Joe Sia was a shooting star, a genuine, hands-down, everyone-agrees-on-this star at shooting photographs, and his departure from this planet in 2003 at the tender age of 57 was too soon for a man of his talent. Born in the Bronx and a committed Yankees man, Joe loved music and gravitated around the Fillmore East and the flower-power youth-culture rock scene from whence he set out to capture some of the most incredible sounds of the last half-century. How could Joe capture sounds on camera film? He did it by focusing on the faces of the performers and the woozing-oozing crowd and by giving the background, whether simple or wild, the importance it deserved in defining the artist and event. Sia's entire archive consists more than a quarter of a million photographs that document almost 35 years of music genre and giants.
Thousands of people flocked to the corner of Haight and Ashbury during the Summer of Love, but few saw the unfolding phenomenon as clearly as Gene Anthony did. From his apartment one block up the hill, he witnessed the extraordinary pilgrimage of young people from across the country as they trooped to San Francisco in search of answers, approval and love, and he captured the compelling vignettes through his telling lens. Anthony's photographic talent, subjects and well-deserved acclaim extend far beyond the psychedelic period, but his ability to capture a mood on a face or the essence of an era from a simple street sign was recognized and refined during that time. His photographs have, in turn, become the myriad faces of the Summer of Love.
Settling in Haight-Ashbury in the 60's, Wolman was surrounded by Janis and the Grateful Dead in close-by digs. Wolman was soon accompanying journalist Jann Wenner to the now famous and genre-defining Mills College conference on rock music. Wenner happened to be the founder of Rolling Stone magazine. He liked Wolman's style, offered him a job and Wolman launched as the first official document-er of the new psychedelic age. Beginning with the magazine's opening issue, Wolman's photographs were windows on the parade of the different, the delightful and the doomed, and his pictures became the gold standard by which rock photography would be measured.
Michael Zagaris, known as 'the Z-man', offers the performer's eye view in his photography. Zagaris became the Stones, the Who, Led Zeppelin; not vicariously but actually. He donned the make-up and ran down the tunnel onto the stage. As an insider in those days, he took photographs of what was, not what one expected to see, and as an insider today he does the same thing for 21st century bands and artists. As team photographer for the San Francisco 49ers, a title he achieved in '73, and for the Oakland A's, Zagaris is sports' inside-out shooter. Ankles taped and knee pad-clad, he's the guy so familiar to the players that they see him as their own.
Regarded by many as "THE rock and roll photographer," Jim Marshall's career has always been focused on the documentation of people, especially musicians. Unlimited access to the musicians coupled with an inviolate sense of trust between subject and photographer allowed Marshall special opportunities: he was chief photographer at Woodstock and was the only photographer allowed backstage at the Beatles final concert. Since he demanded total access, Marshall lived 24-7 with his subjects, and his pictures reflect affection for the artists as they describe the musicians' character. Marshall has said that it's no accident if his pictures seem musical because, "I see the music."
In the 90's, John Maginnis worked as a staff photographer for the Solano County Daily Republic wrting a concert review column called "Maginnis Attends." This lead to a brilliant career in which he photographed some of rock 'n' roll's legendary acts, from The Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin to Journey to Tim McGraw. He spent much time photographing comedians at Pepperbellies and is well-known for his pictures of John Belushi and James Brown. John passed away in 2013 leaving behind his own person archive of rock history.
Ken Friedman grew up in the mid-Wilshire section of Los Angeles (he went to L.A. High School) and spent his first couple of years in college at UC Santa Barbara. He was a serious Dead Head. Ken has been a fixture on the Bay Area arts photography scene for three decades. He shot the Grateful Dead extensively as a freelance photographer working for Bill Graham Presents from 1981 through 1995. He captured dozens of other groups for BGP over the years.
Specializing in capturing the players in the performing arts, which for Dion includes musicians, comedians and even the San Francisco Giants, he moved to San Francisco in 1992 and commenced a career which has come to include the roles of house photographer for the Bill Graham Presents Fillmore Auditorium and Punchline Comedy Clubs, assistant photographer for the Giant's 1993 season and to publication in magazines including Newsweek, Time, Spin and Rolling Stone.
Born and raised outside Chicago, Rachel Bleckman made the trek to the West Coast in 1997. From 1992 until 2008, she photographed musicians during live performances hosted by Jam Productions, Rolling Stone, Bill Graham Presents, and various other music publications.
Steve Jennings started photographing concerts in 1976. Combining his love of music and photography he captured his favorite musicians on stage. His work includes tours with Carrie Underwood, Kiss, Aerosmith, The Pixies, Joe Satriani, The Tenors, Natalie Cole, The Pretenders and Oingo Boingo and many others.
Shooting rock concerts since the late 1980s, when he covered all aspects of the shows for his college newspaper in San Diego, Pidgeon's career includes concert, portrait, photojournalism, travel, venue and themed-series projects. Since 1997, Pidgeon has been house photographer for Bill Graham Presents, and his work reveals an affinity for color, tone and feeling that transcends his subjects and can wrest emotion from a building as easily as from a singer, still life or politician.