Joyride

By GREG COOK  |  March 24, 2010

Pop stardom is mainly a kids’ game, and the stars themselves are here young and full of promise, and already getting rich quick. Too many never got old. Some of the best shots are David Godlis’s photos inside New York’s legendary CBGB in 1977. He’d studied photography in Cambridge with Henry Horenstein (Nan Goldin was a classmate) before moving to New York in 1976 and studying with Garry Winogrand. He took his gritty street-photography style indoors, and it seems exactly right for documenting the birth of punk and new wave. He photographed Blondie’s Debbie Harry crouched like a sprinter, singing into a microphone. She’s a fiery spark of rough-and-ready energy in a beloved shithole — like a flashback from Paris or Berlin between the wars.

In images like this, rock and roll becomes a mythic crossroads where the old is burned down and the rebellious new swaggers in, flashing a delicious rascally smile and crackling with electricity and pheromones. And armed with a guitar.

Read Greg Cook’s blog at gregcookland.com/journal.

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