Danny Fields, Midwife to Punk
THE DAILY PIC: In a new movie about Fields, the rock impresario who nurtured Iggy Pop and The Ramones, modern art's values are front and center.
THE DAILY PIC (#1644): On Friday, a new movie about Danny Fields, the rock journalist and producer and manager, is being released in New York and Los Angeles (and online) by Magnolia Pictures. Called Danny Says, and directed by New Yorker Brendan Toller, the film walks us through Fields’s encounters with most of the people who mattered on America’s pop-culture scene in the 1960s and ’70s, from Andy Warhol and Nico to Jim Morrison, Iggy Pop and the Ramones.
What struck me most about the film was how this ultimate fan of popular culture lived out the values of official Modernism, always seeking the new and the radical. Warhol, who had learned precisely the same values in art school, was Fields’s first encounter with the pop avant-garde, in 1963, and then Fields went on to surf the cutting-edge through most of the important rock movements of the next decade. (Today’s Pic captures that crossover: It was taken by Warhol superstar Brigid Berlin and shows Fields and Iggy Pop in double exposure.)
Having myself come of age in the first era of punk, I loved the way Danny Says traces the movement’s prehistory. The Ramones come off as absolute geniuses but Iggy looks pretty good, too. And Danny seems awfully smart for having spotted and promoted such talents. (Image courtesy Magnolia Pictures, ©Brigid Berlin)
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