Invalid Displayed GalleryRock and roll is here to stay
It’s better to burn out
Than to fade away
Rock photography is the dirty little bastard inbetween hero worshipping, paparazzi photography and an expression of art. Like Bram Stokes protagonist it has sunk its incisors into art history, licked the blood of industrial commercialization and has fucked hereby art itself. Forever undead, shimmering in the constant hiss of mobile cameras and flickr.
The pictures superimpose a counter world against the ordinary: do no goods in a shabby hotel room, ecstatic gestures or demigods in hero poses. The photography becomes propaganda of a show off, stamped by the power of rhythm and drugs.
During the vinyl times, when a big hole on the cover used to represent title and interpret, the picture started to establish itself since the sixties as a visual parallel world of the acoustic. In the middle of the seventies the visual representation climaxed in baroque fold outs, centrefolds and clap outs. The spectular stagings of Hipgnosis, like the burning salesman on Pink Floyds „Wish you were her“ follows a step inside of space. The cover becomes an object. Opening Jethro Tulls „Stand Up“ the whole band pops into the third dimension. Andy Warhols design of Rolling Stones „Sticky Fingers“ shows the hips of a man in tight jeans. Astonishingly the zipper’s not a part of the picture but real. Opening it, we discover the inlay as cotton briefs. Under it lies the naked skin, Mick Jagger’s sex pressed on vinyl.
Memories are made of these.
Vinyl records always needed a place to be played, and the vinyl player was the centre of every kids room . Focused on the cover an emotional relation developed between picture and music. With the walkman and the mp3 player music was delocated and lost it’s regular place, it also divides the music from the picture. For the first time in human history we have our complete musical identity in our mobile devices. The covers are only icons, signposts for a faster retrieval.
Rock and roll can never die
There’s more to the picture
Than meets the eye.
Neil Young 1979