Sunday, April 17, 2016

Shot in the Dark - book by David Arnoff

I'm not sure where or when I first met David Arnoff in the early 80's, but I was always impressed by his photography. He had a personal style and a fine eye for composition, angles and a proper use of black and white. He took photos of my band, Thee Fourgiven, that we used on our first album and we often hung out until he moved to England in the mid-80's, where he would occasionally give me scene reports and hipped me to bands like the Scientists and Thee Hypnotics.

This is his first book of photos and is a terrific look at the LA punk rock scene from the mid-70's through the mid 80's, along with sporadic photos from England and elsewhere. The Cramps were certainly a breakthrough band for David, as he shot the cover for their signature album, Songs the Lord Taught Us. But he worked with many, many others, from his first major concert photos of Patti Smith, through the Damned, Ramones, X, Gun Club, the Bags, Dream Syndicate, Nick Cave, Lydia Lunch and on and on.

This book is high quality, with superior reproductions of his striking shots in at least close to his 8x10 format. There is a short interview of him by Lydia Lunch at the end of the book and some remembrances by his subjects.

Truly excellently done and is an essential document of this exciting time. Highly recommended!