Enquire Prince performs on stage with Ronnie Wood at a small London club gig after a Wembley show, August 1986. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Michael Putland began his career 50 years ago, photographing the faces that changed popular music in an era when popular music was changing everything else. Spanning five decades of musical heroes and genres, Michael’s unguarded portraits of off-duty performers capture some wonderfully candid moments: John Lennon sitting cross-legged in his socks, Paul McCartney laughing backstage with Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger sleeping on airplane at the end of the Rolling Stones’ European tour.
“It has been a fantastic ride through an incredible period of music history, which combined my two great loves … music and photography. Little did I appreciate, when my Uncle Alan encouraged my photography back in the 1950s, that this would lead me to photographing nearly all my heroes … and thrilled to be still finding new ones. A great never ending journey.” Michael Putland
Half a century’s worth of shooting has produced an exhaustive body of work – reflecting the eye of not only an expert photographer, but also a devoted music enthusiast. From his editorial work for Disc and Music, Echo, Sounds, Smash Hits and Q magazine to his 1973 tour with The Rolling Stones which led to a long-standing relationship with the band, Michael has been face-to-face with some of the biggest acts in modern music. He has photographed for major record labels including CBS, Warner, Elektra, Polydor, Columbia Records and EMI and, in 1977, he relocated to New York where he launched famed photo agency Retna. In his sixth decade in the business, Michael continues to shoot artists he admires in jazz, classical and world music – musicians who provide an alternative narrative to his rock music portfolio.
Getty Images Gallery is privileged to represent the Michael Putland collection of photography. Michael produces most of the hand-prints himself and each image is available to buy, signed by the photographer.