The Flowering of Punk Rock - Tom Hearn's photographic exhibition opens at Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery April 14

Image: RamonesYa gotta love someone who unapologetically declaims, "Rock and Roll is here to stay" (on his Facebook page). Photographer of a huge collection of 70s Punk Rock images and Cheshire native Tom Hearn is that person and his spectacular photographic exhibition, "The Flowering of Punk Rock," unfolds at Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery in the Quick Center for the Arts on Thursday, April 14 with an opening reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to which the public is invited. The exhibition runs through Friday, May 27, 2011. On Saturday, April 16 from 6:30-7:30 p.m., there will be a special event, "Punk Out Loud" featuring co-authors Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain reading from their classic "Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk." Billy Hough will provide musical accompaniment. Admission to all is free. "The Flowering of Punk Rock" is an Arts & Minds presentation.

The exhibition features black and white photographs documenting the punk rock scene in Connecticut and New York City from 1976-1979. Regularly featured in Punk magazine with images seen in Rolling Stone and Shindig, Hearn's photographs truly capture a scene at the very peak of its power and energy.

According to Hearn, "I photographed the Ramones only three times, twice in New Haven: First on July 22, 1976 at the Arcadia Ballroom on Whalley Avenue, and then at their first Toad's Place show on January 5, 1978; also at the legendary Shaboo Inn in Willimantic, Conn. on April 29, 1978. I know all the exact dates because guitarist Johnny Ramone kept meticulous records of all of their 2,263 performances between 1974-1996. When the B-52s had their first New Haven show at the Oxford Ale House in 1978, I was there too and I took pictures of Blondie at Toads Place in October '78 and at CBGBs in New York in '77." Hearn's candid shots of Deborah Harry capture the star in her glory days unadorned and relaxing in her Jaguar.

In the 70s, Hearn traveled all over Connecticut and New York to hear the music he loved. Luckily he brought a camera. The Walsh Gallery show is a chronicle of some of the great bands and artists Hearn saw, shot and got to know. In addition to Blondie, the Ramones and the B-52s, "The Flowering of Punk Rock" includes, among others, shots of Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, John Cale and David Johansen, as well as circa 1978 local Connecticut bands such as The Survivors, Saucers and Scout House.

The Walsh Art Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 4 p.m.; closed Mondays. The Gallery is also open before all Quick Center events.

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Posted on March 25, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 251

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