Pop Culture & Performing Arts

Chris Stein / Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk

INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards -- 2014 Finalist

On the occasion of Blondie’s fortieth anniversary, Chris Stein shares his iconic and mostly unpublished photographs of Debbie Harry and the cool creatures of the ’70s and ’80s New York rock scene. While a student at the School of Visual Arts, Chris Stein photographed the downtown New York scene of the early ’70s, where he met Deborah Harry and cofounded Blondie. Their blend of punk, dance, and hip-hop spawned a totally new sound, and Stein’s photographs helped establish Harry as an international fashion and music icon. In photos and stories direct from Stein, brilliant writer of hits like "Rapture" and "Heart of Glass," this book provides a fascinating snapshot of the period before and during Blondie’s huge rise, by someone who was part of and who helped to shape the early punk music scene—at CBGB, Andy Warhol’s Factory, and early Bowery. Stars such as David Bowie, the Ramones, Joan Jett, and Iggy Pop were part of Stein’s world, as were fascinating downtown characters like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Richard Hell, Stephen Sprouse, Anya Phillips, Divine, and many others. As captured by one of its greatest artists and instigators, and designed by Shepard Fairey, this book is a must-have celebration of the new-wave and punk scene, whose influence on music and fashion is just as relevant today as it was four decades ago.

About The Author

Chris Stein’s work has been featured in galleries and press around the world. Deborah Harry is the iconic lead vocalist and cofounder with Stein of Blondie. Glenn O’Brien is the author of How to Be a Man and writes about art, fashion, love, and philosophy.

  • Publish Date: September 23, 2014
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Music - Genres & Styles - Rock
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 8-2/3 x 11-2/3
  • Pages: 208
  • US Price: $55.00
  • CDN Price: $55.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4363-3


“Since Blondie formed 40 years ago, one thing has remained constant: if the band’s co-founder Chris Stein isn’t onstage with a guitar slung around his neck, chances are he’s off somewhere with a camera, taking pictures. Now, the results of his four-decade-long hobby have been compiled in a new book, Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk…Though the photographs in the book span the band’s four decades, they’re rooted mostly in the punk scene that emerged in the ’70s and ’80s, paralleling Blondie’s rise. Looking at them, it’s easy to imagine how much fun the duo had not just making pictures, but also making music. The pictures…capture the essence of a lost, romantic moment in New York history.” –New York Times T Magazine

"[One of the] best books of the year" –American Photo

“…Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk, an art book being published to coincide with the band’s 40th anniversary. The book contains scores of photos, many of them never before published, of Blondie, the Ramones, the Talking Heads and other pioneers of the 1970s New York City rock scene. That aesthetic comes through in Stein’s unfussy, mostly black-and-white images, which capture Harry, David Bowie, Joan Jett and other musicians in spontaneous, revealing moments.” –CNN

“In 1974, New York City was the home to a potent burgeoning punk and new wave scene. Blondie’s Chris Stein was there for all of it: his guitar in one hand, his camera in the other. As Blondie celebrates its 40th anniversary, Stein is releasing his first book of photographs, Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk, which documents his life on stage, on the road and at home, including portraits of his friends who made the downtown scene: Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Joan Jett, Jean Michael Basquiat and many more.” –Time Magazine

“To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Blondie, Chris Stein is releasing his treasure trove of his photographs from the New York City music scene of the 1970s and early 1980s in his new book, Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk.” –Smithsonian

“Hearken back to the era of punk and new wave music with these snapshots. Chris Stein was at the center of the burgeoning punk/new wave scene in 1970s New York City as the lead guitarist for Blondie. Cutting edge bands such as Talking Heads, the Ramones and Television were establishing their sound at clubs like the now-defunct CBGB. And as a member of one of the leading groups on the scene and a recent photography graduate of New York’s School of Visual Arts, Stein was uniquely positioned to document the musical pioneers of that time and place.” –Hollywood Reporter

“…Chris Stein, has released a new photography book remembering its glory days. Though Stein claims to have thousands of photographs in his archives, the way he describes his photographic process is surprisingly casual. Chris Stein / Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk, chronicles the early punk scene, featuring not only rare photos of Debbie Harry, but also Joan Jett, Iggy Pop, the Ramones, and Andy Warhol.” –New York Magazine

“Blondie guitarist and songwriter Chris Stein released the almost self-titled Chris Stein / Negative, a handsome photobook featuring shots that begin in the mid-Seventies and end with a picture of Debbie Harry and Philip Glass taken at Lou Reed's memorial service.” –Rolling Stone Magazine

"Less than a month after the release of Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk, the coffee table debut from Blondie's co-founding member went on backorder. In case there was any doubt, that's how beloved they still are—40 years into their career." –Vice

"Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk, culls from Stein’s private collection going back to the early 1970s, with cameos by the Ramones, Joan Jett, Iggy Pop, and William S. Burroughs, among others. Harry, though, lures you in, every inch the glamorous rock star but also at ease in candid settings. " -Boston Globe

"I’m loving the new book of largely never-before-seen Blondie photographs from Chris Stein, out now from Rizzoli. So. Cool. " –The Fashion Spot 

"On the occasion of the band’s 40th anniversary year, Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk offers a revealing look back at one of the most trailblazing and influential bands of our time and the punk scene that they pioneered. From Blondie’s early days, to their world travels and sold-out shows, to their legendary musical counterparts, it is all shown from the inside view of Chris Stein." -Life and Times

"Along with the iconic Debbie Harry, Chris Stein is the driving force behind the influential ’70s punk/New Wave group Blondie. In addition to his talents as a guitarist and songwriter for the group, Stein is an accomplished photographer, as demonstrated in this new book. It not only features photos of Blondie throughout the ’70s to mid-80s, but also captures the mood and feel of New York City in throes of the punk rock scene defined by landmarks such as CBGB and the Mudd Club. The book also includes photos Stein took of city scene-sters like Basiquat, Richard Hell and Stephen Sprouse as well as fellow bands such as the Ramones, the New York Dolls, and Siouxie and the Banshees." -Brooklyn Based

“With this anniversary, Chris Stein, guitarist for the band, has released his book, showcasing a grungier New York and documenting Blondie’s road to success. While Debbie Harry, singer for Blondie and Stein’s former girlfriend, remains the star of this book, Stein also captured some of the most influential punkers and rockers to come out of NYC’s music underground. Every picture tells a story, and along with his snaps, Stein has plenty of stories.” –NewYork.com

Author Bookshelf: Chris Stein

Author Bookshelf: Glenn O'Brien

Author Bookshelf: Shepard Fairey