4.13.2016

My photo shoot with Kinky Freidman.

Kinky Freidman ©1992 Kirk Tuck

I was working in the old studio off east 5th street, just east of the freeway in downtown. I'd won the assignment to photograph novel writer and musician, Kinky Freidman, for the cover of a Texas lifestyle magazine. The art director wanted a white background so I set up the studio and tested my lighting design. At the time we delivered only medium format transparency film to the magazines so I took time to load six film backs for my Hasselblad camera. 

Mr. Freidman (who would later run for Governor in Texas) was scheduled to arrive at 6 pm. He came into the studio and we introduced ourselves. I went over the plan for photographs. He lit up a cigar and started smoking. I explained that the building had a strict "no smoking" policy. Didn't phase him and he went on puffing away --- which, in hindsight, was a good thing because the image the magazine loved and used was of him partially covered with a plume of cigar smoke. 

After I felt that we'd nailed the cover shot I picked up a Leica R camera and shot a few 35mm slides, just for something different. 

When we finished Mr. Freidman announced that it was protocol for the photographer to take the celebrity photo subject out for dinner and I decided to go along with the program. This was a time in which publicists and entourages were not yet pandemic in the business so it was just the two of us who headed over to Serrano's Mexican Food Restaurant.

Mr. F. was a well-known regular there and had his own table. He order his favorite beverages and we ordered our meal. He had some sort of custom beef creation which he asked to have covered in serrano peppers. I ordered a plate of enchiladas verdes con pollo (chicken  enchiladas with a mild green sauce) which prompted Mr. F. to say, "That's a dish for women. Don't be a pussy. Get something with some kick!" 

It was an interesting photo shoot and an entertaining dinner. I have run into Mr. F. occasionally around Austin and he's still got that ineffable charm. Anyway, this is my visual take away from that encounter...

8 comments:

Chris Arts said...

What a unique and incredible experience that must have been!

If I was still in Texas I would have voted for him! I think he would have made a better governor than the most recent crop of knuckle draggers.

Edward Richards said...

Thanks Kirk! Brings back memories.

Kirk Tuck said...

Chris Arts, A drunken monkey with a prison record would do a better job than our current and just previous clowns....

amitsood said...

Once again you AMAZE me!!
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Sanjay said...

Cool story! Mr. F hosted a charity dinner at a house out in the boonies (a friend won it at an auction). Had a great time at dinner with him. Totally charming, remembered every guest's name, charmed my wife and when he found out she is a obsessive reader, autographed a set of books for her.

Peter Wright said...

With a first name like that, you would either have to have a 'take no crap' type of attitude, or soon be dead.

Chris said...

As Peter suggests it would be difficult to take a man named Kinky at all seriously. I know a woman whose name is "Babe". I have always wondered whether this is some kind of feminist statement, but I'm too scared to ask.

Gary said...

Kinky's songs remain among my favorites. All these years later, few have approached the black humor of "The Ballad of Charles Whitman."