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.