Rock photographer Bob Gruen on his greatest hits Throughout the ’70s, photographer Bob Gruen toured extensively with the likes of The Clash, Blondie and The Sex Pistols, capturing candid shots of rock ’n’ roll legends while making lifelong friends along the way. Now Gruen has compiled his own “greatest hits” in a new book, Rock Seen, which launches in Toronto Oct. 15. The Post’s Ania Medrek spoke with Gruen about pop, punk and pictures.
Snarl for the camera: The birth of punk rock through Don Pyle’s lens “I never put a safety pin in my cheek,” says Don Pyle, Canada’s ace chronicler of punk rock music and other anti-social behaviour. Pyle, who recently released the book Trouble in the Camera Club, is a musician and studio engineer who spent the majority of his teenage years in the clubs of downtown Toronto devouring punk’s nihilistic new music scene.
“I saw The Diodes more than 30 times, The Viletones more than 50 times and Teenage Head more than 70 times — and that’s before they had a record out,” says Pyle, the youngest of five children who found an agreeable culture in Toronto’s burgeoning music scene that he was unable to locate at home or at school. “In 1976, at a school of 700 people, if you were into The Ramones, you were an oddball, but then here, all of the sudden, were all these people. It was unbelievable. All these people who were just like me.”
The people gathered in such now-lengedary spots as El Mocambo and the Masonic Temple and dropped $7 on shows for Iggy Pop’s tour of The Idiot with Blondie opening up and The Ramones playing the New Yorker Theatre with Stiv Bators and The Dead Boys. For Pyle, who had joined his high school camera club to feed his newfound passion, the music became all-consuming.