Online exhibition is available now
For decades, the ritual has been the same: the lights go up and the roar of the crowd rises – exploding when the object of their adoration takes the stage. With powerhouse hits and primally-charged world tours, rockstars are the stuff of fear, fascination, and die-hard fandoms…but who are they when the spotlights fade to black?
Only a fortunate few have the opportunity to see these rock deities unmasked. This includes artists’ inner circles and those granted the holy grail of rock music: the backstage pass. Among those given the opportunity to observe their idols at rest, at play, and everywhere in between are the extraordinarily talented photographers who devote their lives to capturing the real people behind the music.
Drawing from the archives of Pattie Boyd, Henry Diltz, Lynn Goldsmith, Neal Preston, Ken Regan, Ethan Russell, Timothy White, and other photographers granted utterly intimate access to the green rooms and sidelines where music legends are truly made, Morrison Hotel Gallery presents its latest online exhibition, Backstage Pass. From the trans-Atlantic breakthrough of Beatlemania to the off-stage antics of rock royalty, this online exhibition of 40+ fine art images offers fans an all-access (and socially distant) glimpse behind the curtain and some of the most legendary nights in music history available now.
Just who are these mere mortals-turned-gods when the roar of the crowd dies away? In many moments captured, the backstage behavior lives up to the sex, drugs, and rock and roll legend. Jack Daniels flows freely in the Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin dressing rooms, while KISS romps in a wild backstage “orgy” at the Capitol Theatre. Meanwhile, Keith Richards is ever-present – clutching a whiskey bottle with his signature cool as Tina Turner and David Bowie embrace and sip together from a bottle of champagne.
At times, their human elements are revealed. Stars must take time to prep into the picture-perfection we expect from them, as was Tommy Lee when Neal Preston found him applying pre-show eyeliner while surrounded by bottles of hairspray. They’re also thrilled at meeting fellow icons – evident in the genuine smiles on the faces of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan when they met backstage on the Rolling Thunder Revue Tour. Timothy White’s lens finds Paul and Linda McCartney sweaty and towel-draped, as glowing and exuberant offstage as they are when they’re giving their all for fans.
While backstage passes were once a rarity, Morrison Hotel Gallery is giving all music fans the access once granted to a lucky few at their website.
MHG is the world’s leading brand in fine art music photography representing over 125 of the world’s finest music photographers and their archives. Their vast catalog of photography encompasses jazz, blues, and rock imagery spanning several generations through to today’s contemporary music artists and now includes iconic photographs in the world of celebrity and sports as well. MHG has a robust online presence, featuring over 100,000 images searchable by photographer, music artist, band or concert.