Conducted in New York City, I interviewed Brian and and David at Brian's
really nice apartment. He lived in a place that exemplified what I would
call "upscale loft living", with a real nice floor, beautiful open kitchen,
and a set of nice halogen lights hanging down from the high ceiling. I looked
around and decided we would shoot across his kitchen counter, with the balance
of the apartment behind him. Brian had brought up a big pile of the stuff
of his BBS youth, mostly Apple II-related hardware, including a Cider drive,
which was a heck of an expensive add-on in the early 1980's.
Brian wanted me to understand how much they HATED Diversi-Dials back in their
BBS days, and how they went out of their way to visit various ddials and
cause trouble. Diversi-dials, in case you never got to meet them, were a
special blend of hardware and software that let an Apple II run a multi-line
chat system. You could connect and speak to a bunch of other folks, and,
using one of the lines, a number of Diversi-Dials could be connected,
and therefore increase the chat size even more. But because it was so
accessible, it was also accepted by people who were more into the social side
of computers, which Brian found to be too much cuteness and light for his
I had gotten better with the questions by this point, and we stayed focused
on BBSes and Diversi-dials through most of the interview, as well as a few
thoughts on hardware and programming a BBS.
With over 200 interviews conducted, I knew I couldn't have much opportunity
to really create any central visual "themes" or even really any consistency in
the shots themselves. I shot in farms, high-rises, homes, basements, you name
it. But it was in this interview I found something I'd latch onto for a little
pleasant enjoyment for the next few years.
I looked around this great urban apartment and found that Brian had a full DJ
setup (two turntables and a mixer) in one side of the room. I commented that it
was such a classic "loft" thing to have, and I joked about the only thing
missing was a guitar on a stand. He said "In fact, I have a guitar on a stand!"
and got it from his bedroom. So, in some of the shot, you can clearly make
out a guitar on a stand behind him. From that point on, whenever I found someone
had a guitar on a stand, I put it in the shot. I don't even know if I explained
it half the time, looking back. So, I believe at least a dozen of my 200
interviews have this little easter egg in them. Have fun finding them; I won't
mention it again.
David was actually rather quiet for most of the interview; I was only able
to get him on-camera for a small percentage of it, but he and Brian were
definitely a team in the old days and their friendship was quite obvious on