Who Shot Rock & Roll: The Film accompanies the photo exhibit of the same name. The short documentary focuses on the work of the show's nine featured photographers with original interviews and hundreds more rock & roll images. One of the interviewees, Mary McCartney, discusses her mother Linda's body of work. Watch a 3-minute clip of Mary talking about her mother's photos of Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and many others above. A young Mary even makes an appearance in one of the photos she discusses.
|Bruce Springsteen, New York City © 1972 Lynn Goldsmith|
By Lynn Goldsmith
I met Bruce in April of 1972. It was my first assignment for Rolling Stone. They told me he was the Bob Dylan of the ‘70s. The article was going to be called “It’s Sign up a Genius Month.” Because the shoot was set to take place in a dark bar on Bleecker Street in New York, I knew I could not depend on available light. I would need a flash. I’d never used one before and thought this “genius” is going to know I’m stupid.
Six years later Bruce told me what he was thinking the first time I took his picture. He said, “I thought a Rolling Stone photographer; a girl who lives in New York City - she knows what she’s doing. She’s going to think I’m just this guy with a bar band from New Jersey. She’s going to think I’m a dope.”
Who Shot Rock & Roll, which features more photographs by Lynn Goldsmith, opens at the Annenberg Space for Photography on June 23. Learn more about Lynn at www.lynngoldsmith.com.
|R.E.M, Walter's Bar-B-Que, Athens, Georgia, 1984|
By Laura Levine
R.E.M. and I clicked from the moment we met at our first photo shoot in my Chinatown apartment back in 1982. We became close friends, and over the next few years as we spent an increasing amount of time together, I photographed them more than any other band before or since: on the road, at their homes, in my studio, backstage and onstage.
This particular photograph was taken in March 1984 in their hometown, of Athens, Georgia. The band was about to release its second album, Reckoning, and since their record label didn't have a budget to send a photographer to Athens to do a publicity session, I flew down on my own dime to shoot pictures, make a Super-8 film (Just Like a Movie) and spend a few days hanging out with my friends.
For the next few days I shot rolls and rolls of film as the five of us explored every nook and cranny in Athens that had photogenic possibilities - the railroad tracks, abandoned factories, trees blanketed in kudzu, outsider artist R.A. Miller's whirlygig yard and, of course, Walter's Bar-B-Que. Actually, this shot at Walter's wasn't even planned. We'd been taking photos all morning and we'd worked up quite an appetite, so we stopped into Walter's for lunch (It was the guys' favorite BBQ joint). While we were eating I looked around and saw a great photograph there, so I stepped behind the counter and quickly took a few frames (I'm afraid I didn't even allow them to eat their meals in peace). By the way, that's my plate of food in front of Michael Stipe.
This photograph has a special place in my heart not only because of our friendship, but because it documents a time and a place that disappeared soon thereafter. (Even Walter's is long out of business). I don't suppose any us of could have imagined how much would change in just a few years' time. It captures those last moments of innocence, just as they were on the cusp of stardom and about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. But mostly, for me, when I look at this photograph, I see my four friends being themselves, smiling, relaxing, and chowing down on a good Southern meal.
See Laura Levine's other images in the Who Shot Rock & Roll exhibit, currently showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography. To learn more about the photographer and her work visit her official website.
Or your dining room. Or where ever you want really because one of those street banners can be yours to own and do with however you want!
For a limited time, we are offering all four variations of the vinyl banners for sale. You can choose from Florence Welch of Florence & the Machine, Kurt Cobain or Tina Turner. Our John Lennon banners are already completely sold out. Don't worry - even though they've been hanging out in the clean LA air over the last few months, they'll be professionally cleaned when you receive them.
Click here for more information on how to get one.
By Exhibition Curator, Gail Buckland
Who Shot Rock and Roll opened at the Brooklyn Museum late in October 2009. Thousands turned out for the opening with live music by Blondie. We were all ready for a rock & roll party after the economic downturn and other depressing news. It is amazing how great photographs of one of the most significant social revolutions of all time can make spirits soar.
The Annenberg Space for Photography's hosting of the exhibition may be the last venue on a nine-museum tour across America. There is always something special about the East Coast/West Coast - the country’s bookends - connection. But, rock & roll is a powerful thread that unites all segments of the nation.
At almost every venue, people who never crossed the threshold of an art museum, entered and were entranced. Regular visitors discovered, or rediscovered, that great photography - no matter what the subject - is also great art. And, people asked me, over and over again, “why hasn’t there been an exhibition like this before?”
The answer lies, in part, because I chose the photographs on their merit, not simply because of who was in them. My approach to curating Who Shot Rock and Roll is exactly the same as any other art exhibition I have organized - do the research; visit the artists; go through their archives; ask questions that have not been asked before; select photographs that are worthy of hanging on museum walls and inclusion in the larger histories of photography, art and culture; write a catalogue and wall labels that illuminate the subject and provide new information and insight into the pictures. Music photographers have been treated as outsiders. My mission is to acknowledge the enormous contribution of the men and women who photographed rock and gave it its image.
Who Shot Rock & Roll opens at the Annenberg Space for Photography on June 23, 2012.
I remember that night like it was yesterday. They say a camera stops time, and for me, in this case it’s proven to be true. One-quarter of a second exposure on my handheld Leica IIIf camera back in 1976 has endured via silver and megapixels all these years.
I spent a lot of time in 1976 looking through the French photographer Brassai’s photographs of Paris nightlife in the 1930s, and had worked out a way to shoot photographs at night by natural light without flash. In looking back now, it was all of another time – pushed tri-x film, arcane developing chemicals, nights in the darkroom. But it enabled me to return night after night to CBGB’s with boxes of pictures to show off my experiments to my friends in a budding scene and create my “Documents for Artists.”
It was in between sets when everyone headed out from within CBGB’s, to the raw air under the Bowery streetlights. Patti Smith was standing in mid-conversation that night, when I tapped her on the shoulder and asked if I could take her photograph. I know I saw the Bleecker Street sign in the background and thought “perfect.” I knew that she was standing in the right spot, under the streetlamps. All the elements were in place. So when she turned my way and brought her hand to her face – I knew in that moment, the photo was mine to have or screw up. Shooting at night, handheld – no tripod - meant both Patti and I would have to be perfectly still. I did my part that night, and obviously Patti more than did hers. One-quarter of a second stopped forever. Time on my side.
Look who showed up at Lynn Goldsmith's IRIS Nights lecture last week to support the photographer during her presentation. It's Merry Clayton (best known as the female vocalist on the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter") and music legend Bill Withers. Goldsmith's outstanding lecture was chock full of memorable stories and we also learned a lot about her photography and the music industry in general. Look for her lecture on our site very soon!
Last night's opening gala at the Photograhy Space was rockin'! It was a great celebration of photography and music amidts a crowd of hundreds of rock & rollers and photographers.
The hundreds of people in attendance were treated to a special surprise performance by the one and only Heart! The group sounded amazing and played an energetic five song set list of some of their classics including "Barracuda" & "Crazy on You." They opened their performance with "Even it Up." Watch a short clip of that above.
We'll have photos from last night's gala to share soon. Stay tuned!
|Radiohead, St. Louis, 1993 © Nitin Vadukul|
Authored by Nitin Vadukul
In 1993, I was asked by Rolling Stone magazine to photograph Radiohead in St. Louis, Missouri where the band was scheduled to play a show. I was such an avid fan that I accepted the assignment without hesitation.
On the morning of the shoot, I met the guys at their hotel for breakfast. We chatted over a nice selection of tea and then proceeded to a location near the hotel and the famous Gateway Arch that I had scouted earlier that day.
I began with taking group portraits - all of which were beautiful – but shortly after, came up with an idea I was excited about. I wanted to create an image that would double expose each member of the band onto just one piece of film.
In order to accomplish this, I photographed each of the guys individually against a black background. I rewound the film back to the same exposure after taking each one of their pictures. The only tools I used were my Nikon F4 camera and a roll of Kodak Tri-X film. It was simply one negative - no retouching in the camera at all.
The image you see is the end result. To me, the photograph captures the soul of Radiohead.
This all occurred prior to the launch of their second album, The Bends, which I consider to be one of their finest. The band was a complete pleasure to photograph. They were so cooperative and professional that we were done in the one hour I was given to shoot them. Radiohead still continues to break new ground with their music by experimentation and as an artist myself, their inspiration played a vital role in the final image which was selected to be a part of this incredible collection of photographs.