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See It |Who Shot Rock ‘n Roll

We were too young to witness the birth of Rock ‘n Roll, but its legacy lives on through the music and these pictures.

It’s no secret over here at Juicy that we were raised on Rock ‘n Roll (in fact, the author of this post may or may not be named after one of Keith Richard’s daughters, born on the same day as Elvis & Davie Bowie and damn proud of it). While fist-pumping to EDM in the Sahara tent at Coachella and other festivals like London’s Lovebox and Spain’s Primavera Sound have been tons of fun, we are fairly sure that nothing we will ever know will compare to the iconic era that began with ’50s Elvis and those legendary hips.

That said, we’ll settle for Who Shot Rock ‘n Roll: A Photographic History 1955 to Present, the first major museum exhibition of rock music photography. It’s as close as well get to the real thing (sorry Rock of Ages) and it’s finally coming to Los Angeles.

In 2009 Gail Buckland, author of the book Who Shot Rock ‘n Roll, was asked to guest curate the exhibit along with the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Together they comprised six sections for the show: Behind the Scenes, Career Beginnings, Live Performances, Crowds and Fans, Portraits, Images and Album covers. Currently on display are 175 works from more than 100 photojournalists, covering the past 50 years of nitty gritty Rock ‘n Roll. The Annenberg Space for Photography also commissioned an original documentary film to expand the concept of the exhibition – this is not to be missed!

Beyond the album covers, the exhibit shows candid shots on stage, at home, or in the case of John and Yoko, in bed. Jagger, Bowie and Iggy Pop infamously appear half naked and/or in drag; the LA folk rockers of the 60s are hanging out in Laurel Canyon; they even include shots of hip hop artists like Salt ‘n Peppa, MIA, Lil Kim and a (personal fave) throwback pic of Jay Z and Puff Daddy focused on their Sidekicks.

A walk though the gorgeous museum space won’t make up for the fact that we’ll never experience Woodstock, see Jimi Hendrix live or get offered a doobie by Bob Dylan. However, the energy, passion, style and stage presence captured in these illuminating images gives us that much more knowledge to talk to our parents about what it meant to “let the good times roll” when they were in their twenties. The times may be a-changin’, but boy did they know how to let loose back in the day—and they have this footage to prove it.

Opens today at The Annenberg Space for Photography. Did you see the event in LA or elsewhere? What would you say was the most memorable shot?

Photo of Bob Dylan, Fans Looking in Limousine, London, 1966 by Barry Feinstein; Mosh Pit at Endfest, Kitsap County, Washington, 1991 by Charles Peterson; John and Yoko in Bed, New York City, November 21, 1980 by Allan Tannenbaum.