PUNK DAZE: LA 1977–84 by John Brian King — 21 cm x 14.8 cm softcover, 56 pages (52 color and black & white photographs)
Capturing Los Angeles in the late 1970s and early 80s, John Brian King’s book PUNK DAZE: LA 1977-84 mixes an energetic street photography aesthetic with an eye for the absurd. Photographs of Disneyland at night are interspersed with shots of John Lydon (of Public Image Ltd) performing on ABC-TV’s “American Bandstand.” Art school parties and punk shows follow dreamlike shots of forgotten LA scenes, from neon-lit movie theaters to ironically graffitied basements. And through all these scenes, portraits of the photographer’s friends convey a sense of the personal meaning of this time and place.
Photographs from PUNK DAZE are featured in the Netflix documentary about serial killer Richard Ramirez, “Night Stalker,” as are images from King’s previous book, LAX: PHOTOGRAPHS OF LOS ANGELES 1980-84. Taken together, both books depict a Los Angeles that was, for one moment at least, strange and intoxicating.