You might know singer-songwriter Ryan Adams from his Taylor Swift experiment, or you might know him from some of his previous controversies—like leaving an angry message on critic Jim DeRogatis’ answering machine, or calling out someone in the audience at a 2002 concert for confusing him with Bryan Adams and calling out a request for “Summer of ’69,.” But now, his latest addition to his long list of controversies is an intense feud with Florida photographer Joe Sale at the 2017 Gasparilla Music Festival.
Midway through the set, according to the Tampa Bay Times, Sale rose above the crowd to take some performance shots of Adams using a flash. However, camera flashes are prohibited at Ryan Adams concerts because of the musician’s Meniere’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear that causes vertigo-like symptoms, migraines and seizures. Fans and photographers are warned by security guards and signs, reminding everyone to turn off their flashes off, but Sale went for it anyway.
So when Adams noticed Sale flashing atop an elevator lift behind the soundboard, he started improvising a song about his sensitivities, calling out Sale. The photographer responded, quite maturely, by flipping him off.
The duo’s dispute continued on Twitter. “I used the flash from 2000 feet away,” Sale wrote in a now deleted Tweet. “Write a sob story about it.” “No, asshole,” Adams replied. “It says NO FLASH! Because I have MENIERES DISEASE and have SEIZURES!!!! Ok, Ansel Adams?” He later added: “You are a fucking asshole.”
That’s when Adams’ fans came to his rescue, causing Sale to, again quite maturely, delete his entire Twitter account.
“I think it’s a bit unfair to say that I should know he had a condition ahead of time,” the photographer told the Tampa Bay Times the next day. “I could care less what he thinks. But now I’m aware that he has a condition that he gets migraines and potential seizures, and that I understand. I would never use a flash near the stage… I know that the flash had zero effect on him from where I was.”
Still, as photographers, especially when it comes to documenting music, events or anything else for that matter, it’s important to never disrupt the experience for the fans and maintain respect for the artists. Sale’s disdain for this reflects poorly on all of us, but hey, at least he isn’t this guy:
[via Tampa Bay Times]