By: Courtney Dabney
The Arlington Museum of Art is presenting three exhibits that focus on the socially, culturally and politically influential era of rock during the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. The exhibits are comprised of the beginning years of the Rolling Stone, iconic billboards from the Sunset Strip, and photographs of blues and country musicians when they performed in Austin in their early years.
Backstage Pass: Baron Wolman and the Early Years of Rolling Stone
In 1967, Baron Wolman met a 21-year-old writer named Jann Wenner. That meeting led to Wolman becoming the first director of photography for Wenner’s brainchild, the Rolling Stone. Wolman’s photos portray not just the final covers, but an unfiltered glimpse of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. These are not just pictures from photo studio sittings, they show everything from Townsend listening to a playback of his recording for Tommy, to Harrison reading a book between sessions. One gets to see as the photographer saw, even getting a chance to look through a loop at the raw negatives.
Rock and Roll Billboards from the Sunset Strip
L.A. based photographer Robert Landau captured advertising billboards in one of the most musically influential parts of the country. Images from album covers for billboards were installed next to rock and roll clubs like the Whiskey-a-Go-Go, the Roxy, and the Key Club. (Someone stole the head of Paul in the billboard above, enhancing the hype that Paul was dead. The thief still has it and they have a picture of him with it!)
Cassandra Weyandt spent years photographing musicians who would become some of the best-known names in the blues and country music scenes. These raw performance photos capture the intrepid feel of Austin’s bars and clubs where these musical icons performed.
From the running video of Woodstock to the series of shots that lead up to the Frank Zappa cover, this exhibit captures the perspective of American youth during a volatile time of music history.
For more information on this exceptional exhibit click here.
By: Courtney Dabney