Once upon a time on the Bowery
Talking Heads, 1977
This was their first weekend as a foursome at CBGB’s, after adding Jerry Harrison, before they started recording the LP “Talking Heads: 77.”
Beneath all cities, lies an alternate dimension, not necessarily the “dark, underground, loathsome vice” of Dostoevsky (though there’s plenty of that, too), but a real warren of subterranean spaces that is mostly hidden or off-limits to surface dwellers. Many communities were intentionally founded above natural caves, which proved useful for food storage, refrigeration, defensive purposes and escaping extreme weather. Other towns were carved into solid rock or set atop tunnels for protection from invasion.
These underground spaces tell a ramshackle story of human civilization and urban development from poorly conceived shopping malls to wine cellars, escape routes, storage facilities for human bones, and conduits to whisk away human waste. These days, thanks to sophisticated mapping programs and social networking, nearly every city has a legion of underground spelunkers looking to make the next discovery of a forgotten entrance to the urban underworld. But you don’t have to trespass or risk your life to explore the world beneath your feet — plenty of towns are taking a cue from the 19th-century Paris of Victor Hugo, offering opportunities to embark on underground tourism.
No Wave Punks, Bowery Summer 1978
They were sitting just like this when I walked out of CBGB's. Me: “Don’t move” They didn’t. L to R: Harold Paris, Kristian Hoffman, Diego Cortez, Anya Phillips, Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Jim Sclavunos, Bradley Field, Liz Seidman.
Hilly Kristal, Bowery 1977
When I used to show people this picture of owner Hilly Kristal, they would ask me “Why did you photograph that guy? He’s not a punk!” Now they know why. None of these pictures would have existed without Hilly Kristal.
Dictators, Bowery 1976
Handsome Dick Manitoba of the Dictators with his girlfriend Jody. I took this shot as a thank you for him returning the wallet I’d lost the night before at CBGB's. He doesn’t like that I tell people he returned it with everything in it.
Ramones, 1977 – never before printed
I loved shooting The Ramones. They would play two sets a night, four nights a week at CBGB's, and I’d be there for all of them. This shot is notable for Johnny playing a Strat, rather than his usual Mosrite. Maybe he’d just broken a string. Love that hair.
Patti Smith + Ronnie Spector, 1979
May 24th – Bob Dylan Birthday show – Patti “invited” everyone at that night’s Palladium show on 14th Street down to CBGB's to celebrate Bob Dylan’s birthday. Here, Patti and Ronnie are doing “Be My Baby.”
Every Sunday, Salon presents a feature from Trazzler spotlighting surprising travel stories from across the globe. Unexpected discoveries and strange, wonderful treasures are condensed into slide shows that entertain as much as they educate.