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’.
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