Monday, January 25, 2010

Who Shot Rock and Roll

By Brooklyn Bill

On Saturday, my Dad visited me from the Sticks so he could catch the Who Shot Rock and Roll exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum with me. EVERYBODY who's a popular music and/or photography fan should go see it.

You weren't supposed to take even nonflash photos in that part of the museum, so I've got no photos of the photos. Actually, the first thing visitors see in the exhibit is a clip of Elvis Presley singing "Heartbreak Hotel" on the TV show Stage Show in 1956. My Dad wasn't sure whether he'd seen that performance until Elvis walked past a logo for Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, and then he recalled that they'd hosted the show and he had seen it.

Two of my favorite photos involved the Beatles. One called "My Love" was taken by Linda McCartney and showed Paul in the rearview mirror of a car he was driving, with a street scene, including a double-decker bus, visible through the windshield in front of him. The other showed fanatical girls attempting to break through a police line outside Buckingham Palace in 1965. The Beatles were inside receiving their MBEs. The officer in the middle of the shot was all mussed up and on the verge of falling down due to a particularly excited teenager behind him. It was quite funny.

Another great starless shot showed Morrissey fans tearing apart a shirt of his, trying to get as large of a piece as possible.

I thought the show could have been sexier, and Dad was hoping for more photos of the early pioneers of rock and roll. But there's some fascinating history on display. The notes about the photographers' lives were often very interesting; a number of them started taking pictures in their late teens or early twenties.

Go on a weekday if you can: We crept along the first wall of the exhibit, inching forward as people finished reading the captions and taking in the images, and when we left, there was a huge line to get into that wing of the museum. And do it before the end of the month: WSR&R closes on Jan. 31.

1 comment:

  1. i saw this show last weekend and i wholeheartedly recommend it! my main disappointment is that i thought the exhibit could have been much larger; so many more elements of rock'n'roll history could have been illustrated.