Getting stoned with Brandon Taylor
Our state recently made history by voting to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In honor of this momentous occasion -- and while the specific legalities are being ironed out with the feds -- we thought we'd take a few minutes to catch up with various members of our musical community, the known imbibers, to get their thoughts on the whole issue. Today, we talk with Brandon Taylor, a music photographer and scene personality, and get his thoughts on the new legalities of smoking the ganja.
Westword: Do you smoke?
Brandon Taylor: Obviously.
Do you remember the first time you smoked?
I do. It's actually a funny story. My friends started doing it, and I found out my dad smoked weed. His whole "cigar breaks" turned out to just be chiefing bowls sessions. Fuck that whole D.A.R.E. shit -- like fifth grade -- you're not gonna die or anything. I went to a head shop called "University Gifts." I told my friends that I'd buy the bong if they got me high all day. We smoked bongs and then went to King Soopers. None of us had a car at the time. We walked to King Soopers, and I realized that I had a bong in my pocket, so I just sat outside while all my friends' parents from middle school passed by.
Have you ever been arrested for smoking or possessing marijuana?
No. All clean.
Are you a medical patient?
Yes, have been for three years.
Did you get it right when you became eligible?
I actually got when I got a job at Dementia because it was affordable. It made more sense, legally, and I couldn't get in trouble for driving around with something that was now legal, or decriminalized. I don't want to talk bad about the legal system, but it was easy. I walked in with some cash and then got it.
Another reason why is because I am so small that the painkillers they prescribe me aren't healthy. They don't affect my body the same way they affect other people, so why not just smoke a bowl and not even pay attention to the pain? Medically, I understand it. I also believe you shouldn't be out in the streets doing stupid shit, smoking weed. In the privacy of your own home, or in a place that allows it -- it's fine.
Do you ever smoke pot while you work?
Sometimes, but I always feel like, even when I worked at Dementia, that weed can distract you, and you can get in your own head. As a photographer, it always distracts me because I love the fans. I always sit there and talk to people when I should be taking pictures. I love my friends and all that, but when I smoke at concerts...it's work. I don't party at work, but I always party after.
Aside from the recreational enjoyment, there is a medical purpose for your use?
Yes. I've met so many cool people because of medical marijuana. To know that all these people all around the city are smoking weed, and some are making money doing it... I totally agree with it. We are all self-made, me and my friends, and that's Colorado. That's why 64 is here. When it came on the ballot, there was no hesitation in my mind; there was no doubt after for me after that. It did change the problems a little bit for people -- growers, dispensaries, etc -- once they change all that. And now that we have the right to vote to legalize it, it's like 'No shit!' of course we will.
And you've met a lot of cool people in the music scene because of your photography?
I am the photographer at Midg_View... what kind of more badass name can you give a photographer?
How long have you been shooting?
I have been shooting in the scene for two years. Originally, I went to concerts for fun, and because of my size, I couldn't see, so they'd put me in a handicap spot, and I'd bitch about that because it's too far away. So they ended up putting me in the press pit. At the time, I figured while I was down there I might as well get a camera. It was always a hobby in high school, and I think every man tries photography at least once in his life. I took it in high school with old film cameras. I was working at Dementia at the time, so instead of buying bongs and pipes, I bought a camera.
What was the first show you shot with a press pass?
It was, no lie, the April 19th Levitate Festival with Break Science, Michal Menert and Paper Diamond at the Boulder Theater. Menert got me in because he felt like I was representing something that was positive: My size. Even after that show, they used a new light setup, and I had the ability to go in the corner and shoot, and I got a ton of photos without obstructing anyone's view.
That's the big thing at shows: Artists don't want you running around stage. I did really well there, and ever since then, I've met all the Boulder guys who are killing it. When I met Big Gigantic, they found out it was me who took a certain photo at the Fox show. That's when I officially decided to call it Midg_View, and represent this view. I love photography in all forms, but the competition that's in photography, you need to go hard and represent what you do. This is my view.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.