2019 – Barnes & Noble & Tommy James

(ignore May 1, 2017 publish date – this was published on October 15, 2019)

 

So said the invite from his manager, received the night before:

TOMMY JAMES WILL BE APPEARING AT BARNES AND NOBLE – CLIFTON COMMONS, CLIFTON, NJ AT 6PM SATURDAY – HE WILL BE SIGNING HIS NEW CD ALIVE and HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY – ME, THE MOB AND THE MUSIC…..COME JOIN US …..carol

 

I found this online:

 

Tommy was going to sign his “Alive” CD and his book, “Me, the Mob and the Music”. It’s an interesting read about the surprising stuff that actually went on at the label Tommy signed with in the 60s – one we all knew: Roulette Records.

I was going to meet him on November 1 when he performs in Englewood, NJ, but this seemed like a more-relaxed situation that might make the show shoot easier. I’m glad I went.

I got there just before the 6pm start time and was ushered upstairs to a room that apparently doubles as backstage in a bookstore. I saw Carol and Tommy right away, along with a couple of other guys. One of them was a B&N employee and another was a rapper who Tommy’s been working with called T.O.N.E-z:

 

Nice backgrounds, huh? Looks like a library with lockers. Tommy couldn’t find his book on the Penguin Books display behind him and we couldn’t find a Simon & Schuster (his publisher) display in that room:

 

Carol and I exchanged pix with Tommy:

 

Numerically, you know what a gross is? That’s how many years Tommy and I share on an equal basis………….(egad!).

 

So then it was time to go downstairs to meet the crowd. Tommy addressed the group and – on a whim – I decided to shoot some video. The zoom makes an irritating mechanical noise when used and the little Canon apparently has a problem holding the focus when zoomed in, so I apologize for both of those annoyances.

I didn’t know how long he was going to talk and if I made one video of the whole thing, the file size would be enormous, so I always try to film in short increments and then stitch them together later. This TEN-AND-A-HALF-MINUTE video is comprised of five shorter vids. The good thing about Quicktime (Mac) video is that when stitched together, the file size becomes about one-third the file size of the five segments separately, so the final file size was a manageable half a gigabyte.

I also usually try to place the camera on a flat surface to keep things steady, but the decision to do video was made about two seconds before Tommy started, so I hand-held it and it is NOT steady throughout. Additionally, B&N’s mic volume was low, so crank up yours.

https://youtu.be/QbLgGEExSPw

 

The signing segment commenced right after the talk, so here are a few shots of the people who came to see Tommy:

 

Photographically, this gets old fast and I wanted to get home to watch the Yankees/Astros ALCS Game 1, so I told the guys I had to run, so let’s get one last quick shot:

 

 

So it was a good, quick, productive shoot – just the way I like ’em – and it will be nice to see (and shoot) the show on Nov. 1.

Look for a post about that.

 

By the way, that last shot is the same one I used for the video’s thumbnail. I have no idea why the vid pic looks so crappy…………must be YouTube.

 

 

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