Archived Interview with Ms. Jenny Lens. We begin our interview series of influential women in the L.A. punk scene with one of the unsung heroines of the movement, the photographer Jenny Lens.
She is currently developing her own website and has an incredible archive of her iconic shots of punk musicians, artists, and fans. Please visit her website at www.jennylens.com to see her photos.
WOMEN IN L.A. PUNK INTERVIEW WITH JENNY LENS INTERVIEW CONDUCTED IN NOVEMBER 2004
What was/is your contribution to the punk community?
I took some of the most iconic shots in punk. Ever. Most of the following performers told me they loved the shots. Blondie’s Debby Harry on the floor, an early crotch shot (which not only got them incredible world-wide coverage, but I was banned from ever shooting them again. Their management never believed I called to clear the shot first. C’est la fucking vie). Patti Smith, on her knees with glowing Strat, who “still dares other photographers to take better photos than I.” Doesn’t stop her from crediting my shots to “Jenny Stern,” although I’ve been “Jenny Lens” in print since 1978, having been anointed that name late summer 1977. Nude Captain Sensible of the Damned, which their manager, Jake Riviera, turned into a button and I made zilch from the shot, not one penny ever.
Live Ramones at the Whisky. Dee Dee Ramone in a bath towel. Joey with fist in the air, standing next to a life-size transformer, also fist in the air. Spin mag used those for their obit, paid me and treated me very well. November Spin, with Johnny’s last interview with them, opens with a full-page close-up of Johnny smiling in San Francisco, their first West Coast tour, August, 1976.Read More