The Avengers. Photo by James Stark.
Photographer James Stark got his start shooting photos for the band Crime in 1976 and thereafter began documenting the early punk scene in San Francisco. Many of his visually arresting photos of both local SF bands like Crime, the Nuns, the Dils and the Avengers, and national acts like Blondie, DEVO, and the Sex Pistols made their way into his 1992 self-published book Punk ‘77. The title was picked up and reissued by RE/Search publishing in 1999, and now exists in an expanded third edition.
First edition of Stark’s photobook. Click image to order the expanded third edition.
I bought the first edition when it came out, and it remains one of my favorite photo books documenting what is my personal favorite of the early American punk scenes.
Here are a few photos from Stark’s Punk ‘77:
Booji Boy, DEVO
What I didn’t realize until recently is that James Stark has a web presence with a lot more of his awesome photos of bands and show-goers from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. His website is a fun place to spend some time, and his Facebook page has a lot of neat stuff not in the book—including many color photographs of San Francisco scenesters.
As much fun as band photos are, I revel in seeing what people attending shows looked like. To me, the best part of live concert footage is always when the camera pans to the audience—just to see what regular people were looking like when they went to see their favorite bands.
Here’s a sampling of Stark’s work from his Facebook page which is not featured in his fantastic and recommended book:
Weirdos/Germs show at Mabuhay Gardens. Belinda Carlisle and Alice Bag in the audience.
Jennifer Miro of The Nuns
Via: James Stark