Published Aug 20, 2007On September 3, 1987, Fugazi played their first show in Washington, DC and no group has so impacted underground culture since. Photographer Glen E. Friedman is certainly an authority on the matter. From the nascent 70s California skateboarding scene to the birth of American hardcore punk and hip-hop, Friedmans iconic portraits have inspired people the world over. Of all the bands to cross his lens, Friedman has a favourite muse. "I have more Fugazi photos than any single subject Ive ever shot, he says. "Fugazi have been the biggest inspiration to me, musically and artistically, for many years.
Having captured them throughout their existence, Friedman has compiled a remarkable photo book in Keep Your Eyes Open: Fugazi. Featuring insightful commentary and a brilliant, sprawling essay by Nation of Ulysses/Weird War front-man Ian Svenonious, Friedmans new book coincides with Fugazis 20th anniversary and their current "indefinite hiatus. Eager archivists, Brendan Canty, Joe Lally, Ian MacKaye, and Guy Picciotto are fortunate to have visionary artists like Friedman and filmmaker Jem Cohen (Instrument) document their band. "Im not sure why these people want to hang around with us, Picciotto laughs. "Sometimes I find it funny that people find us photogenic at all because, unlike a band like the Beatles who had a different look every six months, I look at our book and Im like, Hey look, were wearing the same T-shirts for 16 years! And no one has a moustache.
Ultimately these peripheral friends contribute much to Fugazis legacy. "Fugazi may have been strictly us four but we were supported, encouraged, and inspired by all of these people as well, Picciotto says. "Thats one thing that I think is cool about the book; it has a community feel to it so people can see where we were coming from and what was surrounding us.
Click her to read a web exclusive interview with Friedman and Picciotto.