1983 – Favorite photos of the year

Things slowed down considerably in the non-music photo department as I got much more heavily into my career (and said adios to the GF), although the first two photos ARE sort of career-connected.

When I rediscovered this shot in 2016, I could NOT figure out how this image came to be. The flag hangs from the NJ tower of the George Washington Bridge and I’m in the westbound lanes, coming into Jersey. I’m obviously in the back of a car, shooting through the back window. And a sign is wishing the Brooklyn Bridge a Happy 100th birthday.

The Kodak stamp on the slide said “JUN 83″, but the flag only hangs on certain national holidays and there aren’t any in June…………….but there IS one at the end of May (Memorial Day) and if I dropped the slide roll off at the Kodak plant in Fair Lawn, NJ on May 31, the slide would have a June date because it would have been processed on June 1.

OK – now we’re getting somewhere.

I have pocket-sized Daily Reminder books that I’ve kept since 1981, so I looked up May 31, 1983 and it turns out that another photographer and I flew into LaGuardia Airport that day after shooting the massive 3-day Us Festival in California.

We grabbed a cab at the airport and after she was dropped off on 107th St in Manhattan, the cab continued up to the GWB to bring me home, so this is the last photo I took on a week-long trip to shoot one of the biggest outdoor festivals of the 1980s.

There were ALL sorts of problems with this slide and it took a LOT of work to get it looking halfway decent, but to me, it was worth it.




Speaking of the Us Festival, I took this shot backstage early one evening. I don’t recall where they placed all the balloons – the string of them actually may have been too short for the massive stage – but I thought this was a really interesting shot that I don’t think anyone else got (corrections always welcome).




After the Us Festival, some of us photographers were hanging around in Hollywood because we were supposed to meet someone (I think). Since I took this photo at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, I’m guessing that that was our meeting place.

While the others were standing around talking, I saw a photo op: what appeared to be a Chinese tour group. What a perfect place to photograph them.

I don’t think that anyone in the shot spoke any English, but I somehow communicated to them that I wanted to take a group shot of them and they were cooperative – some much more enthusiastically than others.




I was in Manhattan one day, had my camera with me and decided to take a couple of shots using the red filter of my fisheye lens. The first one was in the vicinity of 42nd St and 6th Ave and the second one was taken from my agency’s Times Square office window. On the right in that second shot is One Times Square where the ball falls on New Year’s Eve (which I enjoyed from the same place, 14 floors above Dick Clark, going into 1990).






While I was there, I asked my agent to sit on the window ledge and lean out a bit (as I switched to the yellow filter on the fisheye). It didn’t come out well because there was no light to illuminate her face (I didn’t have my flash with me as I was traveling light to shoot in broad daylight).

The only thing I could do was eliminate ALL color from her (except for the top of her hair) and try to brighten her up a bit. It ain’t great, but it’s better than what I started out with.

Sorry, Ginny.




From my site:

Greenwich Village, NYC

Grieving New York sophisticates recoil in horror at the sight of another brutal, senseless homicide.

Terribly sad.




I came across this scene while exiting the subway. Of course, you think the worst at first – and I still don’t know for sure – but my assumption is that he was sleeping off a bender.

I liked the composition and lighting…….and the expression on the woman who happened to walk by as I took the picture was a bonus.




On a side note…………..sometimes when I look at images, another image pops into my head as a good companion – something that might work well together. Mind you, I didn’t think of this in the 80s when I took these pictures, but rather in 2016 when I was gathering all the images for this project.

“Wait a minute. This B&W reminds me of a similarly-foreboding shot: the 1980 one of CBGB’s bathroom. Maybe this guy isn’t dead. Maybe he just had to pee really badly and didn’t make it a couple more feet to CBGB’s bathroom”

Joining the pictures creates that illusion……….and also this little ditty:

“Dying to pee
at CBGB”

(I love this stuff)


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