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Chris Stein / Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk
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Chris Stein / Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  109 ratings  ·  16 reviews
INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards -- 2014 Finalist

On the occasion of Blondie’s fortieth anniversary, Chris Stein shares his iconic and mostly unpublished photographs of Debbie Harry and the cool creatures of the ’70s and ’80s New York rock scene. While a student at the School of Visual Arts, Chris Stein photographed the downtown New York scene of the early ’70s, where he
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Rizzoli
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Jeff Jackson
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Stein is a surprisingly accomplished photographer. The many shots of Debby Harry are swoon-worthy, but the images of Johnny Thunders, Richard Hell, The Avengers, Runaways, Ramones, Basquiat, and other punk & art world luminaries in their prime are just as indelible. Stein includes lots of text so that it reads as an informal history of 1970s downtown NYC scene and beyond.
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book for every fan of Blondie, punk, or anything having to do with NYC. The shots of Debbie contained herein are some of the most iconic in which she has ever appeared. Stein even managed to capture a photo of Warhol taking the classic headshot of Debbie at the Factory. The notes and captions are extensive and informative. A must-read for rock fans.
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent collection of photos focusing on the band Blondie and the new wave. punk, and art movement that centered around NYC (mostly in the 70's and 80's). Chris has a great eye for composition and let's face it - Debbie Harry is one of the most photogenic people ever to grace our planet. Plus, Chris was in the right places at the right times to interact and photograph the likes of Bowie, Iggy, Devo, The Ramones, Andy Warhol, and on and on. And buried in picture captions are anecdotes and ...more
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The bulk of the content here is Chris Stein's photographs of the NY scene from the '70s into the 2000s (much heavier on the late '70s-mid-'80s). Although I never visited NYC during that period, many of these groups were among those I listened to and read about -- and influenced the local bands that I did get to see, and the subcultures around at the time. Between the excellent photos here and the richly detailed captions, this book captures the period impressively. Unsurprisingly, many of the ...more
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Who knew Blondie’s Chris Stein was such a phenomenal photographer? His volume of voyeuristic candids, backstory notes and remembrances pulls you right into the raw, slightly menacing vortex of New York’s late ‘70s/early ‘80s punk scene. The Ramones, Joan Jett, Tina Weymouth, Iggy Pop, Chrissie Hynde and zillions of others you know appear again and again (there’s even a shot of 14-year-old Anthony Kiedis), but the behind-the-scenes pictures of a young, luminous, stupidly photogenic Debbie Harry ...more
Joe L
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just so many great pictures and such intimate remembrances. A time capsule of a land of creativity, freedom and expression. Darkness is subtly represented as well but these trailblazers are celebrated. Fans of this period will find much to savor.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love NYC in the 1970s. NYC in the 1970s was dirty and gritty and real. You could get knifed to death. Crime was everywhere. People were the most free to be who they wanted to be and as part of as many subcultures as they could stretch thin. Creative types wore many hats. Enter Chris Stein. Who knew that he was also a very talented photographer?

The photos are punk focused, and you get raw shots like the bathroom of CBGB and San Fransico's notorious now defunct punk nightclub Mabuhay Gardens.
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this collection of pictures and thoughts from the early punk-era of Blondie, would have liked to seen and read more of the post Blondie era and the Debbie solo phase and then reconvening of the band. Maybe a part two is in order. amazingly I got this book (from a very good friend) in Jan and never found the time to read it and then picked it up today and read it cover to cover, a very enjoyable read, thanks Chris!
Mary Rose
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book. I picked up a copy at the Blondie exhibit at the Chelsea Hotel space. Stein's photos capture the essence of not only Debbie Harry but of the times in which she came onto the NYC Punk scene. I don't know if NYC will ever have that vibe again, but Chris Stein has managed to archive it for us in case we don't.
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really intriguing look at the Punk scene, with AMAZING photos. It's always great to have an inside look at any given movement and the write ups coupled with the photos provide a fascinating window with which to view a music movement!
May 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
beautiful photos
Marie Hviding
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, art, memoir
Really cool look at the NYC punk/new wave scene from someone inside the scene. Great images and fascinating reminiscences. Uber cool.
Jan 08, 2015 marked it as to-read
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A time and a place we can't seem to escape, continuously pillaged for cool.
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