Forever Young : The Rock and Roll Photography of Chuck Boyd

Forever Young : The Rock and Roll Photography of Chuck Boyd
Jeffrey Schwartz
October 2012
Hundreds of Color and Black-and-White Photographs
Music, Art, Photography
8½ x 11

Captured at the Peak of Their Careers!
Chuck Boyd's love affair with photography began when his mother gave him a camera as a gift when he was 13 years old. He quickly found his artistic voice, and at the age of 16, he went to work for Los Angeles radio station KRLA, covering special artist promotional functions. Shortly after beginning his work at the station, Boyd began working for Tiger Beat, shooting rock-and-roll acts for the influential teen culture and music magazine.In 1967, Buck Munger, an independent record producer and the national promotion director for Sunn Amplifiers, hired Boyd as Sunn's official photographer. While working with Munger, Boyd had the opportunity to photograph Cream, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, KISS, and dozens of other artists throughout the 1960s and '70s. Since he was often shooting photos for Sunn, Boyd always had unlimited stage access. His photographs represent both his talent and his incredible access to rock-and-roll stars both on and off the stage.

Boyd took his camera everywhere and recorded everything, but he never broke a confidence; he turned down a lot of money over the years to protect the people he considered his friends.

Forever Young stands as a legacy to Boyd's incredible rock-and-roll photography. From stage shots to candid portraits, Boyd saw and documented the lives of a host of legendary musicians, including the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Who, the Doors, Janis Joplin, the Mamas and the Papas, Tom Petty, the Grateful Dead, Simon and Garfunkel, and the Beach Boys. A portfolio filled with intimate images of rock stars in their youth and in the prime of their careers, these photos, which were only recently discovered, have been lovingly restored and are now being made available to the public for the first time. Capturing the zeitgeist that permeated rock through the 1960s and '70s, these images are a testament to Boyd's status as one of the most trusted and respected photographers in rock-and-roll history.

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Author Information
Jeffrey Schwartz

earned his master’s degree in education, became an award-winning social studies teacher, and created a popular rock-and-roll history course for middle school and high school students in Los Angeles. In 2008, Lance Armstrong awarded Schwartz the LIVESTRONG Award for the programs that he developed in support of students and families battling cancer in Southern California. Schwartz currently lives in Santa Monica, where he works as a music historian and the archive director for the Chuck Boyd Photo Collection.


“Many of the photos speak for themselves: a young James Brown primping for a 1965 television appearance, a sweat-drenched Little Richard in the studio, Martha and the Vandellas belting it out, and a bearded Jimmy Page with his violin bow aloft. Only a handful of Boyd’s images were staged; the majority feature artists mid-performance or in candid moments. These were shots a fan or friend would take, and though Boyd wasn’t the most technically-precise photographer, his work’s warmth, immediacy, and charm reveal the work of a man who loved what he was doing and had a genuine affection for his subjects.”
Publishers Weekly

“The most striking thing to me about Boyd’s photos was his ability to capture an artist’s essence, personally and musically, regardless of whether the shot was posed or candid. . . . As either a keepsake for your own coffee table, or as a gift, I feel safe in saying you won’t be disappointed with this photographic treasure chest.”

“A beautiful book from cover to cover . . . and a ‘coffee table’ display item to be sure. Boyd was a top-notch rock photographer, and some of his best work (much of it previously unpublished) is on display here between these covers.”
—Kent Kotal, Forgotten Hits blog

“He catches many of the figures in the dramatic X formations or diagonals of baroque and romantic painting, a compositional device for which the guitar neck is ideally suited. He often frames performers up-close at low-angles nearly full-frame, set against flat or deep black backgrounds or in raw chiaroscuro, at times recalling Spanish Romantic martyr portraits.”

“The 216-page book features the kind of photos rock geeks will want to get framed for their living rooms.”

“The images here are indelible, iconic and many unseen for decades.”