Bob Gruen on Debbie Harry

Max’s Kansas City was opened by Mickey Ruskin on Park Avenue in New York City in the 1960’s.  It soon became a hangout for artists, including Andy Warhol, whose studio was nearby, and Debbie Harry, who worked as a waitress at the club. In the early 1970's Mickey left and Tommy Dean reopened Max’s as a hangout for rock & roll bands and their followers. Blondie played there - often opening for the New York Dolls and later as headliners. 

This photo of mine shows Debbie Harry, lead singer of Blondie, at Max’s in July 1976.  Debbie recently told me she made the dress herself from a pillow case she found on the street. The somewhat military-like hat she’s wearing in this photo was meant to dramatize a song with some German lyrics that she sang in a Marlene Dietrich-like style.

See this image and more in Who Shot Rock & Roll: The Film, part of the Who Shot Rock & Roll photography exhibit running at the Annenberg Space for Photography now through October 7, 2012.

Photo: © Bob Gruen. Debbie Harry at Max's Kansas City in New York, NY, 1976.

Alice Cooper: Bob Gruen Is 'an exception to a lot of the rock photographers'

In the clip above, Who Shot Rock & Roll featured photographer Bob Gruen reveals why he enjoys being a rock & roll photographer. "Rock & roll is fun", he says, "and I like to have fun. That's why I like rock & roll." Pretty simple formula if you ask us. But what about the musicians he photographed? Legendary rocker Alice Cooper approved of Gruen and allowed him intimate access to his life on and off stage. According to him, Gruen was "an exception to a lot of the rock photographers."

Watch the short clip above to learn more about the photographer and rocker.

Mark Seliger, Bob Gruen and Kevin Bacon Chat About Music & Photography

Who Shot Rock & Roll may have closed at the Photography Space over the weekend but that doesn't mean we don't have to stop talking about the exhibit.

Mark Seliger, one of the show's featured photographers, has a new sitdown show about photography called Capture. The voiceover intro pretty much sums up what the show is about: "A great photograph needs no explanation. But on Capture, these incredible people tell the story of creating their most memorable images."

In the the latest episode of Capture, Seliger sits down with Who Rock & Roll's Bob Gruen and actor (and photographer!) Kevin Bacon for a chat about music and photography. The latter gives us our favorite quote of the day: "There are two things that hit you the hardest. One is photographs and the other is music." We couldn't agree more.

Seliger, Gruen and Bacon talk about those two subjects in depth. Watch the entire intriguing discussion above.

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