Award-winning photographer Ken Regan has to be one of the luckiest human beings on the planet. Over the past 40 years, he has photographed virtually every major rock star and monumental event in rock history. Now, music lovers can peek through Ken’s camera lens with his new book ALL ACCESS: The Rock ‘n Roll Photography of Ken Regan (hardcover, $75, 304 pages, published by Insight Editions). The text is by Jim Jerome, with a preface by Keith Richards, an introduction by Mick Jagger, and an afterword by James Taylor. The book includes over 400 photographs as well as fascinating anecdotes about musicians including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, and Madonna.
Regan’s photographs showcase his remarkable flair for establishing a sense of trust with his famous subjects. James Taylor explains “The photographs he takes are honest because we trust him; we can be ourselves around him. He is one of us.” This sense of trustworthiness comes through especially well in the photos Reagan took while accompanying Rolling Stones on several of their tours. The band allowed him to capture a plethora of pictures, both onstage and behind the scenes.
Regan complements his unique photography by sharing his perspective on legendary musical moments. A great example is his tale about covering the pandemonium in the audience during the Beatles’ first performance on the Ed Sullivan show. While looking for reaction shots from the crowd, Regan noticed “an older man sitting with his fingers plugged in his ears to mute the high-pitched squeals. As I moved in for this terrific shot, I got a closer look and realized I was photographing the legendary composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein”.
Another fun anecdote is the encounter with Madonna’s former husband Sean Penn at a photo shoot during the 1985 Live Aid tour. Regan’s assistant Craig Blankenhorn got into a shouting match with Penn after he noticed the actor spitting at the photographer during the session. Regan confronted Penn, and the two ended up getting into what Regan calls “a bit of a scuffle”.
Rock fans of all generations will enjoy going behind the scenes with Reagan’s book. To see a sampling of photos, please check out the gallery below. All images are (c) Ken Regan/Camera 5.
- Photo Book Shows a New Side of Rock Legends (wired.com)
- Ken Regan’s Candid Photographs Of The Beatles, Madonna, Rolling Stones And More (huffingtonpost.com)
- ALL ACCESS: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Photography of Ken Regan (juiceskateboardmagazine.wordpress.com)