Photos of Bowie, Elton, Jagger, Richards, Rod Stewart, Led Zeppelin and The Who by American rock music photographer Ed Finnell up for auction at Swords of Stansted
Original photos of rock icons including David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Elton John performing in their splendor will be auctioned at Stansted next month.
The Wednesday July 14 Sworders’ Design sale includes a cache of prints taken by American rock music photographer Ed Finnell during legendary concerts in Los Angeles in the 1970s.
Born in Los Angeles in 1956, Finnell became interested in photography at the age of 10 or 11, his subject turned to rock’n’roll in the late 1960s. He attended his first concerts in 1972 and subsequently toured all the major groups that passed through his city.
At Pirate Sound Rehearsal Space in Hollywood, he met many performers, some of whom have used his work in promotional material or hired him for official touring shoots. In addition to being featured in countless books, magazines, and touring programs, Finnell’s photos have appeared on four Rolling Stones album covers.
Signed limited edition prints of photos taken on The Who’s Quadrophenia Tour, Elton John’s Goodbye Yellowbrick Road Tour, and Rod Stewart and The Faces’s Ooh La La Tour are included in the sale. Each has an indicative price of around £ 200-300.
Bowie, the subject of some of Finnell’s most iconic shots, was the photographer’s favorite, with his backdrops always proving “compatible with photographers’ lighting.”
The sale features some of his most iconic images of the rock giant, including him as The Thin White Duke from the Station to Station at the Los Angeles Forum in February 1976, guided between £ 250 and £ 350, and as Ziggy Stardust during eponymous 1973 tour at Long Beach Arena (£ 200-£ 300).
The sets for Led Zeppelin were more difficult because “the lighting was terrible – dark and evil”. Nonetheless, he did take some striking images of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, including those from the Physical Graffiti tour (March 1975).
Over the past 49 years, Finnell estimates that he has amassed nearly 200,000 concert negatives. He always prints his photos, usually gelatin silver prints, the old fashioned way in a dark room using the original negatives.
Although he has sold his prints in galleries in Europe and the United States, this is the first time that his work will be available at auction in the United Kingdom.
“I like auctions,” he says. “I’m an old hippie. People can buy directly from an auction house with less cost than buying from a gallery. The gallery’s overhead costs are too high. “