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‘My Rules’: Glen E. Friedman book documents hardcore punk, hip hop, skaters and YOU NEED IT
07:18 am

Pop Culture

Glen E. Friedman

I don’t normally write posts and say “you must own this!” but… you’ve gotta get this! Glen E. Friedman’s new My Rules (Rizzoli) is simply stunning. A real masterpiece! I was happier than a pig in shit when I got it in the mail a few weeks ago. It was a very pleasant—and unexpected—surprise indeed. I couldn’t wait to unwrap it out of its packaging and tear through it! The book is a glorious MONSTER, with huge color photographs and amazing B&W images. Hugeness is a major factor in its favor, and the hardcover is sort of “quilted” and textured in a manner unlike any book I’ve ever owned. As an object/publication, it’s… a simply stunning presentation of a photographer’s life’s work, one of the best you’ll ever see. An event! Who is there… what ONE photographer was around as many important scenes as Friedman? Hip hop, hardcore, skaters, he was there, he was in the midst of it and with this book you really get a sense of that. It’s not just a bunch of amazing photographs, the selection becomes a sort of autobiography of the person who documented all of these moments: He was there.

Darren “Buffy” Robinson - Fat Boys - 1985 - Venice Beach, ©Glen E. Friedman
Glen’s work splendidly captures historic moments in time. Moments of 70s skate culture, punk, post punk, hardcore, 80s hip hop and early-90s indie rock. Underground cultures that will never happen again (or at least not as cool as they were then!). I have to admit though, I got really nostalgic and almost a bit weepy while looking at these photographs. They reminded me of being young again. My youth. Something I ain’t ever going to get back. They drummed up memories of me hanging out with my childhood friends (some sadly deceased now) just kicking it in my parents’ basement playing records or driving around in my first boyfriend’s pick-up truck blasting Minor Threat. Fun times. Good times.

I love this book for so many reasons.

The Make-Up - 1995 - New York City, ©Glen E. Friedman

Think of any iconic image of Run DMC, Black Flag, Minor Threat, Public Enemy, and Beastie Boys, or the gravity defying revolutionary skateboarding legends Tony Alva, Jay Adams, or Stacy Peralta. It is almost certain that Glen E. Friedman was the man behind the camera. Since the mid-1970s as a young teenager, Friedman has been chronicling quintessential moments of underground and counterculture movements.

Glen E. Friedman’s My Rules serves as a history book for the three powerhouse countercultures—skateboarding, punk, and hip-hop. From the earliest days Friedman was present to capture the pivotal and defining moments in music and street movements that were largely unknown or ignored. The energy and rebellion comes through in these famous and some never-before-seen iconic images.

Moses Padilla - 1978 - West LA, ©Glen E. Friedman

As a side note: It was extremely difficult for me to pick the images for this post. I mean, they’re all so damned wonderful! ALL of them! Here are a few choice selections from My Rules below:

Jello Biafra - 1981 - Hollywood, ©Glen E. Friedman

Flavor Flav and Chuck D. - 1987, ©Glen E. Friedman

Junk Yard Band - 1986 - Washington D.C., ©Glen E. Friedman

More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Dock Ellis: Believe in Yourself
02:33 pm


Glen E. Friedman
Dock Ellis

Dangerous Minds pal Glen E. Friedman is involved with a new “dockumentary” about flamboyant major league baseball pitcher Dock Ellis, who threw a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1970 while high on LSD.

Friedman listed Ellis in the acknowledgements of his book, Fuck You Heroes and considers him to be a personal hero. Recently Glen gave an interview about his youthful interaction with the man they called the “Muhammad Ali of Baseball” and told his story to the filmmakers:

How did you meet Dock Ellis?
I first met Dock at Shea Stadium, here in New York, when I was a kid around 11 years old. When I went to games, I was fervent about getting autographs and memorabilia and I would always get there early to watch batting practice and to try to talk to the players ... asking for autographs, loose practice balls, broken bats, whatever a player had access to.

One afternoon Dock walked over to me, probably 1973, and asked why was I yelling so much. Of course I just wanted his attention, to say hello and to get an autograph. He said relax, not to worry, after he was done practicing he’d come back over and give me an autograph. A few minutes later, he came over and asked me why I wasn’t wearing an authentic Dock Ellis shirt? I happened to be wearing the nearest thing to a game jersey one could get in the early seventies - a 100% nylon Willie Stargell kid’s jersey I picked up in Cooperstown, just across from the Baseball Hall of Fame. There was Dock, pulling at my most prized shirt and asking why was I wearing a fake. I was bummed he was making fun of my favorite shirt, so I asked him, “Well, where can I get one of the Dock Ellis shirts you’re talking about? I’ve never seen one.” He didn’t really clue me in on that, but he signed my autograph book, for the first of many times.

Eventually in the conversation… Dock told me to meet him by the press gate later in the day, once he was sure he wouldn’t be called upon to pitch (midway through the 2nd game of a double header). I went to the designated place at the designated time and there came Dock strutting out in platform shoes, double-knit black flair paints and a red fishnet t-shirt. He was behind a fenced-in area, near the press gate and player entrance. People saw him and started yelling his name, “Dock, Dock!” He walked straight towards me. He’s got a brown paper bag, lunch bag sized, in his hand. He knelt down and started to talk to me, and said, “Don’t open this up! Don’t even peek inside this bag, until you get back to your seat, otherwise you won’t get outta here alive.” I said, “OK, Thanks Dock! See you around ...” thinking I’d got some super cool “Official” Dock Ellis T-Shirt.

I got back to my seat and looked inside the bag then, as discreetly as possible. I didn’t really believe my eyes, so I couldn’t just peek in the bag, I had to take out the contents to really see what it was, if in fact it was, yes it was his actual game jersey right off his back! I had a Number 17 Pittsburgh Pirates visiting team jersey. That was the first time I met Dock, but I saw him and hung out with him several times over the years after that.

You grew up a bi-coastal kid, in both Los Angeles and the New York metropolitan areas, how did you become a Pittsburgh Pirates fan?
I grew up a Pirates fan, because as most little kids, I just liked PIRATES—with eye patches, bandannas, swords and severed limbs—and I never let go. I never lived in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Pirates team that I grew up with became great winners just as my baseball enthusiasm was peaking. Remember, from ‘70 to ‘75 they won four out of five National League East pennants, one NL Pennant, and the World Series in 1971. Those years had to be there strongest in the history of the franchise. With players like Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Al Oliver, Bill Mazeroski, Dock Ellis, Steve Blass, Manny Sanguillen, what’s not to like?

How important are the Pittsburgh Pirates to Dock’s story and how important is he to theirs?
Dock was the personification of the growth of the Pirates team through the civil rights era, as much as they were the steel town they became a melting pot of the new American society. Dock was the antithesis of Jackie Robinson, but he was the man who Jackie and so many other black major league players before him were waiting for. He was the Satchel Paige of his generation: unapologetic, friendly, spirited, confident, rebellious and wise. The pitcher as the first all black opening line-up took the field, there were few who could pull that off as Dock. Being one of the first two black pitchers, with Vida Blue, to open the All Star game. Being the first pro ballplayer ever to be talked about for wearing curlers in his hair, which unless you were black, you had no idea in the ‘70s what that meant culturally. Dock, perhaps more than any other player up to that time (or since), “kept it real.” Who was important to whom? You figure it out.

Read more…


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Rebel recorder: A very punk interview with Glen E. Friedman

Legendary punk, post punk, hardcore, hip-hop, photographer (and Dangerous Minds pal) Glen E. Friedman gives an excellent interview to Paradigm Magazine. He discusses Occupy Wall Street, the importance of your voice being heard in political debate and the importance of of having a rebellious attitutude:

If you’re inspired to do something, if you want to do something, if you have some kind of feeling that you should do something … then you should just do it; don’t let what other people’s preconceived ideas of good behavior, or whatever it is, limit you to thinking what you should and shouldn’t do.



Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Glen E. Friedman Interview at the opening of FUCK YOU ALL

Photo Credit: Glen E. Friedman
Photo Credit: Glen E. Friedman
Photo Credit: Glen E. Friedman
Here’s a really wonderful interview with one of my favorite photographers and artists, Glen E. Friedman. Do yourself a favor and watch the video. From State Magazine:

It was then that I found that the most beautiful, gripping color photographs were taken by just a single photographer, a very young teenager, by the name of Glen E. Friedman. Glen would go on to take these skills he learnt as a kid and apply them to his other great love in life, music. What you’re about to hear is an interview I did with Glen, who describes for you, some of his favourite shots from the last four decades. It’s a journey which has taken Glen from the mosh-pits of American punk-rock with bands like Black Flag and Fugazi to the suburban streets with hip-hop where Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Run DMC, LL Cool J, A Tribe Called Quest and Ice-T all became subjects in front of Glen’s lens. So, less talk, more action; press play. After all, they say a picture is worth a thousand…well, you know…

Interview with Glen E. Friedman in pictures & audio

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment