I will not be taking any more photos at Koma F in the future. Some people at Koma F seem to not like photos being taken, so I will not bring my camera any more. Nobody has talked to me directly so far but I saw this poster on Saturday and it pretty much says it all.
I feel kind of sad because Koma F is the only place I regularly go to and I always enjoyed taking photos there. But I respect the fact that people don´t want to see their faces on the Internet. And I agree that the ways of the Internet are weird and pose a lot of questions that I don´t have an answer to either.
Although it will make this blog at least visually bankrupt, it doesn´t have to be the end of it. There are still a lot of possibilities. I still haven´t done a lot of things that I had in mind when I started this site: interviews with local activists and bands, stories about local record stores, reviews of local records and much more. And maybe I´ll make a photocopied fanzine with my old photos, but I don´t want to fuel some people´s paranoia any longer by holding a camera.
On the other hand the photos were the main reason to start Berlin Diy Hc Punk. Two years ago my computer broke down and killed a lot of photos I had taken at Köpi from around 2003-2007. Köpi was still Crust-Capital back then and I was really pissed that all this documentation was lost forever. So to save at least all the new photos I was making, I started this blog.
In late 1985 I took the first photos at Punk/Hardcore shows in Hamburg with a camera I had bought from the money I saved from my new job. I was really inspired by Glen E. Friedman´s „My Rules„-Photozine, that I had ordered directly from Friedman from an add that ran in Flipside Fanzine.
And of course I had seen Ed Colver´s shots of the early California Hardcore scene. Around 1985/86 the Hardcore scene in Europe was in full swing and I liked the idea of documenting our local scene. Later my photos appeared in fanzines, among them the first Trust & Maximum Rock´n´Roll photo-zine “ Welcome to Cruise Country“ that came out in 1987.
This one below is one of my photos that was printed in that photozine. The local Hamburg band Kaddafys Revenge playing at a small bar called Let´s Rock, that was the home of the hardcore scene for about 6 months. Taken December 2nd, 1986. Their vocalist Goliath ist still active in the Hamburg Punk scene today:
Actually I never gave away my original photo-negatives, but I once did give these to a guy from Hamburg who collected the photos for Trust & Maximum Rock´n´Roll – photozine. I never got them back. He moved to Berlin shortly after and made headline-news because he threw his new-born baby out of the window in a drug-crazed fit. What a tragedy.
Another shot of Kaddafys Revenge from the same show at Let´s Rock, Hamburg, December 1986:
By 1986 the diy scene got more and more international and we saw groups like Ignition, Government Issue from Washington D.C. , Kina from Italy and the Depraved from England at Let´s Rock. This is from the Depaved show, February 12th 1987 at Let´s Rock, Hamburg. Some unknown kid in a Stupids shirt, that travelled with the Depraved:
For me it has never been about the artistic side of photography. I was always torn between rockin´ out and standing still to get an interesting image that I thought best captured that moment. And I still am today: I come all sweaty from the pit and then try to hold my breath to concentrate on the photography. To get right back into the action after that. I was dancing like crazy to all of these bands. I never stood on the side only to watch. I always danced and I still do. Who could´ve stood still to the Spermbirds when their classic first LP just came out? I knew all their lyrics by heart. I took this photo of the Spermbirds when they first played in Hamburg at Störtebeker/Hafenstrasse, April 4th 1987.
My best photos were always the ones that captured the interaction between the band and the audience. I never wanted to take photos of boys with instruments. That´s just plain boring. I would really like to catch a couple making-out at a Hardcore show but in reality that never happens. It´s mostly boys. But once they start dancing and letting loose of all that anger and energy, it still makes for some great moments and images. From the same Spermbirds show at Störtebeker, Hamburg-Hafenstrasse. Störtebeker is still the home of the Hamburg Diy Hardcore Punk scene :
The special thing about this scene is, as I´ve written before and told everyone I know a million times, the fact that the kids do it all themselves. Including the actual performance of what is the show. A good hardcore show is one, where you don´t know who is the audience and who is the band anymore. Most of the time it´s the audience who makes the show. I don´t remember where I took this next photo or what bands played but I´m pretty sure it was in 1987 and it was only local bands. We did celebrate our own little bands as much as we did the out-of-towners:
Just like all the other photos that I´ve posted on this blog over the past year, I know most people on these photos: they were the people I danced with, skated with and hung out with. Some were close friends, others I knew only loosely. But it was and it still is a relatively small group of people who make-up the hard-core of the scene. I always felt comfortable to document the little games we played within that intimate group of people. From the same show. Some unknown punks circa 1987:
I will not be reduced to only shooting band members. That´s the antithesis ot what I think is great about Punk and Hardcore. I always hated these types of (mostly professional) photographers at mainstream rock- shows that seem to be occupied with capturing the sweat on the singers lips or just the right kind of shading on his face in half-profile, while all the real action goes on behind their backs. You´ve got to be real cold-blooded to stand still all the time for doing that kind of photography. You´re simply not a rocker. Or not a dancer. But this music is basically made for dancing so it comes down to the same thing: if your´re not moving you are not really moved by the music. It still puzzles me how I managed to hold that balance between getting bruised and battered in the pit and operating the delicate mechanism of the camera.
This one I took of the Bad Brains at Markthalle/Hamburg, May 22nd 1987. My friend Henna Peschel had the shot where H.R. was hanging head-down in the air, doing his famous back-flip. He stood still for a long time to get that shot. We knew H.R. was going to do it but you had to know when. There was an art to it, to anticipate just when the vocalists of SNFU and the Instigators were about to jump really high. Henna always managed. Too bad all his thousands of amazing photos still gather dust in his basement. It´s a real treasure that needs to be unearthed sometime.
I don´t even know how I managed to take this shot. I was flippin´out in the pit to the BAD BRAINS:
This scene has always been maintained by people who are in a transitional phase. They stay in the Punk scene from their late teens to their late twenties. Then they move on to do other things. Very few are lifers. It´s always been like that, otherwise we wouldn´t be 50 people at the show every week but 1000s. Some people always leave the scene and new faces appear. Time goes by so quickly and I think it would be a great loss if we would only be able to remember this time we spent together and the feelings we had, by some photos of some boys with guitars.
Interestingly the only requests that I did get from people who read this blog, were not to take pictures down, but to post more images that showed them. Most people seem to be happy to see photos of themselves at a show that they really enjoyed. The same goes for the old photos. I still get requests from people some 20 years later about some photos showing them at a time they have a lot of nice memories of. I´m pretty sure that twenty years from now a lot of people will feel the same way about the photos I´ve posted on Berlin Diy Hc Punk so far.
The funny thing is, that this blog only gets about 30 hits every day anyway. As opposed to my other blog Berlin Beatet Bestes that gets around 500. Of those 30 people a majority probably search for any kind of Punk or Berlin and leave immediately after they see all these names of bands they have never heard of. Nobody really fucking cares about our little insignificant scene, but ourselves. So why do I even bother to write all this? Because I am still really passionate about this scene and all the nice people who make it. It´s still the best little scene there is.
See you at the show!
Don´t forget to scroll further down for info on upcoming Berlin Diy hc Punk shows…