Michael Brennan's Led Zeppelin photographs to be exhibited in London this month!

Proud Chelsea Exhibition

Led Zeppelin From the Beginning 1963-1975

21st August - 4th October 2015

Proud Chelsea is thrilled to present Led Zeppelin from the Beginning, an exhibition which traces a truly experimental and innovative moment in rock ‘n’ roll history; from the initial formation of The Yardbirds, through their various reincarnations and music experimentations, to the musical venture led by Jimmy Page which rose out of their ashes. Initially predicted ‘to go down like a lead balloon’, Led Zeppelin, the most enduring and prolific rock band of all time, was born.

Often considered the training ground of three of rocks greatest guitarists; Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, The Yardbirds were pioneering in their fusion of R&B, blues, pop, rock and experimental psychedelic music. Chris Dreja, a former Yardbird, turned down the position of bassist in Led Zeppelin to pursue his passion for photography and went on to capture his former band-mates as they gained international critical and commercial success. Dreja’s portraits of Jimmy Page and Peter Grant during the final leg of the Yardbirds’ tour viewed alongside Led Zeppelin’s early promo shoots provide a stunning visual history between the bands and trace burgeoning rock ‘n’ roll movement of the late 60s and early 70s.

The previously unseen evolution of Led Zeppelin, from their first ever performance as the New Yardbirds at Gladsaxe Teen Club photographed by Jørgen Angel, to the raw, carnal stage presence captured by Lynn Goldsmith, to the histrionic, thunderous performances and the bacchanals offstage photographed by Michael Brennan, is laid bare in this truly retrospective exhibition.

Sitting on a speaker on stage in Denver Coliseum in March, 1970, Dan Fong, a photographer and production co-ordinator, witnessed the dynamism of a Led Zeppelin performance the first time. Blown away, Fong photographed the band, capturing something of their raw, animal, yet almost mystical musical experimentations. This sense of spiritualism is evident in Terence Spencer’s atmospheric images of Robert Plant wandering the woods of Wales, a place he described as ‘an undistorted mirror’ where he found inspiration for song writing. Finally, Michael Putland’s images of the foursome on their final tour of the US in Madison Square Garden provide a close up look at rock ‘n’ roll icons at the pinnacle of their success with an immediacy which conveys the visceral nature of the band’s performance.

Showcasing an eclectic and diverse range of works from an era when rock music was changing the rest of the world, Led Zeppelin from the Beginning, is not one to be missed.

 

https://www.proudonline.co.uk/exhibitions

August 18, 2015 by Chris Forney

Read what people are saying about Brennan's photographs!

“I can feel the texture of all the sweat and hard work. I can feel my life.” (Ali had this to say the very first time he saw the now famous '1977' photograph)

Muhammad Ali

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“Michael Brennan’s portrait of Muhammad Ali from 1977 is an extraordinary, historically-significant photograph, and we are thrilled to add it to the Permanent Collection of the National Portrait Gallery"

 

Frank H. Goodyear Associate Curator of Photographs
National Portrait Gallery - Smithsonian Institution.

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“Michael Brennan's iconic 1977 portrait photograph of Muhammad Ali captures something far bigger and deeper than just the beautiful face of a beautiful man.  It is a detailed map of the personal journey of one whose incomparable talents and audacity caused literati to swoon, taught a generation to question authority, and ultimately altered the path of a society which had never before seen a man exactly like him.  For tens of millions of us born as baby boomers, the gradual dissolution of the power portrayed in those features has both embodied and reflected the gradual dissolution of our youth.  To look at him the way he was then is to remember, with joy and sorrow, who we all once were.”

 

Jim Lampley
Boxing commentator, HBO Sports

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October 30, 2014 by Chris Forney

CBS News Interview on Brennan's Photography

Jaimie Maggio from CBS Sports interviewing Michael at one of his opening events:
October 13, 2014 by Chris Forney