Smithsonian Collections

Tina Weymouth and Grandmaster Flash, NYC, 1981

Image for Tina Weymouth and Grandmaster Flash, NYC, 1981
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition Label
Born Joseph Saddler and raised in the Bronx, in a family with a big record collection, the young Flash became an expert and innovative DJ at New York’s dance and nightclubs; he pioneered the use of two turntables, sampling and “scratching” the needle back and forth on the vinyl. In the 1970s he fronted several pioneering rap and hip-hop ensembles, taking the name Grandmaster Flash. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five was formed in 1979. Among their hits was “The Message” (1982), which abandoned dance beats for a grim tour of inner-city life, a shift in tone adopted by other hip-hop artists.
Flash poses here with Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club bassist Tina Weymouth. Flash sampled Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” on “It’s Nasty,” and this was their first meeting. Note the now comically oversized boom boxes, a fixture of 1970s urban culture.
Laura Levine, born 1 May 1958
Martina Michele Weymouth, born 22 Nov 1950
Joseph Saddler, born 1 Jan 1958
1981 (printed 2007)
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Laura Levine
Gelatin silver print
Image: 44 × 28.8 cm (17 5/16 × 11 5/16")
Sheet: 50.6 × 40.7 cm (19 15/16 × 16")
Mat: 71.1 × 55.9 cm (28 × 22")
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Joseph Saddler: Male
Joseph Saddler: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician
Martina Michele Weymouth: Female
Martina Michele Weymouth: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician
United States\New York\Kings\New York
Restrictions & Rights
© Laura Levine