My friend was going to interview Screamin’ Jay Hawkins at a flea-bag hotel on the old, pre-Disney Times Square, and, knowing I was an artist with a camera, he asked me to take pictures. He trusted me not to be an asshole, he said. And that’s more or less how it started, my accidental photography career.
I had already met a lot of musicians, having become friends with the guys at Crawdaddy, the first real rock magazine, pre-Rolling Stone. For instance (not to drop names), I had already met Jimi Hendrix, when he was playing at a club called Salvation in the Village before his first album was released; and Jim Morrison, who put his arm around me and stuck a joint in my mouth; and Nico, who was dating Morrison at the time and later that night would ask me, plaintively, in her German accent: “Where’s Jeeeeem?” I’ve been to dinner with Lou Reed and had cocktails at Charles Mingus’s apartment, where he gave me his self-published guide to toilet-training your cat. But I had never thought to photograph any of them, until someone asked.
Most of these photos are from the early seventies through the early eighties, the period when I was hanging, along with my writer boyfriend, at clubs and bars in New York and contributing to rock rags and designing the occasional album cover and staying up late (even though I had to get up in the morning for that day job) — the period before I had my first kid and before the photography pit at rock concerts got a little too full of career-minded, elbow-throwing assholes.