Roberta Bayley, BULLETT magazine

Roberta Bayley, self-portrait. (PHOTO: Roberta Bayley)

Roberta Bayley took some photography courses at her high school in Berkeley, California. When she wasn’t dreaming of her own British Invasion she’d snap a few photos with her Instamatic, but that was it. Years later, in New York City, Bayley found herself propping Ramones’ bassist Dee Dee atop a brick so he’d be just a bit taller in line with his other bandmates. That 35mm, black and white photo of the New York punk legends—developed in her rented darkroom—would end up being the legendary band’s first album cover, ranking among Rolling Stones’ Top Album Covers of all time.

Patti Smith, Talking Heads, the New York Dolls, Stiv Bators, and Blondie—with whom Bayley toured frequently—would soon become her camera pawns. Today, a Flickring twenty-something would die and go to heaven before so casually shooting our YouTube ruling musical elites, but Bayley was ultimately in the right place at the right time, and was happy to capture one of the most important eras of music in New York City’s Lower East Side:

“I was traveling around a lot, and I didn’t have a darkroom. I didn’t really get serious about it until 1975. But the reason that I specifically bought a camera was to document what was going on at CBGBs and lower Manhattan. This was a scene that needed to be documented.” Read entire story


~ by Tina Benitez-Eves on April 13, 2011.

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