Roberta Bayley for Photography on a Postcard

Here at photography on a postcard we are delighted to be exhibiting (and selling ) some of the most important music documentation in history. Roberta Bayley's work was some of the very first looks into the backstage lives of the onstage icons of the punk movement. Her work provides arguably the most intimate insight into the icons of music history, and we are able to view them through Roberta's eyes- as a friend and one of the gang. 

Bayley was born in Pasadena, California and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended San Francisco State University for three years before dropping out in 1971.

Debbie Harry backstage at the Philadelphia Spectrum by Roberta Bayley

Roberta chronicled the early days of punk rock. Her photographic work includes images of Blondie and the Sex Pistols on tour, Elvis Costello in the green room at CBGBs and Richard Hell and hanging out in Lower East Side. Her portraits include photos of Iggy Pop, Talking Heads, The Clash, the Damned and X-Ray Spex. Her record covers include debut albums by The Ramones, Johnny Thunder & The Heartbreakers and Richard Hell. She was the chief photographer for Punk magazine from 1976 onward.

Debbie and Joey by Roberta Bayley

Roberta Bayley is an original punk rock chick. One of the first to work the door at CBGBs, one of the first to photograph the Ramones, one of the first to capture backstage moments with Debbie Harry and Chris Stein. Her documentation of the New York City punk scene in the 1970s is matched only by the other great rock n’ roll photographer, Bob Gruen. Bayley was there every night. Her black and white photo of the Ramones crouched in an alley became the cover of their debut album. Now it’s one of the most famous images in rock n’ roll history. Her photos of CBGB bathroom graffiti reads with all the sentiment of a punk rock yearbook: “Johnny Thunders is pregnant by Richard Hell”, “The Dictators are great!”

Sex Pistols Cain's Ballroom Tulsa Oklahoma January 1978

You can watch this rare 2010 interview below with Roberta where she discusses possibly her most famous work- that Ramones cover.

Ramones New York 1976 by Roberta Bayley

Monographs of Roberta's photographs are featured in multiple books, while she herself co-wrote the book Patti Smith: An Unauthorized Biography. She appeared on screen as a street girl in the gritty independent feature New York Beat Movie starring Jean Michel Basquiat.

Joey Ramone and Debbie Harry by Roberta Bayley

Roberta’s photographs have been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Austin, Paris, Portland, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City and Pittsburgh, though needless to say, she still lives and works in New York City.

Don't miss your chance to purchase work by one of the world's most prolific photographers, and a print of one of the worlds best loved musicians buy your ticket here now. The photographs will be on display at theprintspace, Shoreditch from 12th – 24th October, with a Private View taking place at 7:30pm on 12th October.

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