Thursday, June 23, 2005

"Lexicon Devil" and "Neutron Bomb": essential punk reading

Hey, I don't know how to show part of a blog and a link to show the rest of it. So if anyone can walk me through it, fine, otherwise, get over it. I have stories to tell and they are long. You wanna know about punk? Read on:

I've been re-reading these books as part of my research and because I've changed since I first read them. I contributed photos to these books, but as usual, was not told who would be covered, nor which events. It's amazing to read about parties and shows and realize I shot most everything and everyone mentioned in these books. I didn't know that when I first read them, because I'm only now organizing and ID'ing my archive.

I'm surprised more people know my photos from "We Got the Neutron Bomb" because "Lexicon Devil" is a perfect companion piece and not just for hard-core Germs fans. I can't say which book is better because neither accurately covers all that went on in LA punk – would take about 1500 pages to barely touch the surface! "Neutron Bomb" skims several bands and some of punk's early roots whereas "Lexicon Devil" explores the very dark, scary, dangerous aspects of punk centered around the Masque, Canterbury, Black Randy, and of course, Darby Crash, the Germs and their circle of "Germettes." But "Neutron Bomb" attributes manufactured quotes to people, which I've repeatedly read and stated I was totally misquoted. The words don't match the personalities of the people, which is one of the reasons "Lexicon Devil" is more dynamic and energetic.

We often say and read hard-core started in the South Bay and Orange County, when more young men took over the audience. As Allan MacDonell wrote in "Lexicon Devil": "Man, early punk in LA was a rough, hardcore street-hustlin' scene." Words right outta my mouth! Early punk as in 1976!! !977!!

I vividly remember the Canterbury exactly as related in "Lexicon Devil" and for that reason, I avoided it. Remember, I was a working photographer and didn't have time to hang out all that much. I carried expensive equipment that was stolen and broken by punks, and the Canterbury was disgusting. My only visit (that I remember) to the Canterbury was to the first apartment, Shannon and Alison's. I remember taking shots of Shannon in front of her mirror, applying layers of makeup, although I haven't stumbled across the negs or slides.The building had the smell and look of decay, the filth and stench of bodily fluids, piles of clothes, dirty dishes that conflicted with my need for orderliness and cleanliness needed to create. But my lifestyle was scary and dangerous, hanging out with very unsavory drug dealers (think David Lynch's "Blue Velvet"), pimps, thieves, hustlers, sex workers, and that's just some of my acquaintances and pals!

I needed to live somewhere with a modicum of security to protect my photos, camera/darkroom equipment, books, and possessions -- much of which disappeared while living la vida punk. I shared a house on Lookout Mountain, off of Laurel Canyon, with a speed freak queen into black magic late in 1979-1980 while shooting tons of speed. But I hadn't fallen off the cliff earlier during the Canterbury's days/nights in 1977-1978. I was still working so hard on my photos. I couldn't live in such a communal atmosphere as the Canterbury without my photos being stolen. People ripped me off all the time just by visiting my apartment or breaking into a film lab and taking my on-stage Clash shots. I was robbed at gun-point by a punk in my apartment. Guess I couldn't avoid trouble, but the Canterbury would have been suicidal for me. I preferred a slower death by speed.

When I read about the Canterbury or Joan Jett's party/wake when Sid Vicious died, the quotes and stories sound transported back to that realm. My archivist/musician pal, David Jones, provided the authors of "Neutron Bomb" quotes that were attributed to others. No, you won't see David Jones' name credited as a contributor, oops! I've heard so many "Neutron Bomb's" stories with more detail from him, so it wasn't as illuminating, although an essential bare-bones intro to LA punk for those of you without access to his vast research.

"Lexicon Devil" is more compelling because it utilizes so many different voices whereas "Neutron Bomb" feels like a small handful of people analyzing rather than relating some of the more sordid details. Therein lies the difference and need for both books. I was disgusted at some of my fellow punks – the destruction, defacing, thefts, violence towards people and property. Only destroy something if you've got something better to create. Destruction cos that's "what the evening called for" is pretty heavy and nihilistic. Being at the receiving end of some of the malicious things said and done by so many in those books, I had to deal with a lot of pain and unresolved issues to delve back into my archive. You think it was all glamorous and easy?

I posted a May 23rd blog entitled "What's Punk Today?" I said someone who rents spaces, promotes, and DJs says he's punk cos he's doing it himself (with some friends). Punk was far more than doing it yourself. It's kinda like using the phrase "new wave" to make punk palatable. "DIY" is a phrase coined in the mid-1990's to sell punk. Reading "Lexicon Devil" will or should tell everyone who loves punk that we lived on the edge in every sense of the word.

I have never publicly shared how I made money to pay my rent, keep film in my camera, put gas in my car, pay for postage to send photos out. I'm not going to until I check out the statute of limitations on certain things. You think I'm kidding? I could have been hauled off to prison or murdered and was robbed at gun point and I over-dosed once and am lucky to be alive. Me, a nice Jewish girl with a MFA in Design, art exhibits and teaching college under my belt. I risked it all.

So why bother? Cos it's the most exciting thing that happened the last quarter century of the last millennium. Cos we changed culture, not just music, but art, fashion, graphics, entertainment as we know it. Because I won't let others hold me back or keep me down. It was too much fun, too many great shows and parties. Because someone has to do it. Vicki Tischler-Blue, Runaways bassist and film-maker extraordinaire ("Edgeplay") said "others are motivated, but I have the drive." I gotta remember that cos man, this is tough, hard work. A true labor of love.

Go read those books and my website, blogs, and everything you can if you really wanna know. Don't believe anything or everything you read. So many stories still to be told!

What have you done today? Did you use the net to write to your congress people, letters to the editors, organizing to take back our country from the robber barons who are taking us all down if you keep sitting on your asses? Do something! Or you will have no future and truly be desperate. It can get worse if you don't do something. And it's more than putting on your own show. That's a good beginning, but do more.

Vicki reiterated something I truly believe: you've got to give back to that which gives to you. She was so giving in her time, thoughts and support. I was stunned she remembered seeing me and we both saw Patti Smith at the Roxy, January, 1976. We both saw Patti at the Golden Bear, where she first laid eyes on Joan Jett, not knowing within 2 years they'd be in the Runaways together. And who knew that on November 11, 1976 I'd take Patti's fave live shots. Damn, I always write so much. Now it's your turn.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Exhibit: History of San Pedro Punk


History of San Pedro Punk

Curated by Marshall Astor

Opening reception: June 26th, 2005, 2-4 pm
Musical performance by The Leeches, F.C.P. & Special Guests!

All events free and open to the public

Exhibition June 26 - July 31, 2005 at Angels Gate Cultural Center

Since the earliest punk movements of the 1970s, San Pedro's scene had a style uniquely its own. Beginning in 1979 with the groundbreaking sound of the Reactionaries, members of which moved on to form the iconic and genre defining Minutemen in 1980, to the South Bay punk of the 90's, San Pedro has been a punk stronghold for 25 years.

Now, nearly a generation later, the subculture still rocks as a significant source of energy in the Harbor area. In 2005, elements of this energetic community can be found building the Channel Street Skate Park, in careers in the arts and a hundred other success stories. Bands from Pedro continue to tour America and the world, but the punk ethic has become more than a musical subculture. It's become, in the words of D. Boon, singer/guitarist of the Minutemen, "what we made it to be": a cultural touchstone.

Original artwork, music, photos, posters, memorabilia and video clips spanning a quarter century of punkdom is being brought together from the personal archives of local artists and musicians for the first time by curator Marshall Astor. The exhibition will feature a timeline with the events, people and venues--including Union Club, The Dancing Waters, Sacred Grounds Coffee House, and the recent skate park--which make the scene what it is today.

Featured visual artists: Lena Orlando, Craig Ibarra, Martin Lyon, Aaron White, Scott Aicher, Chet Zar, Kevin Salk and Andy Harris and more.

The show will be documented in an informative catalogue available during the exhibition only. Bands featured in exhibited recordings and videos include The Reactionaries, Minutemen, Invisiblechains, The Wigs, Dos, fIREHOSE, Skinhorse, One Thin Dime, Rig, F.Y.P., Melting Pot, No Comply, The Leeches, F.C.P., The Jag-Offs, Toys That Kill, Killer Dreamer, and many more.

Andy Harris - A life-long skateboarder and punk rock enthusiast, Andy worked as a photographer, teacher and longshoreman. He is the Executive Director of the San Pedro Skatepark Association and spearheaded the construction of the Channel Street Skatepark.

Craig Ibarra - An active participant in the punk rock community since the early 80's, Craig established the tape zine S. A. D. CASSETTES, produced art shows, played in the bands Rig and No Comprende, and, in 2004, began publishing The Rise and the Fall, a zine that covers the punk scene of the Los Angeles harbor area. Craig is also known in Pedro for his hand cut stencils of punk icons.

Martin Lyon - Martin Lyon picked up a 35mm camera in 1980, just in time to get involved in the South Bay punk scene, both as participant and documenter.

Aaron White - Born into an artistic family, Aaron took up the family trade at an early age, making comics, flyers, album art during a while getting involved in the Pedro music scene. Aaron is the co-founder of Kit Bash Productions and his paintings have been exhibited around Los Angeles.

Chet Zar - A native San Pedran, Chet drew flyers and played in the band Skinhorse before following a career in special effects. His dark imagery echoes the both the crisp quality and the varied creatures and horrors rendered in his professional work.

The Leeches - a polka-inspired trio of hyperactive, garbage-bag-wearing madmen.

Marshall Astor--Program Manager for Angels Gate Cultural Center, as well as an artist, curator, and owner of San Pedro's Walled City Gallery, Marshall is a 15-year participant and observer of the Pedro punk scene.

Angels Gate Cultural Center is a place of creative discovery, exploration and enlightenment, providing artists, the Southland community and visitors from around the world with opportunities for enrichment and education.

Angels Gate Cultural Center, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro, CA 90731Info: 310.519.0936, or visit www.angelsgateart.org.

MEDIA CONTACTCarla Sameth626-564-0163carla@sameth.com.

Angels Gate Cultural Center is great destination for families, with 45 artist studios, two galleries, spectacular views, artist talks and special events, creating an enriching environment for all ages. The Center also sports an eclectic gift shop, featuring handmade crafts and unique work from Harbor area artists. Angels Gate Cultural Center is a partnership with the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks. Hours: Tue-Sun, 10 am to 5 pm. Suggested gallery donation: adults/$5; under 18/free.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Boomtown Rats, Live 8, Sir Bob sued by Rats and copping a feel!


The Boomtown Rats at the Cocoanut Grove, March 2, 1979.

Same shot with Photoshop's Auto Levels applied (an easy tool for tonal balance and basic color correction). Hmm, interesting effect. I still get chills thinking of that show. My slides are so gorgeous and that show so very special, so unique and moving. I can still feel and see it, as though it were happening right now. That's the magic and artistry of GREAT live bands.






Johnny Fingers and Sir Bob in a scan of a bad print (sorry, but it's funny).

Sir Bob Geldof showing Steve Perry of Journey how he wins the hearts and minds of the English rock press (don't forget Sir Bob is Irish).

I keep saying: everything old is new again. First Sir Bob Geldof announced "Live 8,"' shamed eBay into removing listings of tickets being auctioned off after ragging about eBay, and now he's being sued. I had no idea there are $$$ MILLIONS $$$ of dollars at stake. And Bob's girlfriend is on Jerry Hall's VH1 "Kept."

Let's back up to 1979. Being in the forefront of punk since first hearing Patti Smith's "Horses" in 1975, I’d long read about them. By chance, on January 26, 1979, I headed out to Columbia Records, then across the street from the Century City shopping mall. The publicist asked me to come back at 5 and bring some friends. They were having a press conference and wanted some real fans in addition to the press. With short notice I rounded up Barbie Shore, Chance (then Cindy Lane) and Michael Wilcox. Rodney Bingenheimer was there, as was Steve Perry from Journey. I don’t have them scanned, but they are amongst the funniest photos I ever took. The British punk bands were certainly the most fun bands I shot. They were so happy to be in LA and acted so silly and real.

However, I wasn’t prepared for what happened between Sir Bob Geldof and myself. I don’t usually wear a bra, so I was astounded when he started copping a feel while posing for shots. It was all in fun, of course.

Later I shot them at the most memorable and most beautifully lit show of my life, when they introduced “I Don’t Like Mondays,” with only Bob singing and Johnny Fingers on piano. That is still my favorite version. Bob wrote it because days before Brenda Spencer was the first young person to shoot at school. Bob’s genius was realizing this was a significant cultural and social event that to this day; a phenomenon still being ignored by our society, parents, schools and government. The Cocoanut Grove show was March 2, 1979 at midnight, according to my notes. Fachtna O'Kelly, their manager (who later discovered Sinead O'Connor), gave me one of the first pressings, with a lovely note on the back:

"To Jenny -- For all your kindness and consideration. Hope you like it. Fachtna O'K. July 26, 1979." I was stunned, no manager (other than Danny Fields with the Ramones) was ever so kind to me as Fachtna.

I also shot their in-store show at Frederick’s of Hollywood on March 2, 1979. Frederick’s was the Hustler/Victoria’s Secret of its day. The Rats were decked out in moose hats, which I suspect were from the Bullwinkle and Rocky store on Sunset. Imagine them wearing moose antlers and performing amongst mannequins barely wearing scanty naughty undies!

I shot them hanging at the Sunset Marquis hotel pool, the same hotel where I met/shot the Ramones when they first toured LA. Great shots, but none scanned yet! So enjoy what I’ve got.

Are you watching “Kept"? Sir Bob Geldof’s girlfriend is one of hostess Jerry Hall’s pals. I love her pal Rachel, the great Pete Townsend’s girlfriend. Bill Wyman’s wife too and someone's daughter. A very funny show. I've long admired Jerry Hall, a stunning blonde with brains and personality whose skin looks air-brushed, just flawless. Got a few quick shots of Jerry Hall and Jade Jagger at the Stones July 1978 Anaheim Stadium show. I usually avoid that kind of stuff (who has time for TV?), but it’s a great glimpse into the lifestyles of Sir Bob and the women who breathe that rarefied air.

However, the overdose of Krissy Wood, Ron Wood’s first wife, is a cautionary tale. Enjoy it while you can, but learn to rely on yourself!

The Rats never caught on in the US, but they were wonderful on and off stage. I hope they can quickly resolve their financial issues. I sure understand that – I’ve been ripped off by so many. But it hasn’t stopped me, just made it harder. Working without compensation is tough in these rough economic times.

from various online news sources:
Sir Bob Geldof is being sued by his old bandmates Boomtown Rats over unpaid royalties.

Guitarists Gerry Cott and Garrick Roberts, John Moylett (Johnnie Fingers), and drummer Simon Crowe announced in a statement that they are taking the action against Geldof to reclaim royalties owned from the days when the band broke worldwide with hits such as "I Don't Like Mondays" and "Rat Trap."

The statement, issued by Gerry Cott says "We jointly confirm that with the utmost regret we are pressing ahead with our claims against Bob Geldof and others for our rightful entitlement to a proper share of recording, publishing and merchandising income."

Time to shower, then off to Chinatown for the portrait show at Bamboo Lane/Revisited and meet cool artists after finding them on myspace, then to see lots of my amazingly creative art pals at CoproNason's new gallery at Bergamot Station (NOT BERGAMONT). [See my June calendar listing for details and web links!]

Leora, who runs Bamboo, found my calendar listing on myspace.com. We were both born on the SAME DAY! JULY 20!! She has naturally long red hair but my dark magenta hair comes from a tube, although everyone tells me they love my red hair. It's not red, it's magenta. That's red with blue. Leora studied crafts as did I. Us artists are so picky about colors! Magenta Jenny!

Listening to Tomata du Plenty sing my fave Screamers song: "Time to go, let's go, vertigo, down, down, down . . . " Downtown for me, then back to the west side. Glad I have enough money to put gas in my car!! "Let's go, oh no, vertigo."

Friday, June 17, 2005

Calendar: June Art Openings and Performances

Saturday, June 18, 2005
Opening Night: 2 shows you don’t want to miss. Both near the 10 freeway. I’m starting in Chinatown and ending close to home at Bergamot.

CoproNason moves to BERGAMOT INVASION!
7 pm-11:30 pm, Free Admission/Open Bar!
2525 Michigan Ave. T-5,
Santa Monica, CA 90404,
(310) 398-2643,
Runs through July 2.
Natalia Fabia, Chantal Menard, Joshua Petker, Dennis Larkins and others!
10 freeway west, exit Cloverfield, hang right, another right at Michigan, left into lot, keep going left.

Portraits
Bamboo Lane/Revisited
7 pm –10 pm.
418 Bamboo Lane, Chinatown.
Between Hill and College, right behind the Mountain Bar .
Joshua Petker, with Sean Cheetham and Marci Washington.

Princess Farhana (aka Pleasant Gehman) presents Summer Nights at Highways,
June 30 - July 2: 7:30 pm ; July 3: 2 pm and 7 pm.
310: 315-1459 , tickets $20.
Highways Performance Space,
1651 18th Street in Santa Monica, within the 18th Street Arts Center.
Parking lot and street parking available.

Saturday June 25
The lab 101 gallery & GEN ART present: 'IN - FAMOUS'
Opening reception: 7.30- 9 pm
8530-B Washington, west of La Cienega in Culver City
runs through July 4.
Featuring photographs of film and rock stars by English photographer Patrick Frazer

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

CoproNason 6/18 opening and Myspace photos!


Screamers, Tommy Gear, KK and Tomata, April 9, 1977.

Obsessed with figuring out myspace -- delighted I finally posted tons of shots, but you gotta know html! Steve at Punkrockers.com helped me. www.myspace.com/jennylens.

This blog and my site, www.jennylens.net, are more comprehensive. My art and punk pals in LA and elsewhere love myspace. Fun to see their art and wild posts/comments.

My fave artists are Natalia Fabia and Chantal Manard. See their work at CoproNason's new gallery in Bergamot Station, Saturday, June 18, 8 to midnight! Free entrance, free parking and free booze! Lots of friendly and beautiful gals and guys of all ages and sizes and tons of art! One reason I live in LA!

Celebrated Lynn Hasty's 12th anniversary of her company, Green Galactic, the best PR firm for artists and musicians at Zen Fusion last nite. Was treated to two delicious beers, and came early for 1/2 priced drink too, a Korean vodka. So I ate/drank nothing but herbal tea today. That's my lifestyle: I party, then I fast.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Blogger formatting hell erratic, c'est la vie!

Typical daily emails re punk and other projects

Just a few of today’s emails:

Whew Jenny, just got done reading your email exchange with James for his Marley project. What a great and informative read! James has also contacted me for some early Marley info. Have not yet put my thoughts together to respond. Did some quick searches and found your site.

Saw Marley in 76 in Houston. I was in Mexico surfing in July 78, and missed the Tosh show [I shot Tosh and the Rolling Stones in Houston and LA]. I loved reggae, but also went to many punk shows. In Austin we had Raul's. Very notorious club. Local bands the Dicks, Big Boys, Skunks, The Huns, The Inserts, etc. Also the Rock Island in Houston. Anyway, just wanted to say Howdy from deep in the heart of Texas!
Steve

[If you saw Bob Marley and want to share your experiences for his book, write to James at jameswilson@bobmarley.freeserve.co.uk]
--------------------------

Willy, Punk Information Directory, and why he created a 30 page and growing chronology of his early punk life in LA, 1976-1980.

June 10, 2005:
Hi Jenny,
You inspired me to do this by asking for any stories that I might have. That led me to my notes and the series that I'm writing right now. I think 5 more segments with the last one being a "what did I do after leaving the scene" type of thing. My next project is to scan in the 3 copies of Outcry magazine that my friend Steve did in the early 80's and publish that on the site.
--------------------------------
June 14, 2005:

Hi Jenny,
I just spent a good deal of the afternoon reading your blog. What comes across is your passion for the scene. Although I knew a fair amount of people at the time, the majority were men. I had a hard time even talking to "girls." I wish I had gotten to know some of you women that were part of that early scene.

I hope my story comes across as half as passionate as yours does. I'm getting about a 1000 hits a week on my homepage and have had over a million visitors to my site (coming in on any page) in the 5.5 years it's been out there. I could never have imagined numbers like that when I first started.

I looked at your timeline. I see shows that I was probably at featuring Zolar X, Berlin Brats, the Pop!, Quick, Venus & the Razorblades and Runaways. I see you have a band listed called the Boys. I'm pretty sure they were "The Boyz." I thought I was going to be releasing a Berlin Brats/Mau Maus CD as my third release until I found the guy who was offering it to me didn't have the rights to the music.

Looks like you saw the Ramones a few days before me. My first Ramones show was the Starwood one on August 16th. If one thing comes across from those of us who were there in the beginning it is 1) seeing the Ramones changed my life and 2) how privileged we all feel to have been a part of that early scene.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, memories and photos with me.
Willy

-------------------------------------
Willy,
I loved your last email. Being a woman, and a very emotional one, my "passion" and enthusiasm for that which I love has resulted in a lot of people avoiding me or wondering what's up. It used to bug me, and I still have to explain/apologize that I'm not upset, just passionate. I don't have to apologize to anyone for my site or blog. Yes, in emails cos misunderstandings happen too often without the tone of one's voice. But I let it rip on my site and blog, and it is so empowering!!

The thing that brought so many of us truly early LA punk pioneers together is we weren't the most popular, easy to get along with, happy conversationalists. We were bright, energetic, restless, looking for something exciting and different. I'm sure most of us had our share of mistreatment from others because of our unique personalities. We obviously love fast, loud, wild music. So of course you hung with the guys because it was more comfortable.

The women in LA were scary, powerful, wild, gutsy and also scared, shy and wounded but most of all, finally freed from usual constraints put upon women. I think it's funny that although I had the most active sex life in my life, I rarely did it with guys in the scene, with once Brendan and once Robbie Posh Boy, both of whom wish I'd stop sharing that, and at different times, 3 of Clash road crew, once with Iggy, but for the most part, none of the regulars in punk. I can't begin to explain or understand it.

Terry Bag Dad is really funny and I said I wish we'd talked in those days. He said we did, but I don't remember. I don't remember having many conversations with anyone. But how could I, roaming from spot to spot, taking pix or printing them or mailing them out? I worked really hard on my photos, spent a lot of time on them.

I don't remember the Starwood Ramones and for some reason, didn't shoot them. It was hard to shoot there. I much preferred the Whisky.

Many of us wish we'd done things differently. But thank god we did what we did. Boyz, who the hell were they?

I threw out my live Zolar X negs! I didn't want anyone to know I not only shot them, but knew them. I have shots of them in regular clothes rehearsing in my rented house. I could kick myself! Who knew anyone would care and now they are so popular!

Take care and thanks again,
jenny

Monday, June 13, 2005

Respect photographers: give credit where credit is due

I can't get my links on the right to be all the same color. Why must Blogger, myspace and my website all require so much time to look good? I've been creating/teaching digital art/programs since 1988. I'm grateful for all the useful tools they've created, but why not go all the way and make the process and instructions more user friendly, ok?

Trying to get people on myspace (and elsewhere) to use my photos with my credit superimposed over the shots. Anyone can use my pix if they let me know and use those I've created with my credit on them, located on my website (and a link when possible). But some give me shit when I tell them to either remove them or use those with my credit. Fuck them -- I got a Runaways site removed from Lycos/Tripod, so don't fuck with me.

As Peter Case just told me, without my Nerves shots, "that history would be lost." Or John Denney, lead singer/writer of the Weirdos: "Jenny, you are as important as anyone because you got everyone published everywhere." [and was among a small handful of the earliest photographers].

But without my name on my punk photos, no one knows I took so many classic shots, and am unearthing more every day.

All I wanna do is get my punk and rock photos out there. I took stunning shots of the Rolling Stones and Peter Tosh, ska, rockabilly, early rock like Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, not just punk! I don't wanna come off like I'm bragging, but go to my site and decide for yourself. I am as stunned as anyone looking at these shots, many for the first time.

Why do people give me a hard time about using MY photos??? Don't people realize people can't find me for projects if they use MY photos without my name on my pix?? I wrote a letter to myspace, getting all legal on them, pleading for their help. They don't give a shit who posts what, and it's so hard to format their websites. But I wanna work with them, cos myspace is so frequented.

Warning: I will get medieval over you if you use my pix without my permission, credit and in appropriate cases, compensation and product. I encourage people to use my pix, just keep me in the loop. Or I'll do whatever I have to do to protect my creations. I rather work with people on a friendly basis, so let's get together. And respect ALL photographers. Cos without us, what the hell are you looking at??

LA is great for artists! A fun week for this punk gal!

Had a great week! Hullabaloo fundraiser for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, founded by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (gave him a print of Darby Crash performing at the Masque). My donated shots of Joey Ramone (by the swimming pool and raising his fist with the Kamen Rider statue) and the Screamers on the bus bench each raised about $300 each. Ran into John Denney, lead singer of the Weirdos and Key Club booker Joseph Brooks (whom I met when I met and shot the Ramones, August, 1976). Ran into my documentary producer, Raymond Leon Roker of URB and his crew. Drank and ate, a rare treat for this broke raw foods vegan. Heard Tracey Chapman, and while floating out, got picked up by two gentlemen near my age. I necked with one in the backseat of his white Mercedes. Ha ha, he thought me 18 years younger than I am! I told my pal Mark Martinez what happened, saying it’s 1977 again, except for the Mercedes. That was a step up and the fact I went home alone. I ain’t so easy these days. But whatta trip!

Saturday I finally made it to Leaf Cuisine, a raw foods restaurant in Culver City and it was packed! It was ok, mainly cos they gave me a free shot of wheat grass and I ran into my raw foods pal, the tall and mellow Pineapple Head, who works there. Otherwise, I have so much trouble eating out. But if I didn’t eat something substantial I knew I’d get too high from booze, although I didn’t drink much. I’m tired of living on fresh juices and nothing for days to lose the bloat from booze and food. But hey, it’s human to want to feel a buzz.

Then off to photographer Brad Elterman’s photo opening at the new Jaxon Gallery on Abbot Kinney in Venice. I spoke with Darcy Diamond, one of the funniest women I ever met, who used to write rock articles. I hung with Genny Schorr and Marina del Rey of Backstage Pass. I asked Holly Vincent, working again with Backstage Pass and soon to record on her own in Nashville, if Holly and the Italians opened for the Clash in England in June/July 1980. Her face lit up when I told her I found pix of her onstage. Of course she wants some!

Saw Lilibeth Filgueira [fig tree], a talented painter Brad and I met at Patricia Correia’s gallery opening for Frank Romero, where I spoke with Cheech Marin and my pal, master printer/artist Richard Duardo earlier this year.

Wonderful to see Maryam Seyhoun, of Seyhoun Gallery, on Melrose near Doheny. She has been so kind to both Brad and I. Her openings are very special because she has a fine eye and presents exhibits with that are timeless and beautiful. I went to one dedicated to contempoary Persian calligraphy, and it was stunning. I missed the last one on June 4 because I was at UCLA for their Pre-Code films, racy and political. This series emphasized political themes dealing with the wealthy class versus the workers, the people who made those few so wealthy and society and government's responsiblity towards all. You won't see or hear such daring themes, outside of progressive blogs, let alone mainstream media such as film, in these repressive days.

They gave out shots of stuff which they mixed into the champaigne. It’s supposed to be healthy, but packed with sucrose and dextrose (concentrated sugar, a terrible refined carbohydrate that robs your body of nutrients). I know it’s not healthy to drink, but keep the sugar at bay, pul-eze. The melon flavored vodka was so sweet I threw it out. The pale ale was good.

I met Che, an early Backstage Pass member who left to join Kim Fowley’s creation, the Orchids. Ohmygawd. Their debut resulted in amazingly fun shots of Ric Ocasek of the Cars, Stiv Bators of the Dead Boys, the Doors’ Ray Manzarek and Danny Sugerman, Go-Go’s Belinda and Jane (the Surreal Life), Pleasant Gehman, Randy Kaye/Randy Detroit, Nancy, Dennis Crosby (Bing’s grandson), Ann McClean, Tomata du Plenty and KK Barrett of the Screamers, Trudie (who married KK), Robbie Fields of Posh Boy Records, Levi and some of his Rockats (precursors to the Stray Cats), Michael des Barres, Blondie’s Nigel Harrison (at one time a band mate of Michael’s and fellow Brit), and so many others watching the Orchids play and then with the Orchids. I shot more, but don’t feel like looking through the proofs for more names now. I’ll post the shots on my site soon.

Of course Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols and Jonesy’s Jukebox was there as he and Brad are mates. One of these days I should get his autograph, not just shoot him and give him a hard time. (Steve loves to tease me and I throw it right back at him. I told him "Fuck you" at Johnny Ramone's statue unveiling cos he wouldn't let me shoot him. We're finally on talking terms cos of course I love 'im. He is very handsome with his new mustache. I say, the bigger the better! I think he's sexy. But that's as far as it's ever gonna go. I don't have a bubblebutt. If you listen to his show, you'll get this train of thought). As I left I mentioned to Lilibeth that I was off to a friend’s gallery, CoproNason.

Greg Escalante is Joe Copro (of CoproNason) and always an entertaining presence at art openings. He's one of the few men near my age with whom I can talk about art, punk and life and feel comfortable. He is the curator of "Juxtapoz," a cool mag you ought to check out. I spoke on Joe Escalante’s new Indie 103.1 radio show, “Barely Legal,” on Friday regarding needed permission to use my photos in my work. Joe is Greg’s brother and founder of Kung Fu Records and in the Vandals. Those Escalante men are busy, creative, smart and fun!

I am a very harsh critic of a lot of new art, mostly “low brow,” but even the man who started that art movement, Robert Williams, with his solo exhibit at Otis, bemoans the lack of originality by younger artists. But this show was different. Check out CoproNason for details. I saw Adam Parfrey, the prolific publisher of Feral House. We had a great talk and subsequent emails. I hope to contribute some photos to an upcoming project of his. It was such a treat to reconnect with him! The LA Weekly just ran a cover story on indie publishers, with a major opening spread on him and his girlfriend, Jodie, also involved in publishing and a very beautiful, kind woman.

I always smile when I see Chantal, whose image is being used in a ad for an art school, also seen in the LA Weekly. That painting of her is touring Europe. Our mutual painter pal is Natalia Fabia; see her work also at http://nataliafabia.com/home.html but gotta wait til all the pix are downloaded and scroll to the right or click on thumbnails at http://nataliafabia.com/paintings.html. Natalia is far slimmer and skinnier than she photographs and looks like a smart and really fun Paris Hilton. Natalia painted Chantal and she and I both want that painting.

I love Chantal's assemblages and jewelry made of bones.

I’m not one to live for money, but when you don’t have it, it really sucks. I’d buy so much art from my friends.

I turned around to see Lilibeth, not realizing she found the gallery with the approximate location I mentioned. That surprised Greg and I, cos people have a hard time finding it, even knowing the address. Chantal, Lilibeth and I all share a Jewish background, although Chantal looks like milky white Frieda Kahlo with her long dark braids and ribbons and bones in her hair. Lilibeth’s strong Argentinean accent and ancient Lebanese/Spanish background threw me. Due to the Inquisition, Sephardic Jews fled Spain and many settled in Argentina. She said 10% of South Americans share some Jewish history. To quote Monty Python, “no one expects the Spanish Inquisition.” I love being around people with varied ethnicities and nationalities. I’m all Russian, but I swear there’s Germanic blood in me. Wagner, anyone? Greg, Lilibeth and I hung out at the end, laughing and talking.

Sunday I went to LACMA (LA County Museum of Art) to see the closing day of their German Expressionist Poster exhibit. Early punk graphics was very influenced by German Expressionism. I am very fortunate because LA has one of the best collections in the world, due to the generous donations and loans from the Robert Gore Rifkin Foundation. I’ve seen the most incredible art due to those shows. I walked in and began to cry when I spotted one of my all time fave pieces of art, a dark blue and brick red poster by Kolomon Moser. I used that art in a college project cos I love it so. I created typeface for a poster announcing fictional Gallerie Jenny, showcasing Moser's work. It’s for a calendar, with a brunette Norse goddess holding an hour-glass, the sands of time, encircled by a circle holding its tail. The circle represents death and rebirth. It’s really something to be face-to-face with art I’ve looked at in books since I was a kid.

Now I know how people feel about my photos and why so many want to see large prints and lots of books. Working on it and that’s why I get so pissed wasting so much time trying to get blogs and websites looking the way I want them to look. And I’m so hungry! I have no money and going out and a bit of drinking and eating packs on the pounds. So it’s fresh veggie juices for a few days.

Except Tuesday night I will celebrate the 12th anniversary of Green Galatic, and my new pal, Lynn Hasty. She is THE publicist to all the cool art and music happenings in town.

What a great few days: balmy weather, Wednesday Silverlake benefit, Friday radio show, Saturday art shows, Sunday art museum and Monday wasted time and energy formatting blogs and websites. See why it’s hard for me to work? LA is so distracting. How I love LA, if only I had money and liked to drive. It’s always something. So now to work!

An Intercepted IM Conversation Between Bush and Blair

I am a news junkie -- no not who's not eating herself to death or a possible beard for the most famous actor jumping on sofas. PUNK IS POLITICAL. But it's so damn depressing, so it's great to interject some humor so you don't go the way of Darby and end it all.

I love Arianna Huffington's blog, which posts all kinds of news that's hard to find cos it's true. She must be in the same mood, cos today is very Marxist . . . Groucho of course! The headline links to a site purporting "the prisoners of Gitmo never ate better" -- as if!! Arianna, you and your contributors rock!

Danielle Crittenden
HP EXCLUSIVE: An Intercepted IM Conversation Between Bush and Blair
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/theblog/archive/danielle-crittenden/hp-exclusive-an-intercep_2571.html
Kickass43: hey!
Sxybritguy10: hey
Kickass43: sup?
Sxybritguy10: nm u
Kickass43: jc. Iraq not good
Kickass43: polls not good
Kickass43: mjr babe issues
Sxybritguy10: laura?????? :-O
Kickass43: rofl no! American chicks. Dont like me anymore.
Sxbritguy10: security mums?
Kickass43: gone
Sxybritguy10: ttly?
Kickass43: ttly. not like when we were young right? Mom AWOL=good party. Today: moms AWOL=bad for party.
Sxybritguy10: :(
Kickass43: they say they dont care about security issues. like NOW they feel safe. who made them feel safe? not Kerry. kerry is an uber douche. I’m way hotter than he is man.
Sxybritguy10: You were so the better candidate
Kickass43: yeah I know. they re-elect me then they ditch me
Sxybritguy10: sux
Kickass43: wat up wit u?
Sxybritguy10: k with chicks. rock stars help. :)
Kickass43: don’t have em. xcept gene simmons. chicks dont like him. got toby keith. he rocks with reel guys. and soldiers.
Sxybritguy10: touché. need sum of dat. guys think Im gay.
Kickass43: LOL. its ur accent…
Sxybritguy10: duh. everyone speaks like that over here. and in my campaign the press got a pic of me in my speedo.
Kickass43: that sux man, its like whoa. my campaign tends to b more negative. tho rite now I NEED people to think Im gay.
Sxybritguy10: guys think its poncy to care bout africa aids global warming. they dont like that sh**
Kickass43: poncy???
Sxybritguy10: gay
Kickass43: cool. as in poncy marriage? poncy rights? I like this. poncy poncy poncy!
Sxybritguy10: :rolls eyes: dont try it
Kickass43: y r u so good with ladies?
Sxybritguy10: they think i care
Kickass43: like i dont
Sxybritguy10: they think u dont care bout wat they care bout
Kickass43: like wat
Sxybritguy10: education healthcare sos
Kickass43: thats ttl sh**
Sxybritguy10: mayb but thats wat they think. u scare them
Kickass43: they like laura
Sxybritguy10: use her more
Kickass43: duh
Sxybritguy10: so how can i get guys 2 like me?
Kickass43: lose the accent
Sxybritguy10: seriously
Kickass43: hang with me at the prom
Sxybritguy10: u mean at gleneagle? the G8????
Kickass43: lets go shoot whatever u shoot there. foxes right? u guys r sick bastards. u cant even eat fox
Sxybritguy10: foxes r illegal now. its grouse
Kickass43: k. whatever. and make fun of the french guys. what ttl losers. They r so lame. They r like—wat wuz that word
Sxybritguy10: try poncy
Kickass43: they carry handbags. end of story.
Kickass43: so wanna chill at G8?
Sxybritguy10: er gotta hang with geldof.
Kickass43: ?
Sxybritguy10: rock star africa aids global warming sos
Kickass43: do girls like him?
Sxybritguy10: sort of
Kickass43: so lets hang 2gether bud!
Sxybritguy10: g2g
Kickass43: hey
Kickass43: hey
Kickass43: hey
Kickass43: u there???? hello? thats it. we’re nukeing you…
Kickass43: jk, ilu buddy. u do kno that right?
--with thanks to Mandy Frum, my in-house IM linguist :)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Progress of my Punk Photos/Punk Archive projects

Progress of my Punk Photos/Punk Archive projects: website (www.jennylens.net), documentaries, books, CDs, etc.

Turned down yet more offers for exhibits of my early, rare, classic punk photos because I'm working on my documentary and book projects. But I want the input/releases of those I shot. I only want to showcase people looking their best and remembering the joy and fun times, but I need your help!

Contact me if you were in a band (performed, managed, wrote, roadie, etc) from NY, London or San Francisco and played in LA, OR called LA your punk home during 1976-1980. Maybe you created fanzines, flyers, danced, hung out, worked at venues, produced shows, etc.

I posted a sample storyboard showcasing the Clash, Lobotomy and Slash. Have a ton more ideas as I work on the interview/storyboard/story list.

People are contacting me to be in my upcoming documentary and books. How about you? Do you know someone from that era or recognize friends or know how to contact people in my photos?

If you don't write me, then your band, your input, your presence won't be in these projects. And your fans, the ones who write me daily for more photos, for books, for docs, will be pissed at you, not me. You want that? Or do you want to be seen in all your youthful glory, acknowledged as the creative pioneers we are?

I update my website more often than the blog, cos I'm so focused on the photos.

June 7: Clash storyboard; June 3: Nerves: June 2: updated Gang of Four. Soon, more Fashions: parties, backstage; Dead Boys (getting lots of requests for them) and Damned playing, partying, at Bomp; Ramones (I know, been promising since January), larger and more Weirdos (ran into John Denney the other night and that was a blast!) and more!

You wanna see photos? http://www.jennylens.net/. I don't have time to re-post hundreds of photos. Plus seeing one at a time loses the impact of being bombarded with image after image, each with its own story. Many detailed historical facts and reflections starting at Jenny Lens interview, including stories from myself and other early punks.

Get the BIG picture at my site: Pieces of the Puzzle: Punk Pioneers, 1976-1980. It's my resource center for fans and scholars for various projects AND to license prints taken by one of the VERY first punk photographers, 1976-1980.

Willy, punk information directory, is posting an informative timeline and notes about the many shows he attended in LA from 1977-1980. From his email to me: "You inspired me to do this by asking for any stories that I might have. That led me to my notes and the series that I'm writing right now."

I am all about encouraging any and all to document their stories, photos and memories! I can't tell you how many emails I get telling me I inspired someone to pick up a camera or guitar or write. That's great! There's no need for envy or name-calling, which still happens too often. Tell YOUR story.

Contact us: For commercial licensing OR if you're planning exhibits, documentaries, books, CD releases, etc and ONLY if you have money. I can't afford to keep giving these photos away! I gotta pay my bills too! For those of you who want personal photos, email me and I promise to post a price list soon!

JENNY STERN is JENNY LENS is JENNY STERN is JENNY LENS. If you dig up publications from1976 to 1978, you'll find many of my pix without my name, someone else's name or Jenny Stern.

Send your punk stories, early punk band info, etc. but click here first!

MY NAME is among 6 photogs credited on the Ramones doc, "End of the Century" as seen on PBS. Yep, the only LA born and raised nice jewish girl is listed between Bob Gruen and Mick Rock. WOW!!

Jewish punks: I want names, including real last names. We are the original punks.

Finally, if I don't answer your email right away, please forgive me. I'm juggling alot of tasks all by myself. I appreciate everything you write!

"A single candle can light a thousand more without diminishing itself." Hillel the Elder (c. 30 B.C.-10 A.D.)