Everyone that writes about celebrity gossip were not on the scene when things went down. Every once in a while, paparazzi will get a call from a tabloid reporter to get some details. I got one call asking me about Maggie Gyllenhaal, her daughter Ramona and her husband Peter Sarsgaard. The reporter asked me if they were fighting or if you could see any stress. The stress was caused because Maggie hates photographers and went to the limo by herself to avoid the limelight. They thought that with Maggie out of the picture the photographers would stop, but we obviously continued shooting. Peter confronted me because he thought I was zooming to take pictures of Ramona, cropping Peter out. I showed him my frames to show him that was not true.
Star magazine bought my picture, cropped out Maggie and Peter and published the picture of Ramona in a section about celebrity kids. Celebrity babies should be blurred out like they do in European countries. It’s not a cool feeling to have your boss yell at you that they need more pictures of celebrity infants.
Anyway, when the story of Axl Rose punching a paparazzo came out, not one news source had the story right. I know exactly how it happened because it was my video and the guy that got punched was a co-worker.
(Someone uploaded the video to YouTube with a watermark of my agency, however I have the original video)
First, I was the only paparazzo there, the rest were autographers. I was not supposed to the job, even my boss said we don’t need pictures of him, concentrate on the Jonas brothers who were arriving at midnight (Axl was departing at 11:45). Because I had just switched agencies, I wanted to show my boss I was a hard worker. I stuck around to shoot Axl even though pictures were probably worthless, what matter was the autograph. My boss was even there just as a fan.
Airport and Axl’s staff were up to funny business to try to sneak Axl to his flight. When Axl came out of his limo, he reeked of alcohol and he was stumbling around while his way too young and hot girlfriend tried to get him to security. Axl wasn’t signing any autographs, so I knew something weird might happen. I gave my Flip camera to an autographer and told him it was already recording, just to point and shoot.
I was taking pictures of Axl when he suddenly freaked out and went to punch my coworker, who was there just for an autograph. Because he wasn’t signing anything, he started to take pictures, and Axl’s manager (who he calls mom), blocked the camera. This made Axl believe his momager was in danger and launched a power punch to my coworker who did not see anything coming. The autographer using my camera did a decent job getting everything in frame while Axl’s helper called us bitches and did other stupid stuff showing a lack of professionalism.
We could have called the cops and get Axl arrested for battery assault. But my coworker was a fan of his and decided not to press charges. Axl missed his flight and postponed his Chinese tour (you welcome China). The story was never too big because no charges were pressed, otherwise it could have been much bigger.
After the whole incident, we went to Melody Bar right outside of LAX to have a drink and wait for the Jonas brothers whose flight was delayed. They arrived past 1 am and it was just Kevin Jonas, who acted pretty cool for being that late at night.
I saw Axl a second time on May 30th of 2010 but I barely have memory of that time. I seriously saw many celebrities per day that I forgot who I saw. But anyway, this day, he seems to have recognized me since he looked at my camera plenty. I guess he was nice since there was no recorded attacks.
My pictures of Axl made it to Rolling Stone magazine and other news outlets. I had some respect for him because I was a fan of Guns N’ Roses in middle school, now that’s gone. I remember burning a GnR CD (when burners were a new thing) for the hottest girl in my school and Sweet Child O’Mine was one of the first songs I learned in guitar.
But besides that, Guns N’ Roses have no influence on my music taste. Here’s my top 10 most influential CDs in my life. I started thinking about this list when the FB challenge started though no one ever challenged me.I got challenged last week and after over a month of thought here’s my top 10:
1. Minneapolis Guitar Quartet – Pictures at an Exhibition (Mussorgsky)
2. Hella – Hold Your Horse Is
3. Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
4. Jaco Pastorius – Word of Mouth Revisited
5. La Maldita Vecindad – Baile de Mascaras
6. Dream Theater – A Change of Seasons
7. Leo Brouwer – El Decameron Negro
8. Offspring – Americana
9. Chim Charoo – Untitled
10. Vans Warped Tour Compilation 2002
I haven’t posted in my blog since August and haven’t updated Tijuana Adventure at all. I’ve been super busy since I got a job selling soccer shoes in Chula Vista on September. I’ve been balancing a crazy life and figuring out what 2015 holds in store for me. Everything seems to be going in a positive direction and hopefully I’ll have more time to write about my life, past, future and present… and of course, more pics of celebrities of my 4 year stint as a paparazzo.