Project Description

Roberta Bayley made the cover photograph for The Ramones first album, and The Heartbreakers’ album LAMF. She photographed Blondie, The Sex Pistols, and many more punk  and new wave artists in New York in the late seventies.

“I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and came to New York City in the spring of 1974. I had been living in London for two years. New York seemed very alive after that. The city was bankrupt, rents were cheap, and poverty fueled the imagination. Originality flooded the streets. On the music scene, glitter and glam were fading. Everyone was looking for something, the next thing. To be it or see it. And then, suddenly, there it was. In January of 1975, Television’s manager, Terry Ork, asked me to work the door at CBGB on the Sunday nights when the band played. It became my job for the next few years, as more and more bands came to play. “

“In November of 1975 I bought a Pentax Spotmatic and began taking pictures of the different bands. I went to work for John Homstron and Legs McNeil at Punk magazine and learned the true meaning of creative insanity. The Ramones used one of my photos for their first album, and so did Richard Hell and Johnny Thunders’s Heartbreakers. I went to England and photographed the punk scene there. I worked for Blondie for a year in guerilla warfare. I toured with the Sex Pistols across America recording the end as we know it. I shot fumettis for Punk and crossed America with Richard Hell in a 1959 Cadillac. By 1980 everything had changed. I’d pretty much photographed everyone I had ever wanted to photograph who was still alive, and I was in serious danger of losing my status as an amateur. I put away my camera and disappeared. These photographs are my record, the evidence of what was.”

Roberta’s limited edition photographs are available to purchase in a range of size options.