Michael Grecco’s brand new book, “Punk, Post Punk, New Wave: Onstage, Backstage, In Your Face, 1978–1991” features more than 160 previously unseen photos from the heyday of the explosive punk rock movement in the United States. Working for the Associated Press in Boston as a photojournalist at the time, Grecco freelanced for local cultural media outlets, including the legendary radio station WBCN-FM. He had a unique opportunity to be embedded inside this unprecedented scene from the beginning.
Both a chronicler of and participant in this music revolution, Grecco captured in-your-face performance moments and backstage shots with bands including The Cramps, The Clash, Dead Kennedys, Talking Heads, Human Sexual Response, Adam Ant, Elvis Costello, Joan Jett, The Ramones, and many others. His black and white and color images bring to life the raw energy, power, and anarchy that characterized this unforgettable and insurgent music and pop culture phenomenon.
In addition to concert photography, Grecco shot album covers and promotional pieces that round out the book’s impressively extensive photo collection. Also featuring a foreword from Fred Schneider of the B-52s and an introduction by veteran music journalist Jim Sullivan, “Punk, Post Punk, New Wave” is a quintessential piece of music history for anyone looking for backstage access into the wild days and nights of punk and post punk’s most notorious bands.
Today, Michael Grecco is one of the United States’ foremost commercial, magazine, and celebrity portrait photographers. He says his days in the trenches of black-walled punk clubs changed him profoundly and inspired his career trajectory. He says:
It exposed me to more self-expression and made me continue to strive for it. I guess it was impetuous for me to leave the Boston Herald — after the Associated Press — and go off to Los Angeles to do the portrait work I’ve been doing since. It made me seek creativity and authenticity. My company saying is: ‘I go out every day with the intention of breaking visual rules, to make an evocative image that inspires people.’ Punk helped bring me to that place of creativity.
The book is a bold and historic time capsule filled with images that Grecco is thrilled to be sharing for the first time. He says: “The spirit of punk was extraordinary, its music endures. It marked me forever. This collection of work has never before been seen. As you look at these images, I hope you also get touched by its infectious freedom.”
You can order your copy here.