This great mural of Patti Smith by Brooklyn-based street artist Huetek recently had to be touched-up by the artist after it was badly tagged by a random dick bag. The pose is modeled after the famous series of images by Smith’s close friend and former lover, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe — which were used as Smith’s first press photos as well as the cover of her debut album, Horses. Originally painted in July of 2018, the mural is part of the East Village Walls project, and can be found outside of Julie’s Vintage Clothing Boutique at 84 East 2nd Street just west of First Avenue. Punk Lives!
Do you like Punk Rock? I sure do. The true spirit of Punk really thrived in cities like London (where it was born), Los Angeles and New York back in the mid-70 to early 80s, before it became a commercial product and fashion statement that was appropriated by Midwest mall kids, and completely lost its teeth. Kill me. Fortunately, all of that great music still exits, and we can also travel back in time to the early days of the mosh pit with amazing photographs of the iconic musicians and style-makers who embodied the Punk credo. The place to see and live through those photos is the Morrison Hotel Gallery.
As the definitive home of Fine Art Rock Photography, Morrison Hotels Gallery has just launched its latest collection, CBGB: The Age of Punk, and it is pretty sweet. I attended the opening reception here in Manhattan on May 17th, and the place was packed wall-to-wall with many of the legendary photographers who shot these photos, such as Bob Gruen, as well as a New York icons Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie. All of the photos in this post were shot while I maneuvered around a drunken, sweaty horde, so I chose to crop most them and you will just have to guess what they look like all framed and nice. Punk Rock!
Here’s the Gallery’s Official Blurb about the Collection:
Rooted in 1960s garage rock, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock and CB’s became one of the quintessential locations to perform. Bands had the freedom to experiment and bring their own artistry and social commentary, no matter how depraved and raucous, to audiences hungry for new art, music and freedom of speech.
Contrary to what the series title would have you believe, not all of the photos were taken at CBGB, or even in New York.
As you might expect, there a ton of great shots of Patti Smith, both on stage with PSG, and off stage. She was so photogenic.
Here she is with her boyfriend at the time, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. So hot.
The first wave British punks get their due as well. I got this shot on the wall behind the open gallery door!
Joe Strummer of The Clash (RIP) looking like a Movie Star.
And, of course, the Ramones are well- represented, as they should be.
There’s no telling how long this exhibit will be on public view in the gallery, but you can always view the full collection at This Link should you wish to make a purchase. All orders are filled on-demand up the run limit of that series.
Morrison Hotel Gallery is Located at 116 Prince Street, 2nd Floor in SoHo, NYC.
Singer Songwriter and Author Patti Smith was born on this day, December 30th in 1946. Read my review of Patti’s recent Career Anthology CD, Outside Society at This Link. Happy Birthday Patti, and many more!
Walking into the Steven Kasher Gallery last night for the opening reception of Rude And Reckless was very much like flashing back to my teenage bedroom, whose walls were plastered floor to ceiling with Punk Rock posters, show flyers, stickers and album cover art until I moved out of my parents house to go to college. Punk Rock – at a time when Punk Rock was really something vital and alive – was everything to me at that time, and I was an avid collector of 7” Punk singles (which I’d pick up by the dozens at Zed Records in Long Beach, California) and punk/new wave badges. A lot of what I collected, and probably still have, seems to have been magically curated into this amazing collection of memorabilia that is sure to delight anyone who has fond memories of the British, New York or LA/Orange County punk scenes in the late ‘70s to early ‘80s. Good times. Continue reading Steven Kasher Gallery Presents Rude And Reckless: Punk/Post-Punk Graphics, 1976-82
Patti Smith made a name for herself as a pioneer of NYC’s seminal punk scene, most notably as it relates to the birth of the legendary CBGBs rock club on Bowery, and she has continued to evolve through a career that’s lasted over three decades. Along with her original band, The Patti Smith Group (Guitarist/co-songwriter Lenny Kaye, Drummer Jay Dee Daugherty, Bassist/co-songwriter Ivan Kral and Keyboardist Richard Sohl (RIP) – each a phenomenally talented musician and creative force) with whom she recorded her first four albums, and later as a solo artist, Smith is undeniably one of the most unique and influential artists to emerge in the late 70s. As both a versatile artist (poet, musician, author) and an outspoken activist, Patti Smith is a Woman Who Rocks in every sense of the word.
Smith’s impressive music catalog has already been afforded three compilations culled from her studio recordings, but record labels know when the public is ripe for a new offering. With her having recently won multiple awards for her book, Just Kids, Sony Legacy has put together an album to catch the attention of those who may just now be getting hip to Patti Smith, or fans who are ready for rediscovery. Outside Society – the title taken from a lyric in the refrain of Smith’s arguably most powerful and emotionally charged composition (and my personal favorite), “Rock & Roll Nigger” – is an 18 song, single-disc compilation covering Smith’s recordings from her ten studio albums between the years 1975 to 2007. The disc not only includes many of Smith’s “Greatest Hits” – such as her recorded-live version of “Gloria,” her collaboration with Bruce Springsteen, “Because The Night” and the transcendent “Dancing Barefoot” – but it also features an indispensable selection of deep album tracks that casual fans will likely be unfamiliar with. If you are seeking an introduction to Patti Smith or a way to flesh out owning just one or two albums of hers, Outside Society is must own collection.
In addition to always surrounding herself with highly talented musicians and collaborators, Patti Smith has also worked with a cache of rock music’s most accomplished and legendary producers, including Jack Douglas, Jimmy Iovine and Todd Rundgren, who helped to sculpt her sound, allowing her to remain authentic no matter what genre she tackled. From the raw punkinesss of “Gloria” to one of her most polished pop songs, “Frederick,” (one of the many love songs she wrote for her husband, the late Fred “Sonic” Smith of the MC5) she absolutely owns every performance. Each song on this record, and consider that the styles presented are extremely diverse, sounds amazing and fresh, like it was just recorded.
Patti Smith has covered many rock classics in her storied career – from “Gloria” (a song first made popular by Them as fronted by Van Morrison) to the Byrds’ anthemic “So You Want to Be a Rock & Roll Star” and, most recently, Nirvana’s breakthrough, genre-defining hit, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” With each interpretation of compositions that many would consider untouchable, Smith makes the song her own with the infusion of her poetry and her inherent ability to tap into the creative essence of each song. Adding further value to an aurally sublime compilation, Outside Society includes Patti’s insightful, autobiographical notes and personal commentary on each track. Her own remembrances of the circumstances surrounding the writing / recording of each track are not only profoundly moving, but often heartbreaking, revealing her to be a woman who has coped with her share of life-changing loss while unfailingly championing individuality and the triumph of the underdog. God Bless Patti Smith.
Remastered by Greg Calbi and Tony Shanahan, Outside Society will be released on Arista/Columbia/Legacy on August 23, 2011 as a single-disc digipak CD and on vinyl as a Double LP set. Track Listing is As Follows:
2. Free Money
3. Ain’t It Strange
4. Pissing In A River
5. Because The Night
6. Rock N Roll Nigger
7. Dancing Barefoot
9. So You Want To Be A Rock N Roll Star
10. People Have the Power
11. Up There Down There
12. Beneath The Southern Cross
13. Summer Cannibals
15. Glitter In Their Eyes
16. Lo and Beholden [radio edit]
17. Smells Like Teen Spirit