Simon Griffee
Design consulting, art direction, photography.

Bruce Gilden Scouting Dudley Street, Wolverhampton, UK, May 2012

Published 2014 October 30

From a workshop back in 2012 with someone who had a profound influence in my life, Bruce Gilden.

15 May 2012 Session Time 00:22:50:

Why? They don’t let you do what you want to do? So this is like really some archaic institution or what? … No, I’m being serious now. … I think that good instruction is to develop who you are as a person okay? So, either, if they see your photographs and they think you are going in the right direction, to enhance that, if they think you should take a different route, to develop that route, okay? And I’m really critical of this okay ‘cause that’s what the workshop is about, I look at your pictures and I have to decide first if you if I think you’re on the right route for you, okay?

15 May 2012 Session Time 00:30:04

Did you put them in order of how you want us to see ’em? Okay, that’s good because, I will tell you right now, if you throw prints on this table like a monkey, I’m gonna to go fucking nuts.

15 May 2012 Session Time 00:34:05:

Should I take a gun and put it to my head or your head?

16 May 2012, Recording Time: 00:35:57:

So you don’t have kids, right? Just try to raise a kid and let them be out of control okay, we’ll see how the kid turns out and how your life turns out.

16 May 2012 Session Time 00:41:27:

…‘cause this way you can also see that everyone isn’t gonna bite you. I mean if you have one bad incident that might…then you’ll say “that fucking Bruce Gilden, you know…he got my jaw broken” or something…but… Look, I’ve been photographing all these years and my face is in one piece. My mind isn’t but my face is.

16 May 2012 Session Time 01:03:40:

…‘cause, he’s really, he looks like a big moron. Ah, I mean look, he’s overweight, he’s got that stupid grin on his face, that little fucking tie like Laurel and Hardy, I mean c’mon, look at him! God if that was my husband I’d keep him locked up in a room, and just feed him every day you know and put him in a cage at night! Probably a nice guy but, you know, so what.

16 May 2012 Session Time 01:20:07:

If you’re not emotionally involved, you know, or make it seem like you’re emotionally involved with the subject, why should the viewer be?

16 May 2012 Session Time 01:21:07:

And you don’t have the best background, you know, it’s nice to see the Colosseum back there or whatever the hell it is reflected in the window, but, you don’t have…it’s the Wolverhampton Colosseum! They used to use…squirrels. The gladiators fought squirrels, rather than…lions, or whatever the hell it was.

17 May 2012 Session Time 02:12:40:

That happened to me once when I was young, in the Mardi Gras, I went to the Mardi Gras right, seven years, I did a series, a weekly series there…yeah, in New Orleans. So one biker girl, and there were biker guys you know, I was tired, it was the end of the day, and she said “Oh! Take a picture of my tits! While I show my tits!” So of course like a young schmuck I took a picture of her tits and I wasn’t paying attention, I didn’t use flash at that time. She grabbed me around my, my cord, around, you know like my strap and she paraded me around like a schmuck and I said what am I gonna do I got three thousand bikers here! You know, so I, I swore from that moment on no one’s ever gonna do that again to me, so of course I go back to New York, and a lady, got mad at me for taking a picture, with no flash with a 35mm lens from ten feet away. So she started to give me shit, you know, an average lady, right…so I said “Listen, Miss.” I said, I said “Please, don’t, don’t annoy me or we’re gonna have a problem.” So she didn’t listen. So I took her wrist, I went like this, I broke her watch and I walked away. Am I being, I’m not gonna, I don’t, you see, me, I don’t care if you’re a woman or a man. I don’t want you to mess with me, okay? And woman can be much more trouble than men. Women, no, I mean, women can get men crazy.