Over the past 20-plus years with BASS PLAYER, Art Director and photographer Paul Haggard has accumulated a shelf full of broken cameras and some dusty memories. He will recount some over the next few columns until either he can't remember any more, or they fail to be interesting— whichever comes first.
Photograph from October 1997
SOMETIMES, A GOOD IDEA CAN BE BORN FROM MYRIAD sources of intense complexity, incorporating grandiose depth and breadth of insight and thought. Such are the most magnificent endeavors of man: the construction of the Parthenon, the Apollo space program, and mapping the sequence of the human genome, to name but a few. And other times great ideas can come directly from the most pure, abject stupidity. I can say with only the tiniest degree of reluctance that more of my ideas originate from the latter than the former.
I am what most would label a shallow dimwit at my very best moments, but occasionally I can produce what I describe as unmitigated conceptual genius. Th is was precisely the case on the day of the cover photo session of the bassist for the band 311. As Editor Karl Coryat and I rolled through Hollywood, arguing intellectually at length—as we usually did in those days— the finer points of the previous night’s David Letterman monologue, we were forced to abruptly abort our conversation as the realization fell upon us that we were about a half-mile from the shoot location and I had absolutely no idea what I would do with this man’s portrait to make it remotely compelling.
I mused, and ruminated, and contemplated, and reflected from within for what seemed like an entire minute, and then began to brainstorm out loud.
“Let’s see, shooting a bassist. Okay. His name is P-Nut. Hmm. P-Nut. P-Nut. Hmmm.”
“I’ve got it!”