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The music of the 60s – A story in photographs

By April Laramey on March 26, 2014

Despite her day job as a bureaucrat, April Laramey is a writer who spends far too much time on the internet. You can find her on facebook here.

Ethan Russell would be the first to tell you that he stumbled into his photography career. In 1967 he was a 21-year-old living in London, looking to become a writer. “I’m working in a hospital with children and a friend of a friend comes to visit and it turns out he’s a writer for an almost brand new magazine called Rolling Stone…and he asked me if I’d like to photograph his next interview. I asked ‘who’s that?’ and he said ‘Mick Jagger’.” And so it began.

An accidental start it may have been, but Russell stuck with it and managed to build an amazing portfolio that includes shots of some of the most well known musicians of all time. On Saturday March 29th Mr. Russell will be at the Shenkman Arts Centre to share his stories of photographing the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Doors, The Who and more, in his show The Best Seat in the House.

“The evening is really about being able to go on the same ride I did,” says Russell. “The story is an incredible story, and I’m old enough to be far enough away from it that it’s not like ‘This is my story’ this is a story that happened to a kid.”

And a rich story it is. Ethan travelled the entire 1969 Rolling Stones tour and wrote a book about it. He directed John Lennon in some movie footage the week before he died. He watched John and Yoko fall in love. He’s good friends with Roseanne Cash. Did knowing these people and their music influence how he took his photos?

“I was trying to create images that worked with the writers, the song writers. I would argue that the singer-songwriters were the most important writers of my generation.”

“I ended up feeling like these writers and performers were writing our life, in effect….and when I got conscious of it I decided that what I wanted to do was to take the kind of photographs that were going to let you be part of the music.”

If you’re a writer and amateur photographer like I am, or if you’re a fan of classic rock, you’ll want to attend this event. To learn more about the show and Ethan you can visit his website.

The Best Seat In the House will be performed at the Shenkman Arts Centre on Saturday March 29th at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $36.25 and can be purchased online.