I’ve started to gather pictures for a book I hope to publish before the earth or yours truly goes “Kaboom!” It’s one of two projects I’ve had in mind for some time. The working title is “Bystander” which will focus on my years photographing and interacting with bands, musicians and artists within punk, hardcore and indie rock over the years. It will hopefully include anecdotes about the artists , as well as various quotes from the many interviews I’ve done over the years. I’ve already got someone to write the foreword and ideas as to which photos for the front, back cover and inlet will be. I’ve been posting about four pictures a day in one of my facebook folders. Allowing you to see new material on an almost daily basis. I’m posting a link below and welcome you to both visit and comment whenever you see fit.
As a budding photographer in the mid to late 90’s I went through countless rolls of both negative and slide film accumulating boxes upon boxes of slides, negatives and prints. I had a neat linen closet in my one bedroom Hell’s Kitchen apartment filled with my photographed history. Everything in a separate, marked envelopes with negatives intact. I was really anal about it and why not. One of the first things I was taught was to keep your negatives with your prints and keep them in pristine condition.
However, at one point all of that changed. I got a job at a photo store on University Place and B&H opened it’s Super Store within walking distance of my apartment. My organizing obsession started and my simple, organized hobby went haywire. One day I had this genius idea to separate my negatives from their prints and put everything into binders. I spent lots of money and time making complete nonsense out of my once perfect system. A few years later my girlfriend moved in and that converted linen closet turned photo library became my girlfriends converted personal storage unit. Negatives and Pictures soon separated before legally becoming divorced and despite supervised visits, rarely saw one another.
Years later I’m happily married to the woman that took over my closet, living in another town in another state. I’ve begun the unenviable task of going through about sixteen years of newly digitalized negatives putting names to bands I may have only seen once or twice at CBGB’s, ABC No Rio, Maxwell’s or perhaps Connecticut’a Anthrax club. Most are immediately recognizable while others draw a complete blank. It seems I attended my share of crappy Thugcore shows at CBGB’s in the 90’s along with a few Jersey Metalcore shows. Add to that I’ve started the process of putting names to the bands I’ve shot since going digital. A task that has been a tad easier since I’ve labelled each folder with at least the nights headliner. One thing I have gone as far as doing is tracking down the names of the band members. There are so many bands I’ve enjoyed over the years. Many of which I never had the opportunity to get personal with. So I’ll continue digging, archiving and shooting. Putting names to the many faces whose music continues to add to my loss of hearing. Back to work…
There is something very special about the friendships and people I met in the 80’s and 90’s through the NYHC scene. Friendships made in front of clubs like CBGB’s. (gone) In the basement of Some Records. (gone) and those early shows at ABC No Rio. There was something about the music that brought all these misfits and creative individuals together, make them bond and (not to be clique) but for lack of a better word…. become family. Plain and simple most of the good friends I have today (more than twenty years later) are the friends I made going to those Sunday Matinee’s at CBGB’s and the early basement shows at ABC. When my friend Freddy sent me a message about the GO reunion is wasn’t as much about seeing the band again. It was about seeing friends. (some of which just happened to be in a band.)ABC is a shit building that has been on it’s last legs long before Punks ever set foot in it. The people who fill it are what makes the place such a landmark. The people who come to shows and donate, the people who work tirelessly to keep it open and keep it filled with art and creativity. Speaking of creativity there were some really good bands in support of GO including ABC originals Hausi Pungo, Awkward Thought, DBCR and others. It was great seeing so many old familiar faces…. Mike and Aaron from GO, the guys from Hausi Pungo and Citizens Arrest, Bill Florio, Tracy, Freddy Alva and so many others. The bands all put on great sets and were both well received and equally supported. During GO’s set Mike noted that it was ABC’s 20th birthday as far as Punk Matinee’s were concerned which was followed by him lighting a birthday cake, having the crowd blow it out and eat it. Priceless. A good time was definitely had by all.
The singer for DBCR has the biggest eyebrows known to man. He reminded me of a cross between Dr. Evil and comedian Dave Attell. Awkward Thought singer John Franko wore a hood and ski mask throughout their entire set.