As a photographer, John Scarpati is well known for his work on album covers, each a dynamic and living piece of art. During the 1980s in Los Angeles, he was the music photographer, an anthropologist of the Sunset Strip, his lens documenting the fashion, sounds, and faces in the era of outrageous musical fashion. Now Scarpati has collected those images in a book, Cramp, Slash & Burn: When Punk and Glam Were Twins.
Compiled with photos of and/or interviews with groups such as Social Distortion, Fishbone, Jane’s Addiction, and Poison as well as artists like Modi Frank and Borneo Joe from the LA scene, the essays that go along with Scarpati’s photographs are illuminating. Anecdotes and praise flow free-form into an oral history of a decade in the life of both music and a man perfectly placed to document it.
Check out a few spreads from the book below.