In August, lots of emails and some luck combined to allow me to travel with Jeremy Messersmith and his band to NYC and document the band's appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Finding out about Jeremy's appearance on the show less then a week before the date, I immediately started working with The Current and Glassnote Records to see if I could attend the taping and document the day. Typically the Late Show does not allow photographers on set, and it was a nerve-racking process to find out about approval. Only 2 hours before I had to leave to catch the last flight to NYC, I received approval from Letterman's executive producer, and special funding from Minnesota State Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund to cover Jeremy's appearance on the show for 89.3 The Current.
The first call time for the band was 3:40 AM at the stage door, to have the band load in and meet the back-line gear and get set up. It was incredible to enter the Ed Sullivan Theater through the small side door, and to walk out onto that historic stage. It has such a different feel compared to what you see on television. On TV it looks so polished; it’s a small theater that’s been doing this for so many years. It shows its age, but there’s something really wonderful about that age, the history of the theater, being able to look behind the scenes and to be on the other side of those cameras.
The whole thing was over so quickly after all the hours of setup and anticipation. The band flew out just an hour after the show wrapped. Three years ago, one of the first big projects I did for The Current was to travel to Duluth with Jeremy for a small coffee shop show at “Beaners”, now getting to witness his national TV debut, it was really special.
I wrote a much more detailed narrative of the whole trip and show tapping that ran with a larger set of images on http://TheCurrent.org/ Take a look if you want to see more from this project: http://blog.thecurrent.org/2014/08/jeremy-messersmith-on-letterman-nate-ryans-story-and-photos/