Who Shot Rock and Roll: A Photographic History, 1955-Present Hardcover – 26 Nov 2009
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"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."
"A very appealing collection of photography. . . impressive."
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.
A very appealing collection of photography. . . impressive.
About 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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Top Customer Reviews
I bought this as a present for my Dad and would highly recommend it. Printed well on hard back this book is one to be looked after.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I suggest anyone who is a fan of photography and Rock and Roll should pick up a copy, and ANYONE who just enjoys Rock and Roll in general, should flip through the book, nonetheless buy it, to get a good sound, visually enticing education in ROCK AND ROLL!
Wonderful book for anyone who loves music, photography, or the culture of that era.
The book begins (and ends), as it should, with Elvis (and I mean Presley, not the bespectacled New Wave twerp who took his name). There may have been rock 'n' rollers before him, but he was the music's first and greatest "star." The photo by William V. (Red) Robertson of Presley, eyes closed, mouth wide open in seemingly orgasmic joy or anguish, legs akimbo, and hand banging on a guitar, shot on a Tampa, Florida stage in 1955, captured the raw power of the performer and rock 'n' roll in general several months before they took the world by storm. A cropped version of the photo became the now famous cover shot of Presley's first RCA Victor album.
All the greats who followed in the King's footsteps are represented in this collection, the best of which offer the kind of glimpse at a performer that few shutterbugs can capture today when publicists package and control every aspect of a star's public life. Sometimes, though, they get lucky. Ian Tilton captured Kurt Cobain in tears backstage in 1990, an image that is more haunting now due to the Nirvana frontman's suicide. It's certainly a more powerful image than the staged photos of Eminem and Lil Kim by David Lachapelle in which the calculation involved renders them instantly forgettable. That's a matter of personal taste, I suppose. For me, still photography's power is in capturing, rather than creating, a moment, as Lynn Goldsmith did in a magnificent shot of an exhausted Mick Jagger at the climax of a 1978 Rolling Stones stadium show in California. Surrounded by shoes that excited fans threw on stage, the singer looks like a man who just spent eight hours digging ditches, and now wants only to sleep. The photo depicts the work involved in a performance. It may only be rock 'n' roll, but for Jagger, it requires the stamina of an athlete.
An earlier photo of the Stones by Philip Townsend, a posed shot from 1963 before the band had a record contract, was meant to make them look "mean and nasty." If it succeeded, it was only in contrast to the squeaky-clean Beatles who tried to look nasty themselves in the now famous photos of the then leather clad musicians in Hamburg. The Stones look almost cuddly here, though less so than they did in a photo that isn't included, but which was part of the exhibit inspired by this book at the Akron Art Museum. In that take, the Stones pose with a shaggy dog who brings a big smile to Keith Richards's unlined, innocent face.
There are shots of Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Frank Zappa, Chuck Berry, the Clash, the Sex Pistols, as well as such current performers as Jay Z. One of the most amusing shots is of a pre--stardom Jimi Hendrix, in a bow tie (!), playing behind Wilson Pickett during a nightclub appearance. Hendrix looks nothing like the mod hipster guitarist that the world remembers, whose image is also captured in an appropriately psychedilic image and setting his instrument on fire at Woodstock. Buckland's text is informative, offering insight into each photograph, and providing comments by the photographers themselves.
Brian W. Fairbanks