Larry: I have launched a Web Store on LarryClark.com – for everyone. We have put together our first offering, my limited edition original four color silkscreen T-shirts and the new music album from reVolt, all celebrating an incredible band.
About the band, I met the young men of reVolt almost 11 years ago, when they were kids. They are from South Central Los Angeles. They ended up starring in my film, “Wassup Rockers.” Back when I first met them one of the main things they did, besides skateboard and try to survive in South Central, was listen to punk rock and wear clothes that were way too tight.
They called it “dressing young” because they were wearing clothes that they used to wear when they were 11 years old. At 14 years old these kids were growing like mad, but they had no money to buy new clothes. So they wore the same clothes they wore when they were 11. That’s why their clothes were so tight. And that’s why they called it “dressing young.” That’s interesting! The clothes – ripped up and drawn on – they would dress that way out of necessity. They created their own style out of pure necessity.
I remember telling them that when the film came out and people saw their clothes, well‑known fashion designers were going to start making clothes like theirs and charging $500 or $600 for a pair of jeans. The fashion designers would draw on them and rip them and fade them out – on purpose. They looked at me like I was crazy.
And then, of course, the very same too tight, drawn on, ripped clothing was the fashion trend shortly after the film came out!
In any case, back then in 2005 they had a punk rock garage band. Jonathan Velasquez played guitar. He sang punk rock tunes. His brother Eddie Velasquez was his drummer. Their best friend Carlos Ramires played guitar. They had different other kids sit in as bass players. People who have bands know the toughest hole to fill in is the bass player.
Fast forward to today – all this time later, a couple years ago, Jonathan started a new band and called it reVolt. They have just recorded their first album, “thisisnotreVolt”, which is also now available from the band’s website, thisisnotrevolt.com, and the Larry Clark Web Shop.
They’ve been playing together two years now. Jonathan writes the tunes, sings the tunes, and is really the driving force behind the band. It’s his band, with his brother and his best friends. Frank Navarette plays bass now. Frank, he’s been playing all these years. He had been in bands since he was 14, such as speed metal / death metal bands. He’s quite an accomplished young bass player.
So they have Frank Navarette on bass, Eddie Velasquez on drums, Jonathan on guitar and vocals, and Carlos Ramires on guitar. Their first record – reVolt, “thisisnotreVolt” – I produced. I paid for the record because I love the music and I love the band. They have a stage presence that I have not seen since The Doors in the ’60s on the Sunset Strip. They have a power that just gets you to want to jump up and move and dance to Rock and Roll.
That’s the way Rock and Roll is supposed to be. It evokes the times when Rock and Roll started.
Now I’m lucky, I’m 71 years old, I was there at the beginning. When I was 12, Rock and Roll became popular and they started putting it in the radio. Rock and Roll changed the world. Rock and Roll saved lives. Rock and Roll saved my life, because back then, everything was so corny and so boring. It was just a different world. Now Rock and Roll has brought the country up to speed.
I am very proud to announce that the new record is now available for purchase on my website, larryclark.com and the reVolt website, thisisnotrevolt.com. Also, for the launch of the webstore, I made T‑shirts of all the band members featuring my photographs and Jonathan’s photographs of the band. These T-shirts are limited edition original silkscreen artworks on fine quality 100% cotton shirts. They are the best possible T-shirts I could produce.
Now there’s a number of T‑shirts with pictures of Jonathan through the years. Because as I say, I’ve been photographing him for almost 11 years, so I have photographs from the first day I met him to yesterday. I actually, took some pictures of Jonathan yesterday, so I followed him for 11 years and we’ve been friends for 11 years. There are T-shirts of the band members; Carlos, Frank and Eddie. There is a wonderful T-shirt of their roadie, Kico Pedrasa. The T-shirts of Frank and Carlos feature photographs by Jonathan Velasquez, and the others are my photographs.
So what I’m giving you today is the T-shirts, the 12″ album, and one 45 record titled “Jonathan Velasquez Solo”. The 45 record is Jonathan playing a cut from the soundtrack of my new film, “The Smell of Us”, that I made in France. On the B-side, Jonathan and I sing Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” in a capella. The dialogue of “The Smell of Us” is in French, and it premieres in France June 2. I’m very proud of this film and I think it’s my masterpiece. It’s the French “Kids”, produced exactly 20 years since “Kids” which was shot in 1994.