John Lennon, Blondie, Ramones Photographs Published in Bob Gruen’s New Book ‘Rock Seen’
John Lennon, Blondie and the Ramones share a common thread with legendary photographer Bob Gruen: New York City. Gruen has been synonymous with rock 'n' roll for over 40 years and though he's internationally renowned, he's spent a great deal of his career capturing the sights and sounds of NYC with his camera.
Gruen always seemed to be at the right place at the right time, snapping images of classic rock icons, including but not limited to Led Zeppelin, Kiss, The Who, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Queen and the Sex Pistols. After a chance meeting with Lennon in the '70s, he soon became John and Yoko's personal photographer.
It's fair to say that Gruen's most famous shot is the one of John Lennon in front of the skyline in his 'New York City' T-shirt. "It's bootlegged as much as Marilyn and Elvis" Gruen tells the New York Times. In good spirit, Gruen seems to understand that people who bootleg can steal anything. "The fact that they steal mine over and over again I take as a compliment."
Now Gruen has teamed up with Abrams to publish a retrospective art book called 'Rock Seen,' which features no less than 500 of his photographs. The photographer has added his own stories throughout the book, weaving together a tale that takes you behind the scenes of his pictures.
Deborah Harry has written the introduction in 'Rock Seen' and other rockers such as Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop are speaking out publicly, acknowledging the raw talent of Gruen. In a new British television film called 'Rock 'N' Roll Exposed,' with Gruen as its subject, Cooper says this: “Bob Gruen was a part of the entire rock scene, as much as any band, really, because he was one of those guys that everybody really liked."