photographing 40 years of rock: from michael jackson to mac demarco
Brad Elterman's new photobook brings together the most playful punk images from his insane, decade-spanning archive.
Soko flashes a peace sign outside of a Hooters, standing next to a 20-something Debbie Harry backstage at a Blondie show. Runaways-era Joan Jett snacks on a plate of fries before Jay-Z snaps an iPhone photo of Beyoncé. If this sounds like a tripped-out rock and roll time warp, that's because it is. For over 40 years, photographer Brad Elterman has captured candid moments in the lives of music's most exciting stars, from Cherry Glazerr to Alice Cooper (and his Converse collection).
Elterman started shooting LA's 70s scene at the age of sweet 16. His early images of Joan Jett's feather-haired Runaways lounging poolside and a young Brooke Shields flashing her tongue at KISS overlord Gene Simmons document the playful side of the on-stage shredders -- a pre-Instagram glance at what life was like behind the scenes. But as punk's revolutionary roots were overshadowed by 80s hair metal, Elterman went on an extended hiatus -- for over 25 years.
In 2010, friends and family encouraged Elterman to pick up a camera once again, and he's since been documenting music's newest crop of bright young things, from Tyler, the Creator to Sunflower Bean. Compiled in print for the first time, the images in Brad's new book, No Dogs on Beach, present a mashup of every era of the photographer's work. In one shot, Garden twins Wyatt and Fletcher Shears stand arm-in-arm under the shade of a palm tree; a page later, the young Ramones strike almost exactly the same post on Sunset Boulevard.
Brad will be signing copies of No Dogs on Beach -- published by Bywater Bros. Editions and Smoke Room -- today between 5 and 7 pm at Printed Matter's brand new 11th Ave location. More information here.
Text Emily Manning
Photography Brad Elterman
Images courtesy Bywater Bros.