Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tony Pacheco 1971-2009

I only got to get to know Tony for a few years. First when we worked together at Teletech, and then later outside of work. He wanted me to shoot some promotional photos for his music website, and these shots are from that session back in June 2006. They were shot upstairs at the Arts Project here in London and really before I heard much of his music (you can hear some on his ReverbNation page). But even on that day when he was casually playing his guitar you knew talent was there.

I think at one point he sent me some tracks or linked to them and I was really amazed at his voice. Instantly thought of Springsteen. And that was probably what most people thought when he was singing or covering the Boss.

We started to hang out again a fair bit only really since last summer. He was looking to get some new photos done as the last ones were becoming dated, and we talked ideas on what to shoot and where. Talked about perhaps shooting with a model as his muse in an alley downtown, and also about some live performance shots at the London Music Club - something I should have done at the CD release party a couple weeks ago.

I know that over the past couple of years, circumstances changed for him, and challenges came up that were causing him some great internal turmoil. I thought that by talking with him, offering advice, kicking his butt now n then, and just being there as a friend, he might turn around. We had several long long talks in May and June and I felt that perhaps in the last couple of weeks he was on the mend and would be the old Tony again one day soon.

Sitting in the audience at London Music Club a couple of Fridays ago with my friend Missy, I never imagined as I sipped my free Grasshopper ale (and got mighty buzzed off it) that this was going to be the last time I heard him play. He was on fine form that night being accompanied - for the first time as far as I know - by a woman named Megan that I had never met before that evening, but since his passing I have had a chance to chat with her at length about Tony and his music. He was feeling energized after that performance and even before it happened he was nervous and pumped. I know he was starting to write more, and had done a fair bit recently.

Even as late as a week last Saturday, the day after the performance, Tony and I hung out in Gibbons Park for a couple of hours talking n well, girl watching... It was good fun and Tony was being positive and upbeat as he un-apologetically checked out the Rollerbladers and cyclists passing by on the path. At one point I suggested channeling his energy into writing a Springsteen like equivalent to Alanis Morrisette's 'jagged little pill' album. Awesome music can come out of tortured souls, and can be cathartic. He even said that he was going to take his guitar back to the park and sit and do some writing.

Benjamin Disraeli wrote "Most people die with their music still locked up inside them." I don't think more apt words about Tony could be said. I just wish he had the chance to get that music out of his system and onto paper.

Tony, my friend, you will be missed by many. And I'm sorry you never got to be an assistant on one of my photoshoots. I know you would have enjoyed that a great deal. :)


Mike Wood Photography


Anonymous said...

Very Touching...thanks for sharing. MBR

Leesa said...

What a beautiful tribute. I got here from Austin, TX (on flickr). Sure am glad I clicked on a couple of links.

Antonio said...

I met Tony in Myspace when I found the Tony Pacheco name was already taken.

I sent him a message that started with "Great name!". And I explained tocayo is the spanish word for a person with your same name.

He was kind enough to write back, and even did a couple of comments on my work.

I have a couple of his songs in my Ipod, and until some minutes ago I imagined many times going to Canada to see him play.

I just learned about him leaving us, I will miss that opportunity to meet him, but will always remember him writing back with a smile.

Godspeed tocayo!

Tony Pacheco
Mexico City.

Mike Wood said...

Thanks for your comments. Tony was good people. left us before his time.

Marion said...

Can just imagine Tony trying to convince you that being your photographic assistant would be advantageous to you. Made me smile.