Before I say anything else – to everyone who has supported the Kickstarter campaign funding the release of ‘A Shot In The Dark’, you are legends each and every one of you! I launched the Kickstarter campaign as I really wanted to release this book but there was no way I could see to cover the cost of publishing. Unfortunately self publishing is bloody expensive. Because of your support the book will definitely become a reality!
There will be a launch show in Melbourne in December. It’s too early to announce the details, but if you get down there and pick up your book in person, I’ll happily refund your postage costs – stay tuned for more announcements about the launch show as it comes to hand – it’s shaping up to be a cracker!!!
About the Kickstarter campaign and a possible publishing deal in the works…
In the last couple of days I have been contacted by a small publishing company – discussions are in their very early days, but if I can sell enough books via the Kickstarter campaign, a publishing deal that would put the book in bookstores and make it available for purchase outside of the Kickstarter campaign is a very real possibility. I would love for this to happen as it would mean not only more exposure for my photography, but also for all the hard working bands featured in the book.
As a special thanks, if 150 copies of the book are sold via Kickstarter, I will also be producing a mini e-book, readable on iPads and kindle devices early in 2019 to be made available for free, exclusively to Kickstarter patrons.
I have around 5TB of photos of live music in my archives. Working through literally hundreds of thousands of photos to shortlist images for the book has been a labour of love. It’s certainly brought back some great memories! So far images of 57 bands have been confirmed for inclusion in the book, with a small number yet to be confirmed.
Bands appearing in A Shot In The Dark include:
The Dead Love, The Murderballs, Shadow League, SLOJ, Transistor, Sordid Ordeal, The Balls, Topnovil, Blind Man Death Stare, Dirty Harriet and The Hangmen, Dead Joe, Nerdlinger, Australian Kingswood Factory, Caveman Disco, The Cruntburgers, Flangipanis, The Ramshackle Army, Strawberry Fist Cake, Sketch Method, Smash Bros, Stoned To Death, The Suicide Tuesdays, Udder Ubductees, Beer Fridge, Being Jane Lane, Ding Dong Death Hole, Diploma, Eager 13, Ferocious Chode, Jerkbeast, Keggin, The Krunchy Om-Let Experience, Motovilikha, No Idea, Red Light Riot, Rick Dangerous and The Silkie Bantams, Seedy Jeezus, The Bob Gordons, The FckUps, The Out of Towners, The Wrath, Tim Hampshire, Wolfpack, Admiral Ackbar’s Dishonourable Discharge, Beyond Contempt, Blood Sucking Freaks, Body Parts, I am Duckeye, Mannequin Death Squad, Pegbucket, The Pro-Tools, Rukus, Skinpin, Smoking Martha, The Brothers Goon, Bastard North & Hammock District.
I am currently working through the selected images and have started re-editing them for placement in the book and I’m hoping that layout will commence within the next month.
A Sneak Peak
Just in case you were curious about how the book is shaping up I thought I’d give you a sneak peak. The following is a draft of the introduction for the book and a very small selection of the photos appearing in the book…
In my first book, Passion 4 Punk: Melbourne Punk Music 2013-2015, it was clear to me from the very the beginning that the overriding theme of the book was the passion that arises when a group of people get together to create music and in doing so create a community. Identifying what A Shot In the Dark is about has been more troublesome. Sure it’s full of photos of some great (and often under recognised) Australian bands, but the question remained: Why am I doing this?” The answer started to emerge as I commenced working on the book. Our scene, our community, the people in it and the art they create is fleeting and it cries out to be documented.
At least two people that I have photographed performing in the last 18 months have since passed away. One was a stalwart veteran of Australia’s alternative music scene, the other a young lad, full of a musical potential that blew my socks off. Both are gone, with only the photographs, their recordings and our imperfect memories, left to mark their contribution to our community.
In the chaotic maelstrom that is live music, bands form, dissolve, reform, change line ups and often disappear after an all too brief period of cooperative creation. Even the bands that defy the odds and continue to perform for an extended period of time, often do so with little recognition and significant sacrifice.
The bands featured in this book are not the bands that only ever come out to play huge arenas across the country. They are the bands that you’ll find playing at your local dive bar or do it yourself festival. Hell on occasion you find them playing in your mate’s kitchen.
I’ve often said that I’m just a lad, in front of a band, trying to take a shot in the dark. While this is a pretty accurate reflection of my intent, the true value is the moments in time that are captured. They are moments in time that are impossible to get back, but they are worthy of celebrating.
In the immortal words of Melbourne’s drunk punks Strawberry Fist Cake:
“This one’s for all you cunts, who’ve played you god damn hearts out,
This one’s for all you punks, you know what it’s about,
For everyone who’s rock and rolled for free,
For everyone who’s rock and rolled for me.”
(Rock’N’Roll –Strawberry Fist Cake, 2012)
You are all rock and roll to me!
How you can help
Well obviously apart from pledging on the Kickstarter campaign, you can also help promote the book. Share it on your social media. There is even a cool little video competition you can enter with a chance to win 1 of 3 Framed copies of the image of a machine gun wielding Mooticia, bass player with Melbourne’s Udder Ubductees!