This classic work of analog photojournalism—focusing on the idiosyncratic denizens of an iconic bar in the red-light district of Hamburg, Germany—is now available in a gorgeous new edition that features a tribute by musician and actor Tom Waits. Photographer Anders Petersen was hanging out at a dive bar on the Reeperbahn in Hamburg in 1968 when someone grabbed his camera from the table where he was sitting and started taking pictures. Petersen used the opportunity to photograph the culprit—and the rest of the bar’s motley crew of patrons. The resulting project is one of the most revered photobooks of all time, a celebration of a gritty city at the tail end of the 1960s and the cornerstone of Petersen’s storied career. The images have become classics of their genre; Tom Waits used one for the cover of his legendary album Rain Dogs. Their candidness and authenticity remain as eloquent today as when they were first published in 1978. This sumptuously produced reissue features a new foreword by Waits, and is certain to find a new audience who will appreciate the stunning analog photography and its elegiac collective portrait of the fringes of society.
About the Author
Anders Petersen (born 1944) is a Swedish photographer based in Stockholm. He makes intimate and personal documentary-style black and white photographs. He has published more than 20 books. For three years beginning in 1967, he photographed the late-night regulars (prostitutes, transvestites, drunks, lovers, and drug addicts) in Café Lehmitz, a bar in Hamburg, Germany. The resulting photobook was first published in 1978 by Schirmer/Mosel in Germany. Café Lehmitz has since become regarded as a seminal book in the history of European photography. One of the photographs from this series was used as the cover art for Tom Waits’ album Rain Dogs. Petersen’s first book Gröna Lund (Green Grove), which was published in 1973, is set in the amusement park of Gröna Lund situated on an island. In 1970 Petersen co-founded SAFTRA, the Stockholm group of photographers, with Kenneth Gustavsson. At the same time, he taught at Christer Strömholm’s school. He has been director of the Göteborg School of Photography and Film. He began to photograph for magazines, and continued his personal photo diary work, which continues to this day. He has photographed for extensive periods of time in prisons, mental asylums, and elderly care homes.