Yesterday I decided to take a walk down memory lane and headed over to one of my favorite bookstores in Los Angeles, Skylight Books. I went because photographer Ann Summa has a new book out, The Beautiful and the Damned, of photographs of the LA punk scene (1978-1984). It was edited – and includes an introduction – by Kristine McKenna who was a long time music writer for the LA Times, amongst others. Both ladies were there to share photographs and memories.
While I was too young to appreciate the LA punk scene, I do remember reading some of Kristine McKenna’s writing as I started to take an interest in music – and certainly saw plenty of punk rockers running around Hollywood. It’s Ann Summa’s photographs though that really capture the essence and energy of the performers and performances. It’s hard to believe that so many of those people – and venues – aren’t with us anymore.
When I was in college I remember going to the New Music Seminar in NYC as a photographer for my friend’s music magazine in Austin. I had so much fun and loved photographing musicians and performers. Unfortunately photographers at shows now are pretty much limited to 3 photos and then kicked out of the pit. It’s a shame because cell phone photos and point/shoot digital cameras really don’t cut it. Check out more of Ann’s photographs if you don’t agree.
Maybe I’ll have to scan in some of my New Music Seminar photographs now…