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Vintage Photographs | PHOTO LONDON 2019Selected works


Among the leading selected galleries worldwide, The Music Photo Gallery featured Rock Seen: Vintage Photographs by Bob Gruen at the booth F12 - Main section. This show presented a selection of Bob’s rarely seen vintage prints chronicling the music scene from the 1960s and 70s until the present. Starting with a rare image of Bob Dylan going electric at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 to touring with Ike and Tina Turner in 1971 and then on to the early days at CBGB and Max’s Kansas City where he made classic images of Blondie, The Ramones, The New York Dolls, Suicide, DEVO, Television and Lou Reed, Bob has captured some of the most memorable photographs of rock and roll’s icons and iconoclasts. 

The selected works for the show ventures beyond the New York rock and punk scene with an extensive look at Bob’s photographs of seminal bands from the first wave of British punk. The show includes incredible images of the Sex Pistols and The Clash who brought an aggressive attitude and new rebellious image to the rock scene. Bob’s image of Sid Vicious with Hot Dog is in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery London. Bob became friends with The Clash, toured with the band and even played a Cavalry Charge on bugle to open shows at Hammersmith Odeon and their shows at Bonds in Times Square. 

There are portraits and candid shots of Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Topper Headon and images of The Clash performing live. There are some of Bob’s classic images of The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin performing in stadiums filled with audiences who witnessed the attitude, passion and raw energy of artists like Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page whose names are synonymous with rock and roll. 

Alongside to the photographs that capture the raw edge of rock, the show also includes touching photographs of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who Bob worked with closely as their personal photographer from 1972 until Lennon’s death. He captured not only their working life but many private moments as well. His iconic image of John Lennon wearing a New York City T-Shirt is part of the permanent collection of The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Yoko Ono writes that “Bobs magical photos ... present a kaleidoscope of John’[s]...New York Period. It is beautiful, clear, and truthful. I know, I was there.” 

As chief photographer for Rock Scene magazine and an active freelancer for magazines like Creem, Melody Maker and Rolling Stone, Bob’s photographs have appeared on the covers and filled the pages of many of these seminal publications; capturing the whole scene, on stage, offstage, on tour, at parties, at play, at home and relaxing. It’s all here, the look, the feel, the magic that’s Rock and Roll.

Installation views