Music fans are deluged on a daily basis with new images of their favorite performers. Along with magazine spreads, we see pictures of the bands we love (and hate) in an endless barrage of live photos on both professional and amateur blogs, while our friends are constantly tweeting and posting to Facebook their grainy, iPhone concerts shots. Scanning Dangerous Minds’ post on Brad Elterman’s fantastic photos from the ’70s and ’80s, it struck us that rock photography has become largely anonymous in the 21st century. In an attempt to separate the pros from the folks getting in your face at shows with crappy point-and-shoot, we’ve put together a list of ten rock photographers you should know — not the most famous names in the field, but a very subjective group of those whose work we’ve noticed and loved.
Brad Elterman, Joan Jett And Sandy West Santa Monica Pier, 1977 [via]
As Dangerous Minds points out, Elterman’s pictures are “strikingly candid.” The Los Angeles-based photographer captures the debaucherous fun of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, gaining intimate access and coming away with images that include Joan Jett stuffing her face, the Dead Boys’ Stiv Bators with his pants down, and Leif Garrett in bed with Nicolette Sheridan (yes, this was a thing). Elterman approaches rock photography with a sense of humor, and through the eyes of a fan who was so intent on covering David Bowie that, when denied access to him in 1975, he hid outside Bowie’s recording studio and ambushed him, paparazzi-style.
Last year, Elterman published Like It Was Yesterday, a limited-edition book of photos from the ’70s and ’80s. You can see more of his work at his website (where you can also inquire about buying prints) or by following him on Tumblr.