New York: A Fred Jordan Book/A Dell Trade Paperback, 1982. 1st Edition. Slim folio, publisher's photo-illustrated stiff paper wraps lettered in white and beige.
Presentation copy of this photo-packed autobiography of new wave/pop rock icons Blondie, based on transcribed recordings of Harry and Stein recounting the band's history, and inscribed several times by their collaborator, prolific downtown journalist and biographer Bockris. The six studio albums Blondie recorded between 1976 and their break-up in 1983 – composed of strands of punk, disco, new wave, reggae and rap – form an underground soundtrack to the era. Harry and Stein first met Bockris on the night of the infamous blackout of '77, at the apartment of Warhol Factory photographer Christopher Makos. Bockris has said, "my impressions of Debbie and her partner Chris Stein were seamless...hanging out with [them] extended my territory. Soon I was taking them to meet my people as they introduced me to theirs. Threads of Punk wove together with Beat and Warhol threads. The Beat Punk Generation was beginning to get up and walk" (Loud Alien Noize, tobedamit.com). Bockris has inscribed the book three times: twice on the title-page and once above the table of contents. The primary inscription reads: "for Carl Laszlo/in memory of our time spent in London (for the Final Academy) and New York, during OCTOBER when we began to collaborate./Victor Bockris." Laszlo, a Holocaust survivor, was a Swiss-Hungarian art collector, gallerist, and publisher whose magazine Panderma, published in Basel in the 1950s, was a showcase for work by some of the leading modern artists of the day, including Picasso, Vaserely, Moholy-Nagy, and Christian Schad. Bockris's mention of the "Final Academy" refers to a four-day series of films, readings and performances held in London in late September-early October, 1982, honoring the work of William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin. Bockris was one of the readers, and Laszlo, who knew everybody, presumably one of the attendees. Soon after, Bockris guest-edited an issue of Laszlo's short-lived magazine RADAR, which he references in the inscription above the table of contents: "On the occasion of Debbie Harry and Chris Stein's joining the staff of RADAR as collaborators," referring no doubt to an excerpt from Making Tracks that appeared in the magazine. An additional title-page inscription reads: "with much love from Victor/New York City/October 25th 1982"; and lastly, Bockris has drawn one of his characteristic stick figures in the lower corner of the half-title. Illustrated throughout with Stein's color and black-and-white photos documenting the band from its earliest days. Light edgewear. A near fine copy of a hard-to-find rock bio, exuberantly inscribed, and connecting several members (and generations) of disparate underground art and music scenes. Item #540