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Friday, June 24, 2005

What's HE Doing Here?

Bob Dylan 1974, originally uploaded by Theresa K.

Bob Dylan in a classic sunglasses indoors shot... sat behind me at a concert at the Forum in LA in 1974...

What is he doing here with all these punk rockers? Without guys like Dylan, who kicked down cultural doors because they could.... because they had to, none of the renegade, outlaw, iconoclastic music we know and love today would be possible. Especially punk rock. Dylan gave us a whole new poetry, and by his doing so, made it safe for the likes of Joe Strummer and Billy Bragg (both of whom evoke the Woody Guthrie "music-as-agitprop" agenda and brandish an anti fascist message on their guitars...a la Woody)

I am unveiling an 18x24 poster print of this shot at The Basement in Nashville tonight... site of the big rock n roll dance party after my Punk Turns 30 photo opening at Grimey's. If you are in Nashville, you should not miss the rock show. Its the Reigning Sound, my favorite band... and opening are Nashville's very own Clutters two ladies who make a lot of great noise.

As I was preparing for this exhibit in Nashville, a lot of people asked me, "Why Nashville?" Its basically a country music town... but think about it: Loretta Lynn - a total DIY punk attitude got her on the map. I am proud to say that I share her birthday (April 14). Steve Earle based himself there for a long time, and he's an agitator like Guthrie, Strummer and Bragg. He's a country punk, you bet. Nashville is where Bob Dylan recorded "Blonde on Blonde," arguably the best record of the 20th Century... a piece of work that inadvertently launched a genre (outlaw country) and merged so many genres into one set piece that it really and truly defied categorization. Nashville is also the birthplace of Country Punk or Punk Country - however you want to say it - Jason & the Scorchers led that movement.

I do have a swell photo of Warner Hodges, the handsome lead guitar player of the Scorchers... but 20 years ago, I promised him I would never publish it because he's got a zit in the middle of his forehead. I don't know what's worse now - me telling you about the zit...and letting you imagine it... or me not publishing the photo. I could try some PhotoShop magic on it..In any event, I think Warner looks good in the photo and will have to dig it up. Its all beside the point.

Jason & The Scorchers, among other things, did a kick ass raunchy cow punk version of Bob Dylan's "Absolutely Sweet Marie," from the aforementioned greatest album of the 20th Century, "Blonde on Blonde." The Scorchers also completely personified punk rock - in their Nashville interpretation. Like if Merle Haggard had the Sex Pistols backing him... I don't think it gets any better than that.

I would like to thank the Nashville Scene for their support of my show and of the punk thang by quoting from them here:

Like Kate Simon in London and Bob Gruen in New York, photographer Theresa Kereakes captured the emerging punk scene in her native Los Angeles. Her Punk Turns 30 traveling collection, which comes to Grimey's this weekend, includes images of Joan Jett, Billy Idol and Dave Alvin, as well as shots of touring bands like The Ramones and The Dead Boys, some of which made their way into Creem and Rolling Stone. Kereakes' photographs, which are often (uncharacteristically) in color, have the informality of family photos, that is, if your family includes Dee Dee Ramone and Stiv Bators. After the exhibit rolls on, some of Kereakes' vintage poster prints will remain as a permanent installation. The opening reception, which begins at 6 p.m., will be followed by a performance at The Basement by garage rockers Reigning Sound. ---Paul V. Griffith

Some of the images in this exhibit include: Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee & Stiv Bators, Stiv portrait, The Cramps, Blondie, Leonard from the Dickies, The Sex Pistols, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Darby Crash, Patricia Morrison, Billy Idol & Joan Jett and a few more.

I'm hoping to come to your town soon.

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