I have a clutch of pictures of musicians on NYC streets taking up space on my desktop that I was reserving for further photo quizzes. Today, with my wife out of town for the weekend, I decided to take my kids out for a long walk around downtown to replicate some of the shots ... for no reason other than it seemed like a fun project. We had fun doing it, at least. Here are the fruits of our endeavor.
Our first stop was on the edges of the West Village to replicate Stephanie Chernikowski's 1978 photograph of The Cramps above. All it took was a quick glance at the cobblestones and I knew the spot to be Charles Lane. So, Charlotte (8 years old) and Oliver (6 years old) and I set out on foot to pay it homage. It was slightly difficult to divine the exact spot (in the ensuing 35 years, there've been cosmetic changes to this little strip), but I think we managed to nail it correctly.
Since we were already so close to the river, after handling the Cramps shot, we crossed the highway and headed south to try to replicate James Hamilton's shot from the back of Laurie Anderson's breakout LP, Big Science. Obviously, there've been some radical changes in urban topography since this photo was shot in 1982, but we did our best.
Obviously, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center no longer anchor the scene, but if you look to Laurie's right, you can see the facade of 67 Vestry street. That same building can be seen below at left. We're approximately in the right spot.
Next up, we re-crossed the highway toward 67 Vestry. This is a less celebrated spot, but this building formerly played host to Jetset Records, the label that was home to local favorites, Firewater for a while. Here they are circa 2001's Psychopharmacology.
Lastly, here's one from our own backyard, so to speak. Here's an early publicity shot of the Beastie Boys outside of Rick Rubin's old dorm that served as Def Jam headquarters...
...and here are my two little kids (very tired of walking around and ready for some quiet time on the couch) in front of that same dorm.