A brief break in my ever-busy schedule, allows me some time to share a few more photos, and recollections, this early/late spring…

This particular show yielded a very small amount of images, even though I had made my way to the front of the stage, as I usually did, and scoped out a spot to work from.  My plan was interrupted, once the headliners, Camper Van Beethoven, made their way on-stage, and a gaggle of young women decided they wanted to be where I had staked myself out to take photographs from, which happened to be directly in front of the area that keyboardist/violinist, Jonathan Segel, had set up.

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Jonathan Segel [Camper Van Beethoven - B

I had managed to take a few images, and as I recall, after taking one of Mr. Segel, he suddenly directed some comments to me, in the vein of, “move”, or “stop taking pictures and make room for my friends”…..

Well, after having been in that spot, for the duration of the opening band, and the wait, between sets, only to have been suddenly the object of derision, for no other reason, than being there to enjoy the show, and take some photos [which, was not prohibited by the club or stated otherwise, beforehand], soured me on the rest of the show.  So, I decided to just take in the music, and forget the other reason I came to see this particular performance: to document it, like I usually attempted to.

It is for this reason, that I have no decent images of Greg Lisher, who was off to the other side of where I had set up, more often in the shadows, and less than pleasing snapshots of the drummer, Chris Pedersen.

Michael Conen - [PROOF] David Lowery, Victor Krummenacher & Greg
While it was easy enough to get images of David Lowery, from where I was originally set up, getting Greg Lisher, in-frame, was next to impossible

I had already seen a couple of performances of CVB by this point in time, including a very memorable New Year’s Eve show in 1986, at an old movie theatre in San Francisco, called Pagoda Palace. Memorable, because the theatre was cavernous, and featured traditional seating, rather than the “cram ’em in, til no more can fit” modus operandi that prevailed…

Their releases, on Pitch-a-Tent Records, were already in my record collection by this point in time, and the one that was eventually worn out the most, was “Camper Van Beethoven II & III”.  I would follow their releases, through the original break-up of the group, but didn’t find the bands that formed afterward, as captivating, to these ears [Cracker, and Monks of Doom, in particular].




In closing, it is nice to know that their career has been worthy of intense archiving, as their music certainly deserves the praise it has received. Following this last image, are links to more on the band, and the individuals who would collaborate with the original members, and their subsequent musical experiments.


Michael Conen - [PROOF] David Lowery, Victor Krummenacher & Greg
Victor Krummenacher looks on intently, as Greg Lisher also seems to be alert to something going on, with the performance, in that particular moment

LINKS worth viewing, for more on the above:

Camper Van Beethoven official

Pagoda Palace, San Francisco

Audio Archives on Camper Van Beethoven



While many of you who arrive here, to look at these photographs may get turned off to my use of watermarks [thinking they ruin the image], let me explain why I choose to do this.

No one paid for my camera equipment but me. No one paid for the film I used to take these photographs.  On occasion, when I free-lanced for a free monthly newsletter, and they published a photo of mine, the payment for each photograph barely paid for the fuel to get my vehicle to the show [when I *did* have a vehicle], and the film I used on that night. 

Not too many of my photos were published, at the time, because the artists I chose to capture images of, were not hugely popular then.  Hence, the old dictum, “Supply and Demand”; I had the supply, but the demand [pre-Internet], was not there. You can argue the relative merits of the quality of my work, and that is precisely what a blog offers:  a venue for discussion.

Back to the watermarks: no one is subsidizing my time to scan and then clean up the images I am presenting here. Start to finish, each negative will take approximately an hour-and-a-half to reach “proof” quality – which is what you will see here.  This is my labor of love, and until there is some measurable return on my efforts, what you see is what you get.