Chris Stein Photography

Are you into the beginning of Punk Rock in the USA? and if you're into Blondie and happen to be in London town, from now until late january, then l suggest you make your presence felt and get yourself down to the Chris Stein/Negative Me, Blondie and the Advent of Punk exhibition at Somerset House on the Strand, and check out his stunning photography. Beautiful shots from back in the day, from a man who not only played guitar in Blondie, a band very much involved in the New York punk setting, but he archived much of the early days of this emerging scene, through his camera, he is indeed a vital cog it has to be said, not only do we get punks early start but the bleakness of New Yorks downtown in all its slum splendor. I never knew about his other artistic side, l always thought he was just using music to achieve his position in life, but here l am bowled over with this other side, and what a dedicated chap he was/is to this cause. He has some brilliant portraits, not only of Debbie Harry, but we get early shots of Blondie, we get the CBGBs club in magnificence, we get The Stillitoes his first band with Debbie, we have other early bands who played at CBGBs, such as The Heartbreakers featuring Richard Hell, Johnny Thunders, Jerry Nolan and Walter Lure, there's a great one of The Ramones in all their early glory. Chris Steins commitment has to be applauded for example, my personal favourite is the picture he takes of Debbie Harry, in the kitchen with a frying pan that has been set alight, and below outside the oven a pan is flaming, it's not very health and safety at all, instead of maybe trying to stop the fire or even panic, and rescue Debbie, he picks up a camera and documents the event, now that's devotion although l'm sure most people would act differently in that kind of chaotic environment. Do yourselves a favour, get down to this event and check out Iggy, Bowie some of the Warhol crowd and The Screamers, Suicide and Stiv Bators and more, and read his lovely comments you would be nuts to miss this. Chris Stein/ Negative Me, Blondie And The Advent Of Punk on until 25th January 2015 Free Admission East Wing Galleries East Wing, Somerset House Strand,London WC2R 1LA somersethouse.org Chris McDougall

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