Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Steven Rascoe IS NOT Affiliated with me

I hate to post this, but here goes: Steve Rascoe offered advice and tips about marketing my photos. Steven's ideas propelled me to a new level that will keep me inspired and busy for quite awhile. He introduced me to avid collectors (their flyer/magazine archives are cool), work in major record companies, are in bands, own record stores, etc -- all fans of mine. We are now friends advising each other re dealing with him.

Unfortunately, he "borrowed" a few things from me and . . . I am optimistic I will get my items back. Fortunately they are replaceable.

He's a smart, creative dude who burns his bridges. I miss Steven's input. But his tall tales, while illuminating paths for getting my work out, made me constantly question his 'whoppers.' My momma didn't raise no fool -- I question everything and everyone, and conduct due diligence (thank goodness for email and the net!). Then his darkness settled in and ended it.

When one door closes, another opens. In my case, many doors are open. So many good people out there, more than I ever realized. And I met so many because of Steven Rascoe. He knows how to find them, bring them together, but . . . As Patti sang: "the paths that cross, cross again." Maybe this will have a happy ending . . . May we all find/make peace in our souls.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Life in Lens Land

Can't believe it's almost two months since I updated this. I write reams of text every day in long, detailed emails, but it's hard sharing stuff with cyberspace. Every Saturday I go out to an art opening or two, or a rock show. Interviews, exhibits, documentaries, mags, lots of projects, so here's a few highlights of what I want to see/do, cool artists/musicians I've hung with and all that jazz:

I gotta see Social Distortion, but no money and they are sold out. Ok, so I'm late to the game, but it's been years since any band got me like they got to me. No wonder my pals always talk about Mike Ness with such awe. He fucking rocks -- I feel like I did when I first heard the Ramones or the Clash. I need high energy to bang away at the keyboard all day/night, working on my pix. His lyrics blow my mind too. Such anger, passion, wisdom, awesome shit!

Hey, I shot drummer Charlie Quintana when he was in the Plugz at the Masque Benefit, February 25, 1978 and opening for PIL, Olympic Auditorium, May, 1980, which I helped produce! I'm still owed $800 from CD Productions. Charlie used to invite me to dinner all the time, just being friendly, and I was so shy I couldn't understand why he'd want to hang with me. I've got color slides from both shows and shots of him, which is hard, cos drummers are hidden by cymbals.

I shot Dennis Dennel hanging with Regi Mental, Donnie Rose, Tony the Tiger and John Valium while the Germs played, Culver City Auditorium, Dec, 1979. Pat Smear wrote me, laughing I shot Darby's "boys." I shot not just pix, but speed with a lot of them -- that's how/why I hung with them! I shot Darby, Lorna and Pat a lot in the early days, starting in April 1977. I keep digging up amazing shots of them, just hanging out -- Darby's face is so haunting, so vivid in each shot.

Ohmygawd, Regi's been calling me from prison. How we miss each other!! And I'm in touch with Gerber again! She is so smart, funny, but sick, poor thang. All those drugs and booze take their toll. My prayers to Regi and Gerber.

Germs, "What We Do is Secret": people keep writing me if I've gone/going to their shows, what's happening with the movie? Newsflash: for months I've begged them to let me help with interviews and publicity photo needs. All I wanna/can do is promote the live band and the movie, but I'm not in ANY loop. Write them via myspace.com/germsmovie -- ask why I'm not involved other than contributing a shitload of shots to use for costumes, makeup and scenery -- I honestly can't answer the question people keep asking me: why aren't I linked from them -- and you ask them about the movie.

All I can do is answer questions from my PERSONAL history of the band -- and I have photos to prove the stories I know, but I don't have time to answer all the emails and dig up the pix and post them. I am working all by myself, folks. Wouldn't you rather see the pix and/or buy them from me so I can keep doing this?

Nov 26: Alex's, Long Beach to see/hear Channel 3. They were tight, rockin' and hot! The guys look amazing, on and off stage. Mike is such a tall drink of water, yummy!, and Kimm had to beat the gals off with a stick. Oh he was so happy -- what a fun night! The door woman told the security it was the oldest crowd she'd seen. I heard her and gave her hell. I sold a few t-shirts for them and put out my flyers promoting my photos. I saw Gaby Berlin, first time in 25 years and met her handsome, sweet husband.

Nov 20: artist Coop's Brewery studio party honoring Gary Panter, whose work is featured at MOCA, and who spoke that day -- but didn't tell all of us. He'll be back January, probably at the Hammer. Spoke with Matt Groening, about my shooting the Germs FIRST photo session when he managed Licorice Pizza, across the street from the Whisky (now a small Aah's). I spoke with Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez of "Love and Rockets." Met Johnny and Gisele from X-Ray Book Company, who are tight with my close pal,
Devo Obsesso Michael Pilmer.

I keep running into people who know people I know. It's a small world after all!

Nov 19: Finally met the one and only Glen E. Friedman, the nicest photographer. We're working on a book together! My photos, his edit. What a concept! He was at his book-signing at sixspace, a Culver City Gallery. Good talk with gallery owner, Caryn, whose art.blogging.la I constantly read, although most of the art she covers is NOT my cup of tea. I like to know what's going down in LA -- ART is exploding in my home town! Another cool way is to receive sourharvest.com emailings of shows. I only wish I had time, money and fuel-efficient car to drive across town and see all the cool art! I'm too busy trying to raise funds for my own art, my photos! Then I finally made it to Feedback Records and heard my earliest, circa 1976 punk pal, Alice Bag with Punkoustica.

Nov 12: John Miner's print exhibit at 33 1/3. Hung out with Billy Bones of the Skulls and his beautiful daughter Danielle, who is going to my alma mater, Cal Arts (MFA in Design). I danced as Brendan played all kinds of wonderful early punk. I wanted to see 45 Grave around the corner, but I was with a friend who decided he didn't want to see them. I was so disappointed, cos I gave up Shepard Fairey and other political artists' opening at Project: Studio, "Propaganda: They Hate Our Freedom." And that is why I prefer driving to events, so I have the freedom to see who I want to see.

Nov 5: CoproNason's opening at Bergamot and crashed a bar mitzvah next door, wherein I had two strong martinis and returned to Copro and had such a blast! Met Florida low brow artist/musician Pooch, after admiring his work.

Oct 20: Gang of Four were awesome. I wish I had a video camera to record the whole thing! Fucking brillant!!! Of course I shot them at Starwood and Whisky,1979 and 1980, when they FIRST came to LA. Their lighting man stole my best slides. So it goes!

Something grand about being moved by art, then meeting the artists. That's one of the reasons I love Copro more than any gallery (being around the corner helps too!). I met Natalia Fabia and Chantal Menard, after lusting after their art. I really want a Brian Viveros, but haven't met him yet. I don't know why I am attracted to his paintings of tattooed, beaten women, but they have such a defiant look, with their Louise Brooks/Pandora's Box black "helmet hair" and cig dangling from their mouths, one eye swollen shut. It is to so erotic and powerful, about us women who get beaten up every day -- in my case, not literally (not since I was a child), but men who lie and deceive and beat our souls, try to tame and control us, but we survive. It's all a matter of attitude. I still love men, but some leave lasting scars. Which is why I'm such a fighter, I won't give up, as Iggy sang in his great "Brick by Brick" release: I won't flake out.

Gotta post more Iggy. Mike Watt is on tour now with him in Australia and Brazil. I wrote Mike I'd post some, and now you know why I don't update my blog! So much to do. I have some amazing early and rare Iggy shots, on and off stage, and painting his large murals in his rented Malibu house, summer of 1977. That's when Pleasant and he had their intimate moment.

Damnit, I wish I could remember when Iggy and I slept together. Iggy called me when I was in my apt in West Hollywood, across the street and around the corner from Tower. It had to be after Pleasant, but that could mean 1977-1979. You think I'd remember the exact date Iggy and I fornicated? Ha ha, why didn't I write dates? I spend half my time trying to figure out when/who I shot.

I shot Iggy, Brian James of the Damned, Glen Matlock of the Pistols, and sweet Ivan Kral of Patti Smith Group, up at the Waldorf in San Francisco, December, 1979. (My first and best shots were April 15, 1977, Blondie opening, David Bowie on keyboards).

Thanks to one of Copro's gallery owners, Greg Escalante, my punk photos will be in a new documentary on the legendary Long Gone John of Sympathy for the Record Industry. I also have photos in "Punk: Attitude" (and was the only woman among 8 men interviewed for the LA segment), "Too Tough to Die" -- an upcoming Ramones doc , "Punk's Not Dead" and gawd knows what else. I can't keep track of it.

I was profiled in "City Beat," Oct 6 issue and upcoming interview in "Punk Rock Confidential." I'm starting to sell my pix online and what else is keeping me busy?

My photos are in the "I Do Adore" invitational women photographers show at Shepard Fairey's Subliminal Projects gallery, reception Dec 10. I've been offered lots of shows, but lack of money makes it hard to be able to show. This should be special because I am showing with other photographers. And who doesn't want to be involved with anything that Shepard touches?

Someone from the South Bay hung out with me, wonderful advice, tall tales of punk towards the end of my shooting, told me all about lots of performers and his friends, then it all blew up. Losing a friend is always traumatic, but I met so many men who went through the same thing with this man that I did, and it brought me closer to them. They are so respectful of my work and kind to me, and lots of fun and know so much about the scene. I am simplifying this, but let's say it's been an adventure with the 'whopper' or as I call him, the 'rascal.'

It's hard being a single woman resurrecting my archive. People read things into my hanging out with guys or if I spend a lot of time or go somewhere with just one. But my most avid fans are 36-42 year old men. And I do adore dudes (no secret nor surprise there!). When I got divorced, my dear punk pal since April, 1977, Mark, who is gay, said it was time for me to try women. No way, not moi!

We all have one thing in common: love for the first generation punks, and they just missed the early days. So I'm tight with them, but nothing more. No men in my life, pul-eze, I have a full life with my pix and friends. I have enough distractions. But people will talk!

So talk about my photos finally on sale,
www.jennylens.net/merch. I lowered my prices and they are moving!

Drop me a note. Happy Holidays if I don't write til next year. Be my friend on