Event: Ties That Bind, NJ Premier
Last week, I had the honor of photography a very interesting event: The New Jersey premier of The Ties That Bind documentary that will premier on HBO this coming Saturday. The event, A Celebration of Bruce Springsteen’s The River, The Ties That Bind Preview Screening, was held at Monmouth University.
The documentary is part of the newly remastered The River box set, due to be released in early December.
Now…full transparency as they say…I’ve never been a huge fan of the double album, The River. Don’t get me wrong…there are some absolute gems, like The River itself. Also Point Blank, which, to me, is one of the most noir-ish songs Springsteen has ever written.
But it also contains one of the most un-Springsteen-like songs, at least to me…Hungry Heart. Even though, at one NJ show, it was during that song that I actually patted Bruce on the shoulder (my buddy, David Spira, captured it in a video here. That’s my red-clad arm at one point), I still can never reconcile to myself that it’s his song, and him singing it. Just doesn’t ever ever ever sound like him to me.
Now I know why….he actually wrote it for The Ramones. As he tells in the documentary, he saw them play at The Fast Lane in Asbury Park (one of the absolute CLASSIC rock venues ever) one time. Hung out with them backstage afterwards, went home and wrote the song before he went to bed. In the doc, he says it probably took him as long to write the song as to sing it. The Ramones never used it.
Since 2014, I’ve developed a great relationship with the FBSSSC, and also Backstreets. You may remember last year, when some of my Asbury Park photos were included in a coaster set when fans picked up The Album Collection. I also shot the last stand at the Upstage and the Springsteen photography exhibit, also at Monmouth University, just a few weeks ago.
Attending the event was the director, and long-time Springsteen archivist, Thom Zimny, as well as Chris Phillips, editor of Backstreets.com.
(Left to right: Shawn Poole (FBSSC), Thom Zimny, Chris Phillips, Melanie Paggioli (FBSSC), Eileen Chapman (FBSSC), Kevin Farrell (FBSSC)
For the event, I toggled back and forth between using my trusty Canon 50D, but also trying the new Fuji X100T in certain situations. Frankly, the light in the theater was challenging…low and dull. And much of of was the general types of events shots – groups and whatnot.
However, I DID try to get some interesting looks. Like when I was up in the projection room, looking for a different vantage point. I noticed the barn-door windows that opened up gave me a kinda cool looking diptych of the screen. I caught a couple of interesting looks there (at least I think so)
Also in attendance were two amazing New Jersey musicians, Nalani & Sarina. I’ve know of them since they did a special version of Save My Love for Backstreets.com last year, and it was pleasure to meet them.
Nalina & Sarina with Thom Zimny
Joe McNally has said, “Never put your camera away until you’ve left the set, you never know what can happen.” Keeping this in mind, while shooting Nalina & Sarina, I was able to capture an in-between moment that has become my favorite shot of the night.
(Yes, I threw a little post-process flare in there. Artistic license.)
It was a really fun night. The documentary is really interesting. In fact, after listening to Bruce discuss Hungry Heart, and strum an acoustic version of it in the film, I have a new regard for it. Actually like it now, too.
Here’s the HBO trailer for the film.
(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015