With the passing of that rapscallion Village Voice photo editor Fred McDarrah as well as Norman Mailer (co-founder of the Voice) in the space of a few days, I found my thoughts replaying some great moments of my years as a contributing photographer at the Voice - I've finally compiled a Greatest Hits sort of grouping of my tearsheets- please take a look here.
I was Fred's last photo intern at the Voice and I learned a lot about "how to proceed" in the world of NYC street photography from him. Fred cussed me out the first time I walked into the Voice with my portfolio and told me never to come back- And to think about what that meant. That was my first encounter as a transplant from Georgia looking for work in the City. I thought about it and decided to call him back to ask what that meant. He yelled something in to the phone and hung up. I decided to go back try to get back in to see him. When I finally walked back to his desk, he growled at me again, I replied with some expletive describing his bad behavior and he broke out in a wicked smile- "See, I needed to find out if you were tough enough to get pushed around, cussed out and still come back for more. Good work. You're Hired." From that moment on, Fred was my biggest fan and often when I had a good tearsheet published the phone would ring the next morning and it would be Fred purring his praises on the other line. My loyalist fan and cheerleader. Fred- you will be missed.
That's just one of many Fred stories I have and I know there's quite a few veteran Voice interns that have many more. NPR ran a great clip from photographer Marc Asnin, another Fred alumni. May the stories live on.