Monday, April 11, 2005

Punk collages posted, more Masque too

Hi all. Posted nearly 40 collages last night. They are parts of a few larger photo collages. The Germs have 3 (in their entirety, cos they are smaller, 11 x 14 or something like that), a new section called Collages has about 35. I don't have a link to the black and white ones yet, it's always something! The color isn't great res, but it's temporary til I post the individual images. Gives you an idea of what I've got.

Today: flyers from fan clubs for the Ramones, Screamers and Mumps. Poste some in X section, signed set lists and song books. Trying to get some archival material up, along with my photos, but it takes a long time to dig them up, scan and format for net.

Beautiful day, feel the ocean breeze and the only reason I live in expensive Santa Monica. I always say if I lived eastside, I'd go out every night with my friends, and never get any work done. It's my rationalization for being stuck out here. So back to it!

Oh yeah, a close pal recognized a photo of mine being sold on a site. If you see any of my pix out there, please let me know! Thanks!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

X, more Masque soon . . . dreams

Been trying to post since Thursday night, sorry about delay, but Blogger server errors.

Posted X Wednesday, with some flyers, signed set lists and pages from their song books.

Spent 3.5 hours talking to archivist/musician/writer David Jones and showing him Masque, Germs, Bomp and Blondie at hotel party shots on Thursday. We found shots I missed and need to post. I zoomed in more than usual and we found Black Randy and Jeffrey Lee Pierce at Bomp, which blew our minds. I understand Randy cos he was tight with Screamers, who were there [and I must post those Screamers shots, just amazing, I need to post about twice as many Screamers as I have up already], but to find Jeffrey in the crowd made me scream! I wrote lots of notes and need to transcribe them tonight to go back and upload them. We had a blast sharing stories and looking at pix.

I pulled out a pile of notes that I created whenever I sent photos out in the ‘70’s. I either hand-wrote or typed them, with great detail. A typewritten note from the late Alan Betrock, founder of “New York Rocker,” one of the first American fanzines, was on top. A hand-written note on pink paper was from Kris Needs, then with Zig Zag. I just read last night he and a former lover, Johnny Green, wrote another Clash book, a tribute to Joe. I started to cry realizing I was in touch with Kris! I cried as I read detailed lists of so many color slides sent out, never to be seen again. I really worked hard to promote early punk. Some were published, but no tear sheets, no record covers were sent to me and I didn’t have time nor money or ability to find them all, cos some were foreign. No evidence. I wrote letters begging to be paid. I laughed reading some of my comments. Kris Needs wrote me, after I submitted photos to him. And to think I’ve never sent out any of my Clash shots . . . I could cry but I have no time nor energy to waste. I gotta scan and post some of them. Amazing insight into my record-keeping. Now if I only put dates and locations on negs and slides, cos I spend half my time trying to figure that out these days.

I wanted to pull a few unmounted slides of the Germs at Larchmont Hall, a benefit for Slash mag. I couldn’t find them but found some unmounted slides at the Masque Benefit at Elk’s Lodge. I threw them on the light table and told David to tell me what he found cos I had to go to the bathroom. He told me to take a look. I had two shots of the Randoms, but with Joe Ramirez on bass, not John Doe. David and I had spoken/emailed a few days ago about the fact I didn’t recall the Randoms playing that benefit and doubt if I shot them. Looks like I shot most of the bands after all.

I shot tons and tons of amazingly incredible fashion and fun shots! I will never forget shooting those two nights and how much fun I had taking off-stage shots. I remember and am familiar with most of those, but haven’t looked closely at the negs. Need to scan them. Later I found the Germs shots, but I always say that while trying to find one thing, I find others. It’s a constant surprise. And we realized the Randoms probably played the last official night of the Masque spontaneously. David pointed out the bass John was using Peter Case’s bass cos the Nerves played before them. I said, let’s look at the drums, which belonged to Paul Collins of the Nerves. Then I said I wonder if they didn’t even plan on playing as they weren’t on the bill. I gotta write Rand McNally and pick his brain about that! So I have shots of the only two times they played.

Wednesday morning I dreamt of men, swimming in the ocean, food and booze. Geez! I gotta make some money so I can live like other people. Til then, I only dream! That is so funny!

Indie 103.1 playing “gimme gimme this, gimme gimme thaaaat!” Can't get away from the Germs! I should have some more Masque shots up by Sunday at the latest.

Then it's the Ramones, and that won't be done til next week. ENJOY!!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Posted Clash and Devo today, Germs and the Masque yesterday!

So what do I think about and write about while sorting, scanning, resizing, labeling and writing captions for hundreds of shots? This blog is about sharing that process and to turn everyone onto the photos, great music and a window into the early days of punk. Most of this text is taken from emails and stories/interviews I've posted on my site. But mostly from emails with some extra explanations for those of you new to my world, floating from one topic to another, not linear, just connected by art, music and friends.

Rosemarie called today and said I must really be deep into this. I told her about my Germs and Masque photos, how I had no idea what wonderful sequences and stories were on my negs. I had to post more than I planned. The first Germs photo session flows like a silent movie comedy.

The Masque shots drew me in as if for the first time. I only shot the Masque about 4 times, but I wandered around and shot everywhere. I still have to post some outside shots and one of the stairwell, but they need to be re-scanned. There's always more to do. But the whole process of figuring out dates and names of all my negs is quite over-whelming and exhausting. But the treasures I am digging up makes the process worthwhile.

My days/evenings ("days change into night, change in an instant" from X's "Los Angeles") are spent in alone in my work room, singing along with great CDs, listening to Jonesy's Jukebox on Indie 103.1, emails to and from friends, phone calls, checking world news and then, amazingly, some photos get posted. I'm itchin' to get out, go to art openings, old movies -- I may give up a Greta Garbo festival at UCLA because of this work and that really sucks. I love her so and it's been years since I've seen her on the big screen. Hey, she was listed as #8 of the top 50 movie stars of all time in the new Premiere mag. Also my fave male, Jimmy Cagney. Some people are timeless. But art requires sacrifice. I just can't wait to see these photos big and up on walls.

I really need a big space to show these. I want to see every vivid detail in clothing, makeup, environment, expressions and body language that I caught. This is truly eye candy. "The girl with the camera eye"* indeed. I had no idea! I just want to watch people's faces and hear what they have to say! Amazing stuff. *[Patti Smith called me that from the stage at LA's Roxy, November, 1976].

I have this strong faith that if I do the hard work, the money will flow, cos I am stone broke. If not, my archive and I will be on the streets, so I try not to think about that and just forge ahead. I truly had no idea the incredible photos I took. I was so clueless. It's like writing a lot of songs in your sleep, but talking out loud into a tape recorder. Then years later you pull out the tapes and your mouth drops cos you can't believe you created really memorable, marketable songs, but you can't quite recall even doing it and wonder how the heck you came up with them. I know I took tons of pix, but no idea they were this good, from both historical and artistic perspectives. I am constantly amazed . . .

Check out my Masque section. I cropped the heck outta them to fit the small space, but wow, when I can print these full size, one will get an amazing sense of what the Masque was about. Every photo shows a different wall, corner, ceiling, people. Amazing stuff. Far more than I remember. I truly feel people will be blown away by the Masque stuff. No one has ever published so many shots from so many angles. That place was quite a maze!

I finally posted a few Clash and various Devo today. Ah the Clash, still so many to sort through. I misplaced my Devo negs about a year ago but managed to pull together a few with help from my pal Michael. I have some incredible shots when Slash mag threw a party for Devo! That will be in a few weeks. The whole history of early LA punk in parties, at X's apt, at Slash, various places. And fashion . . . so much to do.

But now, a beer, "Gilmore Girls," the new Rolling Stone article about children of rock stars. I gotta get away from the computer for awhile. I haven't been able to sleep without thinking of this work for weeks.

Todos Somos Ramones: We Are All Ramones

"Todos Somos Ramones," an amazing 2 CD tribute set from Argentina. "We are all Ramones." I wrote this to Mariano Asch, the man who put this together and used a few of my pix, http://www.rwyrcds.com.ar/. The color shot on the back is mine, but he put my credit too low and it was cut off. Of all the shots submitted, Tommy Ramone chose mine. Look at my home page and you'll see the shots Spin chose for to honor the passing of Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny. I shot them the very first time they came to the West Coast and for awhile thereafter. These CDs are amazing and I guarantee you will love them!

The more I listen, and the louder I play these 2 CDs, which have been non-stop since I finally put them in my 200 CD carousel, the more I love them. You should be very proud of this!! Are you releasing this in the USA?? All the bands not only love the Ramones, but they improvise on the lyrics and music. They really ran with it and it's the results are amazing. I agree, Joey and Dee Dee and Johnny would LOVE this!!! Hearing how people from around the world interpreted their songs, with such energy, inventiveness, passion, and humor. I rarely am proud to be associated with projects, but this is too great!!! I like the music better than the layout, but I warned you I am picky about how my pix or other pix are used.

Fave songs: "Questioningly"and "I can't make it on time" are beautiful and touching, so poignant, wise and sad. These covers improved on the original, gave it more depth by slowing them down, adding a few instruments to flesh them out. Real poetry, the kind of thoughts that Joni Mitchell sang in "Blue." She gets all the raves about writing senstive songs and the Ramones are still thought of as fast comic book characters.

"Somebody like me" -- "I'm just a guy who likes to dress punk." Love it! Cos he does much more than dress punk, he lives it. I relate this to a whole lot more than "what a girl wants." I like to dress punk and live my life on my own terms.

"Somebody put something in my drink." That may be my all time fave Ramones song. It's so Dee Dee and Joey -- they had a hard time with reality even straight. I love the way Joey sings it and I totally agree: "I don't drink anything colored pink!!" I hate fruit juice in booze. And I love: "I can't think, bartender get me a drink." He's hallucinating as is, so does he eat or sit down? No, he wants to drink even more. Just classic. The epitome of what punk is about.

"Cretin Hop" is so darned funny. It sounds like people who have been inbreeding for too long, which is one of the ways cretins are born. Too many recessive genes passed along too few people and voila, cretins! So hillbilly. Just BRILLIANT.

"Something to believe in"!!! I love that song anyway, but they made it sound like some Carpenters song without voices. Brilliant.

All the songs not in English, especially one that sounds like it's in German: "KKK Took My Baby Away" is too fucking funny. I love the harsh sounds when they sing. I also love the ones in English with the Spanish accents. Reminds me of Arturo [Vega, their art director and whom I always considered the 5th Ramone].

"Chainsaw" is great, have no idea what language. It's fast, energetic and fun. "Havana Affair" is funny and the drummer is wonderful, and they play what sounds like an organ. A lot of the songs have organ sounds and love it, whereas I usually hate organ!

"Touring" is a new one to me and growing on me.

"Judy is a Punk" a great update to Sheena.

Ah, they spell SLUG really strangely, sounds like a-s-a-l-u-g or some other letters added in. Dan Kessel produced the first version of that.

"53rd and Third" sounds very scary - he's a dude I would not want to be alone with, oooh, he's exciting and scary. The kind of guy good girls are attracted to, but risk getting cut up with really raw rough sex, really hurting her, but that's the only way he gets off. Ouch.

"Go Home Ann" cos I never heard it before. I just got the whole Rhino catalog last week (they sent it to be for using pix), so it's a great new song to me. I love that he's so honest with her. Sometimes sex is just sex.

"Planet Earth" is amazing, but did the Ramones write that too? So unlike them. Very prophetic.

I don't like some of the songs cos I just don't like them. "Danny Says" is not a fave, as much as I love Danny Fields. "She talks to rainbows" is best by Joey, cos he would go for a whacked girl like that. Always wanting the unattainable one. "Elevator operator" is child-like. I don't go for those sappy love songs -- "met her at the Burger King." Oh gawd help me if I ever fall for someone I meet there!

Gabba gabba hey. Get this or stay in the darkness. It will grow on you.

The Stories behind the Photos

I took some of the most important photos in punk rock's history. My website, www.jennylens.net, has tons of photos and more being added all the time. I have a comprehensive Stories section plus captions for the photos. The point of this blog is to turn you onto the site, which is a resource center for fans and scholars. To begin my blog, I'm reprinting my interview for another early punk pioneer, Alice Bag, at http://alicebag.blogspot.com/.

The first section is from Alice Bag's website and blog. Alice is considered by many to be the very first "hard core" singer with her radical band, the Bags, who first hit the streets in 1977. Their riotous show at the Troubadour, known for folk singers and laid-back rockers, is still talked about today. I always considered Alice a sweet, thoughtful, beautiful woman and never realized this side of her. She was and is a true style icon, a woman whose inner beauty is matched by her outer beauty, which you will see as I post some of the many shots I took of this amazing woman. I am so blessed to be her friend!

From Alice's website and blog:
"Denied her rightful place,
The historians have ignored her.
You never see her face..."-Vaginal Davis,"Essays de la Mujer"

"This website exists today only because courageous, intelligent and daring women back in the 1970's decided to break the rules of society. They rallied together under the banner of the punk movement. Many of them are no longer with us. This page is dedicated to their memories.

I am VERY pleased and excited to announce that we have just opened a new section at http://www.alicebag.com/, dedicated to the women who were involved in the early L.A. punk scene.

One of the goals of this website is to expose the important and too-often overlooked contributions of female artists in the late seventies punk movement. The Women In L.A. Punk section aims to address that by allowing interviewees to share their recollections and opinions in an unrestricted forum.

I am sending out e-mail interviews to women who were actively involved in the late seventies L.A. punk scene. Everyone gets the same eight questions. No space or time limitations. Since I think that women's voices have already been over-edited by others, I reserve the right to refuse to edit these women's responses. Instead, I intend to publish them in their entirety, raw and unexpurgated. LET THE WOMEN SPEAK!

I had the good fortune to have as my first interview Ms. Jenny Lens, the legendary punk photographer who shot some of the most iconic images of Patti Smith, The Ramones, The Screamers and so many others. I've considered Jenny a friend for well over twenty years now and believe me when I say that the stories she shares in her interview are not even the tip of the iceberg.

She is one of the unsung heroines of the movement. Enjoy! Alice."

WOMEN IN L.A. PUNK INTERVIEW WITH JENNY LENS INTERVIEW CONDUCTED IN NOVEMBER 2004

1. What was/is your contribution to the punk community?
I took some of the most iconic shots in punk. Ever. Most of the following performers told me they loved the shots. Blondie's Debby Harry on the floor, an early crotch shot (which not only got them incredible world-wide coverage, but I was banned from ever shooting them again. Their management never believed I called to clear the shot first. C'est la fucking vie). Patti Smith, on her knees with glowing Strat, who "still dares other photographers to take better photos than I." Doesn't stop her from crediting my shots to "Jenny Stern," although I've been "Jenny Lens" in print since 1978, having been anointed that name late summer 1977. Nude Captain Sensible of the Damned, which their manager, Jake Riviera, turned into a button and I made zilch from the shot, not one penny ever.

Live Ramones at the Whisky. Dee Dee Ramone in a bath towel. Joey with fist in the air, standing next to a life-size transformer, also fist in the air. Spin mag used those for their obit, paid me and treat me very well. November Spin, with Johnny's last interview with them, opens with a full-page close-up of Johnny smiling in San Francisco, their first West Coast tour, August, 1976.

Screamers on the bus bench!! Oh that is an all-time fave! Totally spontaneous. I included "666" spray-painted on the wooden fence, not knowing what it meant!! What does a nice Jewish girl know about the sign of the devil? We found this little old lady, sitting on the bench, with a neck brace, reading some rag, after Tomata purchased his fave mag, the soon-to-be-banned, "Violent World." The Screamers sat next to her, a man in Bermuda shorts (how LA is that) walking in the background, next to the obligatory palm tree, and my Alfred Hitchcock touch, my shadow. We asked her if we could shoot her, gave her the mag, I stood back and took one shot. From then on, Tomata kept laughing cos he thought she was so cute. One chance and it was perfect!! Now that's when the magic happened!! What a great shot! None of it planned. I will never cease to be amazed how that all came together. That happened quite often, but that was the best of the best.

Iggy Pop at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, April 15 or 16, 1977. He told me he liked my photos better than his photographer! I was sitting on two folding chairs with Mary Rat and Hellin Killer, with no flash and a coupler that turned my wide angle into close up, but cut the light down, so I could only take a few shots because he was bathed in dark light, plus it was so hard cos we all were bouncing around. No flash meant having to shoot when he was standing still. Let's see, no light, Iggy standing still, three bodies on two chairs, two of them bouncing up and down constantly. And everyone thinks it's so easy to take rock pix!!

Cherie Curry of the Runaways, opening for Devo at the Santa Monica Civic, New Year's Eve, December 31, 1977, in fishnet stockings and a white merry widow corset, legs spread, torn knee, her curvilinear silhouette shadow on drum kit behind her, pointing to herself as "Cherry Bomb."

The first Germs shots ever published, at Pleasant Gehman's demand for Slash magazine in 1977. Johnny Rotten and Joan Jett in a Whisky booth, 1978 (also thanks to Plez). First Blasters in Slash (who lost my negs). My 1977 Weirdos for a Slash magazine benefit at Larchmont Hall, with the guard's fingers in his ears, was called a "Classic" by Johnny Whiteside in the LA Weekly, a couple of weeks after CityBeat ran the photo with David Jones' Weirdos El Rey preview, November, 2003. The LA Weekly won't use my photos because I refused to sign their contract, submitted after they published my Dee Dee obit shot, June 2002. Their contract violates a recent Supreme Court decision regarding free-lance work. I fight for my rights, no matter the consequence. They can fuck themselves. I don't sell my soul for the almighty buck.

I also have tons of unpublished photos of the performers and fans wearing amazingly creative clothes, at parties, shows, on the street. I documented the natives in their element. I rarely shot studio shots cos I was so shy. I wanted to be invisible and "capture" a moment of reality, people being themselves, being the artists most of us were. We created our own lifestyle, the look, the music, the graphics, everything. I had to document it for history.

I began to photograph the emerging LA music scene in early 1976. Zolar X rehearsed in my home but I threw out the live shots. Silly me -- they were so weird, who knew Jonesy would play them after Jello Biafra released a CD of theirs? I regard shooting the Ramones at the Roxy, the second night I saw them, August 12, 1976, as the beginning of my life as a rock photographer. The show, the group, the shots that changed my life.

2. Which artist, band concert and/or show had the most impact on your life?
This question has three answers: X, Ramones, Clash (with Patti Smith and the Screamers coming close). X is by far the most important band in my life. Their songs speak to me in ways no artist, whether in music, books, poetry, movies, paintings, etc comes close. For once, women's voices — passionate, articulate, strong, sensual, intelligent, angry, hurt, demanding, needing, are heard, along men's voices with the totality and tonality of real adult issues. Black humor, film noir, street life, eroticism, exorcism, lyricism, musical heights that reach and transcend words, passions, feelings. I could write a book about each of their songs, especially the earliest, that I witnessed as they performed for the first times and their constant variations from show to show as they continued to explore the many meanings behind the words and ways of expressing the music.

I was there before there was X was a band, knew and lived their lifestyle, and photographed them and others who continue to have such a major impact on so many lives. To see X transform from a rather slow, awkward noisy band, not pleasing to look at because Exene wore the ugliest clothes with such horrible expressions to the tightest, most exciting band, never knowing exactly how they'd deliver each song is among the highlights of my life. Like making love, not knowing exactly how one will feel, which new sensation and re-awakening those feelings long dormant or bubbling up to the surface, explosive and life-affirming, anticipating those breath-taking moments and what/where will they lead to and feeling one's body become electric and vibrant while being turned on by one's lover whose body is radiating mine and mine his. We keep feeling and exploring and coming alive, hallucinating, reaching new heights or revisiting those exquisite sensations — that's X and that's only the tip of the iceberg. White heat, top of the world, ma!

I saw Patti Smith on January 30, 1976. I stood in line in that cold winter eve, dismayed people got out of their car and walked right in, while I couldn't even see her by the time I got in. I made a promise to myself, while in line, that somehow I'd be able to do that. I wasn't pretty, young or thin, so being a groupie was out, I can't sing or play or write songs. I had no idea what I could do, but I was going to live this lifestyle, even though I had no idea what it was. I read all I could, which was "Back Door Man," "New York Rocker," some articles in "Creem," went to some shows and bought "The Ramones" as soon as it hit the streets. I was among that elite group on August 11, 1976, witnessing the transformation not only of our culture but our lives that fateful first Roxy night. I was totally enamored of Dee Dee's cheekbones. I grabbed my camera, went to the Hooper's Camera in Granada Hills, in the valley where I lived, the salesman put the film in, told me what setting to use, and shot unbelievably beautiful shots of dear, sweet, tormented Dee Dee and a few of Joey, Johnny and Tommy.

A girl I'd seen at other rock shows asked if I wanted to go to the hotel where the opening act, the Flaming Groovies, were staying. It was 2 AM, so why not? Imagine my shock and delight when da brudders from Forest Hills walked in. Their manager, Danny Fields, invited us up to the room. I photographed and followed the Ramones down to the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach and up to the Savoy in San Francisco. Creem magazine described me as a "250 pound cherub." Considering that was about 90 pounds more than I weighed, it was a back-handed compliment, but wow, I was in Creem, never dreaming that my name would be on the masthead throughout those early punk years, from 1977 to at least 1980. I didn't put my camera down from August 12, 1976 until summer 1980, when I was burned out financially, emotionally and physically (a lot thinner due to drugs and little sleep or food), from 4 years of constant sex 'n' drugs 'n' rock 'n' roll. The Ramones forever changed my life. Would I have ever become a rock photographer if not for Dee Dee's cheekbones and then meeting them? I doubt it.

The most incredible, exciting, vibrant, always brilliant live act was the Clash. Their energy, clothes, songs, group dynamics guaranteed the most heart-pumping, thrilling awesome shows of my life. X comes close, but the Clash had a mission and all of us who ever saw Joe, Mick, Paul and Topper know what I'm talking about. I saw them not only up and down California, but also in England, June – July 1980. The ironic part is at different times, I was intimately involved with 3 of their road crew, hung out back stage, but was so intimidated by them I have few off-stage shots. I just couldn't shoot them offstage and who can explain that? Their magic just paralyzed me. Don't ask me why.

Patti's Roxy show was amazing, transcendent, magical, never-to-be repeated. That's the sad part – other bands got better or if the Ramones or Clash, were always consistently amazing. Others enjoy Patti even now, I just don't react as I did and that could be a reflection as to who I am now.

The Screamers show on my birthday, July 20, 1978, at the Roxy. I just came home from Houston after shooting the Rolling Stones, took some mushrooms and shot the best Screamers and among the best live shots in my life. How I focused, let alone got a shot of Tomata du Plenty (their lead singer) and Sheila, punkette and perfect foil for Tomata, both looking EXACTLY like Edward Munch's famous "Scream" painting is like a miraculous comet, one of those art moments where everything lights up in alignment and mysticism. How could they look like that painting and be called the Screamers and I don't think it was planned? How did I focus – all I remember was hallucinating outta my mind. I also took a shot of Tommy Gear, their brilliant songwriter, backup singer and keyboardist, looking exactly like Antonin Artaud as a priest in Danish director Carl Dreyer's great silent masterpiece, "La Passion de Jeanne d' Arc," (1928). Earlier I told Tomata that Tommy always reminded me of Artaud, so Tomata told me to tell Tommy cos he loved Artaud. Tommy stood in the Roxy backstage door, facing in, with a blank expression when I told him. That's Tommy! Then I took that shot!

3. What was the role of women in the early punk scene?
The analogy is that of the early days of the movie industry. In both cases, the men in power dismissed punk and the "flickers." That enable women to do anything they wanted to do. Perform, write songs, write reviews, create fanzines, manage, photograph, book shows, be fashion plates, lovers and muses but with our own power. We decided what we wanted to do and were treated as equals to the men. We set our own agenda, our own goals. Nothing could hold us back except ourselves. And because so many of us were young and wild, the drugs, booze, sex and frantic lifestyle guaranteed some of us would not participate for long. I am really sick and tired of hearing how drugs and booze destroyed the scene. Look at any art movement, any rock revolution and see they are all like comets: blazing across the sky, memorable, but short-lived and influential. So why not live fully and explore all of it? Drugs did not destroy the scene. Lack of recognition by the rock industry and constant denigration by the media destroyed our initial burst of energy and creativity. If anything, women kept it going.

Mary Pickford was the very first star as well as the first woman to co-own/found a movie studio (United Artists) and often directed. She was much more than "Little Mary" and "America's Sweetheart"-- bigger than Madonna at her most famous. Her frequent collaborator, Frances Marion, was the most powerful female screenwriter in movie history. Lois Weber and Alice Guy, were noted film directors who added humanity and social, personal issues to the lexicon of movie making. So many others lost to history but whose impact affects culture to this day. "Anonymous was a woman." But in punk, we had our say and wow, what a great time! Even with all the crap, we had our place in the sun, I mean, moonlight!

4. What is the legacy of punk in your life?
Punk is my life. I denied it for two decades and was miserable. I missed so many great shows and people. Only when I listened to people who constantly told me my photos have value did I start to come to life. My biggest regret is losing all that time. Things are so expensive and I have minor but irritating health issues that limit the time and energy I can put into my archive. I'm working on it. If not for punk, I would have jumped off the bridge over the freeway across the street 2 years ago. Punk is an attitude, it's the way some of us are hard-wired and there's lots of us. Even if I never fulfill most of my dreams, I lived a life many envy. I am proud of my legacy and participation.

5. What are you listening to now?
"Todos Somos Ramones," a fab 2 CD set from Argentina. The man who put it together used a few of my photos, including the back of the thick booklet, but my name was cropped off. Tommy Ramones chose MY photo for his liner notes. It keeps growing on me and gives me a lot of energy working on my website. Ramones "Anthology," X's "Los Angeles" and "Live at the Whisky," Dangerhouse CDs (unfortunately out-of-print, but amazing stuff!), Kristian Hoffman (especially "&"), Iggy's "Brick by Brick," Talking Heads "Sand in the Vaseline," disc 2, Patti Smith's bootleg, "Teenage Perversity and Ships in the Night" (taped the night I first saw here while I was in line) and "Land," disc 1 (two is crap), "The Clash," Sex Pistols' "Bollocks," Elvis Costello's "Armed Forces," Screamers releases from Xeroid, Cole Porter original recordings, and tons of indie 103.1, especially Henry Rollins, Joe Sib and Steve Jones. Yeah, Steve was an asshole when I was his guest on the show. I said I had a question from Alice, but he threw me out cos he doesn't know early LA punk. But he plays a wide variety of music, so I try to catch it every day. I can't stand hearing the same crap all the time, especially when they don't have the DJs on.

I am totally addicted to Rhino's boxed set of rebel music from the 1950's: "Loud, Fast and Out of Control, Wild in the Streets." They've got tons of originals later covered by so many punk bands who reintroduced those songs to other rockers who covered later them. Tons of energy with real punk spirit! Thanks Rhino!

6. Do you have any funny or interesting stories to share?
Oh Alice, where do I begin? It's 1 AM, I'm watching a melodramatic film, "Frenchmen's Creek," a great romantic fantasy about a pirate lover and rich, bored, married woman carrying on. Phone rings and voice says, "Do you have any ludes?" I sat up and said, "Who is this?" It was IGGY POP downstairs in a neighbor's apartment. I grabbed my slides, mounted in plastic holders, 20 to a page, and ran downstairs. He grabbed me and I left my precious slides with his manager and my neighbor Laura. We went back upstairs and all I can say is: he has the biggest tongue! I wanted him to autograph my "Raw Power" LP, but he said later. Of course he never came back up, but I went down to get my slides. Iggy Pop seduced me [schtupped, ok, we fucked] in my own apartment! Iggy Pop? ME? Yep! Then a couple of years later I casually mentioned to Laura and her friend, Dimita, my Clash black and white shots, which I took while standing on the side of the stage at the Santa Monica Civic, were at a lab. That night they broke into the lab and stole my work. I have the color slides, but as many times as I shot them, nothing compares to those black and white shots. Which I'm sure they lost or traded in a drug deal. That still hurts. A lot.

How about how I got my name? "She started to hate the niggers and Jews and the Mexicans who gave her a lotta shit, and the homosexuals and the idle rich, she had to get out, get out . . ." This Jew was all too happy to see Faye Hart, aka Farrah Faucet-Minor, leave. She would taunt and torment me, stopping me on the street, standing so close to me, saying, "Hitler was right. Jews should be burned . . ." beyond that, I couldn't listen. I could only look at Exene, staring at me and watching my reaction, which was stunned shock and tears. But they let me hang out at their apartment and I took some awesome party shots. One night Farrah was attacking me, maybe trying to hurt me or take off my clothes. I remember screaming and leaving. Later the police arrived because someone reported a woman in trouble! I wish I had stayed to see the looks on their faces!! I laugh thinking about that! Another night, drunk as usual, Farrah called me a barrage of names. Holding chicken in one hand and a constant bottle of beer in the other, she screamed "Jenny chicken breast! Jenny Lens!" My face lit up and from then on I was Jenny Lens, to her everlasting dismay. Ha ha, you never know where something good will come from someone hateful.

And to those who read, "We Got the Neutron Bomb," Farrah meant it. The book debated if she just said things to get a reaction. She didn't taunt Jews, including getting into a fight with the New Yawk girlfriend of the Dictators' lead singer, Handsome Dick Manitoba, and being 86'd (thrown out) of the Starwood (or was it the Whisky?) just cos she wanted the attention. The Dictators, who started as early as the Ramones at CBGB's, were primarily Jewish and proud of it. Farrah was as anti-Semitic as they come. Take it from someone who knows. There were tons of Jews in punk, more than people admitted in those days. But Jews are rebels and under-dogs who never stop believing in their dreams. Art and music kept us alive during the Holocaust. One stupid woman wouldn't deter us. No one could, although many tried.

I remember reading a music mag around the time the Go-Go's released "Our Lips are Sealed." Bigwig record execs were so aghast this all-girl band, who wrote their own songs, played their own instruments, were managed by a woman, and were having such a hit! They put them down! But that didn't stop the girls I hung out with and shot from shooting to the top! I am so proud of them!! I remember telling Jane earlier to save her receipts for guitar strings and things for her taxes. She thought I was nuts. I saw her at Tangiers summer 2004 and she gave me several big hugs. I am always so pleased people remember me fondly.

Oh, late the life I led, the most amazing memories. Never in my wildest imagination did I think fat, shy me would get laid all the time, dance all night long, take amazing shots, see the best bands, party all the time, take tons of drugs and live this lifestyle for 4 years! That's when living in LA was cheap, when the scene was small and tight.

Yes I cried all the time. It was hard to get photo passes, bands who I helped get a gig cos of my published photo(s) would give me such a hard time and give their friends not only passes, but promo items. I missed out on a lot, I was teased, I felt belittled by record company personnel and fellow punks. I was too thin-skinned, too gullible and vulnerable. But I never gave up. I hated taking photos, lugging the heavy equipment and the flashes that took too long to go off, the cameras that over-exposed or didn't work. Having to roll my own film, often double-exposing or developing my own film and prints, often wrong. Or driving to both a color and black and white lab when everyone was going to sleep as the sun came up. Sending off so many photos that were credited to someone else or not at all and getting paid was rare and being ripped off was common. The technical aspect was awful.

But I persevered because the music, the scene, the ability to live on our own terms while creating and enjoying something so lasting and influential and important and I was in the middle of it all, propelling it along while being swept along with it. The tidal wave of a rare cultural revolution, something I dreamt about when reading so much art and movie history. It was certainly the most vibrant and defining moments of my life. Was I supposed to waste my energy and youth on some stupid job? Buy a house for $50,000 worth $2 or 3 million now? Naw, I couldn't do the 9 to 5 required for that. I had to do what I did. As they sang in "Chorus Line": "what I did for love."

7. Are there any punk women from the early scene that you feel have not been adequately recognized?
Photographer Melanie Nissen, but that's her choice. Her photos, so unique, thrilling and stunning, were better than anyone from America or England and that includes some famous names as Annie Liebovitz, Lynn Goldsmith or anyone, male or female. British Pennie Smith, well known for her Clash shots, is another incredible photographer.

LA punk scene: Marina del Rey and Genny Body from Backstage Pass. They have incredible stories! Jade Zebest, who created the fanzine, "Generation X." Redheaded Natasha, and blonde, sometimes violet haired Mary Rat. I was so very shy that I didn't know the names of many of the people I hung with and shot. Brian Grillo and Kristian Hoffman, who spent many more evenings at the Masque than I and elsewhere, would know. They have great stories!

8. What is something we should know about you that we probably don't know?
I have a BA in Art from CSUN and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. I was an exhibiting artist and college teacher when I rejected my boring, safe life to take photos. I was involved with Judy Chicago's "Dinner Party" and my name has traveled around the world with that project. I left it cos I preferred Patti over Judy. I wanted to go out on my own! I never had a normal teenage life – all I did was study and keep house, so this was my chance to finally live! I studied modern art history on my own and jumped into punk cos I knew this was comparable to the great art movements, be it Surrealism, the Ballets Russe (Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" debut in Paris and subsequent riot was nothing in comparison to what we did nightly), Impressionism and other movements. I knew what I was doing. I had no doubt punk would change our world, not just music. That's why I shot so much fashion, both men and women. I just wish I kept more flyers. But looking back, it is truly a miracle I'm still living, still have my photos and my mind. Now to do something with them. I still dream too much.