A woman getting ready in 1979. (Photos by Jim Jocoy/Casemore Kirkeby Gallery, San Francisco and TBW Books)

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.


Friends in 1979.

Jennifer Miro of the Nuns in 1977.

Legs and a red cocktail in 1979.

Pee trough with graffiti in 1980.

From 1977 to 1980, he took his camera into every situation that he found himself in, from the punk shows to bathrooms and strip clubs. The second published book of his work, “Order of Appearance,” sheds light on the offstage moments. Young punks, sober to drunk and back to sober again, embracing the culture in the dark of night.

Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth said of Jocoy’s work, “The eye of Jim Jocoy finds beauty in the wild. His photography is always in service to the magic of the devious iconoclast, exhibiting dignity to the outriders.”


A woman reclining on a car in 1977.

A man passed out in 1979.

A San Francisco Police Department dog in 1978.

Robert Lee crashing into a white van in 1977.

A man gets a haircut in 1977.

Pearl E. Gates of Pearl Harbor and the Explosions in 1979.

Performer Mary Monday in 1977.

Levi Dexter of Levi and the Rockats with Pleasant Gehman at the Deaf Club in 1978.

A girl with bruised knees in 1980.

DNA and Sharon Redd (double exposure) in 1980.

Upside-down yellow car in 1980.

Photographs from this body of work are on display at the Casemore Kirkeby Gallery in San Francisco.

More on In Sight:

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Inside a fading Chinese culture ruled by women

The subversive cool of punk style in 1980s London

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In Sight is The Washington Post photography blog for visual narrative. This platform showcases compelling and diverse imagery from staff and freelance photographers, news agencies and archives. If you are interested in submitting a story to In Sight, please complete this form.