Thirty historic images of music superstars captured by Rock & Roll Hall of Fame photographer Larry Singer are now on display for the first time in Chicago at the David Leonardis Gallery. Singer’s iconic photographs feature rock & roll legends Bruce Springsteen, Alice Cooper, Journey, Nazareth, The Rolling Stones, The Clash, Quiet Riot, Ozzie Osborne, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Van Halen, Deep Purple, and Tom Petty.
In the early 1990s, Singer’s rock & roll negatives went missing. After moving into his late parents Florida home 20 years later, Singer discovered his long-lost negatives buried under stacks of vintage clothing in his mother’s bedroom closet.
The rock & roll images now on display have previously been seen only in Circus magazine and on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s billboards, Visitor Planning Guide cover, and web site (www.rockhall.com/stories).
In 2017, over 100 of Singer’s rock images appeared in his book Rock & Roll: Concert and Backstage Photographs from the 1970s and 1980s. Mark Starling, the news director and morning show host at Asheville, North Carolina classic rock station WWNC, interviewed Singer. “This book is a treasure trove of some of the greatest shots from live concerts that has ever been assembled,” Starling said. “The pictures are just incredible.”
Singer’s rock and roll photography career began when he wrote and illustrated a music newspaper column about the rock bands playing at a South Florida amusement park called Pirates World. “Pirates World was located halfway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale,” Singer said. “On weekends, they
featured the biggest names in rock & roll until the mid 1970s.”
When Singer requested permission from the park’s concert promoter to go backstage, interview and photograph the bands, the promoter gave him unlimited access. This resulted in Singer being able to interview and photograph
bands that would one day be inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The David Leonardis Gallery opened its doors before the Wicker Park avant-garde renaissance of the early 1990s. A city landmark on the corner of Paulina and Milwaukee for 27 years, the gallery has long had a reputation for its rebellious spirit and its ability to attract both novice and seasoned collectors of post-modern and pop art.