"I want my MTV?" Not this summer when the new music catchphrase will be "I want my ASP." Via the above 30 second video teaser, take a peek at what you'll see when Who Shot Rock & Roll rolls into the Annenberg Space for Photography this summer. Mark your calendars for opening day: June 23.
|Salt-N-Pepa, Radio City Music Hall, New York City, 1994|
By David Corio
The policy for live shows at most large venues since the 1980s allows photographers with press passes to shoot the first three songs at the front of the stage or in the aisles and then must leave the venue. This is primarily as the record companies and publicists don't want their artists to be captured looking sweaty and with their hair out of place. Of course it also takes away from the real atmosphere of a concert as you can guarantee it will be the fourth song when the artist gets into their groove.
When shooting concerts with swirling, flashing lights and, particularly with black musicians, getting the best from film is very important. In order to get the best exposure, I always have the camera exposure setting on manual over-ride. I'll normally uprate the film to 800 or 1600 ASA and with black and white film you can always compensate in the darkroom and the added graininess gives a more contrasty gritty image that I prefer as well.
Henri Cartier-Bresson's term "The Decisive Moment" is one that most photographers will be familiar with. It is a great feeling when you know you have got the picture after pressing the shutter. Then of course you hope that it is in focus and that the exposure is correct! That was the case with this image. It was difficult to get Salt, Pepa and DJ Spinderella all in one frame as Spinderella was normally behind the decks. Fortunately, during the third number she came to the front and the trio did some choreographed moves with their male dancers. It meant being patient and hoping to get all of their heads visible and, despite a lot of dry ice, I knew that I had my shot once I pressed the shutter.
Film actress, director and producer Rosanna Arquette taking in the Who Shot Rock & Roll exhibit. See which other celebrities have stopped by here.
Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History 1955 - Present will debut at the Annenberg Space for Photography in what seems like no time. Once here, visitors will be able to take in the amazing images, music videos and original documentary that are all part of the exhibit. But, that's not all. To further celebrate the exhibit (and also take advantage of the great summer weather in Los Angeles!), we're offering a free summer concert series that will feature Moby, Portugal. The Man, Raphael Saadiq and Band of Skulls. Very cool, right? We think so.
On the nights of these special concerts, which are being put together in conjuction with our friends over at KCRW, the Photography Space will remain open until 11pm so guests can come to the galleries to experience the exhibition once the artists have put down their guitars and turned off their mics.
Details and dates are here. Be a part of the fun and RSVP for your free tickets now. Hope to see you all there!
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.