Monday, May 24, 2010


Nostalgie de la boue is a French term for memories of mud, i.e., the gutter, the decadent old times. This seemed like a perfect title for some of my photos of vintage Sunset Strip, Hollywood Calif. backstage nightlife from the golden days of Hair Metal in the late 1980's, plus one pic of an actual Sunset Strip protest against pay to play. Recogizable faces here and there would be Billy Idol, Julian Lennon, Mara Fox of Precious Metal, along with many others who may not like to be remembered for activities performed in the bathrooms and dressing rooms as depicted.
I really was looking for non-incriminating photos to post here, or ones that hadn't been widely published. A reader here commented that black and white innately looks more decadent. Helmut Newton certainly knew this! Do you know that they don't even manufacture the black and white photo papers or films that I used to make these anymore? These are truly artifacts of a bygone era, in all manner of meanings. Billy Idol is shown talking to Julian Lennon, sire- John Lennon, dam- Cynthia, along with a member of Milli Vanilli (with the biggest hair.) Billy gave me trouble that evening for my photography, even though I was a photojournalist invited by "his people" to cover the opening of his girlfriend's Club Rubber.

Mara (the protester) is still doing well in the music business, promoting publishing for alt bands. I can thank her for the access to the Sandy West memorial show where I photoed The Bangles.

I didn't really do much "celeb" photography like the backstage parties: I was invited to the ones here, hence my being allowed to photograph. A technical hint: to take a photo like the one of Idol and Lennon, you have to be the first one to spot them, then shoot, and you'll only get the one shot. The second you do, others will close ranks around them and there's no more clear area around them to photograph. I felt a little bad doing this to Lennon: he looks startled, as would be anyone whose father was ambushed and murdered.

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