Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We're Desperate: The Punk Rock Photography of Jim Jocoy

This is a collection of photographs of punks. Taken in the late 70s in San Francisco and Los Angeles, they serve as a great portrait of the era--the characters, the venues and hang-out spots, and the style. Or many styles, maybe. The great thing about punk in the late 70s (okay, not like I was actually there) was that there really were no rules, no cookie cutter music conventions, no uniforms. And so the looks are wildly different, totally original and outrageous, from thrift store duds to plastic bags to impeccable suits. I also love how the musicians and artists are given the same treatment as the fans--really, they were all fans. But unless you know them by sight, you can't tell Alice Bag or Tomata DuPlenty from the random chick with the zebra print coat (and maybe she was in a band too, who knows).

Another great thing about the book is how you get to glimpse into the bathrooms and dark graffiti-covered corners and alleyways of all the storied punk venues you see on flyers. Where else would you get to see those places?

I love the random flotsam on his shirt--the button, the photo attached with masking tape, the spraypainted circle, the bleach spots. It's like a little collage.

The mirrors do great things to these photos. It feels like a funhouse or something.

The legendary Claude Bessy.

How awesome is John Waters? It's kind of perfect that he's standing next to a toilet. (Maybe that's on purpose.)

So not all of the outfits in the book are anything you'd want to actually wear. W-T-F? (Note that I never use silly abbreviations like that. This is what this lady's get-up has done to me.)

P.S. Dave would like me to mention that this is technically his book.

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