Oktober 4th, 2022

In My Eyes – Photographs 1982 – 1997, Jim Saah

Posted in bücher by Dolf

Cabin 1, www.waldenpublishinghouse.com

In this massive book there are almost 70 bands featured, the majority of them while they played in Washington D.C. (and from D.C.), a lot in 9:30 Club, but also at Black Cat or Wilson Center and some other venues. Some of his pictures (all b/w) have already appeared in the book Banned in DC (1988), so several of the more legendary bandliveshots you might have already seen. Jim Saah was also the Director of Photography, Editor and producer on the film Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in the Nations Capital.

(„because I came up in that scene and, in a lot of ways, it shaped who I became. The D.I.Y. ethic gave me permission to follow my dreams of being a professional photographer. It opened my eyes to politics and protest, and I still draw on the lessons I learned from this period almost every day.“) But, here is so much more and a lot of „never-before-seen“ or at least „never-before-published“ material. And what is so great, that this is not your common selection of „Minor Threat, Fugazi, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedy’s“ and all those other great bands. In here are also bands like The Faith, Government Issue, Holy Rollers, Marginal Man, Void… just to name a few. There is also one or two bands that don’t really fit, but it is Saah‘s book and his decision to document them as well. And I can assure you, the majority of the bands are punk as fuck. Jim went to a lot of concerts in the early eighties and you can tell he was not just some bystander, but right there where the action is. Some of the shots are iconic, and you can „feel“ the great atmosphere of some of the gigs, because you not only see bands, but also a lot of audience. There is so many good and impressive photographs in here, it is amazing. A lot of photobooks coming out recently, so it might take a while to get back to this one, but I‘m sure not many will only look at this once. The format of the book gives the photos all the room they need: 30 x 30 x 3 cm. And you get to read a bit too, not only is a complete index in the back with all bands, where they played, city, venue, date, but also a very nice foreword by Saah (The punk music I found changed the way I look at the world. I have been fortunate to share this with my kids, who are musicians, artists and freethinkers. Ultimately, that‘s what punk music gave me, the ability to think for myself and let music and art open my mind.“) and in the end talks (not your classic interview!) with: J. Robbins, Ian MacKaye, Jon Langford, Pat Graham, Shepard Fairey and Cynthia Connolly (all of them scensters, musicians, artists or photographers). I miss photos of FireParty, Embrace and Rites of Spring. But I’m sure there is reasons why he did not photograph them at the time, or couldn’t. Anyway, if you are a friend of DC punk or if you like photobooks, this is a must have. Of course a book this size is not cheap and postage costs a arm and a leg… but it is money well spent.
337 pages, hardcover, 50,00 $ US (dolf)
Cabin 1, www.waldenpublishinghouse.com
Isbn 978-0578-91471-8

[Trust # 215 August 2022]

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