Akashic Books, PO Box 1456, New York, NY10009, Usa, www.akashicbooks.com
The reason why this book existst starts with a coincedent and it should not be the only one. In 1979 Lucian Perkins sits in the bar of D.C. Space when he heard loud music from the room above. At that time his internship at the Washington Post has just been extended for six month, he went upstairs and saw a large room that was filled with alot of kids, many of them underaged – among them the 14 year old Alec MacKaye – the band playing was the Bad Brains. Perkins talked to their singer H.R. after the concert and that was the start of him documenting the early DC Punk scene.
He went to four more concerts to take pictures and approached the Metro Editor at the Washington Post to run a story on the DC punk scene. He said no, a few month later the Sunday magazine would run the story. Fast forward to 1995 when Lucian Perkins (who is meanwhile a Purlitzer-Prize winning photojournalist) hires Lely Constantinople to organise his extensive photographic collection, negative by negative. On some of the negatives she recognized Alec MacKaye her then boyfriend (now husband), there you go.
The project was born but it took until now until it was finnished – there is also a exhibition. Documented are: Bad Brains and Trenchmouth playing a ‚Rock against Racism‘ at the Valley Green Housing Complex on Sept. 9. 1979; Bad Brains and The Slickee Boys at Hard Art Gallery on Sept. 15. 1979; D.O.A., Tru Fax & the Insaniacs and Brick Bats (Trenchmouth) at Madams Organ Artist’s Cooperative 1 on Nov. 11.1979; Bad Brains, Trenchmouth and The Teen Idles at Madams Organ Artist’s Cooperative 2 on Jan. 25. 1980. The 100 pages harcover book features great shots, not only of the bands, but also the audience. Lukily Perkins was not only focusing on the musicians but also the crowd, the first punks of DC.
Very few of the photos have beenn published before, but the majority have never been published before. Alex MacKaye writes a nice narrative to the happenings back then, so you get a good picture of what was going on at these gigs. Here is a short quote that can be said for almost every new generation of punks/youth: „Old-head rebels tried to offer guidance, to make themselves relevant and turn the new wave on to some of the stuff they had been inspired by – and were soundly ignored, in general. Some of them took the rejection kind of hard. Their revolution had become, in spite of itself, an academy. It was measured and dispensed using the metrics of midcentury philosophers.
Punks thought that because they didn’t read those books, their ideas were fresh – maybe not, maybe so, but their ideas where coming from a place of emotional honesty, irrepressible in the face of intellectualism.“ All photos are b/w and capture the atmosphere from those early concerts and a bunch of them are classics. At the end there is a essay by Henry Rollins on The Teen Idles, explaining how intensive and commited it was back then. A great document for the DC scene. Probably not a must have, but a great addition to every book shelf. I enjoyed reading and looking at the long lost photos. 23,95 US $ (dolf)
Isbn 978 1 61775 167 7
[Trust # 161 Augsut 2013]