Roberta was born in Pasadena, California, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where she was an avid music fan and saw the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Who, the Byrds, and Bob Dylan, among many others. She attended San Francisco State University for three years before moving to London in 1971, where she worked briefly for Malcom McLaren and Vivienne Westwood at their Kings Road store Let It Rock.
Arriving in New York in the spring of 1974, Bayley soon began working the door at CBGBs, New York’s legendary punk club. She started photographing the musicians who played there and soon went to work as chief photographer for Punk magazine, which gave the movement its name. She is one of the main photographers to visually chronicle the early punk rock scene, from 1975 through the 80s.
Among the artists Bayley has photographed are Iggy Pop, the Ramones, Debbie Harry and Blondie, Richard Hell, Elvis Costello, the Sex Pistols, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, Ian Dury, Brian Eno, Nick Lowe, The Damned, The Clash, The Dead Boys, X-Ray Spex, Squeeze, and a reunited New York Dolls.
Bayley's photographs are featured in countless books and magazines on punk. She co-wrote Patti Smith: An Unauthorized Biography (Simon & Schuster, 1996) and published her own book on Blondie titled Blondie Unseen (Plexus) in 2006. She appeared on screen as a hooker in the gritty independent feature film Downtown 81, which starred Jean Michel Basquiat and chronicled New York’s downtown art scene of the 80s.
Bayley’s photographs have been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Sydney, Paris, Austin, Portland, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, and Pittsburgh. Even Connecticut.
Bayley currently lives in New York City.
Roberta Bayley in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 2018
Centro Cultural Borges CCB
Buenos Aires, Argentina. 2018
Buenos Aires, September - 2018
Debbie Harry with Roberta Bayley at Hurrah - Nightclub. New York, 1980
Photo: Bobby Grossman
This stunning visual memoir portrays a unique period in music and fashion. Shot by Roberta Bayley, one of the New York punk scene s most prominent photographers, the photographs chronicle the band from its earliest days, performing before hard-to-please crowds at Max s Kansas City and CBGB s, to global superstardom at the end of the 1970s. At every stage, Bayley was present to record Blondie s swift, dramatic rise to the top. Featuring 235 candid photographs, many previously unpublished, Blondie Unseen 1976-1980 offers a fly-on-the-wall visual perspective of life with the band during these tumultuous years. Bayley s talent for being in the right place at the right time ensures that her photographs capture the truth of the moment in a dramatic and revealing manner. The images, enhanced and complemented by Bayley s own first-hand descriptions, provide an inimitable evocation of one of pop culture s most creative and exciting periods."
The Book contains 24 black and white photographs by New York photographer Roberta Bayley, with each print initialed by Bayley and mounted on brown boards. Accompanying each photograph is a facsimile of Bayley’s handwriting describing the origin of each image.
This is the original artist draft for the Punk Book which includes the 24 photographs | RC Prints | Each Photograph is Signed by Roberta Bayley
ONLY 2 AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
BOOK #1 & #5
(Property of the artist)