by Peter Aaron
Woodstock resident Chris Stein is of course known as the guitarist of punk/new wave greats Blondie. But less known is the fact that his talents also extend to photography, a fact that’s now on view via “Blondie 4(0) Ever,” a show at Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York of images Stein captured during the band’s colorful ride from its beginnings at CBGB in the mid 1970s through its rise to international stardom and eventual enshrinement as one of rock’s most iconic acts.
Stein began taking photographs in 1968 while at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. In 1973, he met and began working with Debbie Harry, and together they founded Blondie. Stein wrote/co-wrote such classics as “Sunday Girl,” “Heart of Glass,” “Dreaming,” and “Rapture.” During the decade, he documented the emerging punk and new wave scene, capturing era- and career-defining images of many of its pioneering musicians.
“Chris Stein is rock and roll royalty,” says the gallery’s co-owner, Peter Blachley. “He and Debbie Harry were at the forefront of a movement that created some of the best music of the 1970s and 1980s. What he created as a photographer, with her as his muse, really codifies that period of time. This exhibit showcases a big piece of music history.”
A silent auction of select prints will be on-site in support of animal advocacy organization Rational Animal’s Sweet Dreams campaign, to raise funds for its Mothers Comfort Project, which sews beds for animals in shelters.
“Blondie 4(0) Ever” is on view through June 24 at Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York. For more information, visit www.morrisonhotelgallery.com.