Sunday, October 31, 2010

All the Young Punks (The Clash)

I'd see the same photographers at many of the shows, and the guys who worked the door or house security were always there too. Some photographers treated them like dirt (they were only nice to rock stars), but I felt like we were all part of a family. So I treated them with respect and they were always good to me. Most of the time I was on the list, but sometimes there was a show I wanted to shoot and I couldn't get access from the record company. The guys at the door would just let me in. Sometimes we were only allowed to shoot the first 3 songs, but the guys doing security would let me stay in the aisle. I was nice to them. They were nice to me. Nothing more than that. They were good people. I wonder what they are doing now.

The Clash onstage at the Palladium Theater in NYC in 1979

I wrote about a Clash show earlier where the guys were so helpful when the crowd started to get out of control. This shot was from a different show, but they worked just as hard at that one. No one wanted to just sit and listen to music anymore. The mosh pit was taking over. At this show, there was a kid standing behind me, moving to the music. A little too close. A little too much movement. I think he was having just a little too much fun bumping into me. Security helped me with that one, too. That boy just needed to get back to his seat before I smacked him. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Funtime (Iggy Pop)

Iggy Pop at the Palladium, NYC 1977

I've posted this photograph before, but it's here again because it's up for auction tonight at the TEXAS PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY's Sixteenth Annual Collectors’ Print Auction at the Davis Gallery in Austin TX. Here's a link to the auction catalog. 
If you're in the area, stop by from 6 - 8:30 tonight. The gallery is located at 837 West 12th Street, Austin, Texas. The Texas Photographic Society is a nonprofit organization which supports "contemporary photography as a means for creative expression and cultural insight. TPS focuses on the education and artistic development of its members and the community by providing exhibitions, publications, education, and outreach programs.” It has over 1,250 active members from 48 states and 9 countries. A worthy cause. 

(If you miss the auction, you can also buy a print here. Mention you saw this post and I'll donate 10% of the purchase price to TPS.)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Train in Vain (The Clash-and Ian Dury)

I photographed in New York. In December 1979, eleven rock music fans were crushed to death by the crowd at a Who concert in Cincinnati, Ohio. I wasn't there, but we were all a little freaked out. Crowds rushing the stage, aisles filled with people, we were all used to this, but now it was particularly scary. Not too long after, I was photographing a Clash concert at the Palladium. All of a sudden, the aisles were full and people were pushing towards the stage. Security had their hands full, and they were certainly outnumbered. I was in the aisle at the foot of the stage in the area that made up the photo pit and people were starting to push me. Hard. Into the stage wall. I started to wonder if this was going to be a repeat of Cincinnati. All of a sudden, one of the security guys made his way over to me and told me to sit on the stage and get away from the crowd. He helped push me up there. That's where I spent the rest of the show. Sitting on the edge of the stage. It's good to have friends in the castle.

Oh, and while I was sitting there, Ian Dury showed up and sang with the Clash. Oddly enough, I did not remember that until I saw the negatives all these years later. Too much stress that night I guess. 

Joe Strummer and Ian Dury

But no one got hurt and that was a good thing. And I got some great pictures sitting on the stage. That was a good thing too.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lost in the Supermarket

My day job at the time was teaching music in a NYC public school in the Bronx. I  did a lot of vocal music and movement, mostly with really young kids, and I walked from class to class with my guitar. I covered the guitar case with my photo passes and band stickers. I was so upset when the guitar got stolen out of my closet at school! All those photo passes gone forever! 

But I still have a few left, old and faded but still readable. Not like today's laminated passes that are worn around the neck, these were fabric and stuck onto your clothing. I used to wear them on the thigh of my jeans-that way they didn't get in the way of the camera, which somehow would find a way to pull it off. Or leave glue forever on my leather jacket. Not a good thing. And it was the 70s. The rattier the jeans the better.

This is a photo pass from a Clash show at the Palladium. Oh the Clash, oh the Palladium. More about that show later. Oh yeah.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Talkin' 'Bout You (Hot Tuna)

Sometimes when I was shooting, I'd bring a friend to the show. I'd often get a plus-one, and though I'd be in the aisle taking pictures, (especially at the Palladium) my friend could sit in the audience and enjoy a free concert. This time I brought Sharon, who lived in my building, to see Hot Tuna. 

Hot Tuna-Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, 1976

Hot Tuna. Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. Originally part of the Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna was  their independent project, playing blues and rock. Loudly. VERY LOUDLY. Hot F--kin' Tuna, as the audience would scream. Loud music and lots of screaming. So imagine my surprise when the show ended and I found Sharon still in her seat. Sound asleep. No one who had been sitting there could believe it. We had to wake her up so the rest of her row could leave. Hot F--kin' Tuna.
All photos and text © sheri lynn behr unless otherwise noted.
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