Intimate Photos of Rock Stars from 1960s and ’70s ‘Melody Maker’

We were always big fans of now-defunct UK music weekly Melody Maker — it was always rather less self-important and more lighthearted than the NME — so we were chuffed to see that the Morrison Hotel Gallery in NYC is hosting a retrospective of work by one of the publication’s staff photographers, Barrie Wentzell. Wentzell shot for the magazine in the 1960s and 1970s, and the exhibition covers the years 1965-75, including portraits of Leonard Cohen, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and various other luminaries of the era. The exhibition opens tonight and runs until October 21 — and the gallery has been kind enough to give us a sneak peek at some of the images, along with commentary from the photographer. See the photos and hear the stories behind them after the jump.


Photo credit: Barrie Wentzell. Courtesy of Morrison Hotel Gallery

Leonard Cohen, Belgravia, London, 1974

“This was the first time I had met Leonard Cohen. I’d heard his album Songs From A Room when it came out and found it totally depressing, although it was a fave of lonely people on dark, rainy Sunday afternoons in bedsits everywhere. I went along with Melody Maker writer Roy Hollingsworth to do an interview and we found Lenny relaxing by a window with his bare feet up on his manager’s desk. To my great surprise, rather than sad, he turned out to be one of the funniest and witty characters I’d met. Since that day I’ve loved his music and can even enjoy Songs From A Room. He’s still one of the finest songwriter/poets on the planet!”