I photographed X during filming of The Decline of Western Civilization, March 1980. We were at a small bar, Club 88.
This iconic photo has been used repeatedly by Rhino and others, sometimes legally and sometimes bootlegged. Usually you only see Exene, with guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer DJ Bonebrake cropped out.
I couldn’t use my flash due to the filming. That meant I had to be very clear when focusing, stand perfectly still. Which wasn’t a problem, because I had this amazing ability to freeze between jumping up and down, screaming, singing and dancing.
Look at footage to see what was going on around me. From my photos, you’d never know it was total chaos around and behind me. I was stunned to see footage of constantly moving hot energetic mass of people.
How I managed to photograph this or most punk shows defies logic. But I did it for four years.
You can see me in beginning of the movie, which opens with X‘s Nausea. Nausea was and remains one of the most seductive melodies. Exene handed out songbooks when I saw and photographed X in San Francisco. I was staying at my pal Barbie’s apt. I can still see myself reading the lyrics, while lying on the living room sofa, as the sun came up. I never had a hangover. I couldn’t imagine this song that always made me swoon was about severe hangovers.
Anyway, my hair was dark black and curly. I dyed the bottom back of my hair magenta using Crazy Color. You can see my head down, with my suede camera strap, and pink metallic reticulated fish earring swinging as I’m swooning. Then later in the movie, when it’s filmed from the back towards the stage, you can see me in front of John Doe, identified by my hair. Shot from the stage onto the audience, again, I’m in front of John. Amazing. I have no idea how I managed, but I had the passion and drive!
The negatives sadly went missing … I only have slides from that evening. Sadly, stuff happens.
SIGNED Ltd Ed Prints: Numbered, Signed/Cert of Authenticity
8×10 = $125 ltd ed 10 (20.32 x 25.4 cm)
11×14 = $225 ltd ed 10 (27.94 x 35.56 cm)
16×20 = $525 ltd ed 5 (40.64 x 50.8 cm)
UNSIGNED Open Edition Prints:
8×10 = $75 (20.32 x 25.4 cm)
11×14 = $150 (27.94 x 35.56 cm)
16×20 = $325 (40.64 x 50.8 cm)
Shipping: $15 USA
CA tax: 10.25% (only on prints, not shipping)
Europe and elsewhere: BEFORE ordering, pls email COMPLETE shipping address. Whatever PayPal charges for shipping, I charge. Hopefully under $30.
Printing process: Lightjet professional prints. Kodak archival paper and inks. This process is the most light-fast, long lasting. Superior results to any silver gelatin or c-prints. After labs scratched and lost most valued negs, and both color and black and white were fugly, I am only offering museum quality prints from top professional labs.
Color and Black/White are usually printed on Lustre paper, which has gorgeous color but not much sheen. Metallic paper is great for some color, onstage photos. Depends upon image.