How do you define rock & roll when the performers and their fans are a changing mass of millions who span more than 50 years and live around the world? The Griffin Museum of Photography by Digital Silver Imaging Gallery attempts to answer that question with an exhibit of 19 silver gelatin and color prints of musical legends and current artists.
Rock & Roll is featured in the new location of The Griffin Museum of Photography by Digital Silver Imaging, 4 Clarendon St., in Boston’s South End, December 8 through January 28. An opening reception is December 8, 6-8 p.m.
The Beatles are said to be the world’s most famous band and this show features rarely seen images shot during the early years. German photographer Astrid Kirchherr photographed the Beatles beginnings in Hamburg, when the band included her fiance, Stuart Sutcliffe, as a bass player.
Photographer Mike Mitchell, based in Washington DC, made international news this year when he uncovered a box of never-before-published images from the Beatles first U.S. concert, after the Ed Sullivan show. He chose Digital Silver Imaging to print them and sold the inaugural silver gelatin prints at Christie’s this summer at a record-breaking auction.
Herbie Green is known for his close relationship and iconic images of The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and Led Zepplin. Eliott Landy has photographed rock legends including Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix.
Ron Pownall gained full access to bands starting with The Rolling Stones up to the E Street Band. Boston has brought forth more than a few musical legends, as well as the photographers who captured them on film. B.C. Kagan, now based in New York, has intimate images of The Cars, Joe Jackson, Billy Idol, a teenage Bono and Sting with the early Police.
Ryan Mastro photographs music festivals across the U.S., including Coachella and Bonnaroo. He documents groups before, during, and after they are famous. The Black Keys, Radiohead, Amy Winehouse, B.B. King, and Phish are some of the artists he has photographed.
Melissa Mahoney, Kerry Brett, and Brian Babineau all make Boston their home base. Each photographer has developed relationships allowing for intimate and spontaneous images of Aerosmith, The Drop Kick Murphy’s, and Kiss. Mitch Weiss is included with his close-up of Lady Gaga.
As many rock & roll legends mark their 50th anniversary of performing, it is a time of reflection, analysis, and projection. On January 28, the gallery will host a small panel of rock & roll experts discussing the people who made musical history and the photographers who documented the phenomenon.