Gered Mankowitz Unveils Pictures Of Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, Kate Bush And Other Memories From 50 Years Of Photography

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Gered Mankowitz has been photographing rock stars for 50 years, creating iconic portraits of everyone from Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones to Wham!, Kate Bush and Duran Duran.

Now, the best of his work has been assembled for an exhibition in London from tomorrow, and collated in a stunning hardback book to be published in December.

jimi hendrix
Jimi Hendrix, as photographed by Gered Mankowitz

BELOW are some of the images on display, and in the book.

I have three questions for Gered ahead of the exhibition...

What is the quality shared by the figures he captured, and helped make immortal, on film?

"It’s what’s called charisma," he reflects. "The determination, conviction, commitment, all the people who really make it big work incredibly hard at doing so. I don’t think it happens by accident.

And, out of all of the people in the book, who is the one figure that, above all the others, had the power to convey what is now commonly called the X Factor, but refers to something magical, ephemeral, unique? He has a think...

"If I had to pick one, it’d be Jimi Hendrix - not just such an extraordinary person and subject, but the pictures have taken on a life of their own. To be lucky enough to have worked with this man at this stage in his life, is just amazing. I’m ever grateful to Jimi, and extremely proud that they are in my collection.

"Looking back it was an extraordinarily optimistic moment in his career. 'Hey Joe' was just about to be released, he had everything ahead of him, they’re optimistic the pictures, and they show the human being behind the rock myth."

kate bush
Kate Bush was one of Gered Mankowitz's favourite subjects - "a pleasure to work with"

In an age where Gaga can orchestrate an entire media campaign through her Twitter account, and Miley can get her record to the top of the chart with a shocking video, does Gered think things have changed?

"It’s been a gradual process, and I do think people have more control and influence now," he says. "In many ways it’s a really good thing, but there was an innocence and naivety in the 1960s that allowed people to be more open in front of the camera, because they didn’t know what was going on. I couldn’t show them what the camera was seeing. They had to trust me, and that isn’t there any more.

"What we're seeing in this exhibition is a 50-year-old blueprint of how to be a rock star."

Gered Mankovitz: 50 Years of Rock and Roll Photography, published by Goodman, £30, Out now. This Saturday Gered will be doing a signing at London’s Snap Galleries, where an exhibition of his career’s work is also on view. See some images below...

Also on The Huffington Post

Some Gered Mankowitz photos
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Jimi Hendrix | The Official Jimi Hendrix Site

Jimi Hendrix - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jimi Hendrix Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story - Biography.com