The handsome teen who would come to be known as “the King of rock ‘n’ roll”
Elvis Presley was a timid teen when he first turned up at photographer William Speer’s studio in 1954. Speer knew Elvis was special the instant he walked in. Veer’s wife Vacil Speer added: ‘You can sense the famed ones. They leap out in a room without you even knowing who they are.”
The first photos of the band who brought grunge to the mainstream
This was Nirvana’s earliest shoot teaming drummer Chad Channing and photographer Charles Peterson. ‘This is a back to nature shot with Nirvana for a promo shoot for their maiden LP, ‘Bleach.’ They thought the idea was pretty stupid and Krist (Novoselic) began acting out, cracking up Kurt (Cobain),” said Peterson.
The flamboyant pop star who was once just a waitress with a dream
Lady Gaga’s original name was Stefani Germanotta – in 2005, at age 19 she worked as a waitress in a West Village restaurant. Malgorzata Saniewska, a budding photographer who worked alongside Gaga as bartender shot 200 photos of the girl; the duo used Gaga’s parents home as a backdrop. Gaga used a few of those photos for her promotional materials at that time.
The first professional photo session of the band who changed music history
The photo above is picked from Beatles first contractually arranged and paid for session in 1961. Albert Marrion a local wedding photographer was chosen by manager Brian Epstein to shoot the boys, but he was hesitant. Studio partner Herbert Hughes too declined to shoot the Beatles. Marrion clicked 30 photos of the Beatles that day, but tossed out half of them because of ‘Lennon and McCartney acting up and spoiling the pose.’ Plainly, that was a choice he would later repent of.
The suburban teen who became a hip hop superstar
Kanye West was just an ordinary high school kid with a dream – and grew up in a modest middle-class family in suburban Illinois, as the above photo (and the photos in the source below) shows. Today Yeezy’s net worth is around $100 million. In the picture he is rapping Fats Beats back in 1996.
The Australian country girl who transformed into a chart topping rapper
Australian rap artist Iggy Azalea turned celebrity with her 2014 single, ‘Fancy’, that topped the charts. This still from a photo shoot was taken in the Australian beach town of Byron Bay – Azalea was 18 then. Today she is the first artist since the Beatles to clinch the first and second place spots in the Billboard charts with the hit songs ‘Fancy’ and ‘Problem’. She has made a massive transformation musically as well as image-wise.
The shy, bespectacled pub pianist who became a worldwide sensation
Elton John the legendary solo artist, was pub pianist at the start of his career. He joined bands like The Corvettes and Bluesology, a blues groupe who was piloted by 6’7″ singer Long John Baldry (here John got the John part of his name.) Elton finally hit big by going solo.
The skinny teen who would later become “The Boss”
Have a look at this promo photo of The Castiles shot in late May 1965 which shows the first lineup of the band. Left to right: Frank Marziotti, Paul Popkin, George Theiss, Vinny Maniello and Bruce Springsteen. The skinny lad leaning on his guitar at the extreme right went on to become The Boss.
The folk singer who became one of the leading sex symbols of her generation
Before Debbie Harry and Blondie turned stars, in the late 70s, Harry was back-up vocalist in the folk-rock group, The Wind In The Willows. She sang lead on 1 or 2 tracks on the sole album the band ever released.
The legendary guitar virtuoso who played the Nashville club circuit
The band had a short stint playing the Nashville club circuit — thereon Hendrix started a career as a session musician with the Isley Brothers’ backing band, and later with Little Richard with whom he continued to work through mid-1965.
The aspiring singer who became one of the most enduring pop stars of the 20th century
Madonna in the summer of 1982 posed for a photo session along with her boombox, a few kids (attempting to appear tougher than they were for the camera) and elderly locals – at her apartment. Richard Corman the photographer who shot her pictures recalls: ‘She was the pied piper of the neighborhood, and all of the kids sang and danced with her on the rooftop almost daily.’
The Texas blues band that played the prom
Around 1970 or ’71 the trio of ZZ Top – Dusty Hill, Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons– played the prom at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School in Orange, Texas. One Redditor, who answered to the thread where the photo first showed up, said that his dad was in attendance at the prom and ‘some time between signing the contract to play for the dance and the actual prom itself, the band broke out big. They made an attempt to end the contract, but the school couldn’t find a replacement on such short notice so ZZ Top still performed.’
The (literally) starving group who became “the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world”
The Rolling Stones heralded as the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world, started as a troupe of starving kids when celebrity photographer Philip Townsend clicked them for the first time in 1962 around London. Townsend disclosed the boys were broke, starving and looking for a record deal when he shot the photo above. Townsend brought them barbecued chicken – and thereon stuck them in the center of Ifield Road with a no parking sign at the rare of them, for their very first photo as a group.