From the utterly personal collection of an anonymous donor, "Backstage Pass" is a book of 120 striking photographs of rock & roll's greatest contributors. As curious as the unnamed collector himself, two compelling qualities define his accumulation of photos. They're all taken during the artist's prime and the musician is actually making eye contact with the camera, affording a small glimpse of the person behind the entertainer.
Not to be overshadowed by the iconic photos, the book includes five insightful essays covering rock & roll related topics written by a cast of industry experts.
Photographer Laura Levine comments on today's calculated photo shoots with managers focused more on the band's appearance than the artists themselves. She also illustrates a typical night out documenting the NYC music scene during the '80s and her adrenaline-fueled 5am dark room sessions after the bars closed and the bands went home.
Music journalist Greil Marcus provides an inspiring intro about the book's cover photo, which shows Andrew Loog Oldham, manager of The Rolling Stones at 19-years-old, holding a picture of the band over his head, a year before writing on the back of their first album that The Rolling Stones "are a way of life."
The book is published in conjunction with the exhibit of the same name going on at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, now through 22 March 2009. The book is available for purchase from theYale University Press website, for $30.
Backstage Pass: Rock & Roll Photography
Through 22 March 2009
Portland Museum of Art
Seven Congress Square
Portland, Maine 04101 map
tel. +1 207 775 6148