Friday, October 24, 2014

Book Spotlight: Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground


Playground / Book Cover


It's always interesting to read something or watch a film about a way of living life that is so different from your own. I think that this is one of the many strengths of creativity. We can be transported to another time or place with the turning of a page or as we watch the opening credits of a film. In those moments we can either find a bit of ourselves or we can bear witness to the lives of people who were just that little bit different than ourselves.

Author: Paul Zone
In Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground by Paul Zone,© 2014, published by Glitterati Incorporated, http://glitteratiincorporated.com , readers are treated to an intriguing photo memoir by Zone as he recounts his time in the early days of the New York punk scene. Paul Zone was the lead singer in a band called The Fast. Because of the circles that he traveled in, he had great insider access to big names in the punk scene, such as Blondie, T. Rex, The New York Dolls, and so many more. He also rubbed shoulders with others artists such as Alice Cooper and Patti Smith. 

Debbie Harry (Blondie) / Max’s Kansas City, 1975

Dee Dee Ramone (The Ramones) & Connie Gripp / Max's Kansas City’s kitchen, 1975

One thing that I found so brilliant about the photos in this book was the fact that Zone took them with a 110 Instamatic, a Brownie, and a Polaroid camera. He wasn't using top of the line equipment, but it didn't matter because he got some really amazing shots. He did an excellent job of documenting a slice of 70's New York City. There is such a truth to Zone's photos and it's the ultimate peek behind the scenes of an intriguing time.

 Tish & Snooky / Manic Panic, St. Marks Pl. 1978

David Johansen (New York Dolls) / Max's Kansas City, August 1973

In addition to the photos, Zone tells the stories from his own life with a realness that I totally respect. He doesn't sugar-coat anything and yet alongside the grittier things there is also evidence of fun times that Zone and his contemporaries all had in the New York underground.

Crayola / Max’s Kansas City 1977

Wayne County / Coventry, Queens NY 1973

I was enthralled throughout the book because as I mentioned in the beginning, it's so interesting to get a look into a world that you do not know. Everyone has a story and in telling our stories this is how we hopefully understand a bit more about each other.

Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground can be purchased here.


*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

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