[Or, maybe that wasn’t the point at all, as I figured out as I looked at it more…]
This crossed my Facebook feed today:
First impression: “OK, shirt off? Check. Fly open? Check. Guitar headstock suggestively placed? Check. OK, Johnny, now… Can you try to look sexy? It’s just that we’re looking for a different kind of ‘stiff’ if ya know what I mean…”
Awkward as Hell and he looks really uncomfortable with the whole idea, which does not make for the kind of picture [I thought] they were trying to get.
Compare to this poster, which I have at the jam space:
Fully dressed but he looks comfortable and confident and therefore it’s a much more appealing photo than the supposedly sexy one.
Or, more to the point, the cover of Have Faith:
(Photo I took a couple months ago of the CD with a bellydance scarf of mine because I couldn’t find a decent sized version in a five second Google image search… but I did later find a large and uncropped version by tweaking my search criteria… it’s beside the point, though.)
He looks relaxed, he doesn’t look like he’d rather be anywhere else doing anything else, therefore it’s a great photo.
Anyway… those were my initial impressions of the first photo, but something about it made me curious.
So, a little poking around and it turns out it’s [and the Have Faith cover too] a Marcia Resnick pic, and she certainly knew him well, took quite a few very well-known photos of him.
And both were shot with him in the bathtub at the Gramercy Hotel. [explains the uncomfortable and awkward bit, methinks]
It kinda looks like he inadvertently let his guard down. He doesn’t look sexy in the first shot. He doesn’t look confident or comfortable in his own skin. There’s sadness, misery, and distrust in his eyes. He looks wary, like he’d like to escape.
Which, considering his various issues, is probably a much more accurate window into his soul than that Have Faith shot where he has his mask on and looks confident. Cocky even.
So, yeah, the Have Faith cover is a sexier shot [especially if you see the uncropped version—hello treasure trail…], though there’s still a bit of that darkness in his eyes, albeit less vulnerability.
But the first one is more accurate.