Glen E. Friedman is a photographer from New York who has spent his whole life documenting all that he's immersed himself in. Starting around 1976 with skateboarding in California with legends such as Jay Adams and Tony Alva, through the late seventies with hardcore punk rock such as Washington DC's Minor Threat, to early eighties hip hop in New York with Chuck D. and Flavor Flav.

"If I like the band and I think they are cool I'll shoot them. If a skater is doing something that's incredible or they just look cool doing what they're doing and has some style I'll shoot that. The crew I hung out with were rowdy and crazy people doing radical shit that no one else doing. I just wanted to capture the shit that was going on and I wanted to get as close as possible to the action and make it intense and as gnarly as it was." Many of Glen's photographs can be found in his books "F*@k You Heroes" and "F*@k You Too." These books have been so we received that Glen was brought out to exhibit his work as part of the annual Sydney Fringe Festival. Having been involved in skateboarding and punk as long as I can remember, to walk into a room full of Friedman photos is an amazing experience. On the walls were photos of Jay Adams knocking out coping blocks in a pool as early as 1978.

"When I take skate photos I want other people to dig them. First of all you definatly want skaters to dig them. If other people can get into it too that's really dope and important. When you show someone's facial expression in a skate shot or a music shot anyone can get it. If they see someone just making some intense face they just know. They don't understand the trick, but they can relate to the emotion. That to me is really important. Character, composition, and intensity."

As part of the opening night, opposed to the usual free alcohol and food, Glen took over a theater and did a hour and a half talk, question and answer session. Most people there seemed only interested that Glen worked with the Beastie Boys, but hopefully the messages of rebellion and sincerity shone through.

"Skateboarding, punk rock and hip-hop is all about individuality and a person expressing themselves and having the confidence to do it the way they want to. For those truly dedicated it has definitely taught them about individuality and expressing themselves. Just because you're thinking differently doesn't mean you're wrong. and that's one of the main things I'm trying to present. People have to trust their own instincts. so many people are just following what others want them to do."

If you missed Friedman's "F*@k You All" exhibition, worry not, as all the work including essays, reviews and other texts can be seen in his two already available books. His next book is officially due out in September, entitled  "The Idealist." Glen assures me that he'll be back in Australia in the next couple of years. Until then, live life and revolt.

by Dave Adair

1 page with color portrait of G.E.F. by Dave Adair