The Vines Are Part of 'Who Shot Rock & Roll'

For those of you who have visited Who Shot Rock & Roll, you may have noticed that the exhibit features several music videos playing throughout the space. One of them is energetic video for the The Vines’ song "Outtathaway." The piece was directed by David LaChapelle, who has several images (including this one of Eminem) in the show. While it's not the same as watching the clip amidst the rest of the images in the Photography Space gallery, you can check out the colorful, gorgeous and kinetic music video above. Wonder who had to clean up the mess created at the end of the clip?

Moon Zappa on Jerry Schatzberg's Photograph of Her Father

By Moon Zappa

When I look at Jerry Schatzberg's photo of my famous father’s unsmiling face contrasted with his curly, onyx hair in pigtails (a notoriously joyful hairdo usually reserved for young girls) I have to laugh. Mr. Schatzberg has clearly captured my father’s dry, acerbic wit, his quiet, Buddha-like lucidity, and his naturally rebellious, boat-rocking essence. This is made all the funnier because my father hated having his photo taken.

On the few occasions I was brave enough to ask my father if I could snap his photo, his instant scowl of impatient annoyance was not worth the trouble, (nor what I wanted to remember). So, I waited and begged for the discards from the test Polaroid piles of his shoots with the Professionals of the Still Image Realm. Or I waited and used my mother’s sewing scissors to clip images of Frank Zappa from magazines and newspapers (like everyone else) and pasted the flimsy sheets in my family photo albums alongside fuzzy snapshots I had taken of my mom and my siblings.

Another reason this photograph floods my heart with joy is that I have been led to understand that long hair worn by men in the late 60’s was already an atypical and suspect sight for the times, but that the addition of a symmetrical up-do on a working man was almost criminal. Let’s just say none of my friends have photos of their awesome, heterosexual dads in pigtails in their scrapbooks from that same era.

I have heard it said that the optimist thinks the world is great just as it is, and that the pessimist fears this is true. I love this idea because the malcontent cannot tolerate stagnation and MUST cultivate and protect aliveness. Here, in Mr. Schatzberg’s remarkable image, he illuminates this paradox; from beyond the grave my father continues his steadfast work of challenging us to question assumption, to not settle for the numbing habit of decorum for habit’s sake, to take action against anything that oppresses the human spirit, and to do so with the quiet confidence and humor of a true pessimist.

The photo of Frank Zappa is included in Who Shot Rock & Roll, running at the Annenberg Space for Photography through October 7, 2012.

Top image courtesy of Jerry Schatzberg, Frank Zappa, "Himself", 1967. Right image courtesy of Diva Zappa.

A Rockin' Labor Day at the Space

Thanks to everyone who came to the Photography Space yesterday, the Labor Day holiday. Our staff greeted visitors with complimentary treats and drinks. Guests were also given the opportunity to pose for free photos with a variety of musical instruments (the inflatable kind) to celebrate the Who Shot Rock & Roll exhibit. Here are a couple of fun pictures from the day. Looks like everyone had a great time. Hope you all had a very good holiday!

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.

Jill Furmanovsky on Her Photo of Noel Gallagher of Oasis

© Jill Furmanovsky. Noel Gallagher of Oasis, Maine Road, Manchester City football ground, 1996. Part of the film accompanying Who Shot Rock & Roll. Courtesy Rockarchive.com

By Jill Furmanovsky

I took this picture with a Nikon and a wide angle lens on Tri-X film. I was perched on a raised part of the stage where later a four piece string section would sit. I hid there for several minutes waiting for the band to come onstage. A gigantic roar was the signal. When Noel Gallagher walked out and headed for the front of the stage I put the camera over the parapet to take this shot. I thought as I always think at these tense moments, 'Keep calm JF! Don't f--- it up!" I didn't. 

See more of Jill Furmanovsky's images in Who Shot Rock & Roll, showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography through October 7, 2012. Learn more about Jill on her website, www.rockarchive.com.

Jill Furmanovsky Shoots 'A Rising New Star'

By Jill Furmanovsky

Musician Johnny Borrell of Razorlight was the first person to tell me about Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine. He was very impressed with her way back in 2007 and they worked on a few demos together. Johnny invited me to attend a rehearsal at John Henry's rehearsal studio in North London where the two, together with a small backing band, were working on an arrangement for what became "Throwing Bricks."

Florence was a charismatic presence even then. She had that huge voice which filled the room, and as she sang she beat the shit out of a snare drum to illustrate the anger and rage of a song about a woman who builds a man brick by brick and then he becomes stronger than her - an extraordinary song.

 The lighting was nasty - florescent tubes with just a glimmer of daylight through a small window. I took my position to the side of Florence to get a plain background and used the highest shutter speed possible. Her hair was flying and her hands a blur.  Over and over again the four musicians worked on this song and recorded it finally on an old Sony tape recorder.

When I came to edit the shoot I went for the image up top of her in full flow, barely sharp. To make it more powerful I cropped out the drums and the microphone which took the image out of context leaving a simpler image - one that reflects the unleashed raw power of a great rock singer giving it her all. 

Some hours later Florence and Johnny left the studio on Johnny's motor bike. Florence sat on the back, one hand hanging on to Johnny, the other clutching the tape player to her head and swaying dangerously as they rode away.  It is entirely just that she has gone on to become a rising new star.

See more of Jill Furmanovsky's images in Who Shot Rock & Roll, showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography through October 7, 2012. Learn more about Jill on her website, www.rockarchive.com.

Above three images: Florence Welch rehearsing at John Henry's Oct 2007, © Jill Furmanovsky / www.rockarchive.com  - Florence Welch rehearsing at John Henry's Oct 2007

Who Shot Rock & Roll Extended

 © Edward Colver. Flip Shot, Pasadena, CA, 1981. Part of the film accompanying the exhibit Who Shot Rock & Roll.

The show will rock on!

Due to unprecedented popular demand, Who Shot Rock & Roll will be extended an additional two weeks. That means you have until October 21, 2012 to see the show for the first time or the 20th time. After that date, the show will leave the United States and travel abroad. Who Shot Rock & Roll will travel to its final stop later this year: the Auckland Art Gallery in New Zealand. Once the exhibit closes, the Space will shut down until November 17 to prepare for our next show.

Up next at the Space is No Strangers. Click here for more information about that exciting exhibit.

Terry O'Neill Shot Rock & Roll: The Photographer on His Image of The Police


© Terry O'Neill The Police, 1982

By Terry O'Neill

I was photographing The Police in 1982 for a magazine. They were at the height of their fame and I wanted to picture them like three street fighters. They seemed to me to be the band that were taking on all-comers, punching above their weight in sell-out tours and had elbowed their style of music to the top. They were a pugnacious band with their punk, jazz and reggae influences and had led the new wave after a decade of glam rock. They must have liked the shoot because they used the images on several album and single covers. At the time the band were starting to move in different directions; Sting was making movies and doing solo albums, Stewart Copeland was writing movie scores and I felt there weren't going to be many more opportunities to get an iconic shot of the band together in a studio.

See Terry O'Neill's other images in Who Shot Rock & Roll, currently showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography through October 21, 2012. To learn more about the photographer and his work visit his official website.

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