11 August 2017

How You Gonna See Me Now

Last year some time, I had the very clever idea of tricking out my camera bag with a custom strap. If I wanted to be a rock & roll photog, I should find a way to look the part, make myself stand out from the crowd! So I took a trip to my favorite home for all music-related purchases, Second String Music (5th & Maine, Quincy, IL! Tell 'em Mike sent you....and watch them say "Mike who?") and grabbed a really cool Levy's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" guitar strap. Cool black and red graphics on the front, lyrics to the song on the back (in case the singer of a cover band loses his place, I guess?). This is a stock photo, but it's the same strap I bought:

I threw on a couple of these carabineer-style rings to hook it to the bag and I was ready to go!

Jump to two weeks ago. I was rushing to get to a show that St. Louis traffic had made me late for. I had to park more than a half mile a way and I was hoofing it in a hurry to get there before I missed the window to shoot from the floor. At the worst possible moment, the end of the strap gave way, nearly dumping my camera gear into the street around 6th & Lucas in downtown St. Louis.

I want to be clear here. This is not a knock on Levy's. They're strap, to a guy that knows nothing about guitars and their accessories, seems really well-made and durable. This is also not even remotely trying to say that Second String sold me a bad product. I feel like anyone that knows Rodney and Sheryl would know that anyway, but this is the internet, so clarity is beneficial. No, the broken strap is completely my fault for using it to carry a weight that is probably double or more what the manufacturer intended it to carry. When you get outside of the intended purpose for a product, all bets are off. This time, I lost that bet. But that's on my head.

Rather than as any criticism, I'm making you read this novella so I could set the stage to praise Boyer's Boot and Shoe here in Quincy. I didn't want to give up the idea of using this cool strap for my camera gear, especially with plenty of more concerts lined up that I'm hoping to shoot (including Alice Cooper, coincidentally!). I took the strap out to Boyer's and showed them what happened and explained what I was looking for: Something durable that can carry the load, and something a little better than the rings to hook it to the bag.

In less than a week, this is what the "shoe elves*" at Boyer's turned out for me:

Gorgeous black leather, maintaining the adjustability of the strap, and slick, flat-black hardware that fits like it was created just for the task. I'm ready to get out and give this new rig a shot, but I can't imagine having any sort of hiccups with it. For those interested in such things, I'll get the first real shot to test it out on Monday, 8/14/17, for the Green Day concert at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. Keep an eye on the Bad Wolf Facebook page for photos and to the Herald-Whig for a full review!

Thanks to Boyer's, as well as Second String Music and Levy's for the great product. It makes me feel a little cooler, even if I'm really not...

*Boyer's commercial by Table Sixteen Productions