Phil Spector before the fall.
Photographer Brad Elterman was smack dab in the middle of L.A.‘s rock and roll vortex at a pivotal time in the 1970s. His camera caught some of the energy of the moment in sharply etched fragments of time.
Elterman’s career started with a borrowed camera at the age of 16. His first photo, of Bob Dylan performing onstage, was published in 1974.
That lead to endless nights of covering the rock scene in Hollywood encompassing pop, punk and rock bands including Joan Jett and The Runaways, Rod Stewart, David Bowie, the Sex Pistols, Kiss, Queen, Blondie, the Ramones, the Bay City Rollers, Abba, Boney M, Kenny Rogers, The Who, Leif Garrett, Michael Jackson, etc.
“It was my education in life,” says Brad, who left school to travel with bands and visit European magazine editors at the age of 19. “I had a front row seat in life which took me everywhere from Munich to Tokyo to Rio.” Brad toured Japan with teen idol Leif Garret, traveled to South America with German pop stars Boney M, and did tour dates with The Eagles and Rod Stewart, just to name a few.
Elterman has an almost Zen gift of being in the right place at the right time, capturing unguarded moments that seep through the cracks of his subject’s facades.
He’s published a collection of his extraordinary black and white photos in a limited edition of 500 copies. While “Like It Was Yesterday” seems to have gone out of print, Amazon has a few for sale here. You can also purchase prints of Elterman’s work at his website, which is worth visiting for more detailed views of these and many more photographs and his fascinating descriptions of how they came about. I’m waiting for his memoirs.
Cherie and Marie Currie.
Leif Garrett and Nicollette Sheridan.