Thursday, February 03, 2005

CBGB's , NYC , 1978 Photos: PERE UBU, URBAN VERBS

LOST? Go to the PUNKS & PROVOCATEURS BLOG INDEX . List of 250 BANDS and SUBJECTS on this site BY NAME with DIRECT LINKS. All photos and text © Linda Dawn Hammond / IndyFoto.com 2010
If you've ever seen the T-shirts and want to know what CBGB (OMFUG) means, it's- Country Blue Grass Blues & Other Music For Uplifting Gourmandizers. Don't ask why...
CBGB is located in the Bowery- quite a nasty area of NYC, especially in the 70s and 80s. In 1978 fellow Ryerson photographer Ruth Kaplan and I made the necessary pilgrimage to this birthplace of punk, where bands such as the Dead Boys, Richard Hell, Talking Heads, Blondie, Television and the Ramones, to mention a few, made their names and reputations. We wandered down the dark, dank streets looking for the place, crossing the path of countless winos and drug addicts. I was wearing a ridiculous white and fluorescent pink and orange poncho, perfect for masking my camera and flash from view. Is that a Sears poncho? My parents had brought it back for me from Mexico, but might have well have been Sears- a horrendous fashion faux pas. And it saved us! Two big biker types suddenly stepped out of a doorway and asked menacingly, "Aren't you girls afraid to be alone in an area like this?" I impulsively responded in a sweet, chipper voice, "Oh no, I have PROTECTION!" While he pondered this, I reached beneath my poncho and fired my camera flash! As my stomach lit up in a sudden blast of white and fluorescent colours, the one guy muttered, "I see what you mean, "and THEY FLED! Perhaps they were on drugs. Or thought we were aliens. Or all of the above. Anyway, it was hilarious!

By chance, Pere Ubu was playing that night! After the set Dave Thomas allowed me to do some portraits of him.

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PERE UBU (l to r) guitar-Tom Herman, vocals- David Thomas, Tony Maimone-bass
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PERE UBU's David Thomas after set
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Recognize these guys? Names SVP!

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Between sets. This was the audience in 1978 at CBGB, taken from the perspective of the stage. As you can see, what we think of now as punks were in short supply, even here in its alleged birthplace.

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CBGB's backstage- DEAD BOYS' band gear and miscellaneous graffiti

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MORE PERE UBU

and URBAN VERBS photos plus contacts from the CBGB gig are on my Indyfoto site and also in the official CBGB online gallery.

I went back to NYC in Aug. 2007 and visited CBGB's closed (and for rent) storefront, which is covered in sad graffiti messages. My photos and an interesting article I found which reveals the politics surrounding the closing are on my Flickr site at CBGB August 2007



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1 comment:

Dawn One said...

Salut CBGBs...
always intended to return some day, never thought you'd really close your doors.
A chapter on punk is finally over.
Love,
Dawn One
xxx
Oct.31, 2006
Hallowe'en
CBGB's last day.

About Me

My Photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Linda Dawn Hammond,MFA, AKA Dawn One, is a photographer and journalist. As a teenager in 1976, she began covering music events for various magazines. During the late 70s she became involved in punk, documenting an insider's perspective of the music, political and social scenes in Montreal, Toronto, NYC, the UK and Europe, included in this blog as photographs and commentary. Linda Dawn Hammond continues to work as a photojournalist, specializing in music, art and politics. As a fine arts photographer, she has exhibited in galleries been and published widely.