It was one nameless, dateless night in the notorious Masque when I stopped for a few seconds and knew. I was part of something bigger and more beautiful than anything else in the world. I was twenty-one or two. I was surrounded by amazing, brilliant, hilarious renegades and runaways. We were creating a new social order, a new music, and new identities. It was nothing short of magic. And so here we are, now, and thanks to Ann Summa, we can see into that magic world of strange beauty and poetic energy. When I look at Ann's photographs, I see how haunted we all were. These are the images that defined. Precious few photos, by today's standards, exist. These are among my favorites.
Exene Cervenka, excerpted from The Beautiful & the Damned: Punk Photographs by Ann Summa.
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The Beautiful & The Damned Edited by Kristine McKenna. Foreword by Exene Cervenka. When photographer Ann Summa arrived in Los Angeles in 1978, the city’s punk scene was still fresh, diverse, smart, utterly original—and fertile territory for a young photographer. The Beautiful & the
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FOGGY NOTION BOOKS/SMART ART PRESS
$39.95 | Not available
In her introduction to The Beautiful & the Damned: Punk Photographs by Ann Summa, Kristine McKenna writes, "Everyone knows that punk rock is rude. What's less known is that during its first incarnation in Los Angeles, during the late 70s, it was ecstatically beautiful." Featured image, of Levi Dexter of Levi & the Rockats playing the Palomino on July 21, 1979, is reproduced from The Beautiful & the Damned.
Punk Photographs by Ann Summa
Edited by Kristine McKenna. Foreword by Exene Cervenka.
Published by Foggy Notion Books/Smart Art Press
When photographer Ann Summa arrived in Los Angeles in 1978, the city’s punk scene was still fresh, diverse, smart, utterly original—and fertile territory for a young photographer. The Beautiful & the Damned is a collection of her portraits of the musicians, artists and fans who made Los Angeles such a crucial part of the history of punk. Taken between 1978 and 1984, the images mostly revolve around L.A.’s first punk generation, and include portraits of the Germs, the Screamers, X, the Cramps and the Gun Club, among many others. From there, the book expands its scope to accommodate the cross-pollination that took place between L.A.’s punk scene and the fine art community, (at the time, the audience for avant-garde artists such as the Kipper Kids, Johanna Went and Laurie Anderson was primarily drawn from the underground music scene), and the two other cities—London and New York—that played a central role in the birthing of punk. Photographed during their first U.S. tours are U.K. groups the Clash, Magazine, the Fall, the Slits, Bow Wow Wow and the Pretenders, among others. Visiting dignitaries from New York include Television, James Chance, Lydia Lunch and Talking Heads. Also included are portraits of artists who served as an inspiration to L.A. punks—Captain Beefheart, Iggy Pop and David Bowie, among others—plus candid shots of unidentified audience members. Edited and with an introduction by Kristine McKenna, The Beautiful & The Damned includes 95 previously unpublished images.
Ann Summa studied photography in Japan. Her work has been regularly published for the past 30 years in publications including Artnews, Rolling Stone and The Los Angeles Times.
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