2020: There are only a few people out there that can get away with having only one name. A few instantly come to mind like Sting, Cher, Madonna and of course Slash. Even if you aren’t a fan of Guns N’ Roses it’s hard not to know of and like one of the most iconic rock guitarists of all time. To get a chance to do a portrait session of Slash is a once in a lifetime event and to top it off during a pandemic, it’s just crazy talk! But here I was getting a call by a publicist I have known for years. I actually missed the call that Saturday but called back immediately. We caught up on our survival skills the last few months and then she told me about the shoot. Slash, as it turns out, is a big pinball connoisseur. Who knew. In fact, he pitched a new Guns N’ Roses pinball game with the company Jersey Jack. I’ll tell you perhaps another unknown fact, Chicago is the pinball capitol of the world. Again, who knew. This is where I come in, as you may have guessed, Jersey Jack resides in the suburbs of Chicago, Elk Grove Village to be exact, which is about forty minutes from here and that was why Libby was calling me. She needed a Chicago photographer and I instantly came to mind. It helps to be in a smaller fish bowl sometimes. We worked out the photographic vision and the budget and three days later I was at the operations of Jersey Jack. I was given the lay of the land and I planned my attack. I had their team organize a row of pinball machines and made sure they were all on and ready for the spotlight. Slash was early, I was introduced to him and he recognized me. I have met him before but I’m not sure he would have remembered me or not. Regardless, good start. I did however start to panic thinking he was going to wear his mask for the whole shoot. For several reasons of course but can you visually see why this particular mask was going to be a issue….?
Yeah, the word FUCK repeated several times is not something I want to remove in post! But I did get one fun shot of it during a test.
Fortunately, that wasn’t how it went down, mask was removed and Slash and I worked out the shot.
The rest of the shoot was capturing Slash walking around with pinball designer Eric Meunier, walking the assembly line and even building some of the cabinets.
It was a good afternoon that was over shadowed by the unfortunate timing of Eddie Van Halen’s death announcement. I was wrapping up the shoot when I heard the news and decided it wasn’t for me to break, Slash was going right into a live interview and I’m just the photographer here in the end.