Candid Quotes from Photographers Who Shot Punk Rock’s Golden Age

The stories of rock photographers and the images they shoot are amongst the most emotional.

Rock photographers often go about not only capturing concerts but other special scenes many others don’t get access to. At a recent panel event, Bob Gruen joined fellow punk rock documentarians David Godlis, Marcia Resnick, and Paul Zone on a stage at the Museum of Arts and Design. The event was held in collaboration with a current exhibit showcasing a bunch of memorabilia from the era. At the panel, each of the photographers spoke about a number of their images and the stories behind them.

David Godlis

“You can’t take a bad picture of Debby Harry…no!”

“I literally walked out the door and they looked like that. I think they were there waiting to get their picture taken. So I came out and said, ‘Don’t move,’ and they didn’t!”

“All the designers; they’re the people who keep us in business! They love this stuff!”

“I tapped her on the shoulder and I asked if I could take her picture…and she did that…and I went ‘alright, don’t fuck this up…and I knew that it takes a quarter of a second…”

“I love the water bottles…because they were not water bottles.”

“I’d take a break for a while and sorta just watch the Ramones. And then I’d go ‘oh wait a minute he’s doing something really great.'”

“I said, ‘You don’t understand that black and white photos at night in the rain look really good.'”

Bob Gruen

“This is in my hotel room at the Sunset Marquee hotel, which Bruce Springsteen described as ‘A luxury hotel for low lives.'”

“I literally remember falling off my seat because I was laughing so hard.” – reference to captions on images like this one.

“I love the fact that Patty has her fingers in that zen perfection moment while she’s screaming her lungs out.”

“I don’t just try to get the facts, I try to get the feeling as well.”

“He got some ketchup and mustard, poured it all over the hot dog and smeared it all over his face…and then you see he’s got a button that says ‘I’m a mess.'”

“I think the difference between the Sex Pistols and the Clash is that the Sex Pistols make people want to rage but the Clash give people the reasons.”

“This is the exit for Coachella.”

Marcia Resnick

“This is Boris, Policeman. His real name was really something completely else.”

“They were getting silly.”

“She was a groupie…a muse.”

“I was photographing men at that time…and I was looking into what would happen with women photographing men…I got tired of repeatedly taking the same kind of photos so I changed my viewpoint to one looking down from above…and also would have my subject lay on their side like an odalisque which is usually a woman’s pose…He’s posing right where “Joey Ramone Place” was located after his death.”

“He loved posing…he’s in the tub.”

Paul Zone

“Of course he had the best haircut…” in reference to Johnny Rotton.

“Not many people know this version of Allen.”

“This is the transition between glam and punk…”

“Lance was a character.”

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.