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.”
Before science became humanity’s preferred method for understanding the natural world, myth and geology went hand in hand. Anyone who travels a bit is sure to run across local legends that strive to explain odd natural phenomena in fictional terms. Every single culture around the world tells these kinds of stories. There’s the Chimera of Turkey (methane gas vents in the side of a mountain rendered by Homer as a fire-breathing “lion-fronted, snake behind, goat in the middle” creature); the fire-belching goddess Pele living in Hawaii’s Kilauea crater; or the story of a pair of mountains that split due to irreconcilable differences (Mount Rainier took off in the heat of an argument packing up all the prettiest wildflowers).
Now that we have some grip on the basic laws of nature, even scientists are taking a closer look at legends as a serious source of information on real natural events: comets, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, earthquakes and weather patterns. Disciplinary mashups like archaeoastronomy and geomythology have emerged to try to retrieve buried, culturally encoded information from fictionalized oral traditions. As Einstein stated again and again, imagination is, after all, at the center of scientific exploration. The creative capacity of storytellers to use their topographical surroundings to explain and entertain is boundless — and although the stories produced are radically different, the urge to tell them is a cultural constant across civilizations. These 12 legendary places run the gamut from a spider lady’s desert platform for yarn-bombing the universe to a giant’s stepping stones across the cold Atlantic to an island formed from the scaly remains of squabbling dragons.
Have you come across any good legends about geological anomalies in your travels? Share them with us in the comments. Find more legendary places on Trazzler.
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.