Raiding the Houston Press's Photo Archives

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So today's New York Times has an article about how cash-strapped Sony Music is planning to open a new revenue stream:

Some of Sony’s music executives believe there is a gold mine under the company’s New York headquarters on Madison Avenue. It doesn’t look like much: just a small room, three floors below ground level, with a wall full of the sliding shelves you’d find in a law firm or university library.

But the shelves hold decades of music history as captured by Columbia Records staff photographers: Miles Davis recording “Kind of Blue” in 1959 at the company’s old 30th Street Studio; Bob Dylan standing with then-girlfriend Suze Rotolo on a slushy Greenwich Village street in 1963; Bruce Springsteen proudly holding a copy of his first record in 1973.

Sony acquired Columbia in 1988, but for decades the images in the archives have been used mostly for box sets and other historical projects. But in another sign that the major labels are looking for new sources of revenue wherever they can find them, Sony BMG Music Entertainment is trying to tap into the treasures that its labels have locked away.

Last year the company started Icon Collectibles, a boutique business that sells art-quality reproductions of these photos online, for prices from $300 to $1,700, and through various partners (including the News Services Division of The New York Times). Now it is expected to announce Thursday that it has made a deal to sell its photos through the Morrison Hotel Gallery, which specializes in rock imagery. In mid-July the gallery will open an exhibition of photos from Columbia’s 30th Street Studio in its gallery on 124 Prince Street in SoHo, with plans for an exhibition of Miles Davis images in November.

I decided to raid the Press's photo archive to see what local music gems I could dig up. The results, after the jump...

From Pushmonkey's flannel shirts, precisely mid-shoulder length hair and exact style of goatee, I would peg this photo as coming from, oh, April 14, 1993.

Before the Allen Oldies Band, Allen Hill led Madd Oxe, a cock-rock cover band that only played venues with 5-digit addresses. The mullet on the guitarist at left roolz.

Moscas were soon to change their name to Chango Jackson, and much later sunder into Chango Man and Yoko Mono. Bassist Tino Ortega (left) looks much the same today. The hairstyle of guitarist Graham Kirby (second from left) has inverted from the one he's rockin' in this photo. Guitarist Moises Alaniz (second from right) looks a bit more, well, let's just say domesticated. (Much the same could be said for this writer.) The guy at right was their drummer, of which there were many.

Graham Guest retains his intensity all these years later.

One of the best local band photos of the '90s for one of the best '90s bands...Little known fact: Jinkies guitarist Carlos DeLeon was in my class at Strake Jesuit. He was like, totally the Spicoli of our grade. I remember on one of our Catholic retreats, a group of us stole away into the night with a nickel bag Carlos had brought along. Carlos, who was wearing a bathrobe and pajamas, somehow had a chair with him, and we all sat at his feet, as he regally dispensed pearls of wisdom and hits off his doobage. And then I went back to my room and read all of Heart of Darkness in one night.

I understand a couple of these ladies went on to have a hit or two...

If you ever had your hubcaps stolen back in about 1992, here are your culprits...Jesse Dayton and the Road Kings.

The KILT Band, apparently in the western village at Astroworld.

Los Del Sur bring the Andes to the Transco Waterwall. For a while in the '90s, these bands were at every public gathering from Houston to Budapest, and then they seem to have all gone back to Lima and La Paz. What's up with that? Was it some super-secret Inca world domination plot?

Lil' O, da fat rat wit' da cheez.

Manhole the band contemplate their namesake.

Pain Teens in a fairly humdrum shot.

Planet Shock!, pioneers of the music that became nu-metal. Don't blame 'em; their version was actually not half-bad. The band recently played a reunion show.

The Odd Squad, which launched Devin the Dude on the world. The script on Devin's hat reads "The Fat Square Twista." I wonder if he still has it.

-- John Nova Lomax

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