Music and Photography are both passions. So …
Back in the 1980s or thereabouts, in and around NYU, New York City was still in the throes of its pacesetting music scene—one could go out any night of the week to see any number of fantastic bands putting their heart and soul into their music. Local or international, from Jazz to No Wave, they were filling spaces like Danceteria, Irving Plaza, The Ritz, Southern Funk Café, and … The Dive. Which is what is was. Gleefully so.
The Dive was the center of the burgeoning garage-psych scene in NYC, and that was dotted around the world (LA’s scene being dubbed “The Paisley Underground” by Michael Quercio of the Three O’Clock). Bands like The Fuzztones, Vipers, Tryfles, Mad Violets, Mod Fun, Mosquitos, Secret Service and many others from New Jersey to Long Island, Rochester to Boston, came to play. After the shows, both the bands and their friends would head out at 2am to The Dugout, and later to the 24-hour restaurants in the East Village like Kiev and Leshko’s, to eat pierogi and watch the sun come up.
In and amongst that lively set, Greg Gutbezahl mixed with the bands, joined with the fans, relatively anonymous, but with camera and tape recorder in hand, documenting many of the combos that played their hearts out. Apart from working on TV commercials and music videos, he was also taking headshots and portraits, and on and on.
Fast forward to the 1990’s and Greg had moved with his wife Elaine to London, England, at the height of Britpop and Cool Britannia. Not much had happened with his camera. A bit, but not much.
Jump forward a bit more, and bands from the 1960s through the 1990s were reforming for shows like CaveStomp in NYC, and others elsewhere. The music was back. And so was Greg’s camera. After a family move to the San Francisco area, he was introduced to DJ Sid Presley (David Greenfield), maestro for many local Bay Area gigs, by Paul Martin of the Vipers. San Francisco and Oakland’s music scene was dynamite, with local heroes, past glories, and famous bands crossing paths. David opened a lot of doors, and after a few years, now friendly and associating with many of the local bands, Greg gained access to take many of the pictures you see here.
Now living in Fort Worth, Texas, which is about to explode with all manner of new developments, Cowtown is harboring its own exciting music scene … camera to follow!
Greg has created numerous gig posters and album covers, a couple music videos, appeared in online magazines and other publications, including the January 2019 issue of Ruta 66, a Spanish music and lifestyle magazine (featuring his pix of the Chocolate Watchband). In August 2018, Greg co-curated (with Carlos Iglesias) the music photography show “It’s Only Rock’n’Roll” at the Castelli Art Space in Los Angeles. More to come!
Thank you for stopping by and taking time out of your day to visit.