The fine folks at Morrison Hotel Gallery have created a new home for classic rock photography in Los Angeles, within the tony environs of the Sunset Marquis hotel. Already well known as one of LA’s choicest crash pads for the touring musician – what other hotel can provide a full-service recording studio at 2 AM should you come home from your gig at the Forum all inspired? – it’s now also home to one of the city’s few dedicated museum spaces for rock. Exhibit curator and legendary photographer Timothy White has festooned the lobby’s gallery space, as well as the walls of the courtyard, spa and restaurant, with museum-quality prints of iconic images, some of which, cropped from the pages of Rolling Stone and Creem, used to color my bedroom wall.
The opportunity to see these images up close in glowing detail is sometimes electrifying, the familiar images sometimes revealing something new. I spent a good ten minutes in front of the poster-sized print of an alternate shot from Michael Joseph’s medieval tableaux for the inside cover of the Stones’ Beggar’s Banquet, marvelling at the hyperreal color scheme, so lush it appeared to have been painted. I’ve looked at Ethan A. Russell’s cover shot for Who’s Next thousands of times without noticing how gorgeous is that turbulent sky that overlooks the newly-relieved band. Anybody who grew up staring at record covers and poring through rock rags is sure to find something here to say “oh wow” at.
The new gallery kicked off with a proper Hollywood party this past Thursday, where we spotted Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Billy Bob Thornton, Julian Lennon (who himself shot a portrait of Bono that’s on the walls with the, um, provocative title “Someone To Look Up To”), producer Steve Lillywhite and a bevy of famous photogs including Ed Colver, Bob Gruen, Jimmy Steinfeldt, Morrison Hotel co-founder Henry Diltz, and White himself chomping on hors d’oeuvres and taking in the sights.
The gallery is now open to the public and will be open from 10AM to 10PM seven days a week. They also mention plans to announce “unique and exciting events” each month, check in regularly at morrisonhotelgallery.com for updates.
Morrison Hotel Gallery at Sunset Marquis Hotel, 1200 Alta Loma Road, Los Angeles, CA 90069 Gallery phone number 310-881-6025.