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Catch Michael Putland Talking Rock Photography and his Life in Music

Eric Clapton on his USA Tour in 1974. Michael Putland recalls, "Eric Clapton on stage during a sound check in Philadelphia 1974. If I remember correctly the concert afterwards took place in a storm with Eric wearing a plastic mac". © Michael Putland

Rockarchive and Wex Photo Video, London have teamed up for a new exhibition which delves into Rockarchive’s extensive collection of iconic rock photography. Called The Rock Archive Collection, it showcases some of the biggest names in both rock music and rock music photography.

Rockarchive’s online collection includes behemoths of pop and rock like David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Blondie, Led ZeppelinQueen, Oasis—you name them, they’re there. And this new exhibition showcases some of those visuals which pulsate with rock history, captured by some of the most celebrated music photographers around, like Jill Furmanovsky, Michael Putland and Mick Rock.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono In the White Room in Ascot, 1971 where the classic video clip for ‘Imagine’ was shot. © Michael Putland

They’re images that traverse the varied yet always fascinating experience of being a famous musician, like the peek-behind-the-curtain of life on the road. Or the calm before the storm of being backstage before a concert. To the larking and lingering of the recording studio, and the life-rattling thrill, power and adrenaline surge of a live show. Photos that let you be a voyeur on some of the most interesting and historic moments in rock culture.

Like Pink Floyd recording their debut studio album, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, at Abbey Road Studios. Or The Clash backstage before their famous Rainbow Theatre gig in 1977. Blondie playing the Roundhouse on her first European tour. Noel and Liam Gallagher caught between a break while filming the music video for “Wonderwall”. Or Bowie on a train to Aberdeen in 1973, sat next to Mick Ronson. Both eating a mundane lunch of boiled potatoes and lamb chops, both looking glam as hell, as they head off to perform the first gig of their last Ziggy Stardust tour.

Siouxsie Sioux, from Siouxsie & The Banshees, relaxing in London in 1980. © Michael Putland

But, along with some fine moments that you can live vicariously by the power of the photographic image—you can also get a bit closer to what it’s like to shoot the sonorous and rabble-rousing environs of rock and/or roll.

Because as part of the exhibition, Rockarchive will also be presenting a talk by the previously mentioned and much-admired music photographer Michael Putland. The talk will be taking place on 25 October and Putland will talk about his work and life on the road shooting some of the biggest names in pop and rock. From Siouxsie Sioux to Eric Clapton, AC/DC to John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Pink Floyd, The Cure, and many others. It's am extensive and celebrated career that included Putland being the Rolling Stones official photographer for their tour of Europe in 1973.

Syd Barrett with Pink Floyd at the International ‘Love In’ Festival at Alexandra Palace in Summer 1967. © Michael Putland

Growing up in Harrow, Putland’s interest in taking photos began around age 9, and after leaving school at 16 he worked as assistant to Time-Life photographer Walter Curtain, along with motor racing photographer Louis Klemantaski. Putland’s work has appeared in Disc and Music Echo, Sounds, Smash Hits and Q magazine, and he’s worked alongside major record labels like CBS, Warner, Elektra, Polydor, Columbia Records and EMI.

With such a sizeable career, which has seen Putland come into contact with pretty much every popular musical artist of the last 50 years, the talk will no doubt be a captivating and anecdote-fuelled delve into the life of a rock photographer. So whether you’re a music fan, photographer, want some tips or just like to be entertained, Putland’s talk will no doubt please.

Michael Putland's rock photography talk is on Thursday 25 October at Wex Photo Video, 37-39 Commercial Road, London, E1 1LF. Find out more information here.

The Rockarchive Collection is on now until Sunday 25 November at Wex Photo Video, 37-39 Commercial Road, London, E1 1LF. Find out more information here.

Angus Young, guitarist from rock band AC/DC, onstage in Leicester during their 'Back in Black' UK Tour in 1980. © Michael Putland

Rockarchive is delighted to be able to offer these iconic Michael Putland images as limited edition photographic prints which you can buy here.

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