Monday, February 07, 2005

MUDD Club, NYC, 1979


APOLOGIES- The hits have exceeded my download quota and one of my servers has suspended my photos until the beginning of next month, so check back. I can't afford to pay for an upgrade. Unless you donate, of course!

The MUDD Club was my preferred place to go in NYC as it always attracted an eclectic, interesting crowd. Like most NY nightclubs, one needed either an invite or combined attitude / looks to get past the doorman. It's probably still the same in NY. I always breezed through, which was a great boost to one's ever fragile self-esteem. Secretly you were hoping not to be humiliated by being instructed to "wait" behind the rope indefinitely, like the frustrated outcasts in the photo. I experienced this once myself- in front of HEAVEN's doors (the one located in London, UK), which I never did get to enter. The doorwoman who refused me very disdainfully called out in the general direction of the line-up, "Aren't there any REAL gays out there..." - I wanted to kill the bitch. In consolation, it has been said that "HEAVEN is a place where nothing ever happens." I'll have to take the Talking Heads word (lyrics) for it.

mudd club waitingforgodot
(For what? Why? Is it my white pants? The beard? The moustache? My face?) Actually, you'll note there are no girls in that line-up.

mudd club
Once in though, you did wonder sometimes what 'standards" were really in place and if your inclusion was in fact an ego boost!

mudd club
An original zipper shirt... wonder if he ever caught his chest hair in it! I still have one of these vintage zipper shirts- they're a hazard- mine's always pinching my nipple!

Then there was the "second floor"- more exclusive, literally! I remember going to the Mudd Club with a New Yorker who passed the front gate with me, but when it came to the second floor, they would only let me go alone. So I said sorry ( but to my "escort"!) and left him there until it was time to get my ride home. I know it sounds mean, but I fully intended photographing the upstairs and if truth had it, I probably got him into the club in the first place! What ego! Bad girl!

mudd club
Two of the most unforgettable punks I've ever seen! My one regret is that I never got to know them beyond this photo. His button, partly obscured, reads "Punks Against Nazis." Years later I became Facebook friends with him (ie.2009), and can now identify them as Kat Martinez & Scott Severin, Mudd Club, 1979!! There is going to be a Mudd Club reunion in NYC on Oct.30, 2010- search Facebook for the Mudd Club group and join for more info.
mudd club
The photographer (Linda Dawn Hammond) in '79.

mudd club
This from David Scharff (Student Teachers singer) :
The Mudd Club shot with the guy wearing a bandana over his face...and the striped shirt and junkie looking girl...he was an old friend of mine named Tommy Melendi, but we called him Tommy Toast because he used the word Toast to describe all things good and bad. Somebody way too stoned
was 'toast', a really great concert was 'toooast!' went on and on like that.
He got strung out on dope for a long time so I don't even know if he's alive these days...but we had a blast back then.
mudd club

I only discovered in 2005 that the 2 gorgeous girls I photographed that night were (L-R) Sandy Linter and model Gia Carangi...
It was a long time ago, so my memory of what was said between us is vague. I had no idea that she was a famous model - I just liked the way she looked. Upstairs at the Mudd club was restricted access but I was somehow allowed to join this fun, eclectic crowd. Never been fazed by fame, my main objective was interesting and hopefully subversive content in terms of my portraits. If Gia had even mentioned she was a model, I wouldn't have realized she meant Vogue cover stature! I expect I may have told her of my own mishaps in LA the year before, when someone had tried to get me into modelling. Nasty business. I hated the insensitivity and callousness of the men who controlled the modelling world and didn't want to be objectified. I had already chosen to be behind the camera, creating, and not in front of it. I found Gia beautiful in a very basic, feral way, and never forgot the images I took of her. When I printed for this show I included them, completely unaware of who she was! Someone recognized her by chance on this blog and informed me. It's funny, as I've seen the film with Angelina, and when I printed the photos of Gia, remarked that they had similarly sensuous mouths! (Still unaware of her identity) I also remember thinking as I watched the film that I'd have loved to have photographed Gia- and not realizing that I already had in fact! I have to admit that I don't like the way photographers often portrayed her in the fashion magazines I've seen- the plastic Barbie doll look- they were underestimating her true beauty.

mudd club
mudd club
mudd club

Thanks from Linda Dawn Hammond and Doctors Without Borders (MSN), to all who participated in the Ebay auction! Please continue to give generously to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders/ MSN)- a most worthy cause!!!!



Anonymous said...

The pictures of Sandy LInter and Gia Carangi are the best! Gia looks so cool. I've never seen these before, and I think they're great. Thanks for posting them.

Anonymous said...

I love the Gia and Sandy pictures!!! Actually, all of them are kickass!!

Anonymous said...

The pictures of Gia and Sandy are priceless - please keep looking - maybe you have some more lurking!

Barbara in Toronto said...

Thank You Linda for these great Gia photos. There are probably hundreds of candid photos of her and you are fortunate to have these and are very generous to share them on your website. I cannot help but wonder what Gia would be doing with her life now, if she were still alive. She is very much missed.
Love from Barbara
in Toronto, Canada

Anonymous said...

I love the 2 new pictures of GIA and Sandy! I'm a big GIA fan and i would love to see more pictures of her or any of Nan Goldin's group of friends! Thanks....Love Doug from Toronto

Anonymous said...

just to let you know this chick Donna Stewart that steals everyone's Gia pictures is selling your mudd club picture of GIA as a mouse pad on e-bay. She's such a bitch! Doug from Toronto.....check it out,,,,a friend of mine brought it to my attention last night

Anonymous said...

sory.the above comment was posted by me..Doug from Toronto.

Anonymous said...

just to let you know this chick Donna Stewart that steals everyone's Gia pictures is selling your mudd club picture of GIA as a mouse pad on e-bay. She's such a bitch! Doug from Toronto.....check it out,,,,a friend of mine brought it to my attention last night

Anonymous said...

Doug from Toronto.....That bitch that was selling the image of Gia on a Mouse pad took it off e-bay..........i'm assuming you got in touch her....i'm being bold but she steals stuff from EVERYone's site and doesn't even credit them...her name is Donna Stewart and her site is

Anonymous said...

The pixs of Gia and Sandy are amazing!! They both look so cool and I would love to have partied with both of them..

Julie from Kitchener

Anonymous said...

I tell you Linda Dawn, Sandy and Gia were toooast! I hope you find more candid photos in your past treasures. I remember I was around Gia's age in 1979 and was told I was rather a nice looking babe and one day in the supermarket I was in line at the checkout and picked up a Vogue magazine with her on the cover in a bathing suit, and the first thing I thought to myself was "now why do I even get up in the mornings"...she was out of this world before she was ever out of this world. RIP Gia!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the new insight about the photos under the first Gia photo and how you got to take them....the words you spoke are simply gorgeous! Looking forard to hearing more about your meeting and taking pictures of GIA!
Love ya and all your pictures
Xoxoxoxoxox Doug from Toronto xoxoxoxoxox

Anonymous said...

WHOA! i cant believe you took candid pictures.. there so lovely i cant help to think how it became soo much fame for GIA and soon fall so fast, before she even knew it. Its such a story thats hard to cope with. -Tori bird

Lou - Melbourne Australia said...

The Sandy & Gia pictures are just beautiful, thanks for sharing your little treasure. To see them in a moment like that is magnificent thanks xoxoxox

Anonymous said...

In a strange way you have taken me back to a time and place that I have long ago forgot. Gia and Sandy at the Mudd Club so long ago(did this time really happen) I had been at the MC many time's and I feel as if I was just there due to your photo's. I did not know either Gia or Sandy. Gia was Beautiful. The two photo's are the best I have ever seen of her. Just natural. No pretense. Just Gia.

Just Gia said... is very touching to read a comment left here&there by the women who will forever be in Gia's heart...

Your Gia said...

GIA... making it to the top of the 80s most beautiful, 'The Classics'

...going beyond and above JFK jr

Anonymous said...

once again Gia looks stunning and how crazy that you got to meet her and photograph her and you had no idea who she was !!
Sandy and Gia looked amazing as a couple..

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see some candid photos of Gia from early in her career. I knew her casually, and she was drop-dead gorgeous even without make-up! I've always been saddened by her early death. I was trying to explain to my husband how Gia was so famous at the time that when Cindy Crawford came along, she was referred to as "Baby Gia!" I'm glad to see that there is so much on the internet about her and that she hasn't been forgotten!

Scott Severin said...

I'm the guy in the "Punks Against Nazi's" button!!! What an amazing photo, thank you for stirring my memory.

ttig said...

GIA, one of the most beautiful girls who ever lived, will never be forgotten. Many fans keep her memories and life alive on the Internet.

See you in heaven GIA, but till then, I shall miss and remember you im my lifetime.

ttig said...

Long live the memory of Gia Carangi, one of the most beautiful girls God has ever produced on earth. She's in heaven now and at peace.
I miss you Gia. See you in Paradise.

sean said...

I was the DJ - Sean Cassette - in the early days of the Mudd and saw and remember stuff you can't imagin - like the night Dan Ackroyd, who at the time lived on the 4th floor of the building, was refused entrance, (to the building), because the doorman had no idea who he was!

glitterdice said...

Hi there,

The photo of Kat Martinez is my belated half-sister. She died in 1986, so it is such an amazing gift to find this today.


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.