Note: I don’t typically cover photography, because there’s so much of it. Everyone with a digital camera and a computer seem to want to be a fetish photographer now. Here’s to two pioneers who kicked this off back in the days of film and photocopied zines.
Last week, I got word that Amelia G and Forrest Black of Blue Blood were doing a signing at La Luz De Jesus in Hollywood. Actually, I thought it was a full on art show. The driving gig ended early and I decided to shoot down to check out the show.
Turns out it was a simple book signing back in the gallery for their new book, California Deathrock. This books looks back on 25 years of covering what we causally label the goth scene today, but was really more of a multi-faceted counter culture brewed at clubs and concerts with music you’d most likely never hear on the radio.
Most of these photos are fully clothed. There’s a lot of studs, corsets, fishnet, wild hair and eye makeup. It’s not much of a toss-off kind of book, or even an edgey soft porn type piece, and that’s ok. There’s a few, really hot nudes included from the set of Blue Blood, but the majority of the pics are from photo booths Amelia and Forrest set up at various clubs over the years. Some of the photos are downright romantic, with couples posing together. There aren’t many stars, but there are a lot of familiar faces if you spent nights at places like Bar Sinister, Club Hell, Fang Club, or Perversion.
Heck, it’s downright tasteful for having the name Deathrock in the title, and worthy of any coffee table. Just set down a bottle of jagger nearby. After my mom got over the a shocking photo or two of a guy screaming or giving the finger, she’d have to admit, many of the photos are downright pretty. Even many of the guys are downright pretty.
Which gets me to another point, which I really love about this scene compared to others. My wardrobe is pretty limited, but even I make an effort to dress up a bit when I go to these places. Most guys think of dressing up as either suiting up, or putting on their best t-shirt with a logo on it. I find it disturbing to be in any club where the women have gone to huge efforts to put on heels, dresses, corsets, and doll up in theme and the dudes didn’t dress up.
California Deathrock rewards the guys who made an effort. I don’t mean drag, but where Amelia and Forrest shot, the guys kept in theme. There’s a lot of wild hair, unique jewelry, leather, studded belts, and attention to detail that shows that the guys care just as much about this scene as the women do.
The signing went well for a Friday night in Hollywood. It reminded me of the day they hand out yearbooks at high school. Most of the crowd were actually in the book, and were signing each other’s books. At first, I was very shy. I gathered up the courage to say hi. Amelia was glad to put a face to my name from Facebook and Twitter and told me how they sorted through 3000 of their favorite photographs to create this limited edition book. It was a crowdfunded project, and they had extras. So placing at La Luz was a win-win. Forrest and I talked shop about Marquis, art, and he even was even intrigued what it was like to be an artist working a driving job. I had never thought about it before. They even gave me tips on how to do more with Instagram, but that’s a post for later.
So, a hardcover book of 172 great photos of surprisingly colorful people into dark music, lots of eyeliner, guyliner, studs, corsets piercings, and occasional boobs. This was a short run. There’s no telling how long copies will last. Snatch it up if you can. Who knows, you might even be in the book. Go directly to CaliforniaDeathrock.com to get a copy.
Final note: Hope you liked the review. An order came in and I’m getting ready for the DomCon weekend. I’m gonna try to make it out for the party Thursday night. Update coming soon, and SFW posts are up on Twitter and Instagram.