Archives Document Key Moments in Pop Music History
The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library is in the process of acquiring the archives of writer, photographer, and music industry veteran Danny Fields, a key figure in the rise of the 1970s punk scene.
Fields was an editor of 16 magazine, a publicist for Elektra Records, and manager of The Ramones – the influential New York City punk rock band.
“Danny Fields’ papers fit into the group of archives of important writers at the Beinecke who were also invested in shaping their worlds,” says Timothy Young, the Beinecke’s curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts. “Like the papers of Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Glenway Wescott, Danny's archives document the creative worlds he lives in; in addition to his own achievements.”
With his many roles in the music business, Fields documented the industry’s growth over several decades. As a photographer, he captured some of the iconic moments in rock history. As a manager, he introduced the world to a new kind of music. As a writer, he has explored the deeper stories behind public lives.
“As the focus of teaching and humanities research has expanded to include music, film, and other aspects of popular culture, our collections need to capture the kinds of archives that document the work of cultural arbiters – the people who influenced what we saw, heard, and read,” Young says. “Danny’s archives show the interactions and the give-and-take among writers, musicians, artists, and filmmakers that are essential to creating compelling art.”
The Danny Fields Papers are in the process of being delivered to the Beinecke Library, which generally does not begin full cataloging until the majority of an archive is received. A basic listing of the material received thus far is being written and the papers are being prepared for access. They should be available for research in early 2015.
Currently the Beinecke has possession of audiotapes, files concerning Fields’ management of the Ramones, and drafts and research materials for books he wrote about Linda McCartney and Cyrinda Foxe, a model and actress who was married to Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. Future installments will include photographic prints and materials documenting Fields’ careers as a writer and in music management.
For any questions about the archive, please email the curator, Timothy Young. Requests for use permissions for any works by Danny Fields can be sent to Young, who will forward them to Fields.