I'm so pleased that I got to view Bob Gruen's collection that was being displayed by Liss Gallery in Vancouver during August.
The photographs on display supported his book Rock Seen and span some 40 years of capturing some of rock musics most notable performers. The bulk of the work displayed was from the 70's and 80's and to be honest, those decades resonate so much with me. Having travelled the road from glam to punk, I spent my viewing time reliving times and places that now seem so distant yet full of life.
As my photographic journey starts (or continues following a long delay) I wanted to look past the memories and the artist to think about what it was that made the image memorable for me. The mix of on and off-stage shots provided a glimpse of the transition from real life to entertainer/commentator. My biggest smile? The image of John Lydon in his Rotten guise on board an airliner with a rather bewildered child in the seat in front. My favourite image? It would be easy to go with one of John Lennon and yet I was transfixed by the power of The Clash on stage. This shot summed up "The Only Band That Matters". Energy and attitude partnered with authenticity and astute commentary.
It was a real privilege to view this small part of the Gruen collection. An artist capturing musicians that are likely the true beneficiaries of the image as it freezes them in time and certainly prompts me to dive in to the vinyl collection again.