I have been watching the new season of Bored to Death, the fine HBO series on Monday nights. The stars of the show are Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson and Zach Galafianakis. Great stories and great acting. Every time I watch it I am reminded of some time spent with the star of the show.
In February, 1995, my friend Dan called me to ask me if I wanted to photograph a new band he was managing called Phantom Planet. I went to the House of Blues and met the band who showed me a cool passageway in the backstage area that had a Blade Runner feel to it. When I finished the shoot, the drummer was the only guy who stuck around to talk and even helped me carry my equipment to my car. We talked a lot about his starring role in the movie “Rushmore” but not much about his famous relatives- Cousin Nicholas Cage, Uncle Francis Ford Coppola, and Mom Talia Shire (Adrian from the Rocky movies.) The most amazing part of all this that a kid born and raised in privilege to Hollywood royalty was one of the most down to earth people I have ever met in this business- one of the truely nice guys.
Skip forward to 2000, and I was tour managing Brian Wilson. We played two nights at the Roxy in Los Angeles. I new that Jason was a Beach Boys fan, so I called Dan and invited him to bring Jason to the show. After the show, I found them in the back of the room and asked them to follow me to the dressing room to meet Brian. Jason laughed and told me he didn’t want to meet Brian, he just wanted to steal Brian’s empty Diet Coke can off the keyboard on stage. I told him to go for it – he did. I hope he still has it as a souvenir!
Shortly after that, Jason left the band to be a full time actor, but the band still called me whenever the came to town. During one of those stops, Jacques Brautbar one of the guitarists showed me a little point and shoot camera that he had just purchased. He asked me for some photo tips, and became one of my long distance students:
He must have gotten pretty good! Here is a quote from his Wikipedia bio:
He left the band in 2004, after their self-titled third album, to pursue a career in photography. Brautbar’s photo credits include Rolling Stone, Spin, Nylon, Jane and High Times magazines.
Wow- another student hits the big time