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Byrne's Archive Boasts Some of Rock's Best

Written by Chief Editor.

It's been decades since Alec Byrne has photographed rock performers. But when he did, the Briton engaged with the cream of the crop, as evidenced by his resplendent new book called London Rock: The Unseen Archive.
Elton is among them. There are five photos, taken in 1971 and 1973. A pair of them show Elton performing, and in one of these, Bernie Taupin can be seen in the background. There's also a Top of The Pops appearance; a highly flattering publicity photo; and a shot of the star decked out in a fuchsia suit with matching shades for a session with reporters.
While the former Reg Dwight isn't cited in the text, there is a good deal about the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Cream, and David Bowie (whose initial encounter with Byrne was literally a walk in the park).
Also well-represented are the Rolling Stones, with tales and footage from movies like Performance (including a fascinating look at how the photographer managed to get onto a closed set) and Rock and Roll Circus, as well as, sadly, Brian Jones' funeral.
There are images which will never be seen by the public, as quite a few negatives were destroyed by a fire. Then later on, others were wrecked by rough sea waters as they were being shipped to the artist's new home in California.  But Alec managed to save a substantial amount of work which should appeal to anyone who cares about classic rock and its practitioners.