Joan Baez, Big Sur Folk Festival, Esalen, Big Sur, CA, 1969
Who Shot Rock and Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present – a museum-sized traveling exhibition of rock photography – rolls into the Tucson Museum of Art on Oct. 22. Organized by the Brooklyn Museum, it celebrates not only the music’s stars – Kurt Cobain, Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry – but the photography stars who made the music’s makers indelible.
Megastar rock photog Annie Leibovitz is in the show, of course, along with a host of others, including Baron Wolman, the first-ever photographer at Rolling Stone magazine; Lynn Goldsmith; and the late Linda Eastman McCartney. New York curator Gail Buckland approaches rock shots “as an art form,” says TMA chief curator Julie Sasse. “She captures an era, giving photographers credit for helping shape our vision of rock ‘n’ roll.”
Once the show was booked, the TMA folks enlisted as many partner venues as possible. The Etherton Gallery quickly took the bait. Its show, Rockin’ the Desert: Photographs by Baron Wolman and Lynn Goldsmith, features two photographers who are also in the TMA show. Wolman has “shot” everybody from Johnny Cash and Janis Joplin to Joan Baez and Mick Jagger, not to mention a groupie here and there. Rockin’ the Desert will actually open first, on Sept. 6, and continue through Nov. 12.
As the song says – sort of – there’s a whole lotta cross-fertilization goin’ on. Rolling Stone alum Wolman will give a talk about his work over at TMA, at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, the same day that Etherton stages an evening opening for Rockin’ the Desert, from 7 to 10 p.m. Then, right after the party, revelers can ramble round the corner to the Rialto Theatre, for real-life rockin’ by Jefferson Starship, a band piloted by Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane fame. Doors open at 10:30 p.m.; show starts at 11 p.m.