WeedMZ: The Rock n’ Roll Photography Career of Michael Zagaris


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“To really capture someone’s essence, they have to feel vulnerable enough to let you in and if they let you in, you have to be ready for whatever ‘letting you in’ means. Sometimes depending on who and what you’re shooting, it’s like riding a 30 foot wave, it could be the ride of your life or it could kill you.”

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When  rock’n roll was still counter culture, a good story and a pocket full of drugs could get you back stage. That’s how it started with Michael Zagaris. After a stint working for Bobby Kennedy’s office ( he was present the night he was assasinated), he drifted to San Fransisco where he started going to concerts at the fabled Winterland. The music inspired a career. The original plan was to interview musicians and snap a few pics. Then one night backstage after smoking hash with Clapton, Eric saw some prints Zagaris shot of him and said, “the writing is all right, but you should be doing this for a gig,”. A life in photography is born.

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His work have been called “the last untouched rock archive”. Most of it was shot in the 70’s in San Fransisco: Zeppelin, The Clash, The Grateful Dead, David Bowie, Blondie, The Sex Pistols, Bob Dylan, and Eric Clapton.

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He would also go on tour with The Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton, The Who, Lou Reed, Bad Company and many more.

Check out photos here: http://zagaris.photoshelter.com/

Total Excess: Photographs by Micheal Zagaris out via Reel Art Press