Jim Jocoy’s West Coast Punk Rock Photography – SF/LA 1977-1980
Jim Jocoy’s intimate polaroids and prints (1977 – 1980) take us back to the days of West Coast punk. In 1976, at the start of the San Francisco punk scene, Jocoy became a student at UC Santa Cruz. By 1977 he had dropped out of school and spent his nights immersed in the bourgeoning San Francisco club scene. Jocoy photographed what was in front of him. In bedrooms, bathrooms, strip clubs, at punk shows, alleyways and bars. Jocoy found outlets for showcasing his photos in his own punk/art zine, Widows and Orphans, as well as in seminal SF zines Search and Destroy, REsearch, and Punk Globe.
He told Oakzine:
“[The subjects are] people who are creative. I find people interesting if they dress well, sing, make art, write, or anything that makes this planet a more interesting place. It’s like I’m a groupie for art and artists, not just for Rock and Roll. I want to be around that kind of energy and I found that it can happen for me when I take photographs of creative people.
“During the early punk era in San Francisco, many of my friends were active in their quest to express themselves. I have no musical skills and I’m basically very introverted. I found out soon that I felt more comfortable hiding behind my camera, and could interact with people much better with it.”
The pictures are terrific. And so please read the caption. They’re Jim’s:
Muriel with bruised knees, 1980. Muriel Cervenka and her husband, Gordon Stevenson (Teenage Jesus and the Jerks), were in town to promote a film they made titled, Ecstatic Stigmatic. It was supposed to be quite an exciting weekend of celebrations as Muriel’s younger sister, Exene and her band, X, were releasing their first LP, “Los Angeles.” They were headlining the Whisky nightclub in West Hollywood. A great number of us gathered at Judith Bell’s apartment for dinner before the show. After dinner, Exene and John Doe left for the club to set up for the first set of the evening. Muriel was given a ride by Steve Nieve (Elvis Costello and the Attractions) and his girlfriend, Farrah Fawcett Minor, in the used VW Bug they had purchased earlier the same day. The rest of us headed for the Whisky and arrived as the first set was ending. We made our way upstairs to thebackstage area. It was very noisy and crowded. A large group of uniformed LAPD officers came up the stairs in single file. We all assumed there was some kind of bust in progress. The noise lessened, and in a matter of seconds was reduced to silence. Chris D (Fleasheaters) came over and sat next to us and shared the nightmare…Muriel had been involved in a fatal hit and run car accident. A few moments later, Exene’s wail broke the silence as John told her the news. It was left up to Exene to decide if the second set was to go forward. She asked to have someone bring her a bottle of booze. Before shock could settle in, the band was on their way down the steps to the stage. The unknowing audience went wild. It was agonizing to watch. The show ended when Exene finally collapsed on stage. My roommate Robert Lee scooped her up into his arms and carried her back upstairs. Later in the evening, we all returned to John and Exene’s little house to huddle and grieve.
Flower vendor, 1977 Unfortunately I don’t remember his name. He was one of the regular vendors that went into the many clubs (mostly strip clubs back then) that lined Broadway. He was always very friendly and I wishI knew where he was today.
People’s Temple luggage, 1979 My friend Tana and I went to the People’s Temple auction on Geary Boulevard several months after the Jonestown mass suicide. I found it very powerful and depressing to see this small collection of empty luggage as a sad metaphor for the hollow promises Jim Jones made to his congregation
Two people touching, and a guy passed out, 1977 CHAPTER III
DNA and Sharon (double exposure), 1980
Legs and red cocktail, 1979
Pearl E. Gates of Pearl Harbor and the Explosions, 1979 The ladies’ bathroom was one of the best places to hang out at the Mab. Pearl met Paul Simonon of the Clash when they first came through SF. They became a couple and got married.
Upside down yellow car, 1980 I remember seeing this accident in the middle of the night and just knowing I’d missed what happened by only seconds. Parts of the car were still making noise. Oddly no one was around so I took this photo and moved on.
Mary Monday of Mary Monday and the Bitches, 1977
Lux Interior of the Cramps, 1979
Richie Detrick of the Nuns, 1977
Trudie, DeDe, and friends, 1979 Trudie (center) was a core member of the early LA punk scene. She married KK of the
Screamers. DeDe Troit (right) was the singer of UXA, an early SF punk band.
Pee trough with graffiti, 1980
Statue with pink paint at Mabuhay Gardens, 1978 Mabuhay Gardens (AKA the Mab) was
ground zero for the punk scene in the late 1970s
SFPD K-9, 1978
Rico giving Jonnie a haircut, 1977 Rico was ahead of his time and probably the original “punk” in San Francisco. He came from LA in the early 1970s and was very into the LA glam/glitter scene. He hung out with the Cockettes and then became part of the first wave of punks in
SF. We became very close friends early on and went to many, many shows together, including the first Ramones show in SF at the
Savoy Tivoli in North Beach in 1976, and the last Sex Pistols show at SF’s Winterland in 1979. Jonnie went to many shows with
us too. She morphed from an SF punk to one of the first girls from the East Bay who got very into the Rasta lifestyle and grew long dreadlocks.
Dancer on Broadway, 1977
Allen Ginsberg and friend, 1979 This photo was taken the night the Clash performed at Temple Beautiful on Geary Boulevard. The young man with him is Raymond Foye, who went on to become an author and publisher. I find it interesting that Allen Ginsberg is a bridge of sorts, from San Francisco’s Summer of Love in the 1960s to the Summer of Hate during the SF punk scene of the 1970s
All pictures from Order of Appearance, by. TBWBooks.