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American Music: Photographsby Annie Leibovitz
Synopses & Reviews
Musicians have been central to Annie Leibovitz's long and celebrated career. She became a professional photographer in 1970, when she was a nineteen-year-old student at the San Francisco Art Institute and submitted a portfolio to the editor of Rolling Stone magazine. By 1973 she was Rolling Stone's chief photographer, and over the next decade she created a legendary body of work.
American Music includes portraits from Leibovitz's archives, among them photographs of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, the Grateful Dead, Michael Jackson, and Elvis Presley, but the bulk of the work is new material created especially for the American Music project. Leibovitz traveled across the country, taking pictures in juke joints and at iconic sites like Graceland. She photographed B. B. King at the Club Ebony in his hometown of Indianola in the Mississippi Delta, Willie Nelson at his recording studio in Texas, Johnny Cash at the Carter Family compound in Hinds, Virginia, and Aretha Franklin's childhood home in Memphis. The subjects of her portraits include Bruce Springsteen, the Reverend Al Green, Beck, Bob Dylan, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, Eminem, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, Lucinda Williams, Philip Glass, Marvin Gaye, Anita O'Day, Quincy Jones, Pete Seeger, Emmylou Harris, Chuck Berry, The Dixie Chicks, and Dr. Dre.
The musicians Patti Smith, Rosanne Cash, Lou Reed, and Beck have contributed short essays to the book, and there will be a commentary about the American Music project by Leibovitz, as well as short biographical sketches of all the musicians.
For 40 years, Bob Gruenand#8217;s name has been synonymous with rock and roll. From taking early photos on tour with Ike and Tina Turner, to capturing the early CBGB/Maxand#8217;s Kansas City scene to covering current stadium rockers such as Green Day, Gruen has always been at the right place at the right timeand#8212;and heand#8217;s always gotten the shot. In this lavish monograph, Gruen has curated his favorite photographs from his career, with intimate captions and behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Featuring such illustrious acts as the Clash, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols, Ramones, and more, and including an introduction by the legendary Debbie Harry of Blondie, this collection is a must-have for all fans of rock and roll.
Praise for Rock Seen:
and#8220;Rock Seen offers a disarmingly natural look at icons like Blondie and Cher before the era of the posed rock-star portrait kicked in.and#8221;
and#8220;Rock Seen . . . hits the high points on and off the stage in rockand#8217;s past four decades.and#8221;
and#8220;Go backstage with 40 yearsand#8217; worth of rock-and-roll images from the legendary lens of Bob Gruen, who was once John Lennonand#8217;s personal photographer. From over-the-top action shots of Elton Johnand#8217;s acrobatics to private pics of Lennon and Yoko in bed with baby Sean to boozy plane rides with the Sex Pistols, the glossy pages act as your VIP pass to the rock-star lifestyle youand#8217;ve dreamed of.and#8221;
and#8220;The official monograph of rock and rolland#8217;s most famous photographer, Rock Seen is a must-have for all rock fans.and#8221;
and#8220;Gruen had a front-row seat to the rise of many rock legends [from] Elton John to Green Day.and#8221;
and#8212;New York Post
and#8220;If you want to give the gift of great music photos, you honestly cannot do better than these thrilling images from Bob Gruenand#8217;s forty-year-long career as one of rockand#8217;s iconic photographersand#8221;and#160;
and#8220;It all came flooding back when I opened Bob Gruenand#8217;s beautiful new book, Rock Seen, a sparkling collage of live concert shots and portraits from the last forty years.and#8221;and#160;
The impulse to do AMERICAN MUSIC, writes famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, “came from a desire to return to my original subject and look at it with a mature eye. Bring my experience to it…make it a real American tapestry.” Her ambitious idea became AMERICAN MUSIC, a stunning collection of photographs of the musicians, places and people that enrich the landscape of American music.
As Rolling Stones chief photographer for over thirteen years, Leibovitz created a legendary body of work. Her portraits of some of the worlds most talented musicians capture more than the performer, they convey the art of making music. For AMERICAN MUSIC, Leibovitz traveled across the country to juke joints in the Mississippi Delta, honkytonks in Texas, and jazz clubs in New Orleans “to take pictures in places that mean something.” In her signature style, she shares stunning portraits of American greats — B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Beck, Bob Dylan, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, Miles Davis, Etta James, Pete Seeger, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits, The Dixie Chicks, Dr. Dre, The Roots and many more.
AMERICAN MUSIC includes a commentary about the American Music project by Leibovitz, short essays by musicians Patti Smith, Rosanne Cash, Steve Earle, Mos Def, Ryan Adams, and Beck as well as biographical sketches of all the musicians.
About the Author
ANNIE LEIBOVITZ is one of the most celebrated and admired photographers of our time. She began her work photographing for Rolling Stone magazine and quickly established a reputation as a chronicler of popular culture, eventually becoming a contributing photographer at Vanity Fair and Vogue. Her first book, Annie Leibovitz: Photographs, was published in 1983. In 1999 she published the bestselling Women, with a Preface by Susan Sontag, for which the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington exhibited a selection of portraits in conjunction with the hardcover publication.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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