Ryan Adams is quite a popular guy at the moment, with his 16th album Prisoner topping the charts all over the place, so it’s probably not wise to get in a row with him online – and, by extension, his fans.
Floridian photographer Joe Sale did just that over the weekend, and it seems to have cost him his Twitter account as he became embroiled in a bitter row with the singer-songwriter over his use of flash photography at a recent gig.
As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, Sale first caught Adams’ ire by using a camera flash during a set at Gasparilla Music Festival, despite the latter’s insistence that flash and flashing lights never be present at his shows due to a medical condition that apparently causes him seizures under those sorts of conditions.
Midway through his set, Adams lashed out at the photographer in song, improvising a tune at Sale’s expense and being met by the middle finger from the unapologetic photog. The dispute got nastier on Twitter, with the paper quoting Sale’s now-deleted opening volley,
“I used the flash from 2000 feet away. I shot the 12 other bands over 2 days w/o flash. You lived…write a sob story about it.”
A perturbed Adams responded with the tweet below, and it wasn’t long before Sale’s Twitter was swamped with attacks from upset fans.
No, asshole. It says NO FLASH! Because I have MENIERES DISEASE and have SEIZURES!!!! Ok, Ansel Adams? https://t.co/mChzgBQce9
— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) March 13, 2017
After the pair seemingly blocked each other, Sale eventually just had to delete his account, but insisted that it wasn’t a great loss, pointing out that he’d “never received an ounce of business from Twitter”.
He also claimed that he wasn’t aware of the requirements to leave the flash in the bag, but this was shot down by festival spokesperson Michelle Gutenstein who confirms that the volunteer shooter was informed ahead of time along with all other photographers. Security guards were also apparently monitoring the area and displaying signs in an effort to enforce the ban.
“It’s famous,” Gutenstein remarked. “It’s not like that was new information or any type of surprise. Everybody knows about his condition, anybody who’s a fan coming to this festival, wanting to shoot him.
“It seems like no harm was really done, thank god.”
While it’s easy to accuse artists of making ridiculous demands at their shows, when their health and well-being is at stake, it’s best to just respect that – everyone hates flash photography at shows anyway.