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Historic Rock Music Photographs Coming to Santa Monica Heritage Museum

The California Heritage Museum is pleased to present Rock & Roll Legends, the Lost Negatives of Michael Friedman.

Michael Friedman, former Manager and Music Producer, found himself standing quite literally in the hurricane’s eye of America’s folk, rock and roll, and pop music industry during the late 60s through the early 80s.  Friedman will present a remarkable collection of his never-before-seen, candid, black and white photos of iconic musicians and performers, including The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, The Band, and others, at the Santa Monica-based California Heritage Museum, from April 14 – July 15, 2018.

During the 1960s and early ‘70s era, Michael Friedman had the good fortune of working, traveling, and befriending dozens of highly respected and legendary musical artists.  While initially working as a publicist, and later as a manager and music producer, he was also an avid photographer.  Due to his unique access to dozens of top musicians and performers, his candid photography was able to capture the essence of that historic period in American folk, rock, and pop music.

Between 1969 and 1973 Friedman shot over 1,000 photographs, but before he even printed most of the photos, he packed the negatives away, and then lost track of them, eventually considering them lost. Then, in 2017, after 45 years, the long lost negatives were discovered in Friedman’s attic.

Now fully restored, they turn out to be a remarkable collection of candid shots of legendary musicians including The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, The Band, Todd Rundgren, Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Butterfield, James Cotton, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, and other musicians.

“Looking back, I think of the late 60’s and the early 70’s as a sweet spot in the history of American music,” Friedman now says. “There were so many talented young songwriters and musicians during that era, and I was very fortunate as a young man to be working with some of the most enduring and iconic. Photographically, my perspective was one of reportage – I wanted to capture the moment. No one was posing for me, because I was not a hired photographer but rather part of their team and a friend.  My hope is that many of the photos will give the viewer a glimpse of the artists as individuals, unselfconscious, relaxed, and just being themselves.”

The California Heritage Museum has selected a collection of more than 60 stunning images for the exhibition, which is scheduled to open on April 14, 2018 and continue through July 15, 2018.  The California Heritage Museum is open Wednesday thru Sunday, 11am – 4pm, and is located at 2612 Main Street in Santa Monica, California, 90405.

The collection is then expected to travel to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, where it will be exhibited and then archived in perpetuity as The Michael Friedman Collection.

More Information about The Lost Rock & Roll Negatives is available at MichaelFriedmanPhotography.com.

An example of Friedman’s work, a photo of Mick Jagger.
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