Musical tastes are certainly some of the most subjective opinions that exist, and blanket statements about tracks and artists are often difficult to back up. However, a few are simply inarguable. One of those special universally held opinions is certainly that The Rolling Stones are among the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. On the musical side alone, a strong argument can be made that band has written some of the most memorable and iconic songs rock music has produced. Despite this, it may be the band’s reputation that truly sets them apart from any others. The Rolling Stones set the standard for ways that rock bands should present themselves. Now, from German publisher TASCHEN, editor Reuel Golden, and the band members’ personal archives, comes an unprecedented look into their fifty-year history in a collectible book simply titled “The Rolling Stones”. Along with a number of previously unseen images, top photo collector and exhibition curator, Raj Prem, has given several definitive prints for this one-of-a-kind book.
Prem’s collection is well-regarded in rock photography groups. Showcasing photographs of the Stones, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Dylan among others, his focused efforts in this area has resulted in his determining the distinctive and most enchanting photos he could find. To ensure rare images are attainable to fans, he also works with photographers – showcasing them, supervising their archives and organizing exhibitions. A proper forerunner, Prem and long time partners San Francisco Art Exchange (SFAe) launched the world’s original rock photography show in 1997, reinstating his belief that these photographs are certainly fine art. He has worked with many photography stars, comprising Gered Mankowitz, Robert Freeman, Michael Joseph, Iain Macmillan, Michael Cooper, Peter Webb, Jerry Schatzberg, Dominique Tarlê, Terry O’Neill, and Pattie Boyd. The former music journalist holds a special corner in his heart for the Rolling Stones, however. Photos such as the ones of the Stones’ 1965 US tour revealed at the initial exhibition and those from “The Decca Years”, a showcase which represented the Rolling Stones rise from chart attractions to groundbreakers of the counter culture movement, have thrilled audiences and were secured largely due to Prem’s persistence. Read Keith Richards’ best-selling autobiography Life, and you will see many of the photos are credited to ‘the Raj Prem collection’.
Raj Prem, the celebrated rock music memorabilia curator, has announced the release of a new series of highly anticipated photographs of everyone’s favorite Fab Four: The Beatles. The news comes on the heels of another key milestone for these stars – over 50 years since the band’s first legendary concert and appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in the United States. As BeatleMania furthered the group into the international spotlight, the desire to see into the Beatles’ lives became common. Fans wanted more of their favorite rock stars and to get learn about their private lives. Legends like photographer Robert Freeman helped make this possible with access into the Beatles’ world and documenting them.
Internationally recognized curator and collector Raj Prem is recognized for his photography exhibition featuring rock stars from the ‘60s and ‘70s, and is proud to stand in for Peter Webb’s unseen “Sticky Fingers” Photos at SFAE. The photos, found 40 years after being lost in the loft of Peter Webb’s brother-in-law, have now appeared in both Rolling Stone and The Wall Street Journal. They were premiered by Prem in the SFAE “Decca Years” exhibition he co-produced seven years back.
While working with SFAE’s directors and owners Theron Kabrich and Jim Hartley, who in Prem’s opinion is the “eminence grise” of SFAE and the unsung genius of the business, Raj Prem has become a cohesive force in keeping the iconic photographs of the ‘60s- ‘70s era together. “Sticky Fingers: The Lost Session – Photographs by Peter Webb” is an enthusing display that contains the entire surviving archive of Peter Webb’s 1971 photo session with The Rolling Stones for the “Sticky Fingers” album. More than two-thirds of the photos have never been viewed by the public, which makes the exhibition a big success among Stones fans and art lovers. In the wake of the Stones ‘ Sticky Fingers’ US tour this year, a more comprehensive exhibition at SFAE is being discussed, where Webb’s archive is currently on display as a permanent fixture.
“When something’s gone it’s just gone, you know. But we’re not talking missing for a year or two, we’re talking 38 years. After they’d been found I walked around with this huge smile on my face for days,” Webb said to Snap Galleries. As per Webb, photographing The Stones “as they were” at that exact moment in time, free from any overriding “concept” was the best idea he had.
The thrill surrounding Prem’s latest exhibit comes together with sustained success working with the San Francisco Art Exchange (SFAE). As per the well-known curator, working with the SFAE has remained an important component of this and many other rock-based exhibits. “I value the opportunity to work with SFAE owners and directors Jim Hartley and Theron Kabrich,” Prem recently mentioned. “We’ve done 40 plus exhibitions together over 18 years. SFAE was the first gallery in the world to showcase the music photography genre and is probably the most successful outlet for celebrity photography.” Prem said that the Beatles photography is only one of many exhibitions he has facilitated with the SFAE over the years. As he continued, “Jointly we’ve co-produced several exhibitions of top UK and US photographers, comprising Robert Freeman, Iain MacMillan, Terry O’Neill and Dominique Tarle .” For Prem, the 50 year Beatles anniversary show aims to not only revive original fans about their musical heroes, but also give younger fans straight access into what rock and roll is all about.
Covering the history of rock music from 1963 and 1972, Raj Prem’s collection has been shown in different countries and galleries worldwide, such as the U.S., U.K., Dubai, Japan, and the Netherlands. He has put on critically recognized exhibitions such as The Decca Years, which features the works of Philip Townsend, Michael Cooper, and Dominique Tarle during the band’s climb from chart hits to rock movement icons. Prem is very much intrigued in Bonis’ Beatles photographs to extend the many pieces he has showcased in over 95 exhibitions, celebrating the shots of photographers like Robert Freeman, David Hurn, iain macmillan et al who have immortalized everyone’s favorite Fab Four, the Beatles, for over forty years.
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Raj Prem’s formula of tracking down top photographs is one of great myth in rock photography circles. Well-known shots of the Stones, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Dylan and more are a result of his tracking down of the rarest and most iconic photos available. In order to make sure fans can view the work, he works alongside photographers – representing them, managing their archives and organizing shows. An iconic pioneer, Prem and long time collaborators San Francisco Art Exchange (SFAe) put on the world’s first rock photography show back in 1997, based upon his belief that photography is indeed true art. He has worked with many industry legends: Gered Mankowitz, Robert Freeman, Michael Joseph, Iain Macmillan, Michael Cooper, Peter Webb, Jerry Schatzberg, Dominique Tarlê, Terry O’Neill, and Pattie Boyd. The renowned rock journalist keeps a special place in his heart for the Rolling Stones. Photographs of the Stones’ 1965 US tour displayed at that very first exhibition and those from “The Decca Years”, a showcase which depicted the Rolling Stones rise from chart attractions to leaders of the counter culture wave, have pleased audiences and were obtained largely as a result of Prem’s hard searches. Within Keith Richards’ best-selling autobiography Life, many of the photographs are credited to ‘the Raj Prem collection’.
Prem’s collection is a mythical one in rock photography circles. Featuring snaps of the Stones, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Dylan among others, his passion has resulted in his tracking down the rarest and most captivating photos he could find. In order to make sure the best images are accessible to fans, he also collaborates with photographers – representing them, managing their archives and organizing exhibitions. A true pioneer, Prem and long time collaborators San Francisco Art Exchange (SFAe) launched the world’s first rock photography show in 1997, highlighting his belief that these photos are indeed fine art. He has worked with many photography greats, including Gered Mankowitz, Robert Freeman, Michael Joseph, Iain Macmillan, Michael Cooper, Peter Webb, Jerry Schatzberg, Dominique Tarlê, Terry O’Neill, and Pattie Boyd. The former music journalist holds a special place in his heart for the Rolling Stones, however. Photographs such as the ones of the Stones’ 1965 US tour shown at that very first exhibition and those from “The Decca Years”, an exhibition which depicted the Rolling Stones rise from chart attractions to leaders of the counter culture movement, have wowed audiences and were procured largely due to Prem’s dedication. Take a read of Keith Richards’ best-selling autobiography Life, and you will notice that many of the photos are credited to ‘the Raj Prem collection’.
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The obsession with all things Beatles pushed curator Raj Prem’s new exhibit into reality. Prem’s declared goal was to gives fans something new to witness. This drove him to identify a series of seldom seen photographs taken during some of group’s most pivotal times in the 1960s. The Beatles photography exhibition aims to generate the same type of excitement and interest that they originally felt more than 50 years back.