Bob Gruen Captured Rock’s Most Iconic Moments


Photos © Copyright 2019 Bob Gruen

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.”

Led Zeppelin in Front of Plane, NY, 1973

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.

Rock Seen: Vintage Photographs by Bob Gruen now showing until Mar 2 at 1275 Minnesota St, Gallery 107, San Francisco. Head here for more details.

Alan Vega of Suicide in England
Bob Dylan – Newport Folk Festival 1965
Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop
John Lennon, NYC
Mick Jagger
Sex Pistols with straws, Luxembourg, 1977
Joan Jett, 1976

Sign up for the Monster Children Newsletter