From 1976 to 1980, Jenny “Lens” Stern, was a prolific photographer and face on the LA punk circuit. Her career began when some photos she had taken of The Motels appeared in the October 1976 issue of Back Door Man and, from then on, she was a lady with a mission, namely to capture the essence of the emerging punk scene. With her work appearing in magazines such as Rolling Stone, Creem, Playboy and New York Rocker, Lens quickly built a reputation, though she seems to have struggled to earn a living, partly due to her preference for working with unsigned punk bands. Though untutored, she had a natural talent (Patti Smith called her “the girl with the camera eye”) and, quite apart from their historical importance, the photos in this book are visually stunning.
The layout, by designer Mark A Martinez, who also provides a foreword alongside Glen E Friedman, does them full justice, with a neat hardback cover and razor-sharp prints on good quality glossy paper.
And what names: Ramones, Damned, Sex Pistols, Runaways, Germs, Blondie, Screamers, Clash, and even non-punks such as Peter Tosh, Kiss and the Stones. It was certainly a busy four years for Ms Lens.