WHETHER YOU'RE SIZZLING ON THE BEACH OR KICKING IT IN THE COUNTRY, YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS THE FINE PRINT IN THESE NEW TOMES
RON GALELLA: NEW YORK ($50, ARTBOOK.COM) In the ’70s and ’80s, original stalkerazzo Ron Galella redefined what it means to be famous in America, one street-corner ambush at a time. His latest monograph is a glamorous and gritty love letter to his favorite hunting ground in a time before TMZ. Today’s besieged starlets would love the paps if they made them look this chic.
BUDDY ESQUIRE: KING OF THE HIP HOP FLYER ($50, ARTBOOK.COM) For a cultural movement to really get off the ground, it needs a signature aesthetic. In the case of early hip-hop, it came from Buddy “King of the Flyer” Esquire, a self-taught virtuoso whose Art-Deco and anime-infused street posters for Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Flash, and others lent a graphic face to the Bronx renaissance.
R. CRUMB SKETCHBOOKS 1964-1982 ($1,000, TASCHEN.COM) Underground cartoonist Robert Crumb’s X-rated oeuvre has been catalogued before, but never by his own hand. This six-volume, 1,344-page set is the second installment in Taschen’s two-part series, and focuses on the first half of his career at the counterculture fringes. Fans of caustic humor, alienation, and luxurious pubic hair rejoice.
SPIRIT OF 76: LONDON PUNK EYEWITNESS ($40, ARTBOOK.COM) Americans might have invented punk, but it was the Brits who made it go boom. Music journalist John Ingham was in London when the bomb went off, conducting the first-ever interview with the Sex Pistols, partying with the Damned, and even bailing Sid Vicious out of jail. Through photos and reporting, he takes us back to ground zero.
THERE GOES GRAVITY ($28, US.PENGUINGROUP.COM) Before the Internet took over, writing about music was a fascinating way to make a living. For further evidence, see Vanity Fair’s Lisa Robinson’s excellent new memoir. The first female writer to wangle her way into the boys’ club, she covered the Stones on their 1969 world tour, played matchmaker with Lou Reed and David Bowie, and watched punk take shape from her barstool at CBGB.