“924 Gilman ”
- Artist Johnya Streeper
Release # BFLD233
Limited to 300
I first heard of a band called Struggle from some skater kid when I was 16. One of the kids from that band worked at a kink shop called the Catwalk. I did my weekly rounds of cool kid job stalking, and eventually through friends of friends, I ended up moving around the corner from the E street house where the community congregated. Always an outlier, even to the subculture, I managed to find myself in the shadow of an emotionally charged music, art, and activism scene that pulled me in.
The music and live experience of Swing Kids was raw intensity that was mind blowing. I got my sea legs traveling with the band and photographing the experience. My camera felt like an extension of the music, a surrogate for the instruments my hands couldn’t actually play. My images of that time were imperfect yet impassioned by sound and experience. Swing Kids taught me to let go of perfection and make art with discord and tension.
The image for this shirt was shot at the same show at Gilman St. as the image I made that was used for their split 10” record. I have on more than one occasion heard that record described as iconic, and over last 25 years when I mention Swing kids, people seem to remember exactly where they were when they heard the album for the first time. That time and place was a focal point of my youth and Swing Kids was the soundtrack. When I close my eyes and think back I hear 350 125 go! -Jonya Streeper