Rockarchive founder, Jill Furmanovsky, was born and brought up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Her parents moved to London in 1965 when Jill was 11 years old and she became a member of the Beatles fan-club and an 'Apple scruff' – one of the teenagers that hung around outside Abbey Road hoping to catch sight of the Fab Four. Her first rock shot was of Paul McCartney standing outside his house with two of her school friends taken on a Kodak Instamatic.
Following a foundation course at Harrow School of Art, Jill studied textile and graphic design at the Central School of Art and Design. After only two weeks training in photography, she had a lucky break when she was offered (and gleefully accepted) the unpaid job of official photographer at London's premier rock venue, The Rainbow Theatre in 1972.
Artists photographed in her 40 year career include many of the biggest names in rock music: Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Blondie, The Police, Led Zeppelin, The Pretenders, Bob Dylan, and Oasis are but a few. She has also directed videos for Oasis and The Pretenders.
Jill continues to shoot in the music industry. Her traffic-stopping image of Florence Welsh graced the streets of Los Angeles in 2012 as part of the exhibit ‘Who Shot Rock & Roll?’ at the Annenberg Space for Photography. She was also featured extensively in the film of the same name in which Noel Gallagher took part on her behalf, to praise their long working relationship.
Jill's book 'The Moment' 25 Years of Rock Photography' (1995) is a seminal work in the genre. Her subsequent book, ‘Oasis - Was There Then ' A Photographic Journey' (1997) followed a ground-breaking exhibition of the same name that toured in the UK and Ireland. Jill is working on follow ups to both books as well as personal book and film projects outside the field of rock.
Jill has won many awards for her music photography including The Jane Bown Observer Portrait Award (1992) and 'Woman of the Year' for Music and Related Industries (1988). Further accolades followed. In 2012 Jill was presented with a special award by Record of The Day Magazine. Founder of rocksbackpages.com and prize-winning author, Barney Hoskyns, introduced Jill’s award as follows:
“Jill has always been in demand because she is so undemanding. For years she has won the trust of her subjects with her disarming kindness, capturing the essences of everyone from Pink Floyd and the Police to punks and New Romantic peacocks. Apart from winning the Observer Portrait Award with her marvelous 1992 study of Charlie Watts, she created superb images we all know of Chic, B.B. King, Joy Division and Oasis. She even found time to create the excellent rockarchive.com website, bringing together many of her fellow photographic legends. Jill Furmanovsky, winner of this year's Outstanding Contribution to Photography award, we salute you!!”
photo by David Cantwell
View all prints from Jill Furmanovsky