Rock Star Photos – Book Review “Rock and Roll Lens II”

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The title really should be Music Lens II because this volume of brilliant photographs is about more than just rock and roll musicians. It is about musical artists in general.

The eclectic mix of great musicians come from a multitude of musical genres including Rock, Pop, Country, Hip-Hop, Rap, Blues, Folk, Metal, Punk, Reggae, Funk, R&B, Alternative, New Wave, Soul, Gospel, and even Opera.

Photographer’s Note

The Photographer’s note at the beginning of the book reads:

“In my first book, Rock and Roll Lens, I included my best color photographs and 50 of my best stories. Here I have included fifty of my best black and white photographs and I asked friends in music and entertainment to tell me stories about the photos I’ve selected.”

The result is a collection of some of the most iconic performers as photographed mostly during concerts, not studio photos. From Sinatra to Jerry Lee Lewis, any music fan will recognize not just the names but the images. For the most part you probably never saw any of these particular photos the photographer included in this collection.

There are a few photos from the late 80’s and at least one from the naughty-naughties (2003), but the vast majority of the images are from the 90’s.

Many of the photos were made at a local venue in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Jimmy Steinfeldt’s home, but later he moved to the LA area and began doing cover photos as well as covering live concerts. jimmysteinfeldtphotography.com

rock n roll lens II, by Jimmy Steinfeldt.
Rock N Roll Lens II, by Jimmy Steinfeldt.

People included in photos

People and groups included are: AC/DC, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Chet Atkins, Garth Brooks, The Cars, Ray Charles, The Clash, Joe Cocker, Alice Cooper, DEVO, Bo Diddley, Celine Dion, Green Day, Merle Haggard, Richie Havens, Isaac Hayes, Ice-T, Billy Idol, INXS, Tom Jones, B.B. King, KISS, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ziggy Marley, Metallica, Steve Miller, Alanis Morissette, Willie Nelson, No Doubt, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Pavarotti, Pinetop Perkins, PiL, Iggy Pop, Bonnie Raitt, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Carlos Santana, Sex Pistols, Frank Sinatra, Smashing Pumpkins, Snoop Doggy Dogg,Britney Spears, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Sting, Van Halen, Dwight Yoakam, Neil Young.

The stories about those artists are by: Ronny North, Rodney Bingenheimer, Julia ‘Lady J’ Gerard, Del Casher, Norwood Fisher, Owen Husney, Greg Richling, Shabba-Doo, Phil Jaurigui, Jon Scott, Steve Cooke, Micah McFarlane, Elliot Mintz, and more.

Accompanying each full-page photograph, the facing page has a story or comment about the artist written by someone who usually knew them and sometimes played with them.

Ice-T photo and story

Norwood Fisher, for example, wrote a detailed piece about his experience learning about Ice-T on the “mean” streets of L.A. when he was a hustler, and Ice-T even played at Fisher’s high school dance, rapping about the gangster lifestyle.

The writer was later in a band which opened for Ice-T in The Stardust Ballroom (Hip Hop Club). He finishes by paying tribute to Ice-T writing, “Ice-T came up from the streets and made it to be ultra successful.”

That gives kids something to aspire to. He’s making money, yet he’s not creating mayhem.

For photographers, Mr. Steinfieldt’s favorite lens is a 70-200mm zoom and he mainly uses Canon and Leica cameras, but began as a teen with a $100 Minolta.

Rock And Roll Lens II, 50 B&W photos, 30 Years of Music Photography and Stories, Jimmy Steinfeldt, 2016, $19,95 (US softcover), £15.57 (UK), Point … Shoot … Press.

Amazon BockBaby, 2017, 116 pages, ISBN-10: 0985584203 ISBN-13: 978-0985584207 English.

(NOTE: reviewer is a 45+ year photojournalist/photographer and videographer.)