Sunday, December 30, 2012


It's the end of 2012. There's a lot I want to say. I'm shooting, selectively, but I am shooting. I've basically taken 2012 off, just shooting album covers and comedy posters. I am proud of all of them, check them out. I lost a really good, great friend this year. THAT fucks with me every single day. I miss you, Brendan, you fucker, and I will never get over your influence on my life. Why should I? I dealt with a lot of immature bullshit from people who should behave as adults. I do. Why don't you? We're not in 7th grade anymore. Not gonna do that anymore. No. Never. My tolerance for that is over. Be better to people. Seriously, be good. The world needs that. I need that. I cherish it. 2013 will be better for all of us. I hope. And with that, I bid you all adieu. "Social media" sucks. I just want to kiss you. I don't want to "friend" you. Hypocrite. Until we meet again. I love you. JMG

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Houdini's Wife III

Park Slope.
Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.

Cover Star: Pandora
Headlining Band: Mr. Dulli

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Brendan Boeckelman,1971-2012

The first and last time a really good friend of mine passed away, I was 18 years old. He dove into a swimming pool on July 4th and hit the bottom and broke his neck. A stupid, random accident, a bad decision caused by impaired or just faulty judgment – whatever – he was dead. And it made me angry. Not at George – but at God. I was well on my way to becoming an atheist, but George’s Catholic funeral sealed it for me.

George was a lovable freak, out there, a strange thinker who came up with strange ideas, a person that loved “outside the norm” music, films and experiences. He was probably the first person I met that truly embodied that and I’ve spent my life since aligning and surrounding myself with people just like that.

Thirty years later, yesterday, I lost another really good friend. And I’m just as angry. I met Brendan roughly four and a half years ago after my friends Marko and Chris and I wandered into Fontana’s in search of beer and a pool table one afternoon early in 2008. Well, technically, there was some rockabilly chick there and we liked the place so much we kept coming back on Tuesday on Patrick’s shift. Patrick dug us and when Brendan was hired shortly thereafter, he inherited Patrick’s shift and as Brendan liked to say, “I inherited you assholes, too.”

Fontana’s became my other downtown joint sharing the top spot with Toad Hall. Some nights were just Fontana’s nights and it was easy to bounce into right off the D or B trains at Grand Street. I met everyone at Fontana's through Brendan and count the wonderful owners, the rock 'n' roll staff and the misguided patrons as some of my great friends. Always will.

I was always taken with Brendan’s tough guy attitude – you know the disfigured from fighting hands vs. just how sweet he really was inside. He would absolutely do anything for you if you were a friend (or even a friend of a friend) many times to the detriment of his own happiness. As a bartender, his rapport was world-famous. He could literally talk to you about anything – genuinely and with a depth and knowledge that would oftentimes surprise you. He was deeply learned in literature, film, music, sports, history, geography  and just about any other subject you could come up with. His morning ritual consisted of buying The NY Post and The Daily News and reading every word of both by the time he got downtown to work from Inwood.

As we really became friends and not just bartender and patron, I really began to see his kindness. He turned me onto some of the greatest music I’ve ever heard in my life, which is, at this point, a pretty amazing accomplishment.  And I turned him onto stuff too. He took me to see the very last Giraffes show at Mercury Lounge in February 2011 in a snowstorm. I turned him onto - and made sure that he saw - Mark Lanegan with me. We both saw Guided By Voices, Faith No More and many, many others that we had a mutual appreciation for. And these shows were always events. Big pre-show plans segued into big post-show plans, which usually involved us staying up all night and talking about the show and music and life and stuff. Important stuff. Funny stuff.

I also began to see how vulnerable he was and just how much he wanted to be loved. Which at first struck me as odd, considering just how many friends he had, but over time I started to see behind the public persona. Ultimately, I believe that this was his undoing. To value this idea of “love” above all else, even over his own life.

And that’s the part that makes me angry. He reached out to me and his other close friends a lot. And we were there for him. I’d like to think that we were really there for him. But you cannot change anyone’s mind that is that strong willed. We’d do what we could and then there would be a respite and then there would be another flare-up. And then one day he really didn’t reach out anymore. And now we're here.

When someone goes out like this, in a sense, they win – the noise stops. But the noise just gets louder for the rest of us – and I know that Brendan not only knew that but also would say the same thing. In beating myself up as to whether I could have done more or anything different so that he would still be here I do realize one thing. Ironically, he would have never let this happen to me. He would have stayed with me, slept with me, carried me to get help, yelled at me, screamed at me, etc…We did all of those things, but obviously just not enough. Or maybe enough was not a possibility. I will wonder about that the rest of my life.

Several times I told him, “I don’t ever want to go to another friend’s funeral, ok?” The last thing he said to me was that the feelings he was experiencing were “hard to process.”

Sometimes the noise is stronger than the will, I guess.

I will miss talking to him, spending time with him, sharing music with him, and sitting quietly with him and watching some sports thing I don’t give a fuck about. I will miss introducing my friends to him (to a person, every single one of them not only remembers him but really dug him and remember him fondly).

I will miss him hugging me and telling me that he loved me and then saying “No, I really do, man!” Like I had any doubt...

I will miss our inside jokes - like him saying to people while pointing to me “He knows stuff man” (true) and telling those same people that Justin Timberlake was my roommate at NYU (false).

I will REALLY miss hearing him call me “Jimmy Snapshot.” And the fact that the only choice he has left me with is to tell people finite stories about him rather than sharing stories with him for many years to come.

I love you too, Brendan. I really do, man.

Cover Star: Brendan, the last photo of him that I ever took, 07/21/12. He never saw it
Headlining Band: His beloved Giraffes

Monday, August 06, 2012

Shhh...Baby Sleeping...

I haven't shot much lately that I cared about except for this shot of The Barrens.

Buy their album here. It kicks ass. And it's good, too.

And I baptized each and almost every one of them (Jay escaped due to timing) and then shot them wet and miserable.

The Feelies? Sure. The Heartbreakers? Sure. The Barrens? Definitively.

I also shot a promo photo for my friend Matt Graham's Fringe Festival show.

I think you might recognize what we were trying to do.

And with that, for now, I'm done with this here 'blog' thing.

It's been a great run, but I just don't give a shit anymore. Blogging is dead. Social Media is a joke and my photography can be seen both on my website and on Facebook, as long as that exists.

I've been having fun shooting only things that are important to me.

Stay tuned - over there, somewhere.


JMG - 18 days shy of 48.

Cover Star: Moi
Headlining Band: Bongwater covering Mr. Erikson

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph

Monday, June 18, 2012

I Honestly Think...

...that those days are over.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A While

I don't even feel no pain.

Cover Star:
Headlining Band: Ms. Gabriel

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph

Monday, March 19, 2012

Houdini's Wife II

What did Houdinin's wife do when he was out being chained into a trunk and thrown into a river? What did Houdinin's wife do when he was out being bound into a straight jacket and buried underground? What did Houdinin's wife do when he was out handcuffed and suspended upside down? I got those last two backwards, but it really doesn't matter does it? What did she do?

Did she knit? Did she book his European itinerary as if he would actually cheat death? Was she out with friends? Was she on tour with him (sometimes she was) and backstage? Waiting. For the 'trick' to go wrong. Which it eventually did.

Maybe it's vintage-esque portraits of women or a woman worrying.

It's something, though definitely not that. Maybe it has nothing to do with the time and place and character. Maybe it's just a series title.

It's something more. Something different. Something more hidden and more profound.

There was a really great concept album written about this once along with the perfect photograph.

I just can't remember what it is...

Cover Star: JC
Headlining Band: Ms. Bush

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph

Friday, March 09, 2012

Self Portrait, Brooklyn, 2:15am

And my Mother would/will say, "Why can't you just smile and look pretty?"

Cover Star: moi
Headlining Band: Yellow Jackets

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph

Monday, March 05, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012


There's a Foo Fighter's song with that in the title. And Julie London, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Lou FUCKING Reed also did the same thing.

February. Cold here in NYC. It rains, it snows, it's warm-ish. NYC.

I had one of the worst self-inflicted days of my life yesterday. All of the "bad stuff" came crashing down on me around 12 noon. People, places, things, the IRS, money, neighborhood...

And on that - you know who my best friends are in my new neighborhood? George, the sandwich guy at the deli. I go in and I say, "George, make me something good." And he always does - he looks out for me. He makes me the good shit. Tonight, when I proposed that question to him, he said, "How about a salad?" And the fucked up thing is that on the way to the deli at 59th and 4th in fucking Brooklyn, I actually thought to myself that I needed a salad.

It gets better.

When George was making my salad, he said, "You know I love you. Don't tell your girlfriend." I smiled and said, "Our love is different, my friend." and he said, "Yeah..."

I love George too. Check him out if you ever get off at the R or N stop at 59th Street in Brooklyn. Sunset Park, ya'll...

And I know he's much more than a "Sandwich guy."


I've got tickets to see Dave Anthony and Greg Behrendt's first NYC show "Starfish Circus" - I'm a big fan of their podcast "Walking The Room" - it's really just two guys making each other laugh and, you know, when someone that you like laughs, you laugh too. Check them out.

It's at The Bell House in Brooklyn March 10th. It'll be hilarious.

So, I had one of the worst self-inflicted days of my life yesterday. All of the "bad stuff" came crashing down on me around 12 noon. People, places, things, the IRS, money, neighborhood...

And then I had dinner with my girl. At a place where I am loved. And it made everything better. Good people matter. Food works too. As do $4.00 margaritas.

This morning, I got up and tackled some of those demons that were weighing on me. And I did not kill them, but I kept them at bay.

Tomorrow's Friday and there's a great show with some of my favorite people in the world playing. I'll be there happy as shit and dressed to the 7's...

Happy birthday, Ms. Chou!

And, oh, here's a picture of a naked girl.

And, oh, Congress re: Reproductive Rights - fuck you.

Cover Star: Domo
Headlining Band: Foo Fighters

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Number Seventeen

Don't want to make the same mistake twice.

It's easy. It's hard. They all want you to stop. And you do too. Will you?

What's the next thing? I don't fucking know, what's you're next thing?

The ears are shot. The eyes are failing. The sense of smell is perfect. The taste is exquisite. The voice is all you've got.

I think a lot about mortality. I should think about something else whilst I have number eighteen.

I work my knuckles, I work my feet. I think too much and I solve problems, albeit for everyone else. I'm good at that. I work and I sweat and I toss and turn for you. For me - well, I depend on me and I let myself down, although I am a survivor and I will not let you down. I will present myself absolute and beautiful, but unless you ask me, you will never know that I am flawed, jaded and angry. Angry? At what? You know, the same shit you are angry about - life. To be alive and be able to type. What do I want?

Yeah, what do I want?

Yeah, what?


Cover Star: ...
Headlining Band: Dead Elliott

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thank You, Goodnight!

Cover Star: Hugo Boss and a Nikon remote
Headlining Band: The Mats killing Kiss

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph


There is no one more important than you...

This goes out to all my friends, but especially George.

He and I have talked about Roxy Music for hours and me perhaps doing some sort of a photographic homage to these iconic album covers. And I always say, "No way, man." And he laughs that iconic laugh as only George can do.

I miss him.

And my girl...

I'll be here all week...

Cover Star: Country Life
Headlining Band: Roxy Music

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Patron

Sometimes all you want to do is take a picture of your best friend,

Sometimes your best friend asks for it.

Here it is.

I'm that lucky.

And the entire time it took to take this photo (27 minutes) this song was going through my head, It wasn't about his missing limb (he has all of them), it was about hurrying and getting it right, which I think we did.

And it clearly had nothing to do with him, except everything...

He's more than a brother. He's blood.

Cover Star: Toby
Headlining Band: The Jesus Lizard

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph

Monday, January 23, 2012


This kind of portrait:

It's really easy to do. If you have trust. If you have history. If you have a connection.

Then there's the other kind, which is good too.

I'll be here all week...

Cover Star: MMS
Headlining Band: Ms. Case

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Night In The Universe

unless you are somewhere else...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Not a Trace of Strange Behavior

Get time back.

That's the goal.

Or make the most of it.

That's the challenge.

"The situation's growing hopeless so I pretended not to notice."

And now, it's gone...

Cover Star: Warhol in Berlin
Headlining Band: The Grifters

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph

Two More And It's Gone

So I had a dream the other night that these two 'bad men' were breaking into my apartment and they wanted to fucking kill me. I ran and I ran and I ran, but I could not get away (if you've been to my apartment or live in, well, fuck it, anywhere, you understand) and I hid in some non-existent closet until they were about to get me and then I woke the fuck up.


Most of the time I cannot sleep at all. This night I was asleep and the 'bad men' woke me up.

Thank you, brain.

It's a recurring NYC dream. I have it once a year - maybe twice, mostly, I think, because if you really want to jump over the rooftops and crawl into my kitchen window, you can.

And if you do not want to kill me, let's just say, then you can take my TV. Or my computer. Because if you want to carry that shit down three flights and put it in your car - go with god, brother. I'm not carrying it downstairs for you. I already carried it up. It ain't going nowhere unless you want it. Have at it.

I had my house keys winged at my head once. They missed.
I've taken two punches to the face. They did not miss.
I've weaved and bobbed with the best of them, mostly walking away right after I tried desperately to reason with 'them.'
Never really works...

I guess the bottom line is this:

If you want to hurt me or steal my TV - do it.

I've got better shit to do.

This post is for CD, as an apology for being an asshole.

Cover Star: moi
Headlining Band: Da Yout

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph

I Have An Idea

And I haven't had one for quite some time. Photographically, I mean...

Stay put. Focus. Don't succumb. Ignore outside syllables. Contain emotions.

Focus. Did I mention that? I think I might have.

Why go when you can stay? Why worry when you have so much to do?

Recognize the good shit - celebrate it even. Leave all the bad shit behind - ignore it even.

Life's too short and work is important. And godammit, do not live your life based on other people's expectations!

Stay tuned...

Cover Star: Sahid
Headlining Band: Cereal Hero Killers

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph

Monday, January 16, 2012


"It's my favorite shot of you, you look so pretty, your eyes were true..."

Less than a month ago I posted a shot that one could call provocative. It took a lot of courage.

Two artists realizing a shot that was an homage to two others, not that we equate ourselves with either one of them. Respect, yes. Homage, yes. Equivalent, no.

It's a photographic statement. That's all.

I don't know if my ex-girlfriends have seen it. I don't know if my parents have seen it. No one has said anything to me about it. And I do not care. In fact, I haven't even thought about it until this morning.

It's a photograph. It's a song. Sing it. It was a moment in time, now, long gone.

Who the fuck cares? I just want the noise to stop. If I cannot do THAT, then I cannot do anything. Take that away from me and I will cease to create.


"What's real? What's true? I ain't turning my back on you..."

Cover Star: TV
Headlining Band: Lee

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Pork Roast

According to my Mother:

350 degrees "for more than an hour."
Rub it in oil, whatever oil you have, olive, canola, whatever...
Salt and pepper it.
Heat it covered.


Cover Stars: My Moscow magazine coming soon...
Headlining Band: Wolf

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph