When I first purchased a black and white portrait of David Bowie (circa 'Thin White Duke') at Christie's auction house in Beverly Hills it started...my love affair with rock n' roll photography.
Having grown up around the punk and alternative rock scenes in LA, I had been aware of such amazing snaps through the covers of Flipside and such 'zines. But the idea of revisiting them as a piece of history, valuable art and influential in their own right was, admittedly, a later occurrence for me.
Fast forward, about five years after I bought the Bowie photograph ('Five Years,' Bowie reference intended and accidental) and I'm thrilled to see rock photography from all modern eras represented in the first major exhibit of its kind, here in LA: Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present.
The group show at the Annenberg Space For Photography runs through October 7. It features the work of artist/shutterbugs like Jim Marshall, Linda McCartney, Bob Gruen, Dennis Hopper, Ed Colver and Henry Diltz, among others. Snaps capture the rockin' essence of artists like Elvis, Bob Dylan, The Doors, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more influencers.
Expect to see rare prints, an original film and lectures with world class rock photogs.
So, challenge yourself to look beyond (what one of my rock photog friends dubbed) the classic 'rock star eating the microphone shot' and experience some incredible flashes of genius and anarchy that will live on in photographic depiction.
Related: Annenberg Space For Photography
Photo of Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers: Matt Cardy/Stringer/Getty Images
Note: this photo is not in the exhibit but only for musical illustrative purposes