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...

X, 1977-1980

Words cannot express how I feel looking at this collage of my X photos. SO many memories, such great music, being present when songs forming, debuts, evolving, parties, people (too many departed this realm), the dreams, the fullness of living. X were and remain my fave band of all time. Unlike other bands, a woman’s POV is strong in X. Plus the noir side of city of electric lights, my birth city, the City of the Angels [there are devils everywhere.] Tying off our arms, burning down the drugs of life, of survival in this city, full of creatives and yet so antagonistic towards anyone who dares be different or live creatively without money and the perfect figure. It’s who you know, fer sure. Although there’s a lot of personal and professional pain, there’s so many stories in each of these images. These are only a few. The parties, the informal gathering of THE people who changed our music (Joan Jett, Darby Crash of the Germs and others), the creatives (Oscar nominated KK Barrett), and so many others. We created our own fun and in doing so, changed world culture. If these photos could talk … Words can never fully convey what’s in my heart. I hate to say this, but you had to be there. We all have our own take, spinning stories to suit our memories or desires. Some people are distant although so close in the past. Others remote in the past and close now. Some as remote as then. Some in-between. Joyous, crazy, wild times. Feel the fun, the passion, the LIFE in these photos. I’m still desperate, never...

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