Memories are like photographs. Hazy images accompany impactful moments in my life. Growing up I turned my attention to my mother's record collection and discovered The Beatles, Norman Greenbaum, and Frank Sinatra. Early one morning in 1998 I couldn't sleep. I turned on the television. The sad news was of Sinatra's passing. I can recall seriously thinking about death in those moments. I recall crying. The image stuck in my mind.
It was 2013 when I heard the Sinatra episode from This American Life. Sarah Vowell talked about how Sinatra's death would be handled by the media. She correctly predicated that "every remembrance [would] be accompanied by the same damn song, the most obvious, unsubtle, disconcertingly-dictatorial chestnut in the old man's vast and dazzling backlog-- My Way." (Transcript) Vowell pleaded that the final ode would not be so obvious and instead be as complex as the man himself-- "Angel Eyes."
In 1974 at Madison Square Garden Sinatra introduced the song by saying "it's sad, it's poignant, it has to do with a fella whose chick split. I should like all of you to imagine all of us shrunken down into a small bar when this poor soul comes in, fractured out of his skull and he's looking for somebody to talk to. He doesn't want answers. He just wants to talk. And he nearly makes it, but not quite..."
"...Drink up all you people
Order anything you see
And have fun you happy people
The laugh and the drinks on me
[Frank lights a cigarette]
I've been trying to think that loves not around
Still it's uncomfortably near
My poor old heart it ain't, it ain't gaining too much ground
Because my angel eyes, she ain't here
Angel eyes, that old devil sent
They glow unbearably bright
And need I say, need I tell you that my loves been misspent
Misspent with angel eyes tonight
Drink up, drink up all of you people
Order anything that you see
Have fun, lot's of fun you lucky people
The drink and the laugh's on me
Pardon me but I guess I better run
The facts uncommonly clear
I liked to find whose now the number one
And why my angel eyes, she ain't here
Excuse me while I... disappear."
The Disappear Series was photographed with a Hasselblad 503cx. The double exposures were captured on Kodak and Lomography films.