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?"
 
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
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