In the tradition of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, Shirley Manson, Butch Vig, Duke Erikson and Steve Marker are celebrating that it was 20 years ago that they released their self-titled debut album, Garbage. Today Garbage will embark on their 20 Years Queer tour where, for the first time, they will perform that first seminal album in it’s entirety.
Like virtually everyone with ears I was a massive fan of Garbage and was excited when I got the call to photograph the band to promote their sophomore album Version 2.0 .
As is often the case, time was limited and the shoot had to take place at a boutique hotel in Hollywood where the band was staying. I arrived and procured a small room where we could do a quick set-up and then headed down to meet the band over breakfast in the hotel’s dining room. With the worldwide success of their first album I was happy to find them casually sitting at a table in the middle of the dining room rather than trying to go unnoticed in a corner. They were immediately fun, upbeat, unaffected and personable. As a testament to their creative nature they were game to explore the limited possibilities that the location offered and the shoot took on a casual vibe as they allowed it to go over our allotted time.
The only unexpected moment came while setting-up a shot looking down into an elevator with the band looking straight up. I was standing precariously on top of the car looking down while straddling a gap where we had removed a ceiling panel. Just as I leaned on the wall to hand down some polaroids for the band to approve the elevator jolted as it started moving up. The rough concrete wall ripped my shirt and scraped up my shoulder causing everyone to agree that maybe this was a bad idea. The bathroom photo was “Plan B”.