Monday, March 13, 2006

Steve Jones and Paul Cook’s Autographs, Masque January 17, 1978

The process of reviving my archive is a combination Sherlock Holmes, close and constant attention to details, write notes, input notes into database, send out emails to people in the shots. The seemingly random searches lead to unexpected rewards. I’m overcome with waves of emotions after looking through one of my autograph books. I stupidly didn’t write people’s names down, cos some are impossible to read, nor date them, and many wrote on the back of someone else’s signature.

It’s a micro-history of a few people I shot: Freddie Mercury (who ratted on me, and the Elektra publicist was pissed, he was such a queen!), Roger Taylor and Brian May; “Take the Tonic, love, Bob Geldof,” and each of the Boomtown Rats, each of the Clash, Ramones, Cars (Rick Ocasek gave me an address to send pix and keep in touch, but did I? oy!!), Chuck Berry, BB King, and more. What a trip down memory lane.

I wanted to verify Tomata and Liara’s birthday party in Wattles Park, June 1979. Verifying chrome/slide date of Divine at Fiorucci’s led me to stunning black and white shots of Andy Warhol, Fiorucci’s opening and punk wedding (plus color slides of Screamers performing). Some negs on the wedding sheet were of X, August 30, 1979, Stardust Ballroom. I’ve lost or seriously hidden most of my X, so finding anything is a treasure. [I also shot Dils and DOA that night.]

Primarily men were in the audience, with mosh pits becoming more routine with X's opening acts. People always ask me about hardcore, but I shot Before Hardcore, when you could dance and get close to the stage. I also shot color, and you can really feel the audience’s energy, led by the band and Exene in particular.

I need a different slide of Billy Zoom and Steve Jones, taken at a party during X’s first British tour, July 1980. While going through my Sex Pistols slides, I found one of Paul Cook at the Masque, signing a red autograph book, 28 years ago January 17, 1978. I opened another drawer and pulled that little red book. Steve Jones signed the opposite page.

Gotta get back to work. Haven’t found the slide of two of my fave guitarists, Billy and Steve, the third being Joe Strummer yet. I told that tidbit to Jonesy while on his show, his birthday, Sept 3, 2004. Some of you may know he threw me off the show for talking about the Clash, LA punk and Toulouse Lautrec. Steve and I are pleasant to each other now, but if you’re gonna talk about art history, you better know your facts. Ha ha!

A pal gave me some cool CDs. Tom Waits singing “I don’t wanna grow up.” Oh Dee Dee, Joey and Johnny. We miss you.

If not for Dee Dee, my archive wouldn’t exist. I doubt if I ever would have picked up a camera and shot the early, most combustible era of the first 30 years of punk rock that changed every aspect of world culture. I didn’t wanna grow up . . . I wanted to do it on my terms, and not 9-5 and all that jazz. Give me another 30 years of punk rock!!


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