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A ping-pong ball, a blank sheet of paper and some spilled milk: in his III series, Robin Maddock photographs three things that share the themes of movement and fleetingness in common. Robin Maddock created a photo essay on the fugacity of the moment. For the LFI blog he tells us about a special encounter at a record store.

“Sandy was the name of the proprietor, and you can verify for yourself that this guy gets the worst online reviews for service that have ever been seen. Like this one: 'BY FAR the worst shopping experience my partner and I have ever experienced, DO NOT SHOP HERE! The owner (the obese older fellow) was aggressive towards us and made fun of where we come from (Sydney), saying that we should stay there and not come back.'

He makes up inflated prices then shouts people out of the shop if they think it’s too much. Like this: 'As I was looking at jazz records, I made a comment that I had one particular one and I loved it. He told me it was $50, and asked me what I had paid for it. I answered honestly: $10. He lost it and started yelling at me in front of my wife. Chased me out of the store.'

You have to know what you want, otherwise he insults you.

I have to say I quite liked him...

I had to listen to a half an hour ‘hairdryer’ rant about how the conversion to digital of the CD era ripped us all off and lost a load of quality in the bargain. But I must have agreed with him somewhere, because he let me take pictures and we left shaking hands. He reminded me of Bukowski: on the surface a massive fuck you to the world, but if you could get past the razor wire, inside was something else, a deep lover of music and the massive wood and metal machines that produced the most soulful vibrations in the air with it.  

He must have been side-tracked from his usual rants by my ping pong ball, I was too easy a target. Like the student who went in to wind him up, asking if he had any CDs, he only said, “are you retarded!?”. They left as friends.

Here’s one last 1 star review for customer relations: 'This guy is in a dream world. I have been to record stores all over the world, and this is by far the worst one I've ever been to.'

Way to go Sandy. What a guy! He really doesn’t give a flying fuck. And that, my friends, in this day of corporate power, conformity and its fake happiness, is as refreshing as a can of Dr Pepper cherry warmed by the Californian sun through a closed window.”

You can find the whole portfolio in LFI 4/2019.

Image: © Robin Maddock
Equipment: Leica R 6.2 with Summicron-R 50 f/1:2
(Ernst Leitz Canada)

Robin Maddock

Born in England in 1972, Robin Maddock studied Archaeology in Wales before doing a Master’s in Photographic Studies at the University in Westminster. His first photo book,  Our Kids Are Going to Hell, appeared in 2009, followed by God Forgotten Face in 2011. The series presented was published in 2014 under the title III.

To see more of Maddock’s photography and to order his book, please visit his website.
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