Perspective | In service to the magic of the devious, a visual ode to the punks of San Francisco

From 1977 to 1980, Jim Jocoy photographed the San Francisco punk scene, from the stage to the bathroom stalls.

Jim Jocoy became a student at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1976, at the threshold of the San Francisco punk scene. It took only one year for him to become entranced by the scene, which included bands like the hardcore punk Dead Kennedys. Jocoy dropped out of school to spend his nights taking photographs that documented a completely different subculture in the city, the Summer of Love just a decade behind it.

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n early 1979, photographer Jim Jocoy attended an auction at the Peoples Temple in San Francisco. More than 900 of its worshipers had died in a mass suicide-murder which came to be known as the Jonestown massacre, led to their deaths by activist-turned-doomsday cultist Jim Jones. When Jocoy saw some of the followers’ left-behind luggage, he saw a symbol of Jones’ “hollow, empty promise”, and took a picture. “Jonestown, the assassinations – they worked into the fabric of San Francisco, and unraveled its tapestry,” Jocoy says. “It was quite gloomy, that summer of hate, and punk was the soundtrack.”