Monday, June 29, 2020

NATIONAL CAMERA DAY 2020

photos © Heather Harris, Kurt Ingham, Donna Balancia. It's National Camera Day. I've been at this rather a long time (first pic is from the original Glam 1970s, with very first sighthound Lucretia Borzoi as a puppy.) Favorite equipment over the decades: Rolleiflex medium format (not pictured) for studio, Panasonic Lumix (not pictured) to not scare those in the public eye and Nikon D3 digital for everything else.

My tech advancement would have been nil without Mr. Twister's patient guidance. He is pictured at bottom in a 1970s self portrait with his Pentax ES with its 180mm f2.8 Sonnar lens, and then more contemporarily. However, the world doesn't want you to see me doing this again any more...
 
At the Great Pyramid, Egypt; at photo session with Iggy Pop and Don Was 1990↓


←with James Williamson in studio; ↓ with Zander Bleck in club
↓Mr. Twister and self in 1980


 Mr. Twister1970s self portrait with his Pentax ES, and more contemporarily
 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

MILTON GLASER, GRAPHIC DESIGN TITAN, rest in peace

We never met, but this book was one of the major influences of my life, through his dedication and persistent innovation as much as the visuals themselves. 
Rest in peace Milton Glaser who passed away June 26, 2020 from a stroke at age 91.

This compendium of his most famous worldwide graphic design work was published in 1973, four years before his "I ♥ NEW YORK" logo made its civic debut. The cover depicts his illustration of Bob Dylan for a poster that accompanied a Dylan record album.

This Aretha Franklin illustration of his appeared in Eye Magazine (of the 1960s,) and he invented this type font too. The Mahalia Jackson promo posters feature it as well.
No photo description available.Milton Glaser. Mahalia Jackson (Poster for an Easter Sunday ...

Monday, June 8, 2020

IF YOU COULD TAKE AMERICA BACK TO ANY YEAR...etc...

My friend, singer extraordinaire Ron Young of Little Caesar and the Tighty Whiteys recently posed the question Q: "If you could take America back to any year to 'Make It Great Again,' what year would it be and what makes us so great?"
 Visit the Kuruvungna Springs Cultural Center & Museum in West LA ...
(fair use photo from westlasawtelle.org, uncredited)
 
Make way for a ( I hope) rare parade of narcissism. Here's my replies...

A: "I'm voting for the heyday of the Tongva Native Americans (later renamed Gabrielenos behind their backs.) They lived in West Los Angeles and Santa Monica, gathered to chat at their oasis at what is now University High School, went to the beach, went fishing, walked in the woods with their dogs and families day after day and lived in a beautiful spot with ideal weather and abundant food resources. If you add 'shopping' to that list, they had the perfect West L.A. lifestyle for thousands of years!"


 112 Fern Dell Tongva Gabrieleño Site Griffith Park | Flickr
(photographer unknown) A photo of a lovely site once inhabited by the Tongva in Los Angeles, Southern California, ever so slightly further east in a Fern Dell park because West L.A. has destroyed all evidence of Tongva except for the oasis above. On a happier note, much has been done to study and revive understanding the Tongva language.

Ron's is a popular forum on social media, and hundreds of replies offered dozens of different eras including, inexplicably to me for those who knew it personally, the 1950s.


The Way We Were: The Photography of Julian Wasser: Limited Edition ...
(cover of his book "The Way We Were" by photographer Julian Wasser)

A: "I was alive in the 1950s and the era was AWFUL. I cringed when people applauded the "Mad Men" lifestyle all those years removed. Misogyny was practically written in stone, integration and civil rights took masses of education to penetrate national mindsets and actually accomplish, and the clothes only flattered those whose good looks were part of their overall job skills (actors and models.) 

In contrast, photographer Julian Wasser explained in the forward to his cool book "The Way We Were" how Los Angeles in the 1960s, when he first got into the biz, really was different than not only how it is today, but from the rest of the world. He explained that pre-inflation/recession etc., you really could live in a non-slum area here for very little money, single-income, modest-income families really could purchase an actual house, you really could pursue your preference of a job in the entertainment spheres because access was far more open. 

There was a fun cultural revolution going on in all the arts, youth were educating themselves on every big picture with facts to contradict their prior generation's conclusions, and even if you weren't motivated to make it in the biz/change the world for the better/become champion surfer of the universe, Los Angeles/Hollywood in the 1960s was a fairly pleasant place and time to be."

 Ron Young in Little Caesar, then and now, photos by me

 

Saturday, June 6, 2020

BLACKSTAR AMPLIFICATION STREAMING SHOW WITH JAMES WILLIAMSON, DEC MARTENS AND LOREN MOLINARE / Overview of JAMES WILLIAMSON solo work.

photo of James Williamson for Blackstar, left, by Heather Harris. Dec Martens pic uncredited. On the record covers below, my photos are indicated, otherwise pictures are by other photographers.


On June 5th 2020 guitarist Loren Molinare of The Dogs/ Little Caesar/ Michael Des Barres and the Mistakes' interviewed James Williamson of Iggy and The Stooges and Dec Martens of Oz' hottest hard rockers Amyl and the Sniffers for Blackstar Amplification via its Facebook page (LINK*.) Detroit/L.A. legend Loren and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Stooges' guitarist, fellow Detroiter James have been my longtime, frequent clients plus their music shaped my life even before any association--Iggy and The Stooges whom I first photographed in 1973, and The Dogs whom I first reviewed in 1978: both found their places of honor in my 1978 book "Punk Rock 'n' Roll"--so this was a "must listen." 

Loren Molinare in The Dogs and Little Caesar (photos by Heather Harris)

(Using my skill set to get these screen captures of all three looking good simultaneously during the broadcast is also the closest I've come to live music photography in thirteen weeks because of the CoVid 1984 lockdown/complete self-isolation house arrest for those of us over 65/cessation of live music for the foreseeable future and/or 2021 in Los Angeles.)


James recounted highlights of his Stooges' career, including the most anarchic set the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has experienced, and his (few, since he's so sui generis) teen influences including Bob Dylan. He admitted that he had seen Dec's band Amyl and The Sniffers on one occasion while he was jamming live with his friend Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys, and quite naturally was impressed with their extreme vitality. James then outlined his many solo projects since the final Iggy and The Stooges tour of 2013 (of which I photographed four of their gigs inclusive of the very last Stooge gig ever at LINK**.) I am proud to note that I have done the art direction for them, and lots of their photography too. Blackstar Amplification will archive this streamed broadcast and offer it on demand on their Facebook page in future.

Below, his solo albums Re-Licked, Behind the Shade with James Williamson and The Pink Hearts, the EP Acoustic K.O. with Deniz Tek, the singles "Sickkk" with Maia, "I Got A Right" and "I Love My Tutu"  with Lisa Kekaula, "Open Up And Bleed" with Carolyn Wonderland and "Blues Jumped The Rabbit" with Petra Haden. ( I also drew his Leopard Lady Records logo.) He also can be found playing smoldering guitar on recordings by Cherie Currie of The Runaways, O.G. punk Robert Gordon, David Hasselhoff (don't snicker, it's the elegant Lords of the New Church should-have-been punk classic "Open Your Eyes," strangely relevant anew,) Mitch Ryder's adrenaline-charged "Devil With A Blue Dress On" for his 2019 Detroit Breakout LP and Wendy James of TransVision Vamp's sterling cover of Bob Dylan's "It's Alright Ma I'm Only Bleeding."


 ↑ James Williamson and The Pink Hearts (Petra Haden, James Williamson, Frank Meyer, photo by Heather Harris. They were absolutely MIGHTY and magnificent performing live! Go to LINK*** which features a precious few live concert videos of them by Allison Ayala.)
(↑ Petra Haden photo by Heather Harris)
(↑ drawing by Heather Harris)

*https://www.facebook.com/blackstaramps
**http://fastfilm1.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-very-last-stooges-gig-ever-92813.html
*** https://fastfilm1.blogspot.com/2019/11/james-williamson-and-pink-hearts-2.html

Sunday, May 31, 2020

R.I.P. CHRISTO

 Image may contain: outdoor
The Gates, Central Park NYC 2005, installation by Christo and Jeanne-Claude (photographer unknown.) R.I.P. Christo, who with wife Jeanne-Claude constructed huge outdoor, temporary art installations all over the world since 1962. I retain somewhat mixed emotions, since one of their 485 lb. art objects killed an onlooker in 1992 during a freak windstorm in the Tejon Pass here in SoCal, and another when the whole project was taken down. Art exists to make us happy or challenge our thinking: there's enough out there that can do us in. But one supposes that's the random law of averages at work regarding massive, heavy 3-D things of any sort. And their art always was public and intended to be out there, free, for all to enjoy like these beautiful textile "Gates" in Central Park...

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

R.I.P. MICHAEL McCLURE



Left to right: poet/playwright Michael McClure, musicians Mike Watt and Ray Manzarek of The Doors at a spoken word performance by all three at McCabe's, Santa Monica, California in 1985. 

Rest in peace Michael McClure, who died today in Oakland CA from after effects of a stroke a year ago. He bridged Beats and Bay area hippies, with no little notoriety from his play "The Beard" in Hollywood, wherein he was arrested for obscenity every single night it was staged... 

Worthy obituary by Sam Whiting, plus fascinating photos all throughout the photogenic McClure's life, click LINK *

https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/books/michael-mcclure-famed-beat-poet-who-helped-launch-the-sf-renaissance-dead-at-87

Monday, May 4, 2020

R.I.P. LEN FAGAN


                                    r


L-R: Al Teman , Leslie Knauer and Len Fagan,  4 years ago at a San Fernando Valley music club. 

3 years ago Len Fagan had suffered a devastating stroke, negating his speech and requiring extensive care thereafter. Irreparably weakened, he passed away yesterday from the CoVid virus.

Len, generous person, forward thinker, "fun dude," and a musician himself, was a very important personage in our local music scene as booking director of Hollywood's Coconut Teaszer from 1987 to 2000. 

The Teaszer was L.A.'s hard rock, punk, soul and metal personal clubhouse as well as go-to small venue. Its spacious outdoor patio meant that scenesters who wished to chat or gallivant loudly never competed with the acts inside. He once initiated a residency for P.J. Harvey there when hardly anyone on either side of the Atlantic knew who she was. My own photos of Bo Diddley and Ron Asheton were taken at the Teaszer as well as most all non-arena acts of that era, my clients or otherwise. The loss of this man leaves an irreplaceable void...

 Bo Diddley with Nancy Lucas at the Coconut Teaszer;  Ron Asheton at the Coconut Teaszer 1992.

THE DOGS at the Coconut Teaszer
 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

ANDEE EYE, BOOK OF MEMORABLE CANDID PORTRAITURE FROM THE 1960s/70s


↑ © 1967 Andee Nathanson. All Rights Reserved. From her book "Andee Eye" available at https://andee-eye.com. You will kick yourself into unconsciousness if you fail to get this limited edition of her rare, insider, candid portraiture of your favorite mid-60s/late 60s/early 70s rock and other personages, such as the Rolling Stones, Gram Parsons, Marianne Faithfull, Talitha Getty, the GTOs and even my better half Mr. Twister, seen here at right with pal Ida Random circa 1967. 

I have a feeling this unique work of all previously unpublished photos will be remembered for generations to come for reference to the genuine look of the era by its actual stylemakers as much as for her unique artistry and talent...

Monday, February 3, 2020

R.I.P. IVAN KRAL

Rest in peace Ivan Kral, seen here in the Patti Smith Group with John Cale, Patti and Lenny Kaye. A great loss to all music. Ivan also was a filmmaker and producer,  liked by all who knew him.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

PHOTOJOURNALIST BARBIE

Deluxe gift from my better half Mr.Twister after we returned from a daytrip to exotic Riverside Calif.: National Geographic Photojournalist Barbie, complete with periodical, Barbie-sized camera, and sidekick lion cub. I was thrilled at this surprise!!
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