Woodinville, Washington is a quiet and rather pastoral suburb of Seattle. As it is the location for Mr13's school and my closest Target store, I am there most days. It is also the home of several award-winning wineries and Redhook Brewery, and Redhook is exactly where I should be right now. Instead, I am typing this from home. This is why.

I was set to shoot and review tonight's quad-bill concert starring Devo, the Psychedelic Furs, Tom Tom Club, and Mitten for one of the sites I work with. It is Redhook's first venture into concerts, in honor of their 30th anniversary, and I was really excited to attend. I even popped over there last night to eye up the grounds and have a delicious burger and IPA. I've had good dealings with the folks at Redhook before when I did a small food shoot there for Seattle Weekly, and the staff always made big efforts to answer any questions I had or find someone who could. I expected smooth going today.

Instead, I met the Wall Of Death, The Blue Screen, The Uncrossable Moat of Deny, in the form of a Passnafu (TM) and the steadfast unhelpfulness of the two ladies from Redhook who stood guard at Will Call. In Woodinville.

Any concert or event photographer can tell you, sometimes there are list malfunctions. Your name or your publication's name is supposed to be on there, but isn't, or the list hasn't made its way to the door yet. This is why I always carry the email confirmation from the record company, publicist, or band itself in my camera bag, along with cell numbers to call if things are messed up. Almost always, a phone call will sort things out, the tour manager located, or the venue will just wave me in. Do I look like a scamming rock parasite? I think not. I am there to do good work, to be on time, to follow all the rules, and generally conduct myself professionally, for I am always aware that I am not only representing myself, but my publication and photographers in general.

So I packed my gear, including a rain coat and rain coat for my camera because the weather said 70% chance of precipitation, got dropped off at the Redhook grounds, walked over to Will Call, list was checked, and I wasn't on it. Sigh. The women gazed at me impassively, offering to do nothing more, even when I was clearing carrying working gear, obviously bumming, and had pleaded politely if they could contact an onsite rep for me to help sort out the problem. Ohhhh-kaaaay, then. I got on the phone to the L.A. record company contact, left a message, and left a message with my local editor, the latter of whom got back to me quickly and started her own text/email queries on my behalf.

It was freezing. The wind was really blowing hard as I just stood there, waiting. The Will Call ladies ignored me completely. I showed them the email confirmation. Nope, didn't care. I wasn't belligerent or rude, but the first band had already started, and I wouldn't be photographing them, and I was upset. Quietly upset. People came and went. I stood and froze. In Woodinville.

Getting close to an hour since I started standing and freezing, it became clear that these two ladies from Redhook didn't give a rat's ass that I was there to cover their event, to give not only the bands publicity but to support Redhook, too. I could not help but think about my recent experiences at Bumbershoot, which is about nine zillion times larger and more complicated, and how any problem I had was taken care of so quickly and with genuine good humor. It was important for Redhook in producing this ambitious show to take care of all their guests, including any press members who were having some difficulties. There is no doubt in my mind that with a couple of radio calls, I would have missed nothing, and would have stood for hours in the wind and rain to document the event. Instead, the gatekeepers stonewalled me. I turned, said nothing more, walked down the street, and called for my ride to pick me up.

In the car and almost home, I got the call on my cell from the record company contact from her sickbed in California. She apologized profusely, swore that I had been confirmed, had put a call into the tour manager, and did I want to try again? I thought for a second, and based on how the Redhook Will Call people treated me, had little faith that even if I turned around immediately and tried to salvage shooting two bands instead of four, that it would work. It was cold and nasty, and I thought if one more staffer gave me attitude I would also become cold and nasty. The record company contact and I agreed that the next time the band came to town, we would work things out, and I bet we will. I texted back and forth with my editor and agreed on this plan.

And, sadly, I miss out what I hope was a great show for all those folks braving the less-than-ideal weather, and will always now associate Redhook with the two women who couldn't be bothered to even offer me a smile and a "sorry," much less make a single, 30-second effort on my behalf, or find someone who could. In Woodinville.