David Nelson Fox (1960 - 2016) was a poet, musician, and photographer. We played music together briefly; later I got to know him well in his professional capacity as graphic designer for The Perambulator CD. David was a Renaissance man who spent most of his adult life in the most European of American cities, San Francisco.
Like many Americans, David fell on hard times after 2008. He lost his job, used up his savings, and ended up in a homeless shelter. It was an inconceivable situation for a middle class white dude.
Eventually he moved into low-income housing and found a job, but hitting economic bottom was a turning point in his life. Both he and the city were going through changes hard and fast. He documented it all with images and poetry.
In collaboration with video editor David Lawrence, (mutual friend and former bandmate), here’s a sampling of photography by David Nelson Fox.
Over several decades, many small journals published David’s poetry. His official music career was brief—his band signed to a label, manic touring, then dropped by the label— but not before Frank Zappa saw him playing bass in Virginia and flew him out to the West Coast to audition. He didn’t get that gig, but soon moved to San Francisco and continued to write poetry and play music.
My friend passed away from cancer. He spent his last few months in full artist warrior mode, chronicling everything from diagnosis to dying with brutal, urgent, honesty. It was some of his best work.
For more, please go to his site, Keep Backwards Please, http://davidnelsonfox.blogspot.com