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Thirty Years of Rock & Roll Photography

Rock Band
Students gather in the Union Gallery to play Rock Band. A Rock Band tournament will be held Friday, Oct. 24. | Photo Gallery

In simple black and white, photographer Larry Hulst has captured three generations of rock legends.

His traveling exhibit, which is now on display in the Union Gallery, features 75 photos captured from rock concerts. Through a camera lens, Hulst documented how rock and roll has changed over the last three decades.

Hulst, of Colorado Springs, Colo., has been a photographer of rock musicians for 35 years and he’s still building his collection and attending concerts.

“I go to many of the different jam bands playing around mainly,” Hulst said. “The last group I listened to was No Quarter. They are a Led Zeppelin cover band and they were great.”

Hulst started his photo collection while in college. He spent his California weekends photographing concerts—which was the beginning of a long commitment in capturing snapshots of rock icons.

Hulst’s traveling exhibit was first presented in 1969 from the Pioneers Museum in Colorado Springs, Colo. Since then, it has visited more than 40 museums and in four different colleges across the United States.

The collection includes photos of Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Iggy Pop, and Patti Smith among several others.

“My favorite photo is the Led Zeppelin photo from Kezar Stadium in 1973,” Hulst said. “It has put many meals on the table since then. It is unique in this collection because the background is white.”

While Hulst’s exhibit covers rock music in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, Hulst still holds his opinions for the rock sound of today.

“It is not very close to Punk,” Hulst said. “What I have seen lately seems rather subdued. The new jam bands have a sound from the 70s and 80s still.”

Aside from the photographs themselves, the exhibit also features listening stations, which play a sampling of music by each of the performers in the exhibit along with the video game Rock Band.

“The exhibit features photographs of Rock and Roll icons from the 60s through the 90s,” said Elizabeth Legarde, volunteer chairperson for the Rock Band Tournament. “We thought having something interactive like Rock Band would liven up the exhibit. Students expressed interest in having the game as well.”

Although Hulst has never been to LSU, he ventured to New Orleans in 2002 for the weekend-long Jazz Fest.

While Hulst continues to search for more icons to capture with his camera and music to fill his ears, his heart lies with a tune that may explain his continuing quest as a photographer.

“As far as favorite songs…hearing the Rolling Stones sing ‘I can’t get no Satisfaction,’” Hulst said. “Since that day I haven’t heard anything that good.”

Thirty Years of Rock & Roll Photography is on display through October 26, 2008.

Hulst can be contacted at larry@hulstphotography.com.

Holly Phillips | Web Editor| LSU Office of Public Affairs
Fall 2008

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