My life was saved by rock and roll

October 27th, 2013

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Farewell Lou Reed. The music you made changed my life maybe more than any other. Thank you for everything.

Here is my Lou Reed story.

I met him once. I was probably 22 years old. He played at a little theatre in my other old hometown, Boulder. Tickets were like $80 which I thought was just too much at the time. Then I later regretted not buying them, worked every angle to get in to the show, an finally succumbed to sitting outside on the stoop and listening to a muffled Lou Reed. It was better than nothing. He was my hero.

Somebody came outside and asked what the hell I was doing there. I told her Lou Reed was probably the only guy who I would sit outside to listen to, or risk never getting any closer. She told me that her friend never showed up and that I could have her ticket. Serendipitously, I was in. I eventually snuck down the very front. And it was like a dream. Old songs I knew by heart, and new ones that I instantly wanted to know by heart.

It was an electric show, the pulse of the room was high, every note was on, every inflection soulful. I was so close that I studied the furrow of his brow, the confidence, slowness, intention in every strum, even the sparkle on his guitar. It was standing in front of a god, a rock-and-roll god. Nearing the end of the show, they played an appropriately long Candy Says. We hung on together as an audience so tightly as it came to an end. The ensemble collected up front to bow again, then went back to their instruments and ended with Perfect Day, what seemed the perfect ending to the show.

lou reed My life was saved by rock and roll

Then the house lights went up and most of the audience got up to leave, with a sizable minority of us continuing to vociferously and relentlessly demand another encore. In all the 100s of shows I have seen, I had never seen this before, an audience so moved, they refused to leave, 2 minutes because 5 minutes, 5 became 10 and eventually we saw the band peeking around the back stage door, probably thinking, “I guess we gotta go play another.”

To the utter dismay of those still present, the band emerged to a half empty house, and struck the beginning chords of what may be the best song written in the 1960’s, Heroin, As honest and affecting as they get. There I stood in the front row at the intimate Boulder Theater watching the one and only Lou Reed play such an amazing testament to bittersweet modern junkie life. It seemed a spontaneous parting gift to an adoring crowd

With a vague feeling of possibility, I hung around afterwards, hoping to shake his hand and ask him to sign my Velvet Underground & Nico and Loaded LPs. A small group of us (Thomas Peters) had gathered under a parking structure across from the back door as roadies dispassionately packed the gear up a ramp into a truck. A light sprinkle gave an appropriate urban feel to the streets of Boulder, as we waited back there to see our underground idol. Finally a roadie announced after about an hour that Lou had left the building. He had slipped out the front in a van sent by the historic Hotel Boulderado.

A couple of us ran down to the beautiful old Hotel which wasn’t far away. We walked up through the main doors and into the giant vaulted and stainglassed lobby not knowing exactly what we were planning to do. And HOLY SHIT there he was, at the desk, signing in. We were so giddy we didn’t even know what to do. The hotel manager took one look at us sneaking up on Lou and shouted, “Mr. Reed will be having no guests tonight!” Not wanting to show any disrespect to our hero, we slowly backed out of the hotel with our tails between our legs and stood out on the sidewalk wondering what to do.

Just then his big jovial bass player came outside to us and asked us what we wanted with Lou. I said that we just wanted to meet him, shake his hand, thank him for all the amazing music, and maybe get him to sign these records I had brought with me. The bass player grinned and said Lou would meet us, not to worry, and to come with him. YEAH!

So we follow him into the hotel and the manager raised his hand again at us and the bass player instantly pacified him with one big calm-down smile and wave and then he said to Lou, “C’mon Lou, these are your fans! You gotta come and meet them…” Lou, still checking in, just looked back over his shoulder and sunk his shoulders and rolled his eyes looking very put-off by his band mate. Just then, in the gorgeous lobby of this fine and very posh hotel, this cute little blonde who was with us, lifts up her shirt, bearing all, and screams, “C’mon Lou! SIGN MY TITS!!!”

Lou couldn’t help but put a shit-eating grin on his face and walked over towards us with it, right up to the bare breasted blonde, motioning his hand for somebody to put a sharpie into soon. So he signed her tits, he signed my records, had a little chat with all of us. Tom told him they shared a birthday. Then he gets over to my friend Libby who is a total bombshell tough girl with the most piercing aquamarine colored eyes. She was just playing it cool, and he took one look into those eyes and says, “who are you going home with tonight?” She replied with a cool girl grin “You Lou, I’m going home with you…” Her fucking idiot boyfriend says “No your not” makes a little scene and she’s just like “next time, Lou, next time” and he smiles and walked off saying goodnight to all of us.


September 29th, 2013

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In your bag No: 529 – Brian Scott Peterson, via

May 31st, 2013

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I wrote a little somfin for Bellamy over at JCH which he featured today. Fun to make. Check it out.

Untitled In your bag No: 529 – Brian Scott Peterson, via

Hey folks,I’m Brian, aka Zebrio, aka BP, aka Big Papa, aka, aka the Photohoku guy, aka reformed Tokyo Beat, aka displaced Okie, aka Stoney Muffdiver, ok should probably stop there. So yeah, I have a lot of hats…
…and cameras.
I’ve been interested in Bellamy’s “In Your Bag” series for a long time because I feel certain tools of the trade can be a reflection of one’s personality, or can help in inspiring the work to some extent, and I am always a little bit curious to see that aspect of every photographers’ approach.I’m not really a critic, nor do I keep up much with who’s who. I don’t really have a favorite photographer and I rarely ever say “meh” when looking at photos. If you are making something creatively, and expressing yourself artistically, then I commend you. And in that sense, I’m inspired by everybody.

Untitled2 In your bag No: 529 – Brian Scott Peterson, via

As the photographer friend/in-law/cousin. I often get asked by friends or family
what the best camera is to get and my response is always the same, “get the coolest looking one” cuz really, the best camera is the one in your hands. I don’t get too obsessed with gear cuz I feel photos are like music, and cameras are like instruments. Any possessed musician can make good use of a broken 3 stringed guitar, and not only that, if they are good they will find away to accentuate it’s shortcomings. It’s about the music people!

Untitled3 In your bag No: 529 – Brian Scott Peterson, via

Having said that, this set-up has remained my go-to rig for the last several years. Its the Konica Instant Press, the second version that came many years after the first, that, besides capturing my imagination with its funky form-factor, crazy-cool orange accents, and ergonomical ray-gun pistol grip, has, unexpectedly, one of the most glorious lenses in all of modern photography, the Konica Hexanon 110mm 1:4. Why? I don’t know. It just always makes the prettiest photos. It does something to colors, it falls off so gracefully, it minimum focuses at 0.6m, and is just hands down one of the most pleasurable cameras to use. It has become to feel more of an extension of my hands and eyes than any other camera I have had the pleasure of using. Yes, its fragile like a Ferrari, but then again, its fragile like a Ferarri.

 Untitled4 In your bag No: 529 – Brian Scott Peterson, via

Of course the other reason I love this rig is because it makes wicked-good instant
photos, which affords me the ability to do the Tohoku-based volunteer project, “Photohoku” (, that I co-founded with Yuko Yoshikawa in 2011 in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. “Photohoku” is a project that aims to rebuild and restart family photo albums for those affected by the Tohoku Tsunami disaster. We travel from Tokyo to the devastated regions, with busses full of photographers, and using instant cameras (3 or these babies!!!) and instant film, we can do a little part in rebuilding the lives of those who lost so much. We make portraits, put them in albums, and gift the albums along with retired digital cameras (donated to us from people like you) so they can continue the albums themselves. So far we have made over 5000 portraits and started over 400 new family photo albums. We even have a free iPhone app in both Eng and JP, with which you can see what were doing and even send a message to Tohoku though our FB page. There is so much to Photohoku but you can get the gist of it here at our recent Pechakucha presentation. But the very best way to understand Photohoku is to get involved (and/or make a donation)! Visit our page to learn how.

Untitled5 In your bag No: 529 – Brian Scott Peterson, via

As for my bag, this is my old ratty Japanese made Artist and Artisan whatever, and look who signed it, old man Araki, who you are bound to bump into once or twice if you live and shoot in Tokyo as long as I have. My cameras generally hate this bag because what else is it filled with besides my shades and an empty beer can? Trash. Lots and lots of trash.
Untitled6 In your bag No: 529 – Brian Scott Peterson, via
As for my work, I shoot lots of different things, both professionally, and for keeping my sanity, mostly multiple exposures but now I’m focused on portraits, partly as a result of Photohoku and not having much to show for the last 2 years of portfolio work. You can check out some of my work at, or get inside my head (enter at your own risk) on my blog at I got that twitter thang and FB too. I also host exhibitions from time to time so keep your eyes peeled for that.


Thanks Bellamy for the lettin’ me share!


May 12th, 2013

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Psychiatrist: So tell me about your mother.

Me: Oh goodness. Where to begin?


April 23rd, 2013

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April 22nd, 2013

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December 27th, 2012

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Bathtub Ginza

November 11th, 2012

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