Sitting in a Nashville hotel room, a little over 4 years ago, an idea popped into my head: What if I asked musicians I had completed portraits with, if they would be willing to share a story about how mental health had played a role in their life? I had been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with some of my favorite singers and songwriters and it seemed every one of them had a story relating back to some type of struggle. My goal would be to normalize the conversation around mental health and present one of my portraits, along with their story as a series. I was excited about the idea and it seemed like others were too. It went nowhere.
I kept taking portraits and I kept having those conversations. Things became a little more immediate for me a few years ago. The truth is, I also had a story and I hadn’t been very forthcoming about it with a lot of the people outside of my immediate circle. My father had a series of back surgeries back in the mid-to-late 1980’s, which led to an opioid addiction that he was never able to kick. During the last several years of his life, the parent/child relationship flip-flopped and I spent years visiting emergency rooms, jail and taking him to rehab. The addiction, along with numerous other health issues ultimately led to his death in January of 2016.
4 years later after coming up with the initial idea and I couldn’t be more grateful to No Depression for their willingness to include this series in their wellness issue.
Once I started asking people I had worked with, almost all of them said yes. They wanted their stories heard.
Thank you for trusting me.
Thank you for sharing.
-Chad Cochran 2019
I Didn't Want To Tell You
Chad was born and raised in the small town of Fredericktown, Ohio. Wanting nothing more than to escape his rural upbringing, Chad attended Bowling Green State University and eventually made his way to Columbus. Missing the connection to small town life, Chad began taking photographs of the rustic landscapes that surrounded him as a child. His fascination with decaying barns, homes, and vintage signs provides him with the connection to the small town he grew up in. Chad also has a lifelong love of music and has been able to merge it with photography. He is well known in the "Americana" music scene and travels frequently to Nashville. Chad currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio and is located at 78th Street Studios.
Cochran has been featured in Rolling Stone, Billboard, Guitar Player Magazine, No Depression and has a portion of his concert photography archived in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Most recently, his "I Didn't Want to Tell You" series was featured in the Fall Wellness issue of No Depression, where he discussed normalizing the conversation around mental health. Chad's work can be found online under the moniker "cowtownchad' and also at cowtownchad.com