13 episodes

Rock & Roll music provided the soundtrack to American culture and shifting social dynamics in the late 20th century. While the genre has undergone many shifts since its origination mid-century, Rock & Roll and its outgrowths have continued to define and shape the social relations and culture of future generations.

Drawn from the largest private collection of photographs of rock musicians in the United States, Backstage Pass: Rock & Roll Photography captured the intimate relationship between photographer and musician. Featuring 175 photographs—many rarely seen by the public—this exhibition provided a portal into the musical and cultural history of Rock & Roll, from its development in the 1950s to its influence on the sounds and styles of future generations. Studio portraits and candid outtakes of famous Rock & Roll stars range from Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles to Madonna, Courtney Love and Bob Marley.

The relationship between Rock & Roll and photography is intimate and profound. Rock musicians’ careers are predicated on a cult of personality—the ability to strike a pose and live the life—just as much as their command of an instrument. Photographers have flocked to rock musicians for the fleeting opportunity to capture celebrity both on and off stage. Backstage Pass featured images taken of famous musicians including Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin, The Who, Patti Smith, John Coltrane, Chet Baker, Grace Jones, Madonna, U2, Moby, Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, among many others. These classic images were captured by more than 50 photographers including Lee Friedlander, Kate Simon, Laura Levine, Baron Wolman, Bob Gruen, Jim Marshall and Lynn Goldsmith.

Backstage Pass: Rock & Roll Photography Currier Museum of Art

    • Arts

Rock & Roll music provided the soundtrack to American culture and shifting social dynamics in the late 20th century. While the genre has undergone many shifts since its origination mid-century, Rock & Roll and its outgrowths have continued to define and shape the social relations and culture of future generations.

Drawn from the largest private collection of photographs of rock musicians in the United States, Backstage Pass: Rock & Roll Photography captured the intimate relationship between photographer and musician. Featuring 175 photographs—many rarely seen by the public—this exhibition provided a portal into the musical and cultural history of Rock & Roll, from its development in the 1950s to its influence on the sounds and styles of future generations. Studio portraits and candid outtakes of famous Rock & Roll stars range from Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles to Madonna, Courtney Love and Bob Marley.

The relationship between Rock & Roll and photography is intimate and profound. Rock musicians’ careers are predicated on a cult of personality—the ability to strike a pose and live the life—just as much as their command of an instrument. Photographers have flocked to rock musicians for the fleeting opportunity to capture celebrity both on and off stage. Backstage Pass featured images taken of famous musicians including Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin, The Who, Patti Smith, John Coltrane, Chet Baker, Grace Jones, Madonna, U2, Moby, Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, among many others. These classic images were captured by more than 50 photographers including Lee Friedlander, Kate Simon, Laura Levine, Baron Wolman, Bob Gruen, Jim Marshall and Lynn Goldsmith.

    Welcome Backstage!

    Welcome Backstage!

    • 46 sec
    Lew Allen / Elvis Stare (1956)

    Lew Allen / Elvis Stare (1956)

    • 1 min
    Herb Greene / The Grateful Dead as The Warlocks, San Francisco, CA (1965)

    Herb Greene / The Grateful Dead as The Warlocks, San Francisco, CA (1965)

    • 1 min
    Barry Feinstein / Paparazzi, Paris, France (1966)

    Barry Feinstein / Paparazzi, Paris, France (1966)

    • 1 min
    Philip Townsend / The Beatles with Maharishi (1966)

    Philip Townsend / The Beatles with Maharishi (1966)

    • 1 min
    Unidentified photographer / Eric Clapton and the Yoko Ono Band (1969)

    Unidentified photographer / Eric Clapton and the Yoko Ono Band (1969)

    • 1 min

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