Here’s another post not unlike this one wherein I extoll the merits of something that used to be in a different city, but it’s still kinda about New York.
Back in the late summer of 1985, I spent my summer soaking up as much of what I considered the atmospheric, bohemian cool of New York City as I could, knowing full well that I was shortly bound for the verdant wilds of Central Ohio in the fall to begin what would be my freshman year at Denison University. Suffice to say, I was not entirely psyched! I mean, I was excited about the school, but the thought of being deep in the heart of a Midwestern “flyover” state didn’t thrill me. Look, let’s face it — as a native New Yorker, I’m a born snob. The nearest city was going to be Columbus. I mean, sure — Akron has given the world Devo. Cleveland spawned Rocket from the Tombs, Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys. Cincinnati was home to …er….”WKRP.” What cool thing had ever come out of Columbus?
Well, to make a long story short, not only did I find many kindred spirits at Denison, but Columbus was a great town for exactly the type of shit I was into. I already waxed rhapsodic about its music scene on this post, but it bears repeating — between the Newport Music Hall and Stache’s (and a couple of other clubs like Neely B’s and Mean Mister Mustard’s), I caught shows by some of my favorite bands. And as I said back on that other post, most of those shows were better than the performances by the same bands I witnessed at home in New York City, mostly because Midwestern audiences weren’t as uptight, stuck-up and too-cool-for-school as they were (and remain) here in New York.
In any case, why am I talking about all this now? Well, a number of years back, I bought a few prints from a photographer who goes by the name JFotoman of one of my favorite bands — Cop Shoot Cop — playing in Stache’s. True to the nature of the venue, the photos were taken from a tight, intimate vantage point (seeing a band at Stache’s was like watching them play in someone’s downstairs rec room). Just recently, I discovered JFotoman’s archives online (you might remember the shot I posted yesterday of Pussy Galore’s Julia Cafritz). If you’re a fan of the independent, underground, “alternative,” punk and hardcore music of the 80’s, 90’s and beyond, you owe it to yourself to check out JFotoman’s pictures.
Not only did J. capture images from several of the shows I attended (I keep looking for myself in the crowd shots), but he completely captured the sweaty, intense vibe of places like Stache’s. But even if you’re not familiar with the venues in question — or even some of the bands — these photos are completely amazing.
Check them all out by clicking here. Tell’em Flaming Pablum sent ya!