March 5, 2010

CRUMB--A brush with genius

Today I had a great time working for Fairchild Books. We were shooting in a nice studio down on 18th street and Broadway. Fun crew, good models, great catering, great space and a nice day rate made the day nearly perfect. At 5:00pm I walked over to Adorama with some of the crew and bought 4 new compact flash cards because my new 21 meg camera eats up memory cards like crazy. After Adorama I remembered that there was an R. Crumb opening on 19th street from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. I called some of my fellow scavengers Ron & Todd to see if they wanted to join me. Todd accepted, Ron declined having just started dinner. Aside from being a true genius and a what I consider a national treasure, Robert Crumb has a huge fan base and I anticipated an opening of his might be a bit crowded. We got there around 7:10 and happily breezed right into the large gallery. I immediately scoured the room for any site of the lanky, eccentric artist I had seen so many times before in the great documentary Crumb as well as countless photos. And there he was.... grey haired and skinny, bearded and disheveled, Robert Crumb, in the flesh. I noticed that they were selling his book towards the entrance and immediately rushed over to buy a copy. I asked the girl standing in front of the wall of books, "How much?" She said "$27.22, tax included." "Do you think he'll sign it?" "I don't know, maybe not, he might be done signing." I took my chances and plopped down $27.22 in exact change and made my way through the crowd. He was closely talking to a few people surrounded by a huddle of adoring nerds like myself. With his head down and almost cowering, I could barely hear what he was saying. But, I did notice he was signing things. I moved into what seemed like some sort of a line to his left. I pulled out my trusty point and shoot and snapped a few frames. Finally after a few minutes I was standing next to him. "Can you make it out to Stephen?" I handed him my book. He looked at me and smiled and said "With a v or a---" before he finished I interrupted him and said "with a p-h" He took a long time writing my name in a slow, exact way. Then he smiled as he handed back my book and I said "Thanks so much." Suddenly another adoring nerd stepped between us, opening his book to the first page.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I'm very jealous. And thanks for not showing up tonight. The only way this crap is tolerable is with a fellow hetero.

    Hope to see you soon and glad the shoot went well.