A Behind-the-Lens Look at Our Rock & Roll Icons
Rock & Roll Icons: Photographs by Patrick Harbron, an exhibition on display at the Albany Institute of History and Art through February 12, indulges and enhances our collective rock & roll fantasy by dramatically capturing legends like Blondie, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, and countless others in their exalted roles as superstars.
This collection is very dear to the Columbia County-based Harbron, who explains that music, like all cultural phenomena, is constantly evolving, so its preservation in various forms is crucial. The work provides a look at the prevailing musical personality of the era from the 1970s to the 1990s — one of the last eras to be captured primarily on film rather than digital medium. Harbron has added physical relics to the exhibit — like Cream drummer Ginger Baker’s drumsticks, while the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio lent the Who’s Pete Townshend’s decidedly unpreserved, i.e. smashed, guitar.
Harbron’s fascination with rock began when he started listening to the radio at a young age, and was later propelled by his own drumming for a Toronto-area rock band, Grundy. His early drumming influences included Keith Moon, Ginger Baker and others whom he would go on to photograph beginning in his 20s. While Harbron’s current work takes him to the sets of TV series such as Boardwalk Empire and VEEP, for the last 20 years he has called the Hudson Valley home. The exhibition is the largest showing of Harbron’s rock and roll material to date.
Here the photographer shares some photographs featured in the exhibit, as well as his memories of working with rock royalty.