I first saw the photographer Josh Cheuse in action at the club the World in downtown Manhattan in the fall of 1985. I was pressed up against the stage for the first shows by Big Audio Dynamite, the groundbreaking band Mick Jones formed after being fired from the Clash, and there to my right, up on the tiny stage, was Cheuse, firing away with his camera. He wasn’t much older than me, but he was completely in command.
After the show, the long, narrow dressing room was crammed with all sorts of musicians and assorted hangers-on from the scene. Johnny Ramone asked me to hold up a wobbly Joey Ramone while he got another drink. As I pressed my hand into Joey’s chest and he mumbled incoherently, I thought I was going to crush him. The Beastie Boys — who were then just Adam, Mike, and Adam — passed around a joint. Then I spied Cheuse. He was whispering something into Mick Jones’s ear and they laughed. In an instant, Cheuse had his camera up. To say it was memorable is an understatement.
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