For the better part of 25 years D.J. Julie Kramer and Henry Santoro worked side by side at the now defunct Boston alternative rock station WFNX. The place was gritty and it was grungy before grunge, but that didn't stop countless musicians and bands from coming to that little station in Lynn to promote a show or drop off an album. The whole time, Julie Kramer had her camera with her, taking photos of all who came through the doors of WFNX. Last October she showcased Volume 1 of her basement archives, and, now, from July 20 to Dec. 20, you can catch Volume 2 of the Julie Kramer Basement Archives at the Boston Center for Adult Education. The transcript below has been edited for clarity.

Henry Santoro: Julie, we're so glad that you're doing this. WFNX was like a really messy apartment with microphones. We who worked there called that place home for so many years, we had lots of visitors and bands and musicians and just anybody who was anybody would come through. Do you remember the first band you photographed there?

Julie Kramer: I think it was Steel Pulse, I'm going to guess, in '88. There were so many, Henry, I have to be honest with you. Thank goodness I was pretty good about labeling all the negatives and stuff, but I have reached out to countless disc jockeys, "Do you remember when Lenny Kravitz was there? What date was that Elvis Costello? Was Joe Strummer...?" This show has been everybody coming together to help me, to be honest with you. Because when I wrote "5/93," that was May '93 but, really, was that when Bob Geldof was there? There were a lot of musicians Henry, as you know, that before playing The Channel or Access or Spit would always come to Lynn. They would hang, and we would go to the Capitol Diner, or we'd go to the beach or take a cruise around Nahant. And I just documented the whole thing.

Santoro: And you documented it because photography is really your first love?

Kramer: Photography is what I went to college for. That's what I actually have a degree in. I always loved radio, I always loved music, and, at different points in my life, I was either a part time DJ and a full-time photographer or vice versa. I tried to sort of straddle them both.

Santoro: The project is called the Basement Archives, Volume One, The Ghosts of WFNX. It's called the Basement Archives, because that's where all your little film canisters were, in the basement of your home, right?

Kramer: My partner Jimmy decided one day to clean the basement, and he came across boxes of photographs. He started laying them out and was like, "When you said you were a photographer, really?" And then he started going a little crazy because he's a huge music fan, and he's not from Boston. So when he's seeing the Chili Peppers in the Capitol Diner and all these musicians — Lou Reed and David Bowie and Chris Isaac — he was just blown away. And at one point he said, "I'm going to do something with this, whether you like it or not." I said, "Go ahead, knock yourself out." And then at one point he said, "By any chance, do you have the negatives?" So I went into the garage, I pulled open a box, and there were all my negatives archived in special boxes. And then he just said, "I'm going for it.”

Santoro: It must have been like finding a time capsule.

Kramer: Pretty much. Again, I put this stuff away 20-some-odd years ago, and when he was looking through the stuff and I started telling him the stories about everything, it started to get really fun. And he knows you, and he knows a bunch of different D.J.s, and they would start talking about all the different fun times at WFNX and Jimmy would be like, "We have a photo for that!" It just sort of snowballed into this, "Okay we're going to have a show," mindset, and it's going to be that feel of the basement.

Santoro: My one takeaway from all the bands that visited WFNX is that every single one of them felt so comfortable there, because it had that apartment feel, it wasn't sterile in any way, it was gross as a matter of fact.

Kramer: And so were we. We were gross, we were fun, we were kids, Henry. We were a bunch of kids running this radio station. We were like them. We loved their music. We were huge music fans. So when Joe Strummer comes in and is hanging out and having a good time, he feels at home, he feels like he's with friends. It wasn't polished, it wasn't shiny and neither were we.

We were just there having a good time, all the time. You'd have a four-hour shift, but for some reason you were at the station for eight hours. And then afterwards you'd go to Spitter, Axis or Venus de Milo and hang out with the people you worked with all day. We were a huge family, and that totally transpired to all these people. That's why the Chili Peppers kept coming back, that's why Ian McCulloch of Echo And The Bunnymen, that's why all these bands always wanted to come hang out with us.

Santoro: The Chili Peppers were the first big band to ever come in WFNX. I remember the day they showed up. It was very early on in the WFNX archive.

Kramer: They were playing The Channel that night, the first set of photographs I have from them. And I remember we went to the Capitol Diner and Chad Smith ordered scallops, which I thought, "What an odd thing to order at a diner, broiled scallops." And I never forgot that. Then we left, Anthony called the waitress ma'am, I was like, "Really?" And then they went out and jumped on the roofs of the cars.

Santoro: I'm gonna name a band or a person, and you respond with what you remember taking the photo. Let's start with Joe Strummer.

Kramer: Joe Strummer came in and had a guitar with them, nothing to plug it in. Put it in the trash barrel for some reason, he was just having fun. All I recall with him is having a good time hanging out. I don't even remember who interviewed him that day. And then we went outside, and I think we were going to take a walk or something, and I started photographing him. He would show me his guitar, and he would do fun things with his guitar, and while we were photographing outside of 25 Exchange, a truck went by and somebody screamed out "holy **** that's Joe Strummer!"

Santoro: Blondie.

Kramer: Debbie Harry and Chris Stein came up, a few times, to be honest with you. The photos that I took, they were promoting her solo record and we always used to go out to the roof. There was this big window we'd have people climb through out onto the roof, and they kind of nuzzled up into this window seat. They got sort of cuddly, and I photographed them having fun in that sort of cuddly moment.

Santoro: Courtney Love and Frances Bean.

Kramer: That was backstage at the Orpheum Theater. Drew Barrymore was there because she was dating the guitar player, Eric. We had gone out for some Italian food, and I don't know if you knew this, but Drew Barrymore is allergic to garlic — so I heard 40,000 times at the Italian restaurant. We hung out with them a lot, and then backstage we did photographs of everybody together, including my photographs of Frances Bean and Courtney Love.

Santoro: And Frances Bean was a toddler.

Kramer: She was a couple years old, and she had a booboo on her finger that she kept showing us. I photographed Courtney several times. There are a number of different photographs of Courtney Love throughout the years.

Santoro: Trashed as always.

Kramer: Yes, completely! Lipstick all over your forehead, just the way we like it.

Santoro: There were a bunch of non-alternative acts as well. Tony Bennett for one.

Kramer: Tony Bennett did a show for us at the Middle East. It was a holiday show. I remember leaving a ski event driving three hours in a snowstorm to be there to photograph it. And it was upstairs at the Middle East for 150 people.

Santoro: Tell us why Gene Simmons of Kiss and Dicky Barrett from the Mighty Mighty Bostones showed up together.

Kramer: They had done a single together — the Detroit Rock City single — and he came up. And you, actually, have a very interesting story about Gene Simmons. I was lucky enough just to see his tongue, but you should tell your funny story.

Santoro: Gene Simmons was not feeling well that morning. He was not the talkative gabby in your face Gene Simmons. He was laid back, and he really wasn't feeling well. Something was up with him, and I knew it and picked right up on it. At one point he asked where the bathroom was, and I showed him where the bathroom was and he went in, shut the door, and I came back in the studio and he let out a scream that you could hear throughout the entire building. It was like the loudest scream of pain that you've ever heard. And he came back in the studio and he was a completely different person. He was happy, he was chipper. He had just passed a kidney stone in the WFNX bathroom.

Kramer: We should have grabbed it.

Santoro: I went looking for it but he flushed it.

Kramer: Do you know what that could be worth today, Henry?

Santoro: I know, a Gene Simmons kidney stone. Your favorite photos from the show?

Kramer: It's difficult for me to nail it down, to be honest with you. I feel like, looking at all the photographs, I got a really nice sense of what a wonderful sort of documentary, slice of life. Honestly, the photo of Richard Lewis is so Richard Lewis. There are pictures that you look at and it feels like you're looking in their souls. Mike Ness of Social Distortion, I liked having a relationship with these people when I photographed them and probably being a D.J. helped with that, because you have a chance to hang out and talk. So I don't know if I have a favorite, per say, Henry. I think the whole show together just makes my heart really warm.