Tag Archive | Pete Townshend

Morrison Hotel Gallery Presents The Melody Maker Photography of Barrie Wentzell

Jimi Hendrix Color Portrait By Barrie Wentzell
Apparently, Jimi Hendrix Always Dressed Like This (all Post Photos By Gail, Click any Image to Enlarge)

Every picture tells a story. During his career, Photographer Barrie Wentzell collected an endless cache of unheard stories from and about many of rock’s greatest legends that would blow your head right off. From 1965 to 1975 – certainly one of the (if not the) most vibrant and fertile decades for Rock & Roll music and culture — Wentzell shot both live performance and candid, intimate photographs of everyone who was anyone: from Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles to The Kinks and Led Zeppelin for the UK weekly music rag, Melody Maker.

John Entwistle and Pete Townshend By Barrie Wentzell
John Entwistle and Pete Townshend During Recording Sessions for Tommy

His pay was about 20 pounds per week, but Wentzell will tell you even today that his dream gig during the Golden Age of Rock & Roll was never about the money; it was about the experiences he had with these artists.

Early Yes
An Early Incarnation of Yes

Right now, you can view a small portion of Wentzell’s extensive and wildly impressive career legacy at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in the comprehensively entitled exhibit, Melody Maker: The Best Years, 1965-1975, The Photography of Barrie Wentzell. Most of these pictures have never been published or viewed by the public. In fact, Wentzell admitted that, prior to staging the exhibit, he’d not viewed the majority of these photos since he first took them. And that is just shame, because his pictures are transcendent.

Ray Davies Plays Pool By Barrie Wentzell
Ray Davies Plays Pool

Pete Townshend with Toys By Barrie Wentzell
Pete Townshend & Friends

I have seen many, many great rock photography exhibits and I must say that this is the first one where the words “Fine Art Rock Photography” – which is what Morrison Hotel Gallery is known for – really resonated with me when experiencing Barrie Wentzell’s photos. The oddest reaction I had was while silently gazing at a black and white photo of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, taken while both were still in their early 20s. They just looked so young and unjaded, with their entire lives and careers ahead of them. I thought about the first Elton John songs I ever heard, like “Mona Lisa’s and Mad Hatters,” “Mad Man Across the Water” and “Sixty Years On.” And unexpected tears of deep nostalgia welled up in my eyes. It was embarrassing to dork out in public like that, but it was also such an amazing feeling to be so fully transported back to a time when Rock Stars meant everything to me. Barrie Wentzell’s work is truly as magical as the music of that era.

Jimmy Page Color Portrait By Barrie Wentzell
Jimmy Page

Read more about Barrie Wentzell, and view some of the photos in this do-not-miss show, at This Link.

Barrie Wentzell with Pete Townshend Photo
Barrie Wentzell

Morrison Hotel Gallery is Located at 116 Prince Street (Loft) and 124 Prince Street (Store Front) in NYC’s Greenwich Village.

David Bowie By Barrie Wentzell
David Bowie

Cat Stevens By Barrie Wentzell
Cat Stevens

Led Zeppelin Live

This Photo of Led Zeppelin In Concert Fully Captures the Energy of the Performance in a Static Medium. Amazing.

See the Photo that Made Me Cry After the Jump!

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That’ll Be The Day

On This Date, October 23rd in 1972:  Filming began for the British film That’ll Be the Day, a coming of age story set in the late 50s / early 60s starring David Essex (of “Rock On” fame) and Ringo Starr, with Keith Moon in a memorable, drum playing cameo. That’ll Be the Day is a fairly bleak look at life in post-war Britain and, more importantly, the central character, Jim (David Essex) isn’t a very nice guy. But if you’re a fan of The Beatles, this film is a fascinating re-creation of the environment in which they and the entire British Invasion came of age. Of further interest to fans of The Beatles and The Who, the film is somewhat based on the early life of John Lennon, and Pete Townshend wrote the song “Long Live Rock” for the soundtrack. That’ll Be the Day has never been released on DVD but you can stream it online if you subscribe to Netflix. The story moves a little slowly, but it is worth checking out.

The Who Record Pinball Wizard


Pinball Wizard Picture Sleeve (German Release)

On This Date, February 7th in 1969: The Who recorded “Pinball Wizard” at Morgan Studios in London. Although it was not one of songwriter Pete Townshend’s favorites, it went on to become by far the most popular song from the rock opera, Tommy, reaching #4 in the UK charts and #13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. “Pinball Wizard” remains part of The Who’s live set to this day. Perhaps they will perform it later today when they provide musical entertainment for the half time show at the Super Bowl (aka The Stupid Bowl), which I will be doing everything in my power to avoid watching!

Happy Birthday, Pete Townshend!


Image Source

Pete Townshend, guitarist for The Who and certainly one of the most awesome living Rock Stars ever in the universe of all time, was born on this day, May 19th, in 1945. I’m lucky enough (meaning that I am old enough now) to have seen The Who live in their prime before the death of Keith Moon. This was way back in March of 1976, at the Anaheim Stadium in Orange County, California where I grew up. I think the ticket was $12. I’d say that show is probably in the top three or four concert experiences of my life, and I do remember it was VERY LOUD, despite being held at an outdoor sports stadium with a capacity of over 55,000 people. My ears still hurt. In fact, according to Who legend, that concert is the one at which Townshend claims to have lost a good percentage of his hearing. “Happy Birthday, Pete!”