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John Lennon

Ever wondered who snapped that iconic John Lennon photo? You know the one, where he’s wearing a New York City tourist t-shirt and dark round sunnies?

Famed rock ’n’ roll photographer and author Bob Gruen will make an appearance in downtown Vancouver at the HSBC Pendulum Gallery on Thursday, August 10, hosted by Toronto’s Liss Gallery.

Led Zeppelin 1973
[Led Zeppelin, 1973]

Gruen developed close relationships with his subjects and amassed an army of tales while working with some of the greats, including Led Zeppelin, Elvis, James Brown, Bob Marley, John Lennon, The Who, Johnny Rotten, Prince, Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan and many more.

His photographs are admired for how they take the viewers backstage and into intimate moments with music legends. Onstage he captures the passion and freedom of Rock & Roll.

He became a personal photographer and friend to John Lennon and Yoko Ono, taking photos of their working life as well as private moments. Gruen created two iconic images: John wearing the New York City t-shirt, and standing in front of the Statue of Liberty making the peace sign.

Debbie Harry, Coney Island 1977
[Blondie’s Debbie Harry on Coney Island, 1977]

Imagine being on the road with The Clash, Ramones, Patti Smith Group, Blondie and the Sex Pistols! Gruen toured extensively with these groups, specializing in candid, behind-the-scenes photo features as head photog of Rock Scene Magazine.

The current Pendulum Gallery exhibit is curated by Brian Liss of Liss Gallery and presents photos selected from Gruen’s retrospective exhibition Rockers, originally curated for the Museu de Arte Brasileira in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2007.

KISS 1974
[KISS, 1974]

Since then, the exhibition has been widely toured, including a stint at the former CBGB space in NYC in 2012. An exhibition catalogue (published in both Portuguese and English) will be available during this free exhibit.

Get some major rock concert inspo (and relief from the summer heat) through August 25.

Bob Gruen, Yuki Taira photo
[Bob Gruen; Yuki Taira photo]

The Pendulum Gallery is open from Monday to Wednesday, 9 am to 6 pm, Thursday and Friday, 9 am to 6 pm and Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm. Attendees can also own some of Bob Gruen’s pieces from his collection, as all items on display at the exhibition will be available for purchase.

Please note: Confirmed RSVP is required for the August 10 (5 pm to 8 pm) event; only merchandise authorized by Liss Gallery will be autographed.

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