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Bob Gruen Captures the World of Rock In Photos


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From The New York Times:

His Photos Are Proof: He’s With the Band


Bob Gruen at his studio, with his portraits of John Lennon. Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times


ONE afternoon in June 1975, John Lennon got lost in the mammoth Westbeth artists’ complex in Manhattan, looking for Bob Gruen’s photo studio and apartment, after partying all weekend with Harry Nilsson.

“He was ringing doorbells,” Mr. Gruen recalled. “Four o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. Everyone in the building is an artist, so they were opening the door saying: ‘Oh, my God, John Lennon! Let me show you my painting. Let me read you my poem.’ ” When he finally found the apartment, Mr. Gruen said, he told him, “ ‘Man, you’ve got some weird neighbors.’ ”

“I always figured if he could find it in that condition,” Mr. Gruen added, “anyone could.”

And everyone seemingly has. Since his days as a personal photographer for Mr. Lennon and Yoko Ono in the 1970s, Mr. Gruen has seen his cluttered loft serve as a clubhouse for countless rock legends: Joe Strummer of the Clash, David Johansen of the New York Dolls, and members of Blondie, to name a few. This unassuming behind-the-lens figure embedded himself with rock bands so deeply that in some cases he was regarded as a virtual member.

To read the article and watch a video interview with Bob Gruen that includes several of this photographs, click here.

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