Xerox Art & Rock’n Roll

 

Long before I ever took an art class I was making posters, my early ones as a young boy scout, then as a political activist and finally as punk rocker and rock’n roller, promoting shows of my bands. Just as we google today we were making xerox copies then. What I call Xerox Art here, also included collages and fanzines besides posters or flyer. Is a flyer an 8 1’2’ x 11” and a poster an 11” x 17”? What about 8 1/2” x 17” ? It doesn’t really matter, but these were the formats used; what is important was a fast, irreverent and cheap way to create and fit the activity promoted. It wasn’t serious art for sure, but part of promoting a political idea or a band. Not too much thought was spend on the aesthetic, which only fully came alive when 20, 30 or 50 posters showed up in one spot.

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Leo Faison and the author posting up flyers, Oct 78

Once the poster was Xeroxed an equal amount of activity was spend with a brush and a bucket of wheat paste, plastering the posters all over town or at least the important spots. This activity often pushed the border of legality and delicate decisions had to be made as to whose posters we were plastering over.

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The section looks good; but how long will it last?

The earliest pieces in this collection are from a punk performance at the closing ceremony of the 1977 Documenta and from one of the first German Punkrock bands called Rotz Kotz. There are no flyers from this group, since we actually had a two color offset printed poster that we used for or all our gigs, writing in the actual date and place with magic marker. This poster was a derive of the flyer that hung in every German post office looking for members of the leftist RAF.

Fahndungs poster

Wanted Poster. Germany 1977

We replaced the machinegun in the group’s logo with a guitar and replaced the faces with those of the band. More pictures and stories about these times at the bottom of each section: Punk Poesie, the 70’s too

The author in front of Rotz Kotz posters. Germany 1977/78.

The author in front of Rotz Kotz posters. Germany 1977/78.

Kicked out of Rotz Kotz for hitting some wrong chords I arrived in New York City on May 5th 1978, with a $ 99 one way ticket on Laker Airlines. Three weeks later I moved into the loft of the New York Niggers and shortly after joined the band. Here things were decidedly more low-budged, which you can see by the size and quality of the flyers. The New York Niggers recorded one 7” single, that sells for up to $ 500 now and lasted until the spring of 1980. New York, Rookie YearVintage 79

New York Niggers Pt 2 – Vintage 79 – Just Like Dresden 45

Xerox collage of my first gig with NYN

The first NYN poster after the reformation in 1978, that included the author. 4 polaroids, quick lettering. No reflection on aesthetics.

The first NYN poster after the reformation in 1978, that included the author. 4 polaroids, quick lettering. No reflection on aesthetics. This is not my handwriting and after this first flyer I pretty much took over the poster design. My nickname at the time was dee tour.

.Cheap perf posterquotes cover

fist poster

 

Monday Spt 10.flyer

NYN.polaroid postcard

Several bands followed the NYN break-up, The Troubadors, Festival of Patience, Nada and a smaller side project called European Sons. By this time I had a steady job at the Trash & Vaudevile, the foremost Rock’n Roll clothing store at that time and flyer formats changed, color paper was used more often, I was able to by books again and my reading as well as listening pleasures trickled into the poster designs.

festival of P, ABC no rio

NADA July 31

flyer for first NADA show at CBGB’s

 

More about this time: Eighty one, two, three

By 1984 I had written enough songs to put a new band together and by now I was able pull in some great East Village musicians. Between 1984 and 1988 East of Eden played out, record and released a single and an album and shot some super 8 b/w videos, all with changing lineups. Many EOE flyers were larger and I developed a flyer style of sorts, a mix a primitive drawing and collage, that was echoed in the single cover. My favorite flyer though is the Rock’n Roll Revelation poster that I transformed into a woodblock in 2005.

PEP 3.31

Rock'n Roll Revelation poster, inspired by the image of a Notre Dame gargoyle alluding to the communal almost religious experience possible in Rock'n Roll. For this philosphy of Rock'n Roll see also Patti Smith.

Rock’n Roll Revelation poster, inspired by the image of a Notre Dame gargoyle alluding to the communal almost religious experience possible in Rock’n Roll. For this philosphy of Rock’n Roll see also Patti Smith.

 

 

1984, 85,… Dreams of Eden

85, 86, East of Eden, final on 33″ Vinyl.

1987/88 Last Dance – the super 8’s

A magazine page, a pair of scissors, or ripped by hand some letters maybe, a typewriter, magic marker, glue and off to the copyshop.

With scissors, glue and Chuck Berry, NYC ca 1981-83

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One response to “Xerox Art & Rock’n Roll

  1. That’s an excellent point, Dieter. By the way, those U.S. Ape posters in the first picture were plastered up by me and the drummer in said band. Of course, like graffiti, this work of art by Tom Goodkind was about to be covered over with another lovely piece of art promoting your band I suspect. Downright archeological, like layers of paint you uncover when you try to scrape down to plaster on a wall in a new apartment.

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