Wild Scenes of 70s San Francisco

The first book from photographer Daniel Nicoletta, LGBT: San Francisco (Reel Art Press) traces the great American gay mecca from the 1970s to the present through moving, sometimes wild, photographs.

Nicoletta is perhaps best-known for his iconic portraits of Harvey Milk, whom he met in 1974 (when he was only 19) at the future city supervisor’s camera store, Castro Camera. The following year he began working at the shop and eventually on Milk’s official campaigns.

The book also includes scores of candid street scenes and vibrant images of the city’s alternative theater scene, complete with the colorfully cross-dressing Cockettes. As Gus Van Sant writes in his foreword, “Danny’s photos are a treasured artistic record of the people who initiated a movement from within their own neighborhood and this work links that exuberant time to the larger history of LGBT people. This book is a very welcome addition to our enduring collective memory.”

Harmodius and Hoti, Castro Street Fair, 1975

Divine at Trocadero dance club, 1978

Third Annual Castro Street Fair, 1976

Harvey Milk at a publicity shoot for Ringling Bros, 1978

Harvey Milk at the seaside, 1978

Harvey Milk’s victory celebration at Castro Camera, 1977

Harvey Milk clowning around at Castro Camera, 1977

The Thrillpeddlers’ revival of Cockettes: Pearls Over Shanghai, 2009

Scorchy’s Holster, LGBT Pride Celebration, 1992

White Night Riots following Harvey Milk’s assassination, 1979

San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration, 1980

Armistead Maupin and friends, launch party for Tales of the City, 1978

Willie and Sylvester, SF Gay Pride Celebration, 1976

Sister X-tacy

Castro Street Fair, 1976

Daniel Nicoletta by Denton Smith, 1976