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Witnesses to Rock n' Roll History

April 24, 2017

Photographer, Bob Gruen, and former NBC news correspondent, Rona Elliot, have had front row seats throughout the decades of rock n' roll history. At Woodstock, Gruen went to see his favorite band, The Who, and to make history taking photographs, while journalist Elliot was there on the festival's staff. Over the years, they have each chronicled rock’s greatest legends both on and off the stage. Gruen's intimate and urgent photographs and Elliot's critical interviews have given readers, listeners and fans a unique window directly into the personal lives of hundreds of rock stars from their dispatches on lively behind the scenes moments of rock and roll royalty for over the past 40 years.
The two rock and roll veterans will get together on Wednesday, May 3 in our Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, where Gruen's photographs are on display now through May 26, to discuss his lively and long career, and his latest book, Rock Seen. During the conversation, Elliot will walk Gruen through a wide-ranging conversation about his work with artists from the Ramones to Led Zeppelin, Blondie to Bowie, Bob Dylan, Joan Jett, Tina Turner, and the Rolling Stones. 
They’ll cover his long-time friendship with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and how he came to take the iconic photo of Lennon in a NYC t-shirt. They’ll also speak about how Gruen documented the very beginning of the Punk movement, and why he always seems to get the candid photos that everyone loves, ranging from the wild to the deeply emotive. Rock legend, Alice Cooper, paid Bob a great compliment, calling him a photographer who “always gets the money shot”. Gruen and Elliot will talk about how he has been able to create the kind of relationships with the artists that make that possible. 

Karen Curry, Executive Director of the Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies, who organized the Rockers exhibition and this talk told us that “Rona and I are great friends from our time on the Today Show, where she was music correspondent. When she introduced me to Bob last year, I knew I wanted to invite him to Drexel for a show. I also knew I wanted Rona to have a conversation with him, which I guarantee will make you feel as though you’d been out on the road too.”

Wed. May 3 // 6-7:30PM // Leonard Pearlstein Gallery // Free & open to the public