Friends, family, and fans of his work pay tribute to former “Creative Loafing” photographer Chris Radok at Tremont Music Hall's Radok Fest III Saturday. The concert features Hated: The G.G. Allin Tribute and the reunions of Semi-Pro and Pigf*****, as well as Saurosiman Alchemy. It also marks the premier of photos taken by Radok during Tremont’s early years, which will continue to grace the club’s walls.
Radok was murdered during a break-in at his home in January 2011. His killer was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year.
Tremont was the first club I hung out at in Charlotte and Radok’s photos are a trip down memory lane. I didn’t know him, but I saw him hundreds of times clicking away at the front of the stage. Thanks to Radok some of the best concerts I ever saw are captured in black and white long before any of us were snapping blurry nuggets on our cell phones. He was even there the night I watched 7 Year Bitch with 10 people in the big room (ouch!).
Looking at his photos, which are already on display and include shots of the Tremont staff, I found myself thinking: “Oh I have a photo just like that.” I realized that I’d clipped Radok’s photos of Dicky Barrett from Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Frank Black, and Ani Difranco from the pages of “Creative Loafing” back then and placed them in my concert scrapbooks with my tickets, stickers and flyers.
Tremont’s manager Lisa Barr, Antiseen’s Jeff Clayton (who also plays in Hated), and Lori Bilger of The Chris Radok Photography Preservation Brain Trust scoured through what I imagine were thousands of negatives for the project to narrow it down to the best of his photos taken at Tremont. Barr found it interesting that these are some of the same photos that I cut from the paper long ago.
I told Barr they should sell prints.The ones of Iggy Pop and Gwar, for instance, are incredible. The Third Annual Radok Fest is a fundraiser to preserve his work and hopefully one day to publish a book of his photos. That is something I would love to see given that his work for “Creative Loafing” began right around the time I started going to shows here. I’m sure lots of other people feel the same. Maybe a Kickstarter is in order?
You can contribute Saturday at Tremont. The show begins at 9 p.m. Admission is $10. You can visit Radok’s memorial page on Facebook here.