Who Shot Rock and Roll: A Photographic History, 1955-Present

Who Shot Rock and Roll: A Photographic History, 1955-Present

by Gail Buckland
     
 

More than two hundred spectacular photographs, sensual, luminous, frenzied, true, from 1955 to the present, that catch and define the energy, intoxication, rebellion, and magic of rock and roll; the first book to explore the photographs and the photographers who captured rock’s message of freedom and personal reinvention—and to examine the effect of

Overview

More than two hundred spectacular photographs, sensual, luminous, frenzied, true, from 1955 to the present, that catch and define the energy, intoxication, rebellion, and magic of rock and roll; the first book to explore the photographs and the photographers who captured rock’s message of freedom and personal reinvention—and to examine the effect of their pictures on the musicians, the fans, and the culture itself.

The only music photographers whose names are well known are those who themselves have become celebrities. But many of the images that have shaped our consciousness and desire were made by photographers whose names are unfamiliar. Here are Elvis in 1956—not yet mythic but beautiful, tender, vulnerable, sexy, photographed by Alfred Wertheimer . . . Bob Dylan and his girlfriend on a snowy Greenwich Village street, by Don Hunstein . . . John Lennon in a sleeveless New York City T-shirt, by Bob Gruen . . . Jimi Hendrix, by Gered Mankowitz, a photograph that became a poster and was hung on the walls of millions of bedrooms and college dorms . . .

For the first time, the work of these talented men and women is brought into the pantheon; we see the musicians they photographed and how the images gave rock and roll its visual identity.

To bring together these images, Gail Buckland, acclaimed photographic editor, curator, and scholar, looked through the archives of one hundred photographers, selecting pictures not on the basis of the usual suspects, but on the power of the images themselves, often picking an image a photographer didn’t even remember he or she had taken.

Buckland writes about the photographers, their influences, their relationships with their subjects, how they took the images, how they saw what they saw and captured what they captured: the spirit and essence of rock.

A revelation of an art form whose iconic images changed the world as we knew it.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
 
“I love this book, and not merely for the uniformly excellent and often unexpected photographs Ms. Buckland has chosen to illustrate this love letter to rock’s finest photographers (and performers). I love it, too, for Ms. Buckland’s witty, moving and sometimes acerbic prose. . . Whatever Gail Buckland writes, I want to read.”
 
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times. Selected as one of the best gift books of the year 
 
 
“Visually hypnotic…The care with which Buckland selects representative photographers and their most significant images is matched by her interpretive prowess.”
 
Publishers’ Weekly
 
“A very appealing collection of photography. . . impressive.”
 
Booklist
Elsa Dixler
Buckland examined the archives of a hundred photographers to choose the work in this book, which also functions as a catalog of a show by the same name…at the Brooklyn Museum of Art…the book's emphasis is on the '60s and '70s, and on the most successful and recognizable musicians. Leafing through the book or walking around the exhibition is delightful.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Buckland’s visually hypnotic history of rock photography is as much a history of rock as subject as it is of photography. In fact, it is the inseparability of the two that lies at the heart of Buckland’s argument. Here are nearly 300 iconic photographs by those photographers who understood the power of the image in the formation and sustenance of rock-and-roll culture from 1955 onward. The care with which Buckland selects representative photographers and their most significant images is matched by her interpretive prowess. In her comparison of photographs by Mick Rock and Masayoshi Sukita of David Bowie’s 1973 tour, for example, Buckland demonstrates “no discernible difference in affection for the pop star among teenagers on three continents.” Such observations stand testament to the scope of Buckland’s inquiry, which throughout the book directs us over and over toward the definitive visual responses of rock fans as well as the musicians, be it through the gestures of physical expression or choices in fashion. Buckland carefully but deliberately argues that the art of rock photography has been sacrificed to the paparazzi and corporate art departments. In light of this inclusive, heady and visceral collection of the genre’s best, it would be hard to argue otherwise. (Nov.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307270160
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/20/2009
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
520,087
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 10.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Gail Buckland has written and collaborated on eleven books of photographic history, including Fox Talbot and the Invention of Photography, The Magic Image (with Cecil Beaton), and The American Century (by Harold Evans). She is former curator of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, professor of the history of photography at the Cooper Union, and guest curator at many American museums. She lives in Warwick, New York, and New York City.

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