Thursday, September 15, 2011

Goodbye Grandpa (1914-2011)

Been in Washington DC for the last couple of days, and currently at the airport awaiting my flight back to San Francisco.

Yesterday we said our official goodbyes to my grandpa: Capt. Norman Lancaster USN. He was born in 1914, grew up on a tobacco farm in North Carolina, used to help his dad bootleg alcohol, got a law degree, joined the Navy, fought in WWII (Pearl Harbor), was one of the original JAG corps, retired from the Navy at the rank of Captain, was married to my grandmother for close to 60 years, and died on April 25th, 2011. at the age of 96. He now rests at Arlington Cemetery, buried with full military honors.

Love you and miss you Grandpa!

Grandpa & me napping

playing in a tent with Grandpa and R2-D2

with Grandpa and Keith (my brother) at their apt. in DC

Grandpa & me at his birthday dinner. Fixing his coat.

Grandpa (center) in his Navy days
Grandpa & Grandma
Service at Arlington National Cemetery. September 14th, 2011.
From The Observer:

Norman Gray Lancaster

Norman Gray Lancaster, age 96, retired Captain of the U.S. Navy, died April 25, 2011 at Inova Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, VA as the result of complications from pneumonia.
Captain Lancaster was born in Castalia, NC on October 1, 1914. He graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1938. After graduation and admission to the North Carolina Bar in 1938, he engaged in the general practice of law in Spring Hope, NC until December of 1940.
In August of 1940, Captain Lancaster joined the Navy "V-7" program and attended the Reserve Midshipman School at Northwestern University from December 1940 to March 1941 when he was commissioned an Ensign. Immediately upon being commissioned, he reported aboard the light cruiser USS Phoenix (CL-46) for duty. He remained aboard the Phoenix (which was moored in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked) until June 1943. Captain Lancaster was then assigned duty aboard the light cruiser USS Miami (CL-89) from December 1943 until April 1946. On both ships he served as an unrestricted line officer and was awarded several campaign medals, including the Asiatic-Pacific medal with seven battle stars.
In 1946 Captain Lancaster was transferred from unrestricted line duty and designated a legal specialist by the Secretary of the Navy, limiting his duties to the legal field. In 1967 Congress enacted a law establishing the Judge Advocate General Corps of the Navy, at which time Captain Lancaster became a member of the Corps. He retired from the Navy on June 30, 1975. Among his many and varied duties during 29 years of service in the legal field, Captain Lancaster served as a Senior Legal Advisor to the Commander-in-Chief US Forces Pacific (for which he received the Joint Services Commendation Medal), Fleet and Staff Legal Officer to Commander-in-Chief US Forces Europe (for which he received the Meritorious Service Medal), and chairman of the US Naval Military Court of Review.
Captain Lancaster was also a 32nd degree Mason and a Shriner.
His survivors include his son, Norman G. Lancaster, Jr. of Danville, CA, grandsons Clayton Lancaster of Walnut Creek, CA and Keith Lancaster of Reseda, CA, and a step-grandson Christian Pollock of Layton, UT.
Funeral services with Full Military Honors will be held on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 9:00 AM at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel on the Fort Myer Army Base in Arlington, Virginia, followed by interment at Arlington National Cemetery. Those attending should allow 20 minutes to clear base security. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Shiners' Hospitals for Children.

Published in The News & Observer from June 15 to June 19, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Jeff Campbell - "Stop and Go" CD Release - Red Devil Lounge

Oh how I love me some Jeff Campbell music. If you aren't familiar, Jeff is a San Francisco songwriter... and a damn good one.

I've done a number of photo shoots for this guy, usually for his band Pine & Battery (iTunes link). A few months ago I was commissioned to do some promo work for his upcoming solo effort "Stop and Go", and the other night I was asked to document his celebratory CD release show at the Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco.

What a fiasco! Not only were all the artists on the bill amazingly talented, but Jeff had like 9 people on stage with him throughout his setlist to help him deliver to a packed audience.

I should also mention that he has probably the biggest group of San Francisco talent make appearances on this record: Max Delaney, Charlie Wilson, Megan Slankard, Ryan Manley, Joel Ackerson, Brad Brooks, Kyle Caprista, Larissa Waters, Austin Willacy, Ezra Lipp, James Deprato, Jeff Symonds, and who knows who else.

Oh, and Jeff was a big proponent of me NOT moving to Seattle this year, which is part of the reason I still have a California address. So you can thank him for that.

Unless you wish I had left; then you can send him hate mail.

But regardless, here are a few photos from the event, and go listen to clips of his upcoming release at There's a fantastic clip of his rendition of "Drive" by The Cars.

Jeff Campbell performs in San Francisco for the release of his solo record "Stop & Go"

Jeff Campbell performs in San Francisco for the release of his solo record "Stop & Go"

Jeff Campbell performs in San Francisco for the release of his solo record "Stop & Go"
All photos, of course, by Clay Lancaster.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Meghan, Matt and the Ainsley House Wedding

This particular wedding was a special one for me, as I had the honor of shooting the wedding of my beautiful friends Matt Fazzi and Meghan Criswell in San Jose and Campbell, CA.

It wasn't too long ago that I was introduced to Matt at Shoreline Amphitheatre after his set with his then-band Taking Back Sunday (on the Blink 182 & Weezer tour). He was on crutches from his recent leg injury, yet he still hobbled up to our seats with my buddy Isaac to meet us and say hi.

After pumping my work on the TBS Myspace page, he and Isaac commissioned me to do promo work for their side project (at the time), Happy Body Slow Brain.

Fast-forward a couple of years and we had all invested hours of our time and energy getting HBSB off the ground. I've since done multiple rounds of promo photos for them, as well as a "making the record" documentary for Happy Body Slow Brain's debut "Dreams of Water", and a series of live in-studio performance videos. I am very proud to be a part of the the HBSB family.

However, I was even more proud to be a part of Matt & Meghan's family when they asked me to photograph their wedding. Not only do I love them to death, but many of our wonderful and talented friends were also in attendance.

The ceremony had a sort of vintage circus theme to it, with a reception at the historic Ainsley House in Campbell, CA. This was the first time I ever saw the groom be his own wedding band, as Matt performed with "The Zack Attack" (a cover band he formed with a bunch of old friends). The next day, the party continued at the Blank Club in San Jose as Happy Body Slow Brain performed with Lex Land and Gavin Castleton for a crowd of friends, family, and fans. The whole weekend was a blast.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the day. Congrats to the newlyweds! You both looked outstanding, and I can't think of a more pleasant couple to be involved with.

photo by Clay Lancaster

photo by Clay Lancaster

photo by Clay Lancaster

photo by Clay Lancaster

photo by Clay Lancaster

photo by Clay Lancaster

photo by Clay Lancaster

photo by Clay Lancaster

Jason Holthouser, Ian Fazzi, Matt Fazzi and Isaac Bolivar perform as "The Zack Attack"