressing room I looked at the clock, I was a little over an hour late. I really screwed up. I decided that I had to make things right and apologize to the band and to their label rep…it was the only thing I could do. Just then, the band’s label rep saw me. Before I could say a word, she said, “Kevin, I was worried you didn’t get my message. Thank you so, so much for waiting, I am so sorry. I really owe you for this one. The guys just finished up and they are all yours.” I wasn’t sure what had just happened…it was like a truck just ran me over and I was reborn. As I chatted with the band and snapped some shots, I put the pieces together and figured out that the band had arrived late and then had a last minute video interview that pushed my time back an hour.

I might be a lousy shoplifter, but sometimes I sure have good luck!

Photographed with the remains of my Canon AE1-Program, a cheap, no name 28mm-70mm lens and a borrowed flash. Shot on Kodak Negative film.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “A Funny Thing Happened To Me On The Way To The Show”

  1. Len Nevarez Says:

    Dude, I forgot this took place before the Nuclear Assault show! But I can still see the Target store in my mind, clear as yesterday. Glad your petty thievery days are behind you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: