Obit: Bruce Kalberg Published Legendary Punk 'zine

Kalberg's NO MAG was one of the few real-time records of Los Angeles's fertile punk rock period.

On Oct. 9, friends and fans gathered in the garden of on Echo Park Avenue to remember Bruce Kalberg.

Kahlberg died on Sept. 17 at 62.

Bruce Kalberg is best remembered for founding and overseeing the influential punk-rock fanzine NO MAG, published in Echo Park for a time.

Click here to see a digitized version of an early issue of NO MAG.

Organized by Kalberg's long-time girlfriend Ewa Wojciak, the event attracted luminaries from the local punk rock and cultural scene.

Said Wojciak in an email:

The folks that came were people whose life he changed. The people that he wrote about. The people that make up the old and new art community. People that believe in free speech and art and soul. Many of these folks got their first published articles or pictures or worked on NO MAG.

Read Freshjive.com's Kalberg obit here.

Wojciak also sent along this obit:

Bruce Kalberg, artist, photographer, publisher and writer based in Los Angeles died on early Saturday morning September 17, 2011 from leukemia and complications from Guillian-Barre syndrome.

A veteran of the early L.A. punk scene, Kalberg self-published the L.A. novel Sub-Hollywood under the name of Bruce Caen in 2005.

Sub-Hollywood is written against the backdrop of the first rush of Punk Rock in Los Angeles and Hollywood, a fervent creative period in experimentation in rock music and concept.

Unfortunately weakly documented as it occurred, it has now become massively influential commercial style mined for its content as the years pass.

Kalberg was also the publisher of the pioneering L.A.-based No Magazine [NO MAG].

For it he photographed countless L.A. underground bands and notables including James Chance, Exene Cervenka,John Doe, T-Bone Burnett, Keith Morris, Lee Ving, The Pandoras, Tomata Du Pleny, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sue Tissue from the Suburban Lawns, Dwight Yoakam, Christiana F., Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins, Penelope Spheeris, David Lynch, Tobe Hooper and Paul Morrissey.

Kalberg's blown-out shots of these legends were taken in his studios in Echo Park and at Las Palmas and Hollywood Blvd. between 1978 and 1984.

The technique used was as raw and reckless as the photographer himself--subjects stood in front of backdrops designed by Kalberg in a completely dark room.

Photos were shot in surprise in a tightly controlled creative environment with an intense Vivitar flash on Nikon FE1 resulting in candid yet formal portraiture with stunning quality and detail.

Most recently, Kalberg was in the process of completing his second novel and awaiting the translation of Sub-Hollywood into French.

During the last couple of years Kalberg had lectured at art chools and was a featured speaker at the event "Shelf Life: A Big Day for Small Press" at the University of Southern California.

He also partnered with Ewa Wojciak in 2008 in the Silver Lake store Beatnik Bookster, specializing in hard-to-find and small run magazines.

Both Sub-Hollywood  and No Magazine are in the collection of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.

name December 03, 2012 at 05:12 AM
rip. gr


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