Who Shot Rock and Roll by Gail Buckland
A Photographic History, 1955-Present

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Synopsis

More than two hundred spectacular photographs, sensual, luminous, frenzied, true, from 1955 to the present, that catch and define the energy, intoxication, rebellion, and magic of rock and roll; the first book to explore the photographs and the photographers who captured rock’s message of freedom and personal reinvention—and to examine the effect of their pictures on the musicians, the fans, and the culture itself.

The only music photographers whose names are well known are those who themselves have become celebrities. But many of the images that have shaped our consciousness and desire were made by photographers whose names are unfamiliar. Here are Elvis in 1956—not yet mythic but beautiful, tender, vulnerable, sexy, photographed by Alfred Wertheimer . . . Bob Dylan and his girlfriend on a snowy Greenwich Village street, by Don Hunstein . . . John Lennon in a sleeveless New York City T-shirt, by Bob Gruen . . . Jimi Hendrix, by Gered Mankowitz, a photograph that became a poster and was hung on the walls of millions of bedrooms and college dorms . . .

For the first time, the work of these talented men and women is brought into the pantheon; we see the musicians they photographed and how the images gave rock and roll its visual identity.

To bring together these images, Gail Buckland, acclaimed photographic editor, curator, and scholar, looked through the archives of one hundred photographers, selecting pictures not on the basis of the usual suspects, but on the power of the images themselves, often picking an image a photographer didn’t even remember he or she had taken.

Buckland writes about the photographers, their influences, their relationships with their subjects, how they took the images, how they saw what they saw and captured what they captured: the spirit and essence of rock.

A revelation of an art form whose iconic images changed the world as we knew it.
 

About Gail Buckland

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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.
 
Published October 20, 2009 by Knopf. 336 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Who Shot Rock and Roll

Publishers Weekly

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Buckland’s visually hypnotic history of rock photography is as much a history of rock as subject as it is of photography. In fact, it is the inseparability of the two that lies at the heart o

Oct 05 2009 | Read Full Review of Who Shot Rock and Roll: A Pho...

The New York Times

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Gail Buckland wants us to see the work of music photographers accepted as art in its own right.

Dec 06 2009 | Read Full Review of Who Shot Rock and Roll: A Pho...

Huffington Post

Opening last night at The Brooklyn Museum, "Who Shot Rock" explores intimacy, passion and the countless other reasons we all love rock and roll in the first place.

Mar 18 2010 | Read Full Review of Who Shot Rock and Roll: A Pho...

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