Music Through The Lens revisits CBGBs with photographer David Godlis in new clip [Watch]
In the new documentary series Icon: Through the lens, PBS turns the camera around and focuses on the history and impact of musical photographers. The upcoming second episode, “On The Road,” which premieres July 23 at 9 p.m. ET, examines the legacy of live concert photography. In a new clip created by Brooklyn vegan, photo veteran David godlis remembers cutting his teeth at the legendary New York CBGB at the start of the 70s punk movement.
First opened in 1973, the CBGB became fertile ground for the emerging punk movement that would emerge from New York City in the early 1970s. Ramones and Elvis Costello at blonde hair and Talking heads, all the major players in the emerging punk / new wave scene have walked through the doors of 315 Bowery in Manhattan’s East Village. It was around this time that a young David Godlis embarked on a career as a semi-professional photographer, using CBGBs as a studio with almost no rent.
“I said to people, ‘I’m going to see this group’, and they walked past. [CBGBs] with me, and they were like ‘you going?’ And I would say, ‘yes, I’m going,’ ”recalls Godlis in a teaser for the next episode. “People would say ‘oh I can’t believe you were wasting your time photographing music’, and I was like ‘this is kind of a scene, there is a scene going on there besides the music. Sounds interesting to me, I would spin it a certain way. I was playing them a Ramones song and they were like, ‘Oh my god, you turn bad bands!’ “
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One of Godlis’ earliest muses was the Ramones, whom he photographed almost every night. Back then, punk pioneers were playing two sets a night, four nights a week, so Godlis practiced a lot. It is also through this nocturnal exposure to the group that the photographer learned the group’s choreography and the timing of their movements in order to obtain the best possible shot. The teaser also examines Godlis’ adoption of BrassaiA technique of taking pictures at night without flash, which the budding punk used to create iconic group portraits.
Watch David Godlis relive his CBGB debut in the clip below. Second episode of Icon: Through the lens Airs on PBS on Fridays at 9 p.m. ET. The episode also explores the stories of the early pioneering photographers who hit the road with groups like Led Zeppelin, WHO, David Bowie, and The rolling stones, as well as the relationships of photographers with artists such as Courtney barnett, Metallica, Oasis, U2, and more.
ICNE: MUSIC THROUGH THE LENS | Punk Rock Photography at CBGB | Episode two | PBS
[H/T Brooklyn Vegan]