“Who Shot Rock and Roll” Celebrates the Photographers Behind the Iconic Images

November 13th, 2009 by Alex Vadukul Leave a reply »

Photograph © Henry Diltz courtesy of Who Shot Rock and Roll (Knopf)

When Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival he created one of rock’s most perfect moments. Standing in the front row of that concert was a 17-year-old boy named Ed Caraeff. Caraeff had never seen Hendrix before nor heard his music, but he had a camera with him and there was one shot left in his roll of film. As Hendrix lit his guitar, Caraeff took a final photo. It would become one of the most famous images in rock & roll. But have you ever heard of Ed Caraeff?

Countless iconic rock & roll images were captured by hard working, passionate photographers who were as consumed by the music as the musicians themselves. Many of these photographers are unsung and the majesty of their images is often taken for granted. The Brooklyn Museum’s extensive new exhibit, “Who Shot Rock and Roll,” celebrates the photographers who created the visual identity of rock music.

Check out a gallery of images from “Who Shot Rock and Roll” plus insightful quotes from the photographers behind the shots.

Elvis Presley birthed the image of rock & roll, so fittingly the exhibit starts with the photos of Alfred Wertheimer, a photographer who enjoyed the rare privilege of spending time with Presley before he became the King. In the pictures, Presley flirts with an unidentified woman. “I’ll bet you can’t kiss me, Elvis,” Wertheimer recalls the lady saying. “I’ll bet ya I can,” Elvis responded. Wertheimer snapped photos of their embraces. Never would a photographer have such close access to Presley again.

Achieving a sense of intimacy seems to be a goal for all rock photographers. They try to separate the star from the stardom. A piercing photograph by Ian Tilton from 1990 shows Kurt Cobain crouched...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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