Very busy at the moment. Trying to make a film. It's like working in a cloud. But between reading books about scripts and talking to people about scripts, cameras and actors, I finally managed to finish Enter Naomi by Joe Carducci.
It's perhaps one one of the few book I've yet to read about the SoCal hardcore scene that sprang up in the early eighties. Carducci was at its very epicentre, running SST, the label the Meat Puppets, Minutemen, Husker Du, Black Flag and scores of other bands across America called home.
While books such as Henry Rollins', Get In The Van and Michael Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life explore the nature of SST, Enter Naomi is an altogether more personal book, focusing on the life of SST photographer and close friend of Carducci, Naomi Petersen.
Like so many of the people who would end up at SST, Naomi was an outcast, a mixed race young woman at odds with a Japanese heritage that alienated her through high school. Carducci tells how Naomi's eager attitude and hefty Nikon got her through countless gigs where violence was common – at least until the cops turned up, when it got worse.
But her camera and attitude couldn't shield her from the booze and when things start to go wrong the book turns from first hand accounts from Carducci, to postcards sent from the road and anecdotes about Naomi told by bands she'd photograph. This book, like Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, exposes how women were treated by the hardcore scene; it wasn't pretty and it seems Naomi was caught between this attitude and her unwillingness to confirm to the 'normal' life of husband, kids and home.
It's a great book, fleshing out the life of SST and the dedication of one outsider to music. it's worth tracking down for Petersen's photos alone.