Proud Galleries Unique Collection of Music Images
Within Proud Galleries collection of authenticated, hand signed, estate embossed, limited edition & vintage photography fine art prints, there are exclusive images of some of the best and greatest rock and punk bands in the world.
London has always been a mecca for music lovers, through every decade since the start of the swinging 60’s and the explosion of youth culture across the world with the mop tops of the Beatles running from screaming crowds in a ‘Hard Days Night’ to the global dominance of modern day pop super stars and all the bands in between that have given the city its rhythm and beat.
Alex Proud himself turned his Proud Camden Gallery into an acclaimed venue for music gigs, launching the career of modern bands such as the Killers, and legendary singers such as Amy Winehouse. A collector and exhibitor since 2008, Alex Proud has hosted exhibitions focused on bands around the world, but particularly in London where Proud Galleries became synonymous with rock and pop culture in photography. Exhibition previews were fabulous red carpet affairs attended by the great and good of the music industry from Paul McCartney to Mick Jagger, Blondie to Elton John. Proud is world renowned for its unique access and reputation as a champion of pop culture.
Alex Proud is righteously proud to say that no other photographic galleries London have showcased and elevated so many musicians and rock bands to iconic status, nor given a stage to so many rising young stars.
Pictures of Bands and Musicians
Owning a piece of music social history has never been easier, but choosing that moment might be harder than ever with the size of the picture collection at Proud. The online presence of Proud Galleries now host an extensive back catalogue of prints and originals available, which can be searched either by artist or photographer. On Proud’s website alone there are 1000s of pictures of musicians with their guitars, on stage and back stage at world famous gigs, relaxed with their band members on the cusp of worldwide fame.
If you want to browse a back catalogue of punk and reggae images, glimpse a side view of Bob Marley chilling with his guitar or eyeball Johnny Rotten staring down the lens, taken on Oxford Street with the other members of the Sex Pistols, or laugh along with the Beatles clowning around on early albums, Proud Galleries online archive is your musical mecca.
The rise of youth culture since the 60s has gone hand in hand with the steady increase in the use of and collectability of rock photography. Used commercially for advertising, exploding in influence during the 60’s across fashion, media and music, creating and preserving icons and legends. The art of photography came into its own with the pioneers of that generation such as Duffy and David Bailey as they captured the up and coming on the music and fashion scenes. Some of the most intimate but powerful photos of bands and musicians were captured during this golden era.
Some of Proud Galleries favourite Band Photographs…
The Beatles, The Stones, and... live animals?
Arguably Rock and Roll’s coolest band: The Rolling Stones are depicted frolicking through the English countryside in the now famous photo shoot for their Beggars and Banquets album. The photographer Michael Joseph’s ethereal photos of the legendary group were taken on location in 1968, at a Gothic studio in Hampstead and at the derelict ruins of Swarkestone in Derbyshire. The photos have an eccentric style, using costumes and live animals throughout as props. Joseph only worked with The Stones on this occasion, but what a one off for the showreel!
Nothing quite compares to the images of the Clash during the much gloried but short lived Punk scene of the late 1970’s. The Clash were billed as the only band that mattered and their London Calling album has been rated in the top 500 albums of all time. Photographers Michael Grecco, Adrian Boot and Pennie Smith, featured in Proud Gallery’s archive, captured the Clash in these early days of their career. Pennie captured the famous image of the bass guitar a second before it is obliterated by Paul Simonon’s in front of the New York crowd in the US.
Across the pond at a similar time the New Wave punk scene has emerged and with it the inimitable, ice cool bleach blonde style of Debbie Harry, who fronted American rock band Blondie. Duffy featured Harry in a shoot for The Observer in 1977, a year before Blondie had no.1 success with Parallel Lines in the UK. The resulting pictures of her help you realise why she was referred to as ‘The Brigitte Bardot of Rock’. Adrian Boot’s images of her and the group are captivating. He said ‘I liked working with Debbie Harry because she was so picturesque.’
Photographer Michael Grecco captured The Plasmatics smashing TVs up in Boston in 1980. Front woman of the band Wendy O.Williams, who later sadly committed suicide, was a Grammy award nominated punk rock lead female vocalist. They were known for there onstage antics involving chainssaws, guns, mayhem, destruction and partial nudity.
No article on rock band photography would be complete with out reference to the Beatles. Proud has an exclusive selection of band photos captured on shoots throughout their career. Robert Whitaker was able to shoot the Fab Four during their epic rise to fame, up close back stage shots, early performances and film sets from the 1960’s including the famous Butcher Cover photo shoot, “There were about 100 key movers and shakers in the ’60s and I was lucky enough to photograph most of them. Of course, my photographs of the Beatles have overshadowed everything else, but that’s OK.” Bob Whitaker
There are some later Beatle’ images from the late 60’s (and who could forget Pattie Boyd!) and early 70’s by Alec Byrne, author of ‘London Rock and Unseen Archive’. Alec’s collection of negatives were nearly all destroyed on several occasions due to fire, storms and earthquakes, but he still fields what Classic Rock have referred to as possibly ‘the greatest discovery of rock photography’ from the era. https://www.loudersound.com/features/is-alec-byrnes-archive-the-greatest-rock-photography-discovery-ever
Alec Byrne was in Bournemouth in 1973 and was capturing rock and roll all time legend Chuck Berry. He has some fantastic stories from this period. ‘Prior to going on stage, Chuck had famously turned around and headed back to the changing room, because if he didn’t receive cash before the gig he didn’t play, 'then somehow an envelope appeared with the cash. Chuck Berry turned around, went back on stage and gave an amazing performance’. Alec Byrne
Led Zeppelin, like the Rolling Stones, have undoubtably survived the test of time and are with out doubt deserving of the title ‘Iconic’. Photographer Michael Brennan travelled with the band aboard their private plane they called the Starship and helped to shape these icons’ public image.
’The Starship was probably the most legendary private plane there ever was.’ Michael Brennan.
His photos of the band from the Detroit concert at the Olympia Stadium in January 1975 show them on their 10th tour of the US, notably the crowd are pressed up against the stage with Jimmy Page in one of his trademark back-bends. Like so many archives of rock band photography, these negatives sat in a vault:
“My photographs of Led Zeppelin from the winter of 1975 in Detroit had been in hiding for thirty years. I recently visited my film archives in the vault at the London 'Diamond District' of Hatton Garden where they had been stored for decades. Most of my favourite photographs from this turbulent evening have, so luckily, survived the test of time.” Michael Brennan
Take a trip down memory lane (otherwise known as the search bar of Proud Galleries website). Proud’s online collection contains just some of its incredible archive. Many of the names will be etched into rock and roll’s history ledger forever. Some names you’ll remember and they spring out, others may be a musician you've never heard of, but that is the joy of discovery. Proud serves to educate and enlighten, as well as to showcase and elevate the artists in its archive. Drop into our photography gallery London and get up close and personal with some of the greatest rock photographers of the C20th, and take the opportunity to choose an image for your own walls. Remind yourself of the extraordinary music legacy that London contains and bring inspiration into your own home.