Friday, June 19, 2015

Incredible Photos of the 1970s NYC's Punk Playground Taken by a 14-Year-Old Boy

The mid-1970s was a time when the death of glam and the birth of punk rock collided in a celebration of glitter and grunge. Paul Zone had a front-row seat to it all. Paul started taking photos in his early teens, at about the same time he started going to shows with his siblings. “I was 14, probably, in 1971 or '72, something like that, so of course I was going to concerts and seeing Alice Cooper and Bowie and T. Rex and all of the glam bands that were out then,” he recalled.

He never regarded them as anything close to fine art. “I took them with a 110 Instamatic with a square flash cube on the top, or a Brownie, or a Polaroid,” he said. “I did have a 35mm later on, but it was just a $20 camera and I'd get the photos developed at the drug store or something like that, so they never were professionally blown up.”

Paul's photographs captured the joys and the fantasy of the New York underground with a genuine intimacy, making this volume a worthy tribute to the legends of underground rock royalty.

Sylvain Sylvain, Johnny Thunders, and Jerry Nolan (New York Dolls) at Max's, August 1973.

Debbie Harry (Blondie) at Max's, 1975.

Crayola at Max's, 1977.

Wayne County at the Coventry, Queens, 1973.

Lou Reed at the Academy of Music in December 1973.

David Johansen of the New York Dolls at Max’s Kansas City, 1973.

Alice Cooper, Manhattan hotel room, 1975.

Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, and Paul Stanley (KISS), Coventry, Queens, August 31, 1973.

Unknown, Le Jardin Disco, 1974.

Patti Smith (Disco Ball), Blue Hawaii Discotheque, November 10, 1974.

Joey Ramone (The Ramones) and Miki Zone (The Fast), Mother’s, October 1975.

Jayne County, Club 82, 1974.

(Photographs by Paul Zone from “Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground,” published by Glitterati Incorporated, via

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