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Sam Shahid's photo documentary of gay life—the struggles, the triumph, the heartache, and joy—shot from the 1970's through today.
Sam Shahid's photo documentary of gay life—the struggles, the triumph, the heartache, and joy—shot from the 1970's through today.
137 backers pledged $35,263 to help bring this project to life.

About

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"And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune" by Sam Shahid

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The book And the Band Was Playing a Gay Tune is very personal to me, and in some ways, has been in the works for over four decades. In the early 1970’s my friends used to call me on Sundays and asked me to come over with my camera and photograph them dressing up, dressing down and just capture their lives and newfound acceptance into society. I didn’t know it then, but I was documenting a group of friends celebrating being who they were, being gay, embracing life and all the joy that comes from listening to a happy tune!

Provincetown, 2015. Reward for pledging $25 or more.
Provincetown, 2015. Reward for pledging $25 or more.

Since then, I started photographing the cross cultures and subcultures of being gay and lesbian and everything in between. I found myself photographing the New York City pride march in its many forms, the Carnival festival in Provincetown, and anything else I saw and that reminded me of the celebration of being gay. What resulted is a wonderful volume of photographs spanning four decades; they document the struggle of the thousands before, who fought tirelessly for the freedoms and rights that we all enjoy today in this country.

Fire Island Pines, 1978. Reward for pledging $100 or more.
Fire Island Pines, 1978. Reward for pledging $100 or more.

Why Now?

Now is the right time to publish this book. The LGBTQ community has been the focus of negativity and harassment for decades. Only recently has the media and society begun to not only acknowledge, but honor the value and contributions of our community. Above all, this book is a celebration of being gay; an acceptance letter to those who’ve had doors closed on them and too often told “no.” What started with a group of friends, a camera and a bottle of poppers, will hopefully materialize into a beautiful love letter to those friends who have since passed but will forever be immortalized in this volume. It is to them that I will dedicate And the Band Was Playing a Gay Tune and thanks to you, the donors that their story will be told.

Mockup of "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune"
Mockup of "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune"

About Sam Shahid

Read more about Creative Director / Photographer Sam Shahid in his interview with Cultured Magazine.

Book Specs

  • Limited Edition of 1000 copies
  • 10 x 7.5 inches
  • 160 pages
  • Hardcover with .5 mm PVC frosted slipcase with silkscreened title
  • 169 color, 39 black and white images
  • Photographs by Sam Shahid, dating 1970 - 2016
  • Publication date: June 2017
  • Printed in Barcelona, Spain
  • Estimated retail price: $65.00

All photographs are by Sam Shahid, with an introduction by journalist and award winning copywriter, Hy Abady, and beautifully designed by emerging artist, John MacConnell.

Fire Island Pines, 1974. Reward for pledging $200 or more. (Image 1 of 2) *Actual print is uncensored
Fire Island Pines, 1974. Reward for pledging $200 or more. (Image 1 of 2) *Actual print is uncensored

The Cost Breakdown

  • $2,500 - Preproduction costs (scanning, proofing, etc.)
  • $5,400 - Prepress 
  • $20,100 - Book Printing
  • $2,000 - Shipping to the United States + Customs
  • $1,000 - Printing and shipping prints 
  • $500 - PR and advertising
  • $3,500 - Fees to Kickstarter

Additional Funds

Any additional funds collected, beyond our goal (should we be so lucky!), will be put toward making And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune even better. There are many small ways we can make the book more special—paper upgrades, additional inks, more rounds of proofing, etc. If we far exceed our goal of $35,000, we will begin to plan a gallery show for And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune, to be held in New York City. And you're all invited!

Timeline

We've already done so much! Since 2014, we have been going through Sam Shahid's archive organizing and selecting images. This year the story came together and And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune was born. Here's what's left to do:

  • January 1 - Finalize layouts of And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune and begin pre-production (scanning and restoring negatives and prints, begin pre-press procedures, etc.) 
  • February 1 - Kickstarter fundraising begins!
  • March 1 - Kickstarter fundraising ends
  • March 2 - Send final layouts to our printer in Barcelona
  • Month of March - Review test proofs from our printer. Make sure everything is looking as beautiful as possible.
  • End of March - And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune on press!
  • Mid-April - Books are shipped to our office in New York City
  • Mid-May - Beginning shipping rewards to our wonderful supporters
  • June 1 - And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune available to the public, just in time for National Pride Month! 

The Publisher

I have chosen to publish And the Band Was Playing a Gay Tune with Antinous Press, a boutique-publishing house in New York City. They publish high-end quality photography books, and their catalogue includes books by gay icons such as Raymond Carrance, Bruce of Los Angeles, Jim French, and Sam Steward. They’ve also published newcomers like Matt Albiani and Luke Austin. Antinous Press is committed to following the dream of youth, beauty and love through the visions of international artists, photographers and writers. It was created in 2007 specifically to give a voice and elevate the work of gay artist in a more refined aesthetic than previously seen by other publishers. Great detail and thought goes into the design, production and printing craftsmanship of each book published.

New York City, 1977. Reward for pledging $200 or more. (Image 2 of 2)
New York City, 1977. Reward for pledging $200 or more. (Image 2 of 2)

 

Risks and challenges

The obstacle we have already overcome is finding a printer. Many printers in the United States (and abroad) still will not print gay themed books. Initially, we hoped to print in Pennsylvania to save on shipping costs. Later we found out that the printer would not work with our material. They were, at least, kind enough to recommend some overseas printers that we are now working with.

Now that we have found a printer, not many obstacles are in the way of "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune." Antinous Press has published many books and has a strong understanding of the publishing process.

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    Signed 8"x10" Print (Provincetown, 2015)

    An 8"x10" print from "And the Band Was Playing A Gay Tune." Preview available to the left.

    Includes:
    • Signed 8x10 Print (Provincetown, 2015)
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    Early Bird Book

    ONLY 50 AVAILABLE AT THIS RATE!
    A copy of "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune" ($25 under retail value!)

    Includes:
    • Signed 8x10 Print (Provincetown, 2015)
    • Copy of "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune"
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    Book

    A copy of "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune" ($15 under retail value!)

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    • Signed 8x10 Print (Provincetown, 2015)
    • Copy of "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune"
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    Signed Book

    A signed copy of "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune"

    Includes:
    • Signed 8x10 Print (Provincetown, 2015)
    • Signed copy of "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune"
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    Signed 8"x10" Print (Fire Island, 1978)

    An 8"x10" print from "And the Band Was Playing A Gay Tune." Preview available to the left.

    Includes:
    • Signed 8x10 Print (Provincetown, 2015)
    • Signed copy of "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune"
    • Signed 8x10 Print (Fire Island, 1978)
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    2 Signed 8x10 Prints (FIP '74 & NYC '77)

    Two signed 8"x10" prints from "And the Band Was Playing A Gay Tune." Preview available to the left.

    Includes:
    • Signed 8x10 Print (Provincetown, 2015)
    • Signed copy of "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune"
    • Signed 8x10 Print (Fire Island, 1978)
    • Signed 8x10 Print (Fire Island, 1974)
    • Signed 8x10 Print (New York City, 1977)
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    Name Listed in the Book

    Have your name listed in the acknowledgements of the book and receive two signed copies of "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune."

    Includes:
    • Signed copy of "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune"
    • Signed 8x10 Print (Provincetown, 2015)
    • Signed 8x10 Print (Fire Island, 1978)
    • Signed 8x10 Print (Fire Island, 1974)
    • Signed 8x10 Print (New York City, 1977)
    • Name listed in "And The Band Was Play A Gay Tune"
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    The Sam Shahid Book Collection

    In addition to, "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune," you'll also receive copies of the books, "Don't Mind Me," and "So I Came to Love Silence" by Sam Shahid.

    Includes:
    • Signed copy of "And The Band Was Playing A Gay Tune"
    • Signed 8x10 Print (Provincetown, 2015)
    • Signed 8x10 Print (Fire Island, 1978)
    • Signed 8x10 Print (Fire Island, 1974)
    • Signed 8x10 Print (New York City, 1977)
    • Name listed in "And The Band Was Play A Gay Tune"
    • Copy of the book, "Don't Mind Me"
    • Copy of the book, "So I Came To Love Silence"
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Funding period

- (49 days)