First Cameraman by Arun Chaudhary just arrived in the mail today. Arun has a masters in Film Production from NYU, and has used the study of images to become the first official White House Videographer. For the first 2 and a half years of the Obama Administration, Arun was following the President’s every move, and helping, for better or worse, to shape the President’s public image. He now works at a leftie production house in DC. President and turned it into a book. Why do I care? Because I think it’s a fascinating story told from a fresh perspective.
And, oh, yeah — Arun used to be in a really fast punk band called i-Farm that my old band Egghead. used to play with around the Northeast Corridor, occasionally sleeping in the same houses where we were crashing. I remember one weird morning in a gross punk rock house in Eastern Pennsylvania — West Chester, or thereabouts. My band was recording in the basement studio, and Arun’s band were passing through on tour. We were up in the morning having coffee before anyone else was awake. The house, as mentioned, was gross. How Gross? You will rue the day you asked, friend. So gross that I didn’t take a dump for three days because I didn’t want to use their toilet. There was about 14 inches of mold-free space on the shower floor. They decorated the walls with tattoo bandages — bandages that are made sticky by blood and ink. THAT’S HOW GROSS. And that morning Arun and I, if memory serves, were talking Broadway. And he confessed that he enjoyed the music of Pippin.
14 years later, he has left his job at the White House and written a book about the time. There are, like, 3 or 4 acts in American Lives.