Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Phabulous Phantom Surfers!

It was a thrill to catch up with The Legendary Phantom Surfers. This all boy surf quintet from the Bay Area arrived on our southern shores this summer and treated us to a lively set at the Viva Cantina in lovely Burbank, California, minus one surfer. Besides a small photo shoot outside of the club, I captured them live for your viewing pleasure. 

Watch it here.

I was able to squeeze the following interview out of several of the band members and what ensued was nothing less than pure frivolity from these masked marauders. Viva Los Phabulous Phantom Surfers!

Julie Green
September 26, 2015

Mighty Mel Bergman

Julie Green: Crushed or Satin Velvet?

Mel Bergman: Crushed considering the jackets are 19 years old and look brand new after hundreds of gigs....

Johnny Bartlett: Crustin. It's a hybrid.

Russell Quan: I no know? Hee hee!

JG: What is your favorite original song by the Surfers and why? 

MB: Hmmm, That's hard to say....but off the top of my head, Johnny’s song Slotter Onn Tenth Ave...Excellent song, Fantastic title. It holds up

JB: Damare/the Tell Tale Couch. It's got that beat where it's impossible to stand still!!

RQ: I no know ? hee hee!

JG: Who are all the members that have been in the band over the years?  

Masculine Maz Katuah

MB: Including fill in dudes: Mel, Johnny, Mike, Max Russell, Danny, Trent, Stork, Frank , Chris, Tom, Deke, Barfy, ....I might be missing a few

JB: See Mel's answer.

RQ: I no know? Hee hee!

JG: Mel, do you build your own guitars or do you customize them? 

MB: Yes. I'm working on a new line of production guitars at the moment.

JG: What is the craziest tour the band has been on and why? 

MB: Hmmm, another tough one, but I'd have to say the Spain/ Norway tour for sheer oddness. And Norway has provided endless humor over the years.

Moveable Mike Lucas

JB: The 1991 cross country tour in the 1970 Ford Econoline that only had 2 seats and no gas gauge. Oh, and an illogical itinerary. Good times.

JG: “Sin in the Suburbs” directed by Joeseph W. Samo is an amazing movie.   Have you watched “The Bed and How to Make it?”. 

MB: No. I only watch Neighbors w Belushi and Ackroyd

JG: Do you feel like a superhero with your mask on?

MB: No, I barely feel like a human

JB: Yes! A blind superhero with a lousy physique.

RQ: I no know? Hee hee!

JG: How did the tour with the A-Phonics go this summer?

MB: Bad for the A phonics as they had to play w us each night!

Johnny "The Peach" Bartlett

JB: Great bunch of guys and a really fantastic surf band!!!! They threatened to recapture California in the name of Espana!

JG: Nations or Val’s?

MB: Cmon, that is  ridiculous question!

JB: We're offended by the question. VAL'S!!!

RQ: I no know? Hee hee!

JG: Have you ever surfed on a board?

MB: Sort of.

JB: Yes. Many, many times. I just went on Sunday.

JG: Ever thought of doing just strait up comedy?

MB: What do you think we have been doing for 27 years?

JB: That would take too much effort. We'll stick to the easy stuff like surf music and blowing clams.

RQ: I no know? Hee hee!

JG:  Since writing the best seller “Rock Stardom for Dumb Shits: A Reference for Losers”, have any bands thanked you for your advice and guidance?

MB: No, but most of them should.

JG: How did you get Darren to be the cover model?

MB: "Darren, here is you chance to fulfill your dream of posing in a rocker wig whilst holding a plunger." like shooting fish in a barrel, it was.

JG: Are there any new recordings in the works?

MB: Actually yes, next year. We are re-recording a lot of our tunes, as the current owners are doing nothing to exploit our recordings. Wait...we own all our masters...

JB: Yes. There's a kids album in the works aimed at 3-6 year olds. It'll be a rousing singalong lp full of ABCs and 1-2-3s.

JG: When are you playing next? 

MB: We might have something in the works for 13 months from now. I just hope we can get our shit together by then. But, not likely.

JB: 2016 or 2017.

RQ: I no know? Hee hee!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Tiger Boy from The Mask Series

"Tiger Boy No. 1" 

Tiger Boy was spotted lurking around Las Vegas many moons ago on the prowl for rock and roll. I was desperate to capture this rare cat in the wild and with some trepidation, took my chances with my trusty camera in hand. Suddenly around a corner, I was confronted by this Tiger Boy who as it turns out was just a big ol' pussycat!

Tiger Boy is the 16th set of images from The Mask Series. As always, two limited edition prints are available to purchase through my Etsy store

Julie Green
September 19, 2015

"Tiger Boy No. 2" 

"Tiger Boy No. 3" 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Marshall Boat Works

"Marshall Boat Works No. 7" 2014

Last year I spent a week on the northeastern shore of Tomales Bay, a beautiful inlet of the Pacific Ocean just north of San Francisco. The bay actually forms the eastern boundary of Point Reyes National Seashore which is geographically separated from the continental United States by a fault zone. 

Known for their oysters farms and fisheries, Tomales Bay is a wild and largely unspoiled stretch of land. With a bit of time to explore, I was able to meander around the various towns that dotted either side of the bay with time to think about shape and form. 

Between eating the last of the oysters to be pulled out of Drakes Bay at Tony's Seafood Restaurant and spending time at the seashore, I was visually drawn to Marshall Boat Works where I ended up walking around, marveling at the watery vessels docked on dry land. The boats were in various states of disrepair and were just the fodder I was looking to photograph in black and white.

The following images are the result of that weekend of looking and the abstract forms that evolved from being surrounded by the bay, the boats and the undulating sound of the water against the shore.

Julie Green
September 12, 2015

"Marshall Boat Works No. 8" 2014

"Marshall Boat Works No. 9" 2014

"Marshall Boat Works No. 12" 2014

"Marshall Boat Works No. 13" 2014

"Marshall Boat Works No. 15" 2014

Saturday, September 5, 2015

California County Fairs: A Lecture at the LA Public Library

I recently gave a lecture at the Los Angeles Public Library which focused on a series I have been working on called "California County Fairs". This photographic series has been evolving over the past two years and by laying out the images into a cohesive narrative for this lecture, I was able to see the direction it has taken and where it needs to go. 

It was an honor to present this body of work and a good challenge for me to select, organize, and ruminate over the various themes that had developed over time. With over 50 rolls of film, I began scanning the heros and ended up selecting 90 images for the lecture presentation.

You can watch the lecture in its entirety by click on the photograph below:

"Alameda County Fair No. 8" 2014

With 47 county fairs to go, it looks like I will be working on this project for years to come. In the mean time, I look forward to visiting each county and capturing their unique twist on a timeless theme.

See you at the Fair!

Julie Green
September 5, 2015