Cover Image: Right Place, Right Time

Right Place, Right Time

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Fascinating reminiscences from a top photographer who has met just about everyone in the rock world and has the photographs to prove it. I found it very interesting to read more behind the scenes stories of artists that I've followed over the decades. I particularly liked the sections on John Lennon and Bob Dylan. Some sections, like those on The New York Dolls and Kiss , I found less riveting but that's down to personal musical taste. 

All in all I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about the people who made the best rock music over the past five decades.
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Bob Gruen gives us a unique view to the 70’s rock and roll world through his eyes (and lens).  With a backstage pass to virtually every group or performer during the golden age of rock and roll. His stories of John and Yoko, Elton John, Bob Dylan as well as many of the famous and soon to be famous.  He brings his stories and pictures to an entire generation who was shaped by the music.  
This is a must read and viewing for all those who lived through these times as well as students of music and the times. 
I would like to thank the author, the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book.
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If you love rock and roll, then you probably love the work of Bob Gruen, whether you know it or not. Gruen is one of the top 60s-80s rock photographers in the world, taking shots of everyone from John and Yoko to Green Day. In this book, he not only talks about how he found himself in this career but also the stories behind many of his famous photos. 

What I like most about this book is that it doesn't skimp on the photos (even in the ARC). There are only one or two instances out of the whole book where Gruen describes a photo that does not follow on the next page, and this only happens when he's describing someone else's photos. 

Whether you love one rock star or all of them, this is a must-have if you want some behind-the-scenes details on 20th century rock.
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Iconic photography, Iconic people and vivid stories told from the Pioneer of Rock and Roll Photography. Bob Gruen was on the front lines of shooting photography during arguably the most important times in the industry when it was establishing rock and roll. This is an entertainment memoir worthy of reading even if you aren't into the specific genre of Rock and roll photography. The sixties thru the eighties, 6 decades no less-- had to be the most fascinating time to be a witness to the giants and likes of Tina Turner,Led Zeppelin and John Lennon. I've never cared for Yoko Ono and I still don't but after reading about her reasons behind why she was making the music the way she did, I have a better appreciation for her intellect. ( Not that I necessarily like her or her music.) 

The only thing I don't like about this is, I wish the photographs were larger. I feel like the photographs need to be in  huge sprawling pages with crisp contrasts black and white photos so I can see the details. Some of the images I thought were cropped so poorly to accommodate the text, it left me feeling kinda flat. I think this is doing a disservice to the author and photographer.

Thank you Net Galley for the opportunity to review this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I have to be honest and say I’ve never heard of this author before, although I have seen some of the photographs that he has done.  I was drawn to his story as I love some of the artists that he had covered.  He has taken some of the most iconic photos in the music industry, and I’m sure most of us would recognise one or two of them!

The book begins with the author’s childhood and how his love of photography came about.  The story took a while to get to the parts where I started to recognise names and places, and whilst the introduction to the ‘young Bob’ was interesting it did go into a lot of detail from his younger years.  His professional story ranges from the mid sixties to almost present day.  There were a lot of in-depth stories from the first couple of decades, but as it moved into the later years it did all feel a little bit rushed.  Similarly, some artists were focussed on a lot, and others quickly brushed over!  I’m a Kiss fan, so when I saw that the author was responsible for some of the well-known Kiss photos, I was keen to find out the background behind them.  Sadly, though Kiss had very little ‘print time’ compared to some of the others!!

There is no denying though that the author has met, photographed and became friends with some of the biggest names in music history!  The stories that he had to tell about some of these icons were fascinating and the accompanying photographs brought the stories to life!  As a big music fan, I was purely interested in the stories behind the lens and the artists themselves, but as this is an autobiography of course the author shares his own personal story.  This is where, for me, the book falls down slightly as I found myself flicking through some of the book, but then alternatively captivated by other parts!  If you love your music, then I would definitely recommend it!!  Hopefully you will get a bit more from it than I did, but even if you only read the bits that you’re interested in you’ll still be treated to some great, eye opening scenes and images from Rock and Roll History!
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This book is all about the pictures as you might guess! There are some iconic shots that we all recognize and some truly amazing shots that are not nearly as well known, of artists such as Elton John and Pete Townsend. Lots of cool info about the author and his experiences with Bob Dylan, John Lennon and The New York Dolls, to name a few. It doesn’t come off as name dropping at all, just a real genuine experience of the 60’s and 70’s and beyond in the NYC music scene. A time and place that could never ever be replicated again.  If you’re interested in the music scene of those times this book is for you. And the photos!! “Thanks to NetGalley for proving me
With this free e-book in exchange for an honest review”
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This was a strange one for me. There is no denying that Gruen has led a fascinating life and his pioneering work as one of the foremost rock and roll photographers is both influential and interesting. His love for music and the freedom that it offers both bands and their fans is clear from the outset and his passion and commitment to the job is seen in both the iconic images he captures and the unprecedented access he enjoyed to some of the most famous names in the music industry. I loved his passion for new music as well as the well established bands and the fact that he is still discovering and being excited by bands in his Seventies is testament to his commitment to his work, which he also made his life. Having said all that, I found the book uneven in places. It's hard to distill six decades in the music industry into a couple of hundred pages and I was frustrated that a good 80% of the book focuses on his work from the sixties to the eighties and everything else is crammed into the remaining 20%, which felt uneven to me. His relationship with John Lennon and Yoko Ono takes up a fairly significant chunk of the rest of the book and I almost felt that it deserved a book of its own. There was so much to say that at times it became more like a list than a narrative and I was always left wanting to know more. It's a shame there wasn't more of everything to be honest.
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One of my favorite photographers! I am so glad he's written an autobiography! He's had such a fascinating life; I was reluctant to put it down to take care of other life activities. Just goes to show you, what you love to do generally leads you into a career you'll love! No one should ever deter a person from their passion. So I now know Mr. Gruen is not only a fabulous photographer, but an engaging writer as well! Congrats for sharing your amazing life!
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Wow!!!! I really enjoy3d this book. Nice stories to go along with the pictures. Fun read and informative about this photographer^s life and the stars he has encountered on his journey. Highly recommended. Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for the arc of this book in return for my honest review. Receiving the book in this manner had no bearing on this review.
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Right Place, Right Time: The Life of a Rock & Roll Photographer from Bob Gruen is a fun romp through popular music from about the mid 60s to now-ish. Great pictures, fun stories, and a glimpse at a life well lived.

I like to read about music, whether about specific artists or genres or, as in this case, a peripheral but essential aspect of music. Because so many books tend to be about an artist it is the literary equivalent of listening to a greatest hits album. Even genre or period books can be thought of as greatest hits albums, albeit of connected acts. This book, however, is like a greatest hits of all time album, crossing genres and spanning several distinct periods in the history of rock & roll, or perhaps more accurately, popular music.

While the book is chronological, there is a bit of jumping around simply because Gruen often had to shoot several different acts within several days in different locations. Such was his life thus such is the narrative. That said, those periods are usually situated within a stretch where he is spending quite a bit of time and/or energy with a particular act. These extended experiences form, usually, the glue for each chapter.

As a memoir, this is an above average book but probably nothing phenomenal. But when it is coupled with the sheer quantity of rock, pop, and R&B stars he worked with, this becomes so much more than a memoir. If you're as old as I am, this is like going back and reliving some of those days. The concerts, listening to the radio, watching the TV shows and, eventually, the channels. If you let yourself read slow enough to think about the acts he is talking about, it becomes almost like a soundtrack to your own life. If you're not as ancient as I am, then this is an excellent glimpse at what the industry used to be like and, if you choose to take the time, it can serve as an introduction to a lot of great artists and music.

Highly recommend to readers of memoirs and especially entertainment memoirs. Those readers who supplement their reading with searching online (or in your music collections) for songs, interviews, and videos will find a lot of great search-worthy items here.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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Photographer Bob Gruen has been around a long time. His autobiography starts with him shooting the Newport Folk Festival when Bob Dylan went electric and walked off the stage. He became good friends with Ike & Tina Turner, John Lennon, Yoko & Sean. He shot many rolls of film during the Double Fantasy recording sessions. He supported Yoko when she wanted to shoot John's bloody glasses for the cover of her Season of Glass album. He went on tour with The Clash introducing them to NYC and other slices of America -The Clash would pluck guys like Bo Diddley to open for them because the Clash were fans. I'd have liked to be a fly on the wall for those tour bus conversations. He's shot most big acts; The Stones, Green Day, Sex Pistols,Blondie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, The NY Dolls pop up often. His most famous photo is arguably Led Zeppelin standing infant of their private plane in Teterboro, NJ.  The photos in the ARC are small but cool.For fans of these artists it's nice to have a story of the shoots.  Thank You Abrams and NetGalley for the ARC.
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”Bob had the ultimate backstage pass. He was backstage with all these bands.

“Can you imagine the stories he’s got?”
- Alice Cooper

In 1965, Bob Gruen took his first concert photos at the Newport Folk Festival. The first concert where Dylan ”shocked the world by going electric.” Added to his more iconic events would be the Woodstock Music Festival, but since then his life has been filled with concerts, photography and celebrities, world-wide travel, and some crazy stories. He’s become friends – not just friendly – with some of the most famous celebrities in rock & roll history, as well as other artists around the world. Through the years, some of the most iconic photography associated with rock and roll was shot by him. This book contains more than I could keep track of.

This book covers more than that, though, it is also about him, his life, how his early years as a young kid with a camera, and an eye that looked for more than the standard shot, wanting something that captured the feeling of the moment, the movement, the excitement, and occasionally the frustration and the dreams as well as the excess.

’There’s the style, the swagger, the show, the song. But rock and roll also needs an image—as much as it needs a guitar and a mic.’

I lost count of how many photos are in this book, or how many amazing experiences he has been blessed with. There are so many, too many to even begin to recount. His life, the way he has to live with every day a potentially changing, revolving plan sounds daunting and exhausting, but it is a life he seems to have thrived on, making last minute decisions based on instincts, and hoping they are the right decisions. A daily, almost ever-changing journey, that is filled with non-stop adventure, some of it crazy, some of it bittersweet, and some just… well, wildly, passionately, entertaining rock and roll.

They became my extended family—my wonderful, crazy, wildly creative, and sometimes dysfunctional family.’

Since this covers a multitude of musicians, bands, and styles of music, the music / bands / musicians covered may – or may not – all appeal to every reader, but this is more about Gruen, and how he went from a young kid with an interest in photography to accompanying and / or photographing virtually every musician of note at one point in his career. Some of the photographs are ones I’d love a copy to put on my walls for the beauty of the photography, alone. His stories are epic, if sometimes crazily so, others heartbreaking, and his photographs always iconic.

A beautiful, entertaining walk through the years of rock and roll, as seen through the eyes of Bob Gruen.


Pub Date: 20 Oct 2020

Many thanks for the ARC provided by ABRAMS / Abrams Press

#RightPlaceRightTime #NetGalley
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Thanks to NetGalley and Abrams Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest book review.
Iconic photographer Bob Gruen is synonymous with rock n’ roll photography. With uncanny detail and a career spanning nearly five decades, Bob shares fascinating stories and behind the scene anecdotes in this very readable memoir. Bob was in the ‘right place at the right time’ with Ike and Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, touring with Debbie Harry and the Ramones. As John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s photographer and friend he captured their private moments and personal lives and produced memorable images; John wearing his New York City t-shirt,  John, Yoko and Sean at the Dakota in 1975. Being a native New Yorker his work captures the city and has been celebrated in magazines, galleries and MOMA.
I was fortunate to meet Bob Gruen several years ago at the Fest for Beatle Fans. He was friendly, warm and engaging and that is what the reader will learn as they open his scrapbook of memories. It is a wonderful testament to a richly fulfilling life. Highly recommended. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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