Tag Archive | The Clash

Morrison Hotel Gallery Presents: CBGB — The Age of Punk

Debbie and Chris
Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie (1980) By Allan Tannenbaum (All Photos of the Photos By Gail)

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.

MHG CBGB Invite

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!

New York Dolls
New York Dolls (1974) By Bob Gruen

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.

Chris Stein
Chris Stein Being Interviewed at the Opening Reception

Contrary to what the series title would have you believe, not all of the photos were taken at CBGB, or even in New York.

Glenn Danzig
Glenn Danzig of The Misfits, a Band that Got Its Start Playing CBGB

Joan Jett
Joan Jett on Stage with The Runaways By Lynn Goldsmith

Patti Smith
Patti (1978) By Allan Tannenbaum

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.

Patti and Robert
Patti and Robert in NYC (1969) By Norman Seef

Here she is with her boyfriend at the time, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. So hot.

Patti Smith with TV
Patti in NYC (1976) by Frank Stefanko

Patti Smith Portrait
Patti Smith Portrait. Breathtaking.

Sex Pistols
Sex Pistols in Europe (1977) by Bob Gruen

The first wave British punks get their due as well. I got this shot on the wall behind the open gallery door!

Sid Vicious
Sid Vicious (1978) By Ebet Roberts

The Clash
The Clash in NYC (1981) By Bob Gruen

Joe Strummer

Joe Strummer of The Clash (RIP) looking like a Movie Star.

Ramones
The Ramones in NYC (1975) By Bob Gruen

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.

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Joe Strummer Memorial Mural Recreated in East Village NYC

Joe Strummer Mural East Village NYC
Photo By Gail

It must have been a while since I walked west on 7th Street towards Avenue A, because today I noticed for the first time that the Joe Strummer Memorial Mural has been restored to the East 7th Street facade of the exterior of Niagara Bar, located at corner of Avenue A and 7th Street. The original mural, created by street artists Dr. REVOLT and Zephyr after Strummer’s death in 2002, was removed in 2013 to facilitate structural repairs to the building. The piece has now been recreated (a little Googling reveals it reappeared in September 2013) by Dr. REVOLT in a similar but still recognizably different style.

You can see what the original mural looked like at This Link.

Update, September 9, 2018:

I walked by the mural this afternoon and you can see that it as been touched-up to create a more realistic likeness to to Strummer. Nice!

Joe Strummer Mural 2018

Punk: Chaos to Couture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Chaos to Couture Rainbow Wig
“Photography Not Allowed” (All Stealth Photos By Gail)

Thanks to a special allowance for the Memorial Day Holiday, The Met ended up being open on Monday and Geoffrey and I were able to head to the scenic upper west side on a very gorgeous, sunny day to check out the much ballyhooed fashion exhibit, Punk: Chaos to Couture. Photography is not allowed in the exhibit, which is a huge drag, but I was able to sneak in a few “stealth snaps” while the vigilant Art Nazis were distracted by other things, so please excuse the poor quality of my shots for this post as I was shooting in the dark with no flash! Punk Rock!

Chaos to Couture OldSchool Outfits3

The exhibit starts out with examples of actual DIY fashions worn by the original British punks of the late 1970s. These hand fashioned outfits then inspired pioneering designer Vivienne Westood and her business partner, Malcolm McLaren, to open the clothing shop, SEX, where they sold early versions of bondage trousers, Band T Shirts and other punk gear.

Chaos to Couture Sex Shop
Recreation of Vivienne Westwood’s Punk Rock Boutique, Sex

Chaos to Couture OldSchool T Shirts
Vintage Punk T Shirts

It is important to understand — and this cannot be emphasized strongly enough — that the phrase “Punk Fashion” is a bit of an oxymoron, as the early Punks were not interested in following or copying any kind of fashion, but rather were doing something completely original using clothes already found in their own closets.

Chaos to Couture OldSchool Outfits2
The Punk Aesthetic Begins its Influence on Haute Couture

Chaos to Couture OldSchool Outfits

Like 2011’s Savage Beauty, which showcased the genius of the late designer  Alexander McQueen, Chaos to Couture maintains a reverance to the Wearable Art status of these clothes and thus is expertly laid out via a series of connected galleries that often recreate the look of downtown clubs and alleyways where the original punk fashion aesthetic was born. The rear walls of most of these galleries are illuminated by video projections of the classic punk bands performing and I enjoyed hearing some of my favorite punk music of that era by great bands like The Buzzcocks and The Damned, which helped to authenticate the sensorial experience.

Chaos to Couture Multipel Outfits

As the exhibit segues gradually into runway designs by fashion houses such as Comme De Garcon, Dolce & Gabbana and Moschino (among many others), it becomes a bit more ridiculous that they are trying to maintain any kind of tenuous relationship to the Punk Rock movement, but the clothes are nevertheless fun to look at.

Chaos to Couture Gift Two Outfits

Still, paying $5,000 for a pair of shredded jeans because it has a designer label is not punk, it is just pathetic.

Chaos to Couture Black Dress
Chaos to Couture Blouse and Black Skirt
Chaos to Couture Fanta Dress

Be sure to also check out the exhibit gift shop, where you can see an exhibit based on a working class-founded movement that embraced the DIY ethic celebrated with overpriced, factory made souvenirs!

Vivienne Westwood Platform Shoes
Miniature Vinyl Platform Shoes Based on a Design By Vivienne Westwood

Two different people admonished me about taking this photo, even in the gift shop (!), so you can be assured that I made certain to get the above shot!

Pink Safety Pin Purse

This pink safety-pin studded clutch purse — that you could make for about $10 — sells in the gift shop for $1500! Not a typo!

Chaos to Couture Gift Shop

Punk: Chaos to Couture Runs Through August 14th, 2013 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Located at 1000 Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street.

Chaos to Couture Gift Shop Poster

Classic Punk Single of The Day: The Clash, "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais"

On This Date in 1978: The Clash released its fifth single, “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais.”  This song contains my very favorite Clash lyrics, ever: “Turning Rebellion Into Money.” If that isn’t a concise  manifesto for Punk Rock – and Rock & Roll in general – I don’t know what is.

Remembering Joe Strummer

Joe Strummer Memorial Mural, 7th Street at Avenue A, NYC

On This Date, December 22nd, in 2002: Joe Strummer, singer and guitarist for The Clash died of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect after walking his dog in Broomfield, U.K. He was 50 years old

Classic Punk Rock Single of The Day: The Clash, “Straight to Hell”

Straight to Hell

On this Date in 1982: The Clash released their nineteenth single, “Straight To Hell” as a double-A side which included “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” In the U.S., “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” was the feature track and reached the #45 spot on the singles chart. When “Straight to Hell” was re-released in 1991 with a different B side, it reached the #1 spot in the U.K. “Straight to Hell” is my favorite song by The Clash. Clash vocalist Joe Strummer also starred in the 1987 Alex Cox film Straight To Hell, which took its name from the song.

Thanks to The P5 Blogspot: This Day in 80s Music for the tip!

Happy Birthday, Joe Strummer

Joe Strummer Reading

Strummer in London, 1978

Joe Strummer (born John Graham Mellor), singer and guitarist for The Clash was born on this day, August 21st in 1952. Strummer died of heart failure on December 22, 2002.