“Where Were You?” Lydia Lunch at Club DV8, San Francisco [June 27, 1986]

Ms. Lunch would appear as part of the opening performance, the night The Mekons appeared at the club.

Also sharing the stage for the opening slot, was Ms. Karen Finley, whose photos I will add at a later date.

As I recall, both artists simply did their monologues, without any other visual or aural media as support. I was already familiar with Ms. Lunch from her short films, done with Richard Kern, and as such, I was a bit surprised that she was “dressed up” for the occasion, and not appearing as “downtown”, as I was expecting from the images in her films and press, up to that point in time.

This small series of photos will illustrate why I always preferred to use natural lighting, and not flash, when taking photos during a performance. I am quite pleased with the results of most of the images, even though only a few were suitable to work with [mic stands in the way; the flash being too strong…]

Ms. Lunch is emphasizing a point here, and for some reason, almost resembles a famous Spanish actress to me. The detail in her hair was a nice result in this image, aside from her expression.

Another image which has the mic stand in it, but it doesn’t interfere too much with the overall result – thanks again, to the lighting

One of the few shots that I used flash for, that worked. The details in her dress benefit, but I feel the skin tone is too washed out. But anyway…..

One of the shots that I could not move around the mic stand for, but it still works, mainly because of the natural lighting

The back lights worked very well in this snapshot, providing a special effect of sorts, with one “ball of light” alight on the end of her free hand

One of the few times the stage lights were keyed up for the performance.

Lydia Lunch Official site:


NOTE:  It has been a while, but I’ve come across a couple more snapshots that are perhaps worth sharing, from another appearance in the Bay Area, either the night before, or after, the Club DV8, from what I gather….

These photos were taken at a reading done at the DNA Lounge, in San Francisco, and if I recall correctly, Mr. Thirlwell was also there, as an audience member/part of Ms. Lunch’s entourage on that evening.

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Lydia Lunch from balcony [Lydia Lunch -

Taken from the balcony as the reading proceeded

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Lydia Lunch in B&W [Lydia Lunch - DNA Lo

The only other photo I’ve unearthed from the DNA Lounge appearance

A highly recommended site put together for fans of Ms. Lunch’s work, along with kindred spirits/collaborators of hers, in one form or another:

From the Archives


While many of you who arrive here, to look at these photographs may get turned off to my use of watermarks [thinking they ruin the image], let me explain why I choose to do this.

No one paid for my camera equipment but me. No one paid for the film I used to take these photographs.  On occasion, when I free-lanced for a free monthly newsletter, and they published a photo of mine, the payment for each photograph barely paid for the fuel to get my vehicle to the show [when I *did* have a vehicle], and the film I used on that night. 

Not too many of my photos were published, at the time, because the artists I chose to capture images of, were not hugely popular then.  Hence, the old dictum, “Supply and Demand”; I had the supply, but the demand [pre-Internet], was not there. You can argue the relative merits of the quality of my work, and that is precisely what a blog offers:  a venue for discussion.

Back to the watermarks: no one is subsidizing my time to scan and then clean up the images I am presenting here. Start to finish, each negative will take approximately an hour-and-a-half to reach “proof” quality – which is what you will see here.  This is my labor of love, and until there is some measurable return on my efforts, what you see is what you get.


2 responses to ““Where Were You?” Lydia Lunch at Club DV8, San Francisco [June 27, 1986]

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