January 1995


GLEN E. FRIEDMAN: Fuck You Heroes

Photographer Glen E. Friedman is as wild, independent and uncompromising as his subjects. In fact, those who wind up on the far end of his lens aren't so much subjects as they are partners in crime - skaters like Jay Adams, punkers of Ian MacKaye's ilk and rappers such as Public Enemy live on the fringes of society, where only freaks and the courageous survive. And that's probably about the only place where Friedman feels at home. Honesty, unfettered by dogma and convention, can only survive outside limitations. Fuck You Heroes is a pictorial documentation of that wide-open world.

Friedman was a pubescent punk skater when his work was first published in 1976, and this book follows his work from those beginnings through 1991. He's always at the right place at the right time: He caught skaters Tony Alva and Wally Inouye in the late '70s, when the sport was the prime choice for outlaws. He shot Black Flag at shows that the cops shut down. He recorded the last Germs show, mere days before Darby Crash's suicide. He knew the Beastie Boys practically before anyone else. Those images echo a time when being an outcast wasn't hip - it was dangerous. The adrenaline rush that danger caused was also fun. And Friedman understands both sides of the coin.

Some of these photos ring familiar - Friedman's work has appeared in about a zillion different skate and rock magazines and on 100 album covers. Outtakes of many of these sessions are here. Seeing these edgy, exciting images in one package is an unforgettable experience. Some pictures, such as the mirror shot of Lifer Maxwell Melvins, will haunt you forever. Fuck You Heroes is not for those who think punk, rap or skating is a fashion statement. It's only for those who had no choice but to grow up different, real and true.

Janiss Garza