Shooting Rock Stars: About Photographer Bob Gruen

For more than 40 years, Bob Gruen’s name has been synonymous with rock and roll.

From taking early photos on tour with Ike and Tina Turner and capturing the early CBGB/Max’s Kansas City scene, to hanging out with John and Yoko and covering current stadium rockers such as Green Day, Gruen has always been at the right place at the right time. As Alice Cooper says, what makes Gruen’s work so memorable is that “he always got the money shot.”

Gruen covered the New York City music scene, taking photographs that have gained worldwide recognition – Led Zeppelin to the Rolling Stones, Elvis to James Brown, Bob Dylan to Bob Marley and John Lennon to Johnny Rotten. Shortly after John Lennon moved to New York in 1971, Bob became John and Yoko’s personal photographer and friend, capturing their working life, private moments and creating two iconic images – John Lennon wearing the New York City t-shirt and, standing in front of the Statue of Liberty making the peace sign.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono,1977
Kiss, NYC, 1975
Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry, Toronto, 1977
Ramones, 1975
John Lennon, NYC, 1980

Sex Pistols, Luxemburg, 1977
Kiss, Kyoto, Japan, 1977
Aerosmith, NYC, 1974
Elvis Presley, 1972
Debbie Harry, 1977
Johnny Rotten, 1976
Cherie Currie, Runaways, 1976
Johnny Rotten, 1976
Elton John, 1986
James Brown, 1980
Mick Jagger, 1975
Mick Jagger, 1975
Sid Vicious, 1977
Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger, 1978
David Bowie, 1974
Alice Cooper, 1973
Paul Stanley, FL, 1979
Led Zeppelin, 1975
John Lennon, NYC, 1974
New York Dolls, 1973
Rod Stewart, 1972
Gene Simmons, 1977
Runaways, 1976
Paul McCartney, 1976
Debbie Harry – Blondie, Coney Island, NY, 1977
Mick Jagger, 1978
Michael Jackson, 1977
Chuck Berry, 1973
Pete Townshend and Mick Jagger, Philadelphia, 1982
David Johansen, Bob Geldof, Andy Warhol, NYC, 1979
Bay City Rollers, 1975
The Clash, 1979
Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry being photographed by Chris Stein in New York, 1982
The Clash, NYC, 1982
Bob Marley, 1976

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Photos © Bob Gruen