One of punk rock’s most significant acts, the Dead Boys emerged from Cleveland in the late 1970s and would go on to achieve national (and even international) acclaim before quickly imploding.
Photographer Dave Treat captured the band during that time period. Dead Boys 1977: The Lost Photographs of Dave Treat,
a book edited and designed by locally based writer and graphic designer Ron Kretsch, chronicles the group's early days.
The book hits streets on Sept. 29, 2017 to coincide with Dead Boys guitarist Cheetah Chrome's national tour and the 40th anniversary of the seminal punk album Young, Loud and Snotty
As it's put in a press release announcing the book's arrival, the photos show "the embryonic Dead Boys cavorting in the rust belt ruins of mid 1970s Cleveland, before CBGB, before Young Loud and Snotty
, before lasting infamy." Many of the photos have never been seen by the public.
The book also contains an “intimate and uncommonly sensitive” portrait session with frontman Stiv Bators and a section of never-before-seen color photos of the Dead Boys opening for the Dictators.
The book’s cover features the photo of a band in an alley that became the cover of Young, Loud and Snotty
. Treat shot the band in the same location, but his photo didn’t make the album cover.
"After the Dead Boys were signed with Sire Records, the band wanted the photo I shot [the alley shot] to be used as the album cover," he says. "They wanted me to reshoot the photo…and they pushed hard for me, but [Sire owner] Seymour Stein had the final say. He decided since I was not a professional photographer, he wanted Glen Brown to shoot it. So he flew Glen out to Cleveland and they went back to the exact location and reshot my photo. How do I feel about that? Actually, it's great to finally be recognized as the person who created the original concept and photo. As far as Glen, he was hired to do a job and no hard feelings here."
Last year, the photos appeared in an exhibit after Bryon Miller, a gallery proprietor and photographer for High Times
, printed them on old-school gelatin silver style in an actual darkroom.
Currently, photo exhibitions are planned for Cleveland, New York and Los Angeles in the fall. Brittany M. Hudak, an independent curator and arts writer based in Cleveland, co-curated that first exhibition of Treat’s Dead Boys photos.