Godlis Shot Rock: The Photographer On His Photo of Patti Smith

By Godlis

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.

See Godlis's work in the Who Shot Rock & Roll exhibit, currently showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography. To learn more about the photographer and his work visit his official website.

Lynn Goldsmith & Friends

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!

Heart Makes Magic on Stage at "Who Shot Rock & Roll" Gala

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!

Nitin Vadukul Shot Rock: The Photographer On His Photo of Radiohead

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.

See Nitin Vadukul's work in the Who Shot Rock & Roll exhibit, currently showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography. To learn more about the photographer and his work visit his official website.

Henry Rollins: Ed Colver Image 'One of Those Bookmarks in the Great Text of Independent Music'

© Edward Colver, Henry Rollins, outtake for Black Flag's Damaged album, Los Angeles, California, 1981

By Henry Rollins

Ed Colver’s photo of me hitting the mirror has become one of those bookmarks in the great text of independent music. As far as a photo being used on the cover of Black Flag’s first full studio album, Damaged, I am glad it was Ed who took the shot. His integrity and dedication to his work matched ours - It was a perfect fit. Ed captured images from the Southern California Hardcore scene like no one else. If it were not for him, a lot of that history would be nothing but mere tall tales. Ed and I have a very rare relationship. Even though there were other people in the room when that photo was taken, in the shot itself, it was just Ed and myself.

See Ed Colver'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.

I Shot Rock: Show Us What You Got

Have you shot rock & roll? If so, we want to see your photos!

Upload your own rock photos to Instagram, hashtag them #IShotRock and see them on the official campaign's feed here.

We want to see your concert photos, musician photos, etc and if one of your good friends happens to be a well-known grammy-winning musician, even a private portrait of him or her would be great.

The Annenberg Space for Photography has partnered with KCRW with this project which is all part of the Who Shot Rock & Roll photography exhibition. You might have also heard about the three part free concert series we are collaborating on with them this summer. Click here for those details.

So take to Instagram with I Shot Rock and show us what you got!

R.E.M.'s Peter Buck on Laura Levine's Photo of the Band

R.E.M, Walter's Bar-B-Que, Athens, Georgia, 1984

Earlier this month, photographer Laura Levine described her take on the above image of R.E.M., which she shot in 1984 at Walter's Bar-B-Que in Athens, Georgia. She wrote, "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."

Band member Peter Buck has also submitted his own memories on the moment. Here's what he told us: "Walter's BBQ is still my platonic ideal of what a BBQ place should be. Great food, great conversation, and old school soul music constantly playing. I also got a kick out of the liquor bottle stashed under the counter."

Who Shot Rock & Roll runs at the Annenberg Space for Photography now through October 7, 2012!

Gered Mankowitz Shot Rock & Roll: The Photographer on His Image of Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull, Salisbury Pub, St. Martin's Lane, London (1964) © Gered Mankowitz

By Gered Mankowitz

This photograph of Marianne Faithfull in the Salisbury Pub in London’s St. Martins Lane, is probably one of the most important photographs I have taken.

I had known Marianne for a few months having met her when she was promoting her first single “As Tears Go By” around June of 1964, and had immediately fallen under her spell. She was gorgeous, bright & funny and I started photographing her the next day! After a few months of taking photographs and hanging out I suggested that we shoot a session in the Salisbury with my eye on producing an image for an album cover. The pub landlord was accommodating and we spent a couple of hours taking various different portraits. This shot was one of my favourites – the composition, those socks – it just looked gorgeous, but Decca Records rejected it on the grounds that the men reflected in the mirror behind Marianne were  distracting and were looking at her in a lecherous manner! They ended up using a far less interesting image from the same session and this shot lounged in my archive, unseen until the 80s.

However, her manager at the time was Andrew Loog Oldham and he loved the session and as a result asked me to shoot with his other band – The Rolling Stones. I shot my first session with the band in early 65 and continued to work with them regularly until 1967. So, because of my shoot with Marianne I came to the attention of one of the most exciting bands of the time and my career as a music photographer was established!

 See Gered Mankowitz'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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