Bob Gruen’s first photo pass was for Bob Dylan’s infamous “gone electric” appearance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. It would be the beginning of a 50-year career spent capturing many of rock’s most significant historical moments around the world.
In 1972, the New York native became the personal photographer of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, documenting the couple’s Seventies love affair with the Big Apple and taking the famous photo of the ex-Beatle wearing his “New York City” t-shirt.
During the same era, Gruen served as chief photographer for Rock Scene Magazine, touring extensively with emerging punk and new wave bands such as the New York Dolls, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Ramones, Patti Smith Group and Blondie, while also photographing rock royalty that included Led Zeppelin, The Who, David Bowie, Tina Turner, Elton John, Aerosmith, Kiss and Alice Cooper.
In 2011, award-winning director Don Letts made a feature length film titled Rock & Roll Exposed – the Photography of Bob Gruen that included interviews with Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Alice Cooper, Yoko Ono, Billie Joe Armstrong, and many more. Gruen’s “Sid Vicious with Hot Dog” photo was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery, London, in 1999 for its permanent collection.