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Trent Reznor’s Colleague, Stoic Rock Photographer Andrew Youssef, Dies of Cancer

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photo courtesy of Amateur Chemist

Less than two weeks ago, Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor pulled out his cell phone during a concert in Las Vegas at the Joint and FaceTimed a call to his friend, established Los Angeles concert photographer Andrew Youssef. Youssef, who was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2011, was too ill to attend the show.

"Andrew, what's up man? Just thought I'd say hi," said Reznor, before panning his phone across the crowd. "Can you guys say hi to Andrew?" he continued. The crowd repeatedly chanted the photographer's name, then Reznor wrapped up by saying, "Listen, I'll call you after the show," and dedicated the band's next song, Year Zero's "In This Twilight," to Youssef.

Sadly, Youssef died from his illness on Nov. 30 at the age of 38. Since 2006, Youssef had shot hundreds of shows for outlets including OC Weekly, Stereogum and his blog Amateur Chemist. During the last few months of his life, he battled his condition and continued to shoot shows despite immense discomfort. He bravely and candidly wrote about his disease for the OC Weekly.

Before he died, the paper asked Youssef which were his favorite concerts to shoot. The list included the Black Keys, U2, KISS, Paul McCartney, Rush, Muse, Devo, Deftones, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, No Doubt, and Depeche Mode.

"When I think about Youssef, I remember someone who was always prepared," wrote OC Weekly 's Nate Jackson in a tribute piece. Jackson had previously written an Oct. 17 cover story about Youssef's struggle titled "F--- Cancer." "From the soles of his tennis shoes, to the bottom of his camera bag, to the top of his head (covered by his signature white bucket hat), the man never went into a photo pit half-assed. And that's exactly how he lived his life. And at the point where he was told he didn't have much longer to live, that spirit only intensified…I am a better person for knowing him and as long as I'm around to spread his legend, I plan on doing just that."

Reznor could not be reached for comment.

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