Dee Dee Ramone Changed MY Life

I wrote this immediately after we lost Dee Dee on June 5, 2002. I’m crying just opening this file and haven’t re-read it since I wrote it. If not for Dee Dee Ramone, this archive might not exist. For him I picked up a camera and that’s all I can write right now. Bless you, dear, sweet, immensely talented Dee Dee. If only he knew he was so beloved and changed music forever. Forever in our hearts, Dee Dee. June 5, 2002: I got out of the shower Thursday and took the phone from my now ex-husband. People want to know why I got into taking punk photos: I loved Dee Dee Ramone’s cheekbones. My friend Sandy told me he OD’d. I asked if he were dead and when confirmed, let out an anguished cry that surprised both her and I. My depth of sorrow and inconsolable grief overwhelms me. I’ve lost too many of the most important creative people in my life and in our culture and dealt with it, although I sorely miss emailing Tomata du Plenty. I sent a photo of Dee Dee and myself and a close up of his young, sweet, beautiful, sexy face an email to my friends starting with “now I wanna sniff some glue.” The most powerful line they ever wrote and sung was “all the kids want something to do.” A truer statement was never said. You don’t have to be a kid to feel it. It’s the reason we turn to rock ‘n’ roll. It’s why great rock comes from the street. No one was closer to the street than...

Jenny Lens: Ramones Numero Uno Fan, Street Life

by Richard Schaefer in Lisa Fancher’s “Street Life” fanzine. Proof I was the Ramones “numero uno fan and famous paparazzi in her own right.” In EARLY 1977!! Tantalizing sounds of the skirmishes of desire, of lips surrendering cheap kissed in the other room, brought torture to anyone who listened. We stood between the jungle and the stars, both of us trying to keep our balance as we fought. DEE DEE was a madman at my throat an my eyes, trying to gouge them out. At last he got me right in the eyes, his fingers sinking in . . . My brain seemed to burst and I saw “Carbona Not Glue.” He was still in my eye sockets, still digging in! My brain felt ripped open. Then I saw a little out of my left eye. It was BLONDIE! She cursed and panted in frenzy trying to come in for the kill. My hand went for that sensuous mouth. I wanted her kiss-print. She clenched her teeth and sun keep “In the Flesh” on my hand. I had never seen a more beautiful, ravaging animal. She bellowed with laughter and staggered back toward the punch-bowl. Rock and Roll was re-born at the SCREAMERS house in Hollywood. It was 2 in the morning as the party was just starting. Up the winding, vinyl staircase they came, NEW YORK, TOKYO, ROME, SEATTLE, PARIS and AZUZA, dueling with EL LAY’S punk elite to honor the RAMONES and BLONDIE on their successful Whiskey A Go Go gig. The boppers were bopping. JIMMY DESTRI, keyboards for BLONDIE, was the first to make an entrance,...

Disclaimer: Tell the Truth and Nothing But the Truth

I lovingly share my memories, based on my photos, my journals, vast resources which I’ve collected since 1976 (fanzines, magazines, documentaries, etc), and stories close friends shared with me the past decade or so. A few close friends from the early LA punk scene generously shared memories. They have no need to glorify or fabricate the past. Like myself, we endeavor to share precious and sometimes painful memories. There are some who find fault with my writing because I didn’t tell the story as they wanted it to be told, it contradicts what they think or have read, or they just don’t agree or understand. Or they don’t want me talking or writing, period. I don’t know why Melanie Hamilton was such a milquetoast around Scarlett O’Hara. Scarlett made it no secret she wanted Melanie’s husband, Ashley Wilkes. I don’t know why Ernest Hemingway’s wife put up with him in “A Movable Feast.” One reason I want to read “A Paris Wife” (and might have by the time this hits the streets in my ebook). Hemingway didn’t appear to be a very kind, caring nor appreciative man. Why did David Copperfield marry his first wife Dora Spenlow? I understand she was a pretty little thing, but she didn’t run the household, messed up his papers, and was more a child than a wife. However I can appreciate the works of Margaret Mitchell (“Gone with the Wind,” one of my fave books and movies) and Charles Dickens. Not a fan of Hemingway and don’t know why he is so revered. I had to read “Old Man and the Sea” in...

Jenny Lens Interview 2001 part 1

Rare op to read TRUE history of early punk as seen though “the girl with the camera eye,” Jenny Lens. I met David Jones through someone at Virgin Sound and Vision when I was a consultant for their E3 booth. He and I often looked through my boxes of prints, while regaling each other with wonderful details. I pulled out a few photos as he interviewed me and David Travis video’ed me. I’ve corrected some factual errors and made a few new comments, but 98% of this is from his transcription. Many, many thanks for the transcription. All right, we’re here with Jenny Lens…So Jenny, where’d you grow up? I grew up in Northridge, in the San Fernando Valley. I was born in Good Samaritan Hospital in L.A., when we lived in West LA. When I was five we moved to Canoga Park and at seven Northridge. I was living in Granada Hills when I discovered punk. Were you into music when you were a kid? No, although I loved the Beatles. I went to the Beatles at Hollywood Bowl — I wish I’d kept the ticket stub — I was 13 or 14 and didn’t drive. My parents had a big hissy fit, and I had to take a bunch of buses, but I did go. Which was really amazing as I was so obedient, the really good student and daughter, but no way was I gonna miss the Fab Four! But here was the disappointing thing: I’m surrounded by girls who were screaming and I had a very early reel to reel with these teeny little tapes,...

July 4, 2004: Intro Punk History

From one of the VERY First Punk Photographers, 1976 - 1980. “Hey baby, it’s the 4th of July . . .” 2004 and I’m lying on the dance floor, with a nearly 300 pound former punk drummer and smaller security guard rolling about on top of me. I’m thinking, of all the punk clubs and shows in all the world, why is it I’m in the middle of the action, or rather, under it, again? Hey baby, it’s the 4th of July . . . ran through my head as I woke up and later heard at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, with my head glued firmly to their jukebox, finally seeing Seattle’s Briefs on Shawn and Mark Stern’s label, BYO Records. I shot the Stern brothers, who also share my birth last name, when they were in the Extremes at Hong Kong Cafe and a special photo shoot at the Pacific Design Center aka the Blue Whale in West Hollywood. But another member, Chris, with whom I hung out with cos I didn’t even know the Stern brothers then, stole most of those shots, but that’s another story, but I digress (get used to it, that’s the way I tell stories, rarely linear). I kept missing the Briefs the past two years, cos no money nor time to see them. I was dancing stage left, audience right, getting off on them, and now I’m flat on my back on the floor, unable to get up til these two dudes get off me first. How did a nice jewish girl with art degrees, a shy neurotic girl take some...

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