Riot on Sunset and Punk at Whisky

My rebuttal to article claiming Punk saved the Whisky but then talked more about non-punk bands. Minimal about LA Punk bands. I could write a book. Read what I wrote (below or use link) after reading his long article. Why the fashion photo above? Author included photos of English punks with swastikas on their faces. Not in LA! Plus most everyone in the above photo played a VITAL part in bringing punk to life. At the Whisky and elsewhere. Left to right: Terry Graham (Bags drummer and much more), Lorna Doom, Germs bassist, Belinda, future Go-Go and solo performer, ?, Hellin Killer, ?, Pleasant Gehman (who was quoted, as was I). Photographed near the Whisky, on the Sunset Strip, August, 1977. Just another night on the town. LOVELY compliment: “Photographer Jenny Lens, whose work vividly documented the LA scene, wrote in Punk Pioneers…” Yes, I did vividly document and helped create the LA scene. Lots of colorful and vibrant photos. My responses: Where do I start? First, yes, I always said punk brought the Whisky back to life. No argument there. But the stories and photos veer off to include Van Halen (the better to promote his book), Johnny Cougar and Tom Petty. But exclude vital LA Bands? LA PUNKS built and kept the scene alive. Not just the Whisky. The many fanzines and flyers. We promoted and publicized and produced our own shows and good times at the Whisky. No mention. The photos of the punk fans with swastikas on their faces: England. I went out nearly every night and many days, photographing parties, backstage, on the street and shows. Starting August 1976 and ending nearly...

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,...

Wattles Park Birthday Party, Tomata du Plenty, Liara May 28, 1979

Wattles Park Birthday Party for Screamer Tomata du Plenty, and Liara, w/her sister, Chase Holiday, May 28, 1979. RARE daytime event for LA Punks! Great, colorful fashions, predicting 1980s colors, prom dresses, chiffons, layers, etc. Pre-dating Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. Top photo is a fuzzy scan. Pre-dates MTV and the 1980s! WE SET TRENDS in LA. But the media always paid more attention to New York. We did it first and better. Said as a loyal LA native! A beloved image of Liara, Tomata du Plenty, and Liara’s sister, Chase Holiday. A man walked into the park with his pet wild bird. We in awe with it. I love Tomata’s intense blue eyes. A perfect moment, before we lost Liara and Tomata. Seen in my hardcover coffee table solo photo book from Rizzoli, “PUNK PIONEERS.” This image is best quality because professionally scanned high res. Other images could look this good if scanned properly. I don’t know who are adorable sitting couple. I fell in love with their red, black and white clothes and great smiles the minute I saw them. Note Academy Awards 2014 Production Design Nominee KK Barrett (for Her), former Screamers drummer, and his future and present wife, Trudie Arguelles, in her green Girl Scout uniform. Trudie looks beautiful as always, and KK with light blonde hair. I’ve many other beloved photos from this day, but not scanned. Enjoy these few gems. The way we...

Ghosts of My Town

Claude “Kick Boy” Bessy, in “Decline of the Western Civilization,” Part 1, directed by Penelope Spheeris, reads a letter to the editor of Slash Magazine, his role at that pioneering punk fanzine. He relates the tale wherein the writer is complaining about people who threw themselves onto the back bumper of the car and held on as the car drove away. The irony is Claude was one of the people hanging onto the car. I will never forget being at Club 88, 11788 Pico Boulevard, in West Los Angeles. I was outside with Claude and a couple other guys. The car came to a stop at the intersection of Pico and Granville. Claude ran out, grabbed the back bumper and held on for dear life as the car attempted to drive away. I was laughing, screaming, jumping up and down while clapping my hands. I’d never seen anything like it.  Club 88 was one of the few venues where I hung out and did not bring my camera. Like the Masque, it had a low stage set close on the ground with kids ferociously dancing. That made it very difficult for me to photograph without crowds. I have this thing of not wanting crowds in my photos. I want just the performers, not backs of heads. Plus I saw local bands at the intimate Club 88, whom I could photograph from a better vantage point at the Whisky or the Starwood.  I rarely ventured out to West LA except if X playing or some other favorite band. All I have in my memories. But I laughed with delight when I heard...

Pin It on Pinterest

Jenny Lens Punk Pioneers Punk Pix Deals and News

Join the Punk Pioneers Tribe® Community! Exclusive new content. Fab pix, stories and benefits. Limited time deals. Be the coolest kid on the block. Be one of us!

Thank you for Subscribing!