I treated myself to this large, signed print of John Holmstrom’s first cover for PUNK Magazine when I learned I’d gotten the job I now hold, and I proudly framed it and hung it in my office. It managed to come into my possession after I asked about it at a 2015 PUNK retrospective at the Howl Gallery off the Bowery on 1st street, and they had it signed for me and sold it to me for a way more manageable price than I probably deserved.
In a single image, it celebrates so many things I’m besotted with –- Lou Reed, the Ramones, CBGB, Legs McNeil’s writing, John Holmstrom’s artwork, NYC punk rock -– to my mind, it is a perfect encapsulation of that cultural moment and that era.
Earlier this week, a colleague of mine was standing in my doorway, staring at it. After a long pause, she delivered a line that I somehow cannot unhear, suggesting it didn’t so much resemble the former leader of the Velvet Underground so much as another notable Brooklyn native.
“I’m getting a really heavy Ruth Bader Ginsberg vibe from this.”