The Beatles and more: Linda McCartney's photos of stars
From Janis Joplin to Jimi Hendrix and Aretha Franklin, they all had their pictures taken by Linda McCartney. The exhibition "A photographer among musicians. Linda McCartney — the Sixties and More" showcases her works.
It began with the Rolling Stones
The photos Linda McCartney took of the Rolling Stones were her breakthrough. She accompanied the band on a promo tour on the Hudson River on the SS Sea Panther. At the time, she was working as a receptionist at "Town & Country Magazine." The magazine liked the intimate, authentic photos so much that it published them in a special series.
Chronicle of an era
The career of Linda Louise Eastman, who would later become known as Linda McCartney, began in the mid-1960s. She documented the musical revolution of her time. Beginning in 1968, she worked for New York's Fillmore East Theater. Besides Otis Redding, Frank Zappa and The Doors, she also photographed Janis Joplin, who died at the age of 27 two years later.
McCartney's photos are characterized by an uncomplicated closeness to the artists. The pictures never seem disrespectful, but rather intimate and full of humor. The above snapshot shows a yawning Jimi Hendrix (r.), drummer Mitch Mitchell (m.) and bassist Noel Redding (l.).
The man at her side
In the late 1960s, Linda McCartney meets Beatles singer Paul McCartney (l.) at the Bag O'Nails Club in London. Four days later she saw him again at the launch of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" at producer Brian Epstein's home. Linda and Paul McCartney married less than a year later, on March 12, 1969.
Smack-dab in the middle
Linda McCartney was no longer an observer, but part of the music scene in the late '60s — a blessing and a curse. The above photo shows her husband Paul (2nd from right) and the other band members taking a break during a recording session for the legendary "Abbey Road" album.
Linda McCartney was an award-winning photographer before gaining fame as the wife of a Beatle. In 1967, she was named best female photographer in the US. She was the first woman to photograph a cover for the "Rolling Stone" music magazine. The above photo shows Stephen Stills of the band Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Eclipsed by a Beatle
Her focus shifted as she devoted more of her time to her husband and three children. It had become more difficult to be perceived as an independent artist alongside her famous husband. Above is a photo of Aretha Franklin in 1968.
Singer, keyboard atist
Linda was more than a talented photographer. In the early 1970s, she learned to play the keyboard, and she and Paul started a new band they called Wings. Her camera remained her faithful companion on tour, documenting her travels and family life. She also made a name for herself as a solo artist and published her own songs, such as "Seaside Woman" in 1977.
For a good cause
In the late 1980s, the McCartneys became vegetarians. Linda began to use her pictures to draw attention to the suffering of animals. Nature photography and the documentation of her family life became increasingly important to her. In 1998, Linda McCartney died of breast cancer. She left behind a large archive, including haunting portraits of musicians like the above photo of Jimi Hendrix.
Photographer among musicians
"Photographer among musicians. Linda McCartney - The Sixties and more" is the title of the exhibition showcasing 180 photographs by Linda McCartney at the museum Ludwiggalerie Schloss Oberhausen. The exhibition runs from January 18 to May 3, 2020.