Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Linda Eastman et al - The Black and White

McCartney by the Other McCartney
Though certainly not the first rock photographer, Linda McCartney was certainly the first celebrity rock photographer. (Based on her name, Eastman, and her photography, Linda was often rumored to be the heiress to Eastman-Kodak.) Her celebrity, however obtained, was moot; Linda single handedly brought rock photography into the limelight. Photographers like Mick Rock and Anton Corbijn would exceed her in the field, but the candid portrayal of those she encountered would shape the future of celebrity photography.

Just four days after she met Paul McCartney for the first time, photographer Linda Eastman showed up at the press launchof the Beatles new album Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandTwo years later, they were married. When the Beatles split, Linda would join McCartney to form Wings. The two remained married for 29 years, until Linda's death in 1998. Together, they supported each other's careers in music and, in her case, photography — while raising four children, promoting a vegetarian lifestyle, and advocating for animal rights.

One of the most interesting aspects of rock photography is its near insistence on black and white. Rock stars just look better in shades of gray. Aside from McCartney, Anton Corbijn was the master of the monochromatic. Corbijn, born in 1955 was a part of the second generation of rock photographers, but began his career young enough to still capture the essence of the 60s and the exuberance of the 70s. The 80s, though, belonged to Corbijn. Aside from his stylistic work with Depeche Mode and Echo and the Bunnymen, Corbijn captured our rock heroes in their maturity.
Miles Davis

Tom Waits
Finally in our mini-expose is British photographer, Mick Rock. Rock began his collaborations with David Bowie in the early 70s, photographing the Factory set, Lou Reed Iggy Pop and Bowie, and, though British, would find himself equally if not more at home with the New York set, from Blondie and Talking Heads to The Ramones. His work has defined Rock as "The Man Who Shot the Seventies."