When rock and roll took over the world (and the walls of teenage bedrooms everywhere) in the 60s and 70s, American photographer Bob Gruen was there on the frontline to capture it all.
Over his 40-year career as a music photographer Gruen has captured some of the most iconic figures in music history, and a selection of his rarely seen vintage prints have arrived at San Francisco’s Minnesota Street Project for a brand new exhibition presented by S+L Projects.
Rock Seen: Vintage Photographs by Bob Gruen is a testament to Gruen’s ability to not just be in the right place at the right time, but to befriend music’s most beloved delinquents, earning him a permanent backstage pass and spot on the tour bus to hang with the likes of Bob Dylan, Blondie, The Ramones, Suicide, John Lennon, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, The Clash, Led Zeppelin, Ike and Tina Turner… the list honestly goes on and on. “Rock and roll is about the freedom to express yourself loudly,” Gruen said, when asked to shed some light on his experiences. “There’s a feeling of anarchy when you’re in the middle of a crowd of cheering fans, with all the energy focused on the artists on the stage. It’s important for me to capture that in my photos.”
Now showing at S+L Projects until March the 2nd, the exhibition will feature rare photos from Gruen’s impressive collection, including a rare photo of Bob Dylan going electric at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, behind the scenes tour photos of rock’s biggest names, debaucherous nights at NYC’s infamous CBGB club, and snapshots from his time as John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s personal photographer.