In July of 2005 I was asked by Chicago Magazine to photograph a new band from Chicago called Fall Out Boy. They were just starting to make a name for themselves, and were on the Van’s Warped Tour. A traveling collection of bands that traveled the country in a caravan playing in the parking lots of concert venues. The magazine gave me the number of their publicist at Island Def Jam Records in NYC, and told me to try to get a portrait and a good live photograph of the band, as they were going to use two photos, one to illustrate the article and one for the table of contents.
So I called the publicist to set it up (about a week before the show). After I introduced myself and explained what I needed (to do a quick photo shoot with the band, and to shoot their whole set the following weekend), this conversation ensued:
Publicist: What was your name again
Me: Paul Natkin
P: Have you ever done any work in the music business before?
M: Yes I have done a few things in the music business.
P: Then you should know that what you are asking for is absolutely impossible!
M: Actually, I have been doing this for 33 years, and it is pretty easy to set up!
P: Sorry, there is nothing that I can do for you.
M: Can I call you a few days before the show and see if there is anything that can be done?
The day before the show, I called her to see if anything had changed. The conversation continued:
P: What was your name again?
M: Paul Natkin
P: I am sorry, but what you are asking for cannot be set up. The best I can do is give you the cell number of the road manager. If he answers his phone, see if he can do anything. Good luck!
So I called the road manager, expecting no call back as the tour was in Detroit that day and traveling all night to Chicago. Ten minutes later, he called me back. When I explained the situation to him, his response was:
“I don’t know what she is talking about. We just sit on our bus all day waiting to go on. Shouldn’t be any problem getting the guys together to do a photo shoot.”
The next day, I went out to the venue, did a really great photo shoot with the band, who couldn’t have been nicer, and later that day shot their entire set.
When I sent the disc of photos to the magazine, they called me and asked me to bill them double what we had agreed upon for the shoot, as there were so many photos to choose from that they were going to increase the article from 2 pages to 4 pages and use more photos (They ended up using 6 photos)
All was well that ended well, no thanks to the publicist!