Creem Magazine and Photographer Jenny Lens

Creem Magazine was THE ROCK magazine. The best of the best was, without a doubt, Creem. Forget Rolling Stone. Corporate and usually dismissive of Punk. Yes, Creem magazine was the BEST ROCK MAG. Ever. Read on to see they didn’t treat me that well, lost slides, but hey, THEY WERE IT. And Creem, of all the mags, deserves to be honored, remembered and most of all, CELEBRATED. Contribute to the documentary fund-raiser, til August 5, 2016! Creem was one of the few magazines who actually put photographer’s names on their masthead. This is a major list of who’s who of rock photography. Note the author of the Creem book is not listed. Yeah. Ok, so why we MUST have THIS version? The TRUTH. Creem magazine and I started our relationship in early 1976. Let’s start at the beginning. Late 1975, while waiting in line at the grocery store, I glanced at a new magazine called “People.” I lived in the northeast corner of the Valley, in Granada Hills. I stopped when seeing a photo of a rather androgynous looking woman. Quoting Rimbaud. I figured any rock n roller who knows the Symbolist poets is someone I want to know. I will never forget first listening to Patti’s “Horses.” My life was totally and irreversibly changed. I wanted to read everything I could about this new thing called “Punk music.” But mainstream media wasn’t having it. They were not fans. Only a handful of magazines and fanzines were covering punk in late 75 and early 76. I also had a disadvantage because I was out in the Valley. We didn’t get a...

Runaways

Runaways, Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Kim Fowley and more, 1977-78.  SOME NEVER SEEN!! LIKE BEING at the Shows and Parties. Imagine these LARGE! Some in my first LA Punk Mini-Print, Maxi-Collection Set. Maybe my new sets? Want some more? YOU wanna SEE MORE? Pledge to our Fund Raiser and/or Buy Prints and/or Mini-Print, Maxi-Collections. TODAY. My LAST Hurrah. Moving on, unless you put your Money Where Your Mouth Is. Too rude? Well, YOU try doing this mostly alone and NOT FUNDED for decades. Then get back to me. I have other options. Don’t delay. Or they are gone. Have fun. Open your wallets. Lip service won’t put these and more images into YOUR LIFE. Pledge to our Fund Raiser and/or Buy Prints and/or Mini-Print, Maxi-Collections. TODAY. Thank you!  Pledge to our Fund Raiser and/or Buy Prints and/or Mini-Print, Maxi-Collections. TODAY. Thank you!...

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...

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,...

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