These days many people take photos with their phones at concerts and many photos will end up in the trash … this guy brings to light a treasure of the early 80’s punk scene with his camera on this book.
Thank you Kevin for being a mentor, an inspiration, and for being part of the punk life and most of all, for ducumenting my youth for me!!Fletcher Dragge – Pennywise
Kevin Salk is a photographer who was at the right place with a camera. He grew up in Manhattan Beach, California. He recently book had his first book “Punk: Photos From A Fan’s Perspective” published by Fathom in Los Angeles.
In late 1982, I decided to bring a camera to shows because I wanted to take pictures of the bands that I loved. I was not a trained photographer and photography not even my hobby.Kevin S.
*I had the honor to interview him … by the way Kevin, Thanx for the awesome gift!!!
1. More than 30 years of Punk Rock history there, how do you feel about it?
I never ever expected this whole journey to happen. It has made a difficult time in my life as a teen important and relevant. I was an angry and alienated kid who was unfocused in life. Being able to understand myself back then and be able to help make sense of my current life has been a real blessing. It has been a life changing experience. It is also very cool to part of our punk history.
2. Have you ever thought those rad pictures will be printed on a book someday?
I had toyed with the idea of doing some type of book in the past but it never got past just talk. To now be a published author with a book is still mind blowing. I look at my book and I say to myself “are you fucking kidding me??” I have to give a huge shout out to my publisher Frank Coiro at Fathom. He did an amazing job. My girlfriend has also published a book so it’s cool that two authors live under one roof. She said that when you get your book in your hands it will an amazing experience. She was spot on!
3. Since everything changed on July 23rd, 2019, do you keep taking pictures on punk rock gigs?
I am back shooting pics again. That has been really fun and exciting The new technology with cameras has made it challenging. Back in the day it was a camera, film, a fixed lens, and a flash. The settings were pretty straight forward. My first proper gig back was the Descendents at the Five Points Amphitheater in Irvine, CA. I felt like a deer in the headlights. There were seasoned photographers and I was just winging it. I was able to get some good photos. I have been working on my technique and technical skills and am getting great shots. It is still exciting to load my photographs on to my computer and see what I got. Thank goodness for Lightroom and Photoshop.
4. You captured pictures of the most iconic punk rock bands ever, which gig and venue did you enjoy the most?
I wish I remembered actually taking the pictures! I think I have to say my favorite photos of a gig was Black Flag at the Federal Building in Los Angeles on July 4th, 1983. I was able to get some really creative photos of them.
5. What other bands beside the ones on this book you captured pictures (are you thinking in a 2nd volume of the book)?
I have new photos now of Pennywise, The Decendents, The Dead Kennedys, TSOL, The Circle Jerks, Bad Religion and more. I am working on the framework of my second book. I am thinking about doing a “then and now” of the band members that I took photos of. I already have a few of them. I have ones of Keith Morris from 1983 and 2022.
6. What band you never took a picture of and you really wanted to?
I think it’s more “I wish I took my camera to more shows earlier in my punk rock life” or “I wish I brought my camera to the….”
7. Any recommendations to new punk rock photographers?
Have fun and make friends with people in the crowd so that when you need a spot to shoot they will let you slide in.
8. Something to add that we missed in the book?
Just another THANK YOU to everyone who has supported my work. I am very grateful!!