Mj Wilson Photography - Internationally published, female photographer for Fashion, Lifestyle Portraits, Events, Luxury Goods, Weddings, Music, Models, Actor Headshots, Corporate

Tag - John Burns

You Can’t Help Those Who Don’t Want To Help Themselves

I’ve been very busy the past four months helping my ex-boyfriend, Randy Gun, get his website and blog set up and going.

Besides creating multiple Music Video Slideshows that used my images and his music, I’ve handled getting Randy’s music digitized, registered online, and set up for sales on iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon.com, Rhapsody, etc. I’ve also been the Administrator for his business Facebook page and for his blog, overseeing all transfers of information and registration at new websites.

I’ve called in favors from local vendors (in my area) on Randy’s behalf, and over half a dozen fans, fellow music aficionados and retail record sellers have provided me with free services, that I passed on to Randy. Several people (from around the world) even helped provide digitized copies of his music, when Randy’s original vinyl recordings turned out to be damaged.

I’ve personally spent over 320 hours of time creating Randy’s website as well as teaching him how to work on his website, blog and Facebook pages. It’s not rocket science, but not everything works smoothly, or correctly, each time, so there are always workarounds that need to be explained, when teaching someone how to work on the Web.

I had also created several promo items that Randy had expressed an interest in selling on his website. These items needed his “Stamp of Approval” before they could become available for sale.

I already had plans to be in New York City for a concert in August and added some extra time onto the trip so I could meet up with him for a new photo shoot and to be able to go over some of the web issues we were having, in person, and to get his approval on the other items.

Among other requests for his website, Randy had asked if I could get him “endorsements” from industry companies. He told me which company he was most interested in, and I told him I would take care of it for him.

A week before I arrived in New York, I called that company, on Randy’s behalf, and got a wonderful, positive response.

Based on just my initial phone call, my contact at the company offered several different perks for Randy, which included free use of equipment, free rehearsal space and even the possibility of some “exposure” via an interview, if they liked him and his website. An appointment was made for both Randy and I to meet with this company the following Thursday, when I was in New York City.

I was very excited to have made this strong industry contact so quickly and was looking forward to our meeting at their offices the following week. I called Randy that day with the news and told him we now had more work to take care of, the day before, so we could be prepared for the industry meeting on Thursday. I suggested that we meet up that Wednesday afternoon to prepare for Thursday’s meeting as well as take care of all the other business at hand.

I arrived in New York on Wednesday afternoon and prepared all the paperwork for Randy to look over and got the laptop set up so we could dive right in to work when he arrived.

Randy was a “No-Show.”

Randy didn’t respond to any of my emails or text messages and left no message for me, about any schedule changes.

Not knowing what else to do, I showed up on time, for our Thursday morning meeting with the Industry Rep.

Again, Randy was a “No-Show.”

Since Randy left me with no other choice, I took the meeting myself, got a tour of their facilities and saw what they had to offer to Artists. I made an awesome industry contact that I will now use for my other Musician Clients.

I received a wonderful compliment from the Industry Rep in that he recognized that I was a “Facilitator”. I am someone who gets things done. This is why I have been successful in my life and it is also why my Clients hire me – so I get things done for them.

It’s “Basic Business 101” that you do not blow off meetings that might help you in the future. If Randy couldn’t make it to the meeting, I could have attended on his behalf, with some preparation from him, on what he wanted accomplished. Randy didn’t even take the time to clue me in on what he wanted, nor did he extend the professional courtesy of a phone call to me, or the Industry Rep, when he decided to not show up for either of the two scheduled meetings.

Not only did Randy cause embarrassment for me with his actions, he came across as totally unprofessional in the eyes of this industry contact, when he couldn’t be bothered to even show up for the appointment that I had made for him, at his request.

My team and I have done everything in our power to build Randy a functional, creative and profitable website, which was not an easy task to do for someone who had been out of the industry for close to 30 years. How do you make someone like that relevant today? I think we accomplished that task with flying colors and built Randy a solid website presence which was based on the strong images I had taken of him, 32 years ago.

It is unconscionable for Randy to treat me or my staff this way, after all the hard work we have done for him. Why ask for something and then refuse to be part of the process? It simply doesn’t make any sense at all.

Since Randy refuses to address, “own up to” or refuses to apologize for his actions last week, I am taking the issue to a public forum, so others will know how unappreciative he is of all the work that has been done for him, to date.

Follow up 8/15/11: After three weeks of no emails or calls from Randy, I finally received an email from him late last Friday night. His “answer” to all of the above? He deleted me as the Admin on his Facebook Business Page and “unfriended” me personally, on Facebook! How’s that for good business sense? What grown man even does such a thing? There was no apology or reference to his non-communicative status for over three weeks of time, nor an answer or apology for being a “No Show” at the industry meeting in New York City, that he had asked me to set up for him.

The only responsibility that Randy had for his website was to write blog posts on a regular basis to keep the site supplied with content. In four months of time he only managed to write two stories for the blog, and several other advertising snippets for the sale of his products. Everything else had been created by myself or my staff. We had been waiting for over a month for him to write an updated intro to his blog and to announce his website on his Facebook pages, to make the launch of his website official. These two things were never accomplished by him, yet his website was live and had been selling music downloads for him, for close to two months already.

When I returned from New York last week and we still hadn’t heard from Randy, we changed his password to the admin area of the blog because technically, he was a Client that hadn’t paid, because he hadn’t completed the work that he had agreed to do. (If you don’t pay your electric bill, the electric service gets turned off.)

In his email to me on Friday, Randy told me that he could “no longer work with us” because we had “deleted his website” before he could “take any actions to prevent us from doing so!” (His website wasn’t deleted, he just couldn’t access it anymore.)

Randy didn’t “own” his website. We had registered the domain name and were hosting it under our corporate account. Randy had not paid us anything for this website as we were comping him the design of the website and blog, in return for his contributions to it, and for his referrals to other friends. It’s rather odd for him to think that he “owned” the website when he hadn’t invested anything monetarily into it and he hadn’t even completed the tasks required of him, to fulfill his end of the Agreement he had made with us.

Randy was interested in his website while I was spending countless hours creating Music Videos for him or getting his music registered and online. His interest started to wane, and he become more and more unavailable, every time something was needed from him, or when he had to actually do some work or complete a task himself.

Randy also told us in his email that the website (that we had designed at no cost to him) was “worthless” to him now, because he was bothered by the “control” we had over it, when we changed his login password. (This happened after he had been non-responsive to us, for over three weeks of time.) Again, no acknowledgement or comment or apology for any of his actions (or rather non-actions) for basically disappearing and being a “No Show” at the industry meeting that he had requested I set up for him.

Another excuse that Randy conveniently came up with was that if something “wasn’t putting food on his table right now, he had no time to be involved in it!” He also said (and I quote:) “I don’t believe I ever asked you for a website, Mj.” This comment, of course, came after we had already been working on his website with him, for over five months of time.

Randy had no clue, whatsoever, on how to run a blog, much less a website, much less a Facebook Business Page. I had spent countless hours of time with Randy, online and on the phone and in person, trying to teach him how to work on his website/blog/FB Page. None of my time was compensated. In fact, Randy couldn’t even be bothered to buy me a cup of coffee, when I shot photos of him in New York, back in May. Randy conveniently found the time for me to provide another free photo shoot to him, but he couldn’t be bothered to spend 15 minutes of his time, to sit down and talk, and catch up with me, the person who he hadn’t seen in over 30 years. I was providing all my services to him for free, based on our relationship to each other from the past. In return, I got absolutely nothing from him.

In his last email, Randy also made the comment that he would rather pay us for the work we had accomplished so far, instead of continuing on with our original Agreement, where we comped him our services in exchange for his. When we sent him a bill for our services to date, he ignored the payment request and never paid it.

A true character reference: In early July, during an online chat session, Randy had told me that he was taking the Music Video Slideshows I had created for him and his old band, The Necessaries, and all the photos I had taken of them, and he was putting those materials, (and all their hits in website traffic that I had achieved for him) “in his back pocket” when he went to negotiate with his old band members, to “sell” them on the idea of reuniting, to record new music together to sell online. Isn’t it funny how Randy was so enthusiastic to use the materials I had created for him, (with no compensation, or credit to me whatsoever), to try and resurrect his career with a band that had fired him over 32 years ago, yet he couldn’t be bothered to uphold his end of the Agreement, that he made with us, for the design of his website?

Hope that meeting worked out well for him, because Karma is a bitch.

The moral of the story? Even “Free” isn’t enough for some people.

It took me, coming back into Randy’s life (30 years later) to get him to do something with his music. If it wasn’t for me, his music wouldn’t be online at all or for sale on iTunes. There wouldn’t be four Music Video Slideshows showcasing his music with my images, and he wouldn’t have the 60+ images that I gave him of himself, from those early years.

He didn’t appreciate any of the things that I gave him or did for him, which is more than obvious by his actions (or lack thereof).

I have no idea why Randy suddenly decided that all our hard work wasn’t valuable anymore. Maybe he is just living up to the “unpredictable, moody ex-rocker” stereotype, which works if you are successful or Keith Richards, but doesn’t work so well if you are just my old boyfriend, who nobody knows/remembers.

And now — because of his weirdness/craziness/unprofessionalism — Randy has no website, no Blog, no place where he can update friends and fans on new music releases or direct people to, where they can buy his music. He also has a truly hurt and confused former friend.

The lesson I have learned from all this is…even with “Friends”, have a contract or signed document in place before you “donate” any of your time or energy. Otherwise you will have a sad tale like this one to tell, instead of a wonderful, fun project to show, that you created together.

Follow up 11/10/11: Just when you think this story couldn’t get any weirder…It’s been three months since I last heard from Randy Gun…I was helping a new Client move some files over from MySpace to his website when he made a comment that he had seen a MySpace page for Randy Gun. I told him that Randy didn’t have a MySpace page. Curious, I did a search on MySpace for “Randy Gun” and lo and behold, Randy had both a personal and an “Official Musician” page set up! On Randy’s “Official” MySpace Music page were links to his two songs, that I had created the artwork for, that I had digitized the music for and set up for him to sell, on CDBaby and iTunes. He was trying to sell his music now, via a MySpace Music Page. I thought this was pretty ballsy, for someone who had declared to me, that he had “no interest” in selling his music online, and/or having a website presence, and for someone who had basically run away from his Agreement with me, and for someone who had failed to make any sort of payment to me yet, for the 5-6 months of work that I had already done, to make his songs available for purchase online.

I immediately sent Randy a “cease and desist” letter, telling him that he was violating my copyright, by using materials that he had no right to be using, since he had never paid for the services that created them. Randy did own his songs, but he only owned one warped 45rpm record. The only reason Randy’s songs were online, was because of me and the work I had done to create the digitized versions of those songs and images. Randy had no right to use my materials, without payment for them, or without my permission, so I told Randy to remove the materials immediately, or I would take further steps to remedy the situation on my own.

Of course, there was no response from Randy and the songs didn’t disappear. I sent Randy one more warning, via email, and gave him 24 hours to remove the songs before I took further action. Again, Randy just ignored the request.

The next day, I made formal complaints with both CDBaby and MySpace, telling them that an Artist on their websites had purposely violated my copyright per the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and I requested that the material be taken down immediately. Randy’s songs and his profiles were removed completely, from all websites, within one week’s time.

Copyright infringement is a very serious offense. On top of everything else that Randy handled unprofessionally with me earlier this year, the fact that he would knowingly violate a fellow Artist’s copyright, and refuse to remove my copyrighted materials when asked to do so, was despicable and disrespectful on his part.

After the music had been removed, I wrote Randy a final email, telling him that even after his ridiculous and dramatic “exit” from our Agreement, back in August, I had been the bigger person, and I had left his music online for him, even though he had never paid me for the work that created them. (I knew no one would find the music since there wasn’t a website/blog or Facebook Business page that would drive traffic to the music.) But now, because he had obviously lied to me back in August, to try and get out of his promises and responsibilities, and because of his new subversive behavior, in creating a new web presence to sell his music online, (after he had told me he had no interest in doing so), and brazenly using the materials that wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t created them, was taking it more than one step too far.

I was really incredulous that Randy would/could stoop to so low of a behavior, when I had already thought he had reached rock bottom, on the Douche Bag meter. I really have no words to explain how all this has affected me on both a professional and personal level.

Even if you disregard the fact that Randy and I were a couple in the past and don’t even think about the fact that we should have been friends now (after all I had done for him)…I can’t believe that one human being, can treat another human being, in the way that Randy has treated me.

Dealing with him, throughout this whole process, that lasted from March through November, has ruined whatever good memories I ever had of him, and replaced them with these awful memories, that are full of outright lies and disrespect, that he showed me on both a personal and professional level. The final slap in the face was that I was taken advantage of, time and time again, by someone who initially professed to be “my friend.” I’m sure I am not the only person that Randy Gun has treated this way, which is why I post these matters in a public forum.

Someday, somehow, Randy Gun will have to account for how he has treated other people. He can’t keep running away from, and ignoring situations that he has been involved in, without answering for his actions. He can’t keep making and then breaking Agreements without consequence.

Since Randy feels absolutely no remorse or guilt over how he has handled this entire situation with me, and has never had the compulsion to straighten this out with me, or apologize to me, or own up to his actions with me, I think it’s fair to expose his actions, to his friends, family, co-workers and fellow musicians, so they can see what kind of person that Randy Gun really is, and how he sees fit to treat other people/women/friends/Artists. Hopefully no one else will have to go through, what I have just experienced with him.

To see a portion of the work that I created for Randy, click one or more, of the links below:

Click Here to view my Photo Gallery of Randy Gun

Click one of the links below to view the Music Videos I created for Randy Gun and The Necessaries:

MUSIC SLIDESHOW: Listen to Runaway Child (Minors Beware) by The Necessaries (My images/their music)

MUSIC SLIDESHOW: Listen to You Can Borrow My Car by The Necessaries (My images/their music)

MUSIC SLIDESHOW: Listen to I Do by Randy Gun (My images/his music)

MUSIC: Listen to I Apologize by Randy Gun

Predicting Trends: Selling Music Online

As I’ve already posted before, I don’t watch a lot of news shows nor do I read a daily newspaper. I gleen information from all over the place, and I get it in bits and pieces and retain and apply it, as it pertains to me and/or my business ventures.

I have a new “prediction” that I’ve felt coming for awhile now. Since “traditional” business start ups are almost obsolete and with our economy in the shit state it’s been in, for the past few years, (and with no let up in sight,) I’ve been telling people that selling things online, is going to be what everyone will have to do, no matter what their occupation is.

When I was at the gym last week, I was listening to songs on my mp3 player and happened to look up at the Fox News ticker. I saw one sentence that grabbed my attention: Music sales are up for the first time since 2004*.

That one statement is very pertinent as it has confirmed what I have been thinking about and helping others to accomplish already.

The first half of this year, I came back in contact with several musician friends that I knew from the past. Through emails or phone calls, the conversations came around to asking if they were doing the same things as they did in the past, with regards to their music, (i.e., recording, playing out, doing session work, etc.)

Randy Gun, plays out a few times a year, but hasn’t recorded new music, of his own, in a long time.

Kevin Lee, plays out pretty steadily and keeps churning out CD’s of his music. I was surprised (and pleased) to see that he has a basic website where he can sell his music and provide fans with information about himself and his band. We will help him upgrade the look of his site in the near future.

Jeff Thomas had a website for his music, for a time, but it became too much for him to take care of, and update, so he let it slide. He plays out on a daily basis and is getting tired of the constant running around. He is ready to “set up shop” online and try to market his music that way. We are starting with a photo shoot in New York and building his website after that.

After reconnecting with these guys, I searched through my closets and boxes and found all sorts of treasures, that I had received from them over the years, and throughout their music careers, like demo tapes, 7” singles, albums, band promo posters, guitar pics, T-shirts, record sleeves and even rolls of film, that I had taken of them.

I started scanning my images (we shot real film back then), so I could post them on my blog and share them.

I got creative one night and took some of my images and created a Slideshow set to Runaway Child (Minors Beware) which was one of the songs that Randy’s band had put out, as a 7” single. I had no idea how the Slideshow/Music Video would turn out, but it’s been so well received that I have now done multiple Slideshows, to songs by different artists, and I even have my own YouTube Channel now.

I even ended up finding old movie film footage that I shot as an “homage” to one of our favorite songs, Perfect Wave, by The Peter Dayton Band. That song had not been available online anywhere, until I posted it with my movie attached to it. That one song has received 10 times the response of the others, getting almost 200 hits in less than two weeks time! People have actually written me emails, “thanking me” for putting some of this music online, since it hadn’t been available anywhere else. (Since then I’ve “met” Peter Dayton online (who I didn’t know personally before), and he gave me permission to use his music how I saw fit! He got a kick out of the fact that I had created something using my images/movies and his music.)

In my emails and conversations with Randy & Jeff, (who didn’t have websites), I asked if they still wanted to do session work, or play out more, and of course their answer was “Yes”. Since creating websites is so easy for me to do, I told them I would help them build a website and blog for themselves, because I strongly believe that in this day and age, you need to develop a brand for yourself, (whatever it is that you do) and get your name out there, or no one will know you exist.

I started with Randy because I had some really great photos to use, and I knew I could build a strong web presence for him, around those images.

Randy was hesitant at first, about starting such a big project like a website, but I know the idea has grown on him. All he asked me for initially, was to take his solo music and get it on YouTube, with a Slideshow of images, like I had already done with his band’s songs. Once that was done, it easily provided links between YouTube, my website/blog, and then his website/blog, which in turn drives traffic to all our sites.

As Randy’s website has progressed and taken shape, the idea of it becoming a reality has made him more enthusiastic about it and he has come up with some requests of his own, of what he wanted to see on the website.

Since I am very good at details and all things administrative as well, I also took care of registering Randy’s music on Discogs (which is no easy feat, since your submissions have to be “voted” on, in order to be accepted into that music database.) Some people wait months to have their submissions voted in. It took me less than a week to get Randy’s submissions approved.

Randy mentioned one day that he has always wanted to sell his music on iTunes, but knew he would never get around to doing it himself. Taking care of that for him, took me less than a day. I got him signed up on CDBaby, where he can sell his music and who also pushed his music through to the big guns like iTunes, Amazon.com, Rhapsody, etc.

Once Randy was signed up to start selling his music online, it took less than three days to get the links from iTunes and the other download sites, so his music went “live” on his website, blog and Facebook pages by the end of the third day. The Music Players and product links supplied from both iTunes and CDBaby make ordering very easy for customers, and is a wonderful, professional touch to add to his website.

Best part of it all? Randy had his first music sale, the very day his iTunes player went live, and he has had several sales since then.

I didn’t even expect that to happen so quickly, so it was a pleasant surprise for both of us.

One of Randy’s singles was also chosen as a “Featured Song” on CDBaby’s New Releases page.

Needless to say, Randy is now very interested in getting more of his music online. He has already found master tapes, of previously unreleased songs, which will hopefully make it to his website and iTunes very shortly.

In my “travels” of getting his music online and building his website, I have met many old fans of his, who asked me, to ask him personally, “when” he would be releasing new material! That is the greatest compliment for a musician, to hear that fans are “waiting” for more of your music to be released!

Randy and I have been brainstorming recently about what else we can sell on his website, such as T-Shirts, the Music Slideshows, photos, etc. All these types of “branded” products, can easily be sold from your own website, to promote yourself or your band.

I guess timing is everything and it’s a good thing that I am able to help Randy and Jeff get their websites up and their music online because according to the articles I read today they said that digital album sales are part of the reason that music sales are up because digital sales alone are up 10% over the midyear point in 2010, and have increased 11% so far this year.

The websites, blogs and videos I’ve already created for Randy, Jeff and Kevin have generated renewed interest in their work, and even specific requests for more music, along the same lines, of what they created before.

This kind of interest, website traffic and hits on YouTube are now allowing them to take advantage of creating and selling the music that is important to them, and being able to share their music, with a much larger audience, than they ever could have in the past.

Some are even taking this renewed interest in their music and trying to get old bands, back together, with the express purpose of recording new music together, to sell online. The possibilities are really endless at this point in time, with what they will be able to do with their music.

For skeptics who think that selling a song online for only 99 cents isn’t worth the trouble to do, according to Billboard, Eminem’s Recovery Album is the first album to sell One Million Downloads! One million x .99 cents = a lot of money!

If you are a Musician, and want to get a creative, custom-designed website for yourself and/or your band, and also need help getting your music registered, digitized and online, Contact Me for information and rates, on how I can help you get those services taken care of quickly, so you can start building your brand and selling your music online.

And please, make sure you have awesome, professional photos that showcase you and/or your band, all over your website! I also travel worldwide for Photo Session Bookings.

Remember that people do judge you, by what they see. If you want to be regarded as a professional (in anything you do) make sure your website showcases you and your work in the most professional way. Just having a “free” template website, on platforms that appeal to the masses, is not going to make you stand out as an individual, in any way, shape or form.

You have a worldwide audience now for your music. Make your audience’s experience with you, when they visit your website and/or blog, a memorable one, and an experience that they want to come back to, again and again.

Don’t wait even one more day, to get involved in your music again. Take the steps now, to bring your creativity and talent onto the Internet, where the world can find out more about you and your music.

Just like Randy did.

* Related articles:

LA Times Music Blog – Nielsen SoundScan 2011 midyear report: Music sales up for a change

Tech Crunch – Say What? Thanks To Digital Music, Album Sales Up For The First Time Since 2004

Billboard – Eminem’s ‘Recovery’ First Album to Sell 1 Million Downloads, Adele Probably Next

Randy Gun: I Do

When I was in New York in May, I met up with Randy to do a photo shoot for his website, and he gave me his 7″ Single to digitize and get online for him. Unfortunately the record was warped and was skipping and it was his last copy. Skip Groff of Yesterday and Today Records, came through and sent me this great mp3 copy of the song, so I could get Randy’s music online.

If you’re looking for rare 45’s, Yesterday and Today Records is the place to find them.

When creating these Slideshow Videos, sometimes I think mixing visuals (like photographs) with a song, actually makes the song sound better. I was quite amused matching flyaway text to the lyrics in this song.

This is a cute Pop song, by Randy Gun, that was produced by Chris Spedding.

Click Here to view my Photo Gallery of Randy Gun

mp3 courtesy of Skip Groff Yesterday and Today Records

Randy Gun Photo Gallery

Randy Gun - New York City based Guitarist, Bassist, Singer, SongwriterThe Photo to the right, of Randy Gun, is one of my all-time favorite photos. I think it looks wicked, and sexy, and cute, all at the same time.

It’s funny how “true” I am to my own tastes, because when I unearthed these photos, about two months ago, I quickly decided that this one, was my “favorite” image from the many rolls of film that I had shot.

When I found other images, that were taken in my Boston apartment back then, this same image of Randy, was hanging on my wall as an 11×14 print. I guess my photo tastes haven’t changed at all over time.

I met Randy when I lived in Boston (Part Two.) He played Guitar and handled vocals for a New York City Band called The Necessaries. While The Necessaries headlined their own shows, on the East Coast, they also were the opening act for bands like The Clash, The Talking Heads, and The B-52’s. My time with Randy was a whirlwind of going to concerts that they were playing at, in both Boston and New York, and sometimes even going to multiple gigs in one night’s time. It was a fun time to be out and about in the burgeoning music scene, that was taking place on the East Coast, and his band was busy playing out, pretty much every weekend.

Anyone who knows me, or has seen the inside of my closet, knows that I pretty much only wear Black clothes. Suffice it to say that my love for “all black” clothes (and my fondness for Black leather) probably started with Randy.

Randy Gun - New York City based Guitarist, Bassist, Singer, SongwriterWhile I don’t remember every bar or club that we went to, I know that in New York they played shows at CBGB’s, The Mudd Club, The Bottom Line, Hurrah’s as well as Trax and in Boston they played at The Rat and The Paradise. Funny thing was – I didn’t even know what a “Guest List” was, before I met Randy, as I was so “new” to the music scene at that time.

Unfortunately, The Necessaries ended up changing personnel and Randy moved on to play with a different band that didn’t travel on the East Coast that much and I ended up moving to LA the following year. We kept in touch sporadically after that.

Two years later, I ended up in Boston and New York again, the Spring/Summer that my Mother passed away. A bunch of my friends from LA, came to meet me in New York, to show their support and my friend Krystyna and I thought it would be a good time to “find” Randy as well. This was in the days before cell phones, or email, so I don’t know how we did it, but we managed to get ahold of Randy through friends. (The Music “scene” in most cities is a really small community so it isn’t that hard to “find” people.) While I was calling around and being referred to different people to call, they kept asking “who” was “asking” for Randy. I figured the safest answer at that time was to say that I was a “friend” from Boston. It was hilarious to find out that most responses to me were: “Oh, you’re “That Girl” from Boston!” (Which is another story altogether.) So, “That Girl” from Boston actually did find Randy and he ended up helping me get through the really tough time of dealing with the grief I had. Funny thing is, neither of us really remember anything about that time, but I know I stayed there, with him, for a long weekend, and there are foggy memories of club hopping and drinks and leather pants and…whatever happened there, it did alleviate my grieving and started me on my path to healing.

Randy Gun - New York City based Guitarist, Bassist, Singer, SongwriterAbout a year later, I left LA for a vacation and went home to my parent’s house in Chicago. As soon as I came in the house from the airport, my Stepmother told me that I had a message. Since no one knew I was coming home, I asked her “who” the message was from. She replied: “Randy.” I asked bewildered: “Randy, who?” She said: “Read the message – Randy Gun!”

To say I was flabbergasted would be putting it mildly. I called Randy up at his hotel and asked him what in the hell he was doing in Chicago, at the exact moment I happened to come home for a rare visit? He was in town playing some Music Festival with LOLO (Love of Life Orchestra) and asked if I wanted to come down to hear them play. I was out the door in very little time, happy that I actually had something to do while I was in Chicago.

I have to note here that Randy pretty much always looked the same. He was really tall, with crazy, curly dark hair and he always had on a Black Leather Jacket and Black Sunglasses (the sunglasses were even on at night, much to everyone’s dismay.) So, I get to the hotel, ring his room to tell him I’ve arrived, and he asks me to wait in the bar for him.

So, I sit at the bar and I’m looking around at the scenery, wondering if he’ll look any different, but figuring not, because it had only been about a year since I had last seen him in New York. I look towards the door and look away and then do a double take and look again. This tall guy enters the bar, wearing a Black leather jacket, with Black Sunglasses on, but…he’s bald! Of course it’s Randy, and as he walks up I said: “You are kidding me, right?!” He asks if I “like the look”, to which I immediately reply, “No!” I asked if he was really bald now, and apparently the story was, he was trying to cut his own hair and goofed up so he “figured” that shaving it all off, was a better answer! (LOUD NEGATIVE BUZZER SOUND HERE!)

Randy Gun - New York City based Guitarist, Bassist, Singer, SongwriterI don’t remember much of the rest of the night although Randy did remember a little more. He said it was some Music Festival with a lot of bands and they played by the waterfront. I know we went to the show, we don’t know how we got there, or how we got back. I don’t remember hearing any of the bands play but I remember calling Krystyna on the pay phone to tell her that she would never guess where I was, and who I was with!

Eventually, Randy had to come look for me because he couldn’t even find me, once their set was done, as I was still on the phone. Unfortunately, (and it may be a shortcoming of mine) I have never been attracted to bald men, so I ended up going home pretty much right after the show. I remember Randy “trying” to convince me that he was the same person, only minus the hair, but it was too much of a visual upset for me, so I had to leave. (I’ve also had to apologize profusely for that attitude of mine since then.)

Other than one phone call, another time I was in New York, about 4-5 years later, I basically lost touch with Randy, over the years. Most of my friends from the East Coast ended up visiting and/or moving to LA, but Randy was one of the few people who never did.

I found Randy (again) on Facebook at the end of February 2011. It has been almost three decades since we last spoke. I didn’t even remember that I had these images until I figured I must have shot photos at some point during our Boston/New York days. I was thrilled when I dug these negatives out of a box about a week later.

I hope you enjoy the photos. These were all taken the day after I met Randy for the first time. The Black & White images perfectly suit the grunginess of “The Rat” which was the Rock Club that we all hung out at, in Boston.

NOTE: The following photo is not one that I took but I always thought it was a great photo of Randy, so I thought I would include it. This image came off The Necessaries single and was taken by Paul Waldman.

Randy Gun - The Necessaries - Image by Paul Waldman

MUSIC SLIDESHOW: Listen to I Do by Randy Gun
(My images/his music)

MUSIC: Listen to I Apologize by Randy Gun

MUSIC SLIDESHOW: Listen to You Can Borrow My Car by The Necessaries
(My images/their music)

MUSIC SLIDESHOW: Listen to Runaway Child (Minors Beware) by The Necessaries
(My images/their music)

Read more of my stories about Randy Gun

The Necessaries: Runaway Child (Minors Beware)

Back in March I found six rolls of film that I had taken of The Necessaries when they played The Rat in Boston, MA. I’ve been scanning photos like crazy and posting some of them to Facebook. Sat down last night and decided to make a Video using my images set to one of their songs. I think it turned out pretty good.

Click Here to view my Photo Gallery of Randy Gun from The Necessaries.

The Boston Years: Part Two

Images from the second time I lived in Boston and all my crazy musician and club friends. Seemed that every night was just another excuse to party!

Check out the Images below.