The History of Rock & Roll Photography
Gail Buckland's new book Who Shot Rock & Roll is the first to truly explore the extraordinary work of the photographers who captured the "energy, intoxication, rebellion, and magic" of rock, with images of icons ranging from Elton John to Led Zeppelin, Bjork to Janis Joplin, and James Brown to John Lennon, that have become icons unto themselves. Featuring more than 250 photos, including many rare and never-before-seen images, Who Shot Rock & Roll is an unparalleled compendium of portraits, live concert shots, behind-the-scenes snaps, and studio work selected for their aesthetic quality and power. The extended captions tell stories from the photographers, including everyone from Bib Gruen to Richard Avedon and David LaChappelle, that reveal their role as both "creative collaborators and tireless journalists."
Covering 1955 to the present, "Who Shot Rock & Roll is a silent window into a world of sound," Buckland says. "There are photographs of crowds and fans reminiscent of the great historical paintings of battle scenes where bodies blend and bend and faces radiate with what can only be described as transcendence. Snapshots reveal the passion, ambition, and insecurity of aspiring young musicians. There are portraits of godheads, objects of mass adoration; the best could hang next to paintings of Renaissance princes, so similar are these royals with their finery, wealth, and power." An accompanying exhibit just opened at the Brooklyn Museum and will run through the end of January and before traveling across the country through 2011.