“Rock photography is dead”

by W. Andrew Powell

Concert and music photographers have it tough today. Okay, that’s not exactly true – it’s my dream job, and it’s really just about being in the right place at the right time. That said, I really appreciate that at least one musician gets that the world of music, and concerts, has changed a lot in the last couple of decades.

While I’m not exactly a John Mayer fan, I have to admit he’s really talented, and after reading some of his recent tweets on Twitter (courtesy of Aisha), I’m at least very impressed that he said something like this.

Here are Mayer’s four tweets that I really, really appreciate:

johncmayer: There’s still no better digital camera on the market than the Leica M8. I wish I could photograph bands on tour like Jim Marshall used to.

johncmayer: Jim told me that in some ways the art of rock photography is dead because of how little access bands give photographers.

johncmayer: Could you imagine someone taking a pic of Janis splayed out on a couch with a bottle of SoCo today? A PR rep would squash that so hard.

johncmayer: And most bands have a “first 3 songs” policy. Who can get a good sexy rock n roll sweat going by then?

Ain’t that the truth. I feel priveledged to even have the chance to shoot three songs at most concerts, but it’s not really what I would call a great representation of any artist. It’s a window into their show, for sure, but it’s limited to say the least.

Which leads me to add that I’m readily available for any band who wants to give me a backstage pass for their next big tour. I would love to document an entire night of rock and or roll festivities.

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markgay July 23, 2009 - 5:00 pm

What is SoCo? These artificial abbreviations always annoy us.. especially when we in London have Soho, entire, complete. Not SoHo.


W. Andrew Powell July 24, 2009 - 9:56 pm

Well, trouble with abbreviations aside (and don’t forget, this was from Twitter, which restricts to 140 characters), he said “a bottle of SoCo”. No reference to a place. For non-North Americans, SoCo would probably be Southern Comfort, the booze.

That said, I don’t think there’s any need to be sensitive over names like SoHo, et al. Lots of places are named after or at least reference other, older places in the world. Especially when you look at North America next to Europe and the U.K.

Heck, there are numerous Hyde Parks throughout the U.S.

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