Pappy + Harriet's

David Yarrow

Staged Wildlife

“There are few bars in the world that truly justify being labelled as cultural institutions: especially if they are marooned in a dusty, windy desert. But Pappy + Harriet’s, which has been hosting world class musicians in quirky Pioneertown on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park in California, can legitimately be tagged in that manner. Pioneertown is a former Hollywood movie set of an 1880s frontier town and is still a real working town today, with businesses lining Mane Street where it’s “Hoof and Foot Traffic Only”.

Founded in 1982, Pappy + Harriet’s has hosted many celebrated music acts, some taking time out from nearby music festivals such as Coachella and Stagecoach but most are coming to play what has become one of the most lauded independent venues in the world. Some are simply so seduced by the magic they end up performing impromptu on stage. McCartney, Robert Plant and Patti Smith have played here, along with rock bands such as Interpol, the Arctic Monkeys and the Dead Kennedys.

The crowd is a magical cocktail of cowboys, bikers, old-timers, creative artists and musicians and it is this assembly that has elevated a dusty old roadhouse into an establishment whose status is secure. There is nowhere quite like it and it is a known destination.

On the day I was shooting in Pioneertown, I happened to be speaking to an old friend who is the President of Live Nation’s European division and when he found out where I was, his voice was excited as if I was on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.

Much of the credit for the continued allure of this famed honky tonk must, of course, go to the founders – Harriet and her husband Claude “Pappy” Allen. He passed in 1994, but his keen artistic eye still stamps its authority on the interior details of the bar. That was important to convey in this image.

After Pappy’s passing, the ownership changed hands a few times and now operates under the loving care of the married owners JB Moresco and Lisa Elin – I want to thank them for their kindness on the day of this crazy shoot. The legendary location is in good hands for another generation of lovers of life. This landmark institution boasts more than just a vibe – it’s the place that prides itself on strong live music acts, its renowned BBQ and the breadth of its clientele.” – David Yarrow

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52 x 80 inches, Edition of 12

71 x 114 inches, Edition of 12

Signed and numbered by the artist

Archival Pigment Print, framed

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