Stuck inside with a malady serious enough to keep me from venturing outside on hot and polluted days, this week, has meant that I could process a few more images from my backlog of concert photographs.

Today’s “stars” are the fellows from Negativland, as they appeared, when opening for Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel, at the I-Beam, in SF, in March of 1986. I would have liked to present these images long before the unfortunate passing of two key members of the original lineups, Don Joyce, and Richard Lyons, but twasn’t to be.  Mr. Lyons did not perform with the group on this occasion, as far as I know, but Mr. Joyce is in two of the images below:

Those of you who own copies of the original “Escape From Noise” release, will remember that there was a booklet with the original vinyl lp, which had many images, alongside several reviews and fun asides.  You might just recognize a handful of the photos shared here, as they were included with that booklet [credited to “Eye Wonder”- my short-lived attempt at going “pro” with my photography, which was to be done in collaboration with a partner, who mysteriously vanished shortly after going through the process of registering the name, and all the rest of the process…. another story for another time & place].

It turns out that Mark Hosler would sometimes drop by the “mom & pop” used record store that I worked for, at the time, and I mentioned that I had taken a few snapshots of them opening for Foetus.  From there, the photographs were passed along, and the next thing I knew, they appeared with their next release, as described earlier in this post. For obvious reasons, they only used a few, so now the remainder of those snapshots can be viewed here.

It wouldn’t be long before their toiling away in relative obscurity would change dramatically; after their next release, which would unleash all sorts of legal headaches for the group, but their profile would definitely be raised, as a result.

The story of that, and much, much more can be found over on their official website:

Negativland Official website

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Chris Grigg horizontal [Negativland - I

Chris Grigg provides guitar texture, and other treatments during the performance

Michael Conen - [PROOF] David Wills & spray bottle [Negativland

David Wills, aka “The Weatherman”, delivers a treated spoken-word segment: notice the ever-present “Formula 409” spray bottle

Michael Conen - [PROOF] David Wills & spray bottle shadow [Negat

Another of the images that was found in the “Escape From Noise” booklet, of Mr. Wills

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Mark Hosler horizontal [Negativland - I

The last of the images that was used in the “Escape From Noise” original booklet. This one, of one of the remaining members of the collective/band, Mark Hosler


These days, the group tours in various line-ups, which can be better followed, by heading over to their website, for the latest information on their shows, Don Joyce’s “Over the Edge” archives, and many other events:

Negativland Official Bio


For Wikipedia’s take on the “Escape From Noise” and its myriad of contributors/collaborators, head over to here:

Wikidpedia entry on Escape From Noise


And, in case you are interested, here are the photographs of the headliner for that evening’s performance, Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel, on an earlier post of mine:

“Where Were You?” Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel at the I-Beam, SF [3-10-86]


Thanks very much for using those photos, at the time, you guys, and next time you see Peter Conheim, say hello for me!



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.