ROCK & ROLL CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHER
AT COLL’S CUSTOM FRAMING
by Jack Coll
Concert Photographer Thomas Collins has spent nearly 25 years working in and around the music industry. In the last 15 years, Tom has been an accomplished concert photographer for nearly every major Philadelphia, Rock Radio station and concert promoter in the area including, 94WYSP, Electric Factory Concerts, AEG Live, BRE Presents, The Keswick Theatre, 93.3WMMR and 102.9WMGK just to name a few.
Many of Tom’s photographs will be on display at Coll’s Custom Framing located at 324 Fayette Street in Conshohocken on Saturday October 13. Tom will spend the day at Coll’s meeting and greeting music fans and discussing his photographs and sharing his experiences with a number of the rock & roll artists.
Tom joins the list of prominent photographers who have had the privilege over the years to photographer rock & roll legends and rising stars. One of the early photographers to capture the music scene was William “Popsie” Randolph. In the early 1940’s Popsie managed the Benny Goodman Band and Woody Herman’s Orchestra. Soon Popsie’s camera started capturing images of Lionel Hampton, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Gene Krupa and Ray Charles among other early stars.
Many famous photographs taken by Popsie are still recognized today even years after his death. Popsie’s collection includes famous photographs of Billie “Lady Day” Holiday, Glenn Miller, Bob Hope, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Frankie Lane, Patti Page, Nat “King” Cole, Peggy Lee, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Liberace, Eddie Fisher, Buddy Rich, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason, Elvis Presley, Jackie Wilson, Bill Haley and his Comets, Johnny Mathis, Harry Belafonte, The Beatles, and dozens of 1960’s bands including The Crystals, The Shirelles, The Ronettes, Little Eva, Carol King, Jimmy Durante, Barbara Streisand, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Jan & Dean, Trini Lopez, Sammy Davis Jr., The Rolling Stones, Debbie Reynolds, Dusty Springfield, The Supremes, The Animals, Chuck Berry, Sonny & Cher, The Young Rascals, Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Bee Gees, The Association, Van Morrison, Andy Warhol, Jackson Browne, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Bob Seger, Lou Reed, Johnny Rivers, Lou Rawls, Frankie Valli, Loretta Lynn, Patti LaBelle, Neil Diamond, Bobby Darin, and dozens of others.
I named a few of the stars Popsie photographed over his thirty year photography career to make clear what every other photographer that followed him was up against. Popsie was creative with his lens capturing the stars behind the scenes as well as on stage.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s Henry Diltz was the world’s premier rock photographer photographing dozens of album covers. Long before MTV brought us all the latest news about our favorite artists and before the word internet was introduced into our lives album covers were the music bible giving us insight into the band and music. Henry Diltz was the photographer providing us with those images.
Henry photographed some of Rock’s iconic album covers including covers of The Eagles, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Hollies, The Lovin Spoonful, Jackson Browne, America, The Doors (Morrison Hotel), Steppenwolf, John Sebastian, Jimmy Webb, David Cassidy, and other celebs like Richard Pryor not to mention that Henry photographed Woodstock.
Baron Wolman was another legendary photographer who was the Rolling Stone magazine’s first photographer who covered rock & roll from 1967 until the late 1970’s. A number of Wolman’s iconic photographs that appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine included photos of Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones, Phil Spector, Frank Zappa, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Iggy Pop, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, The Greatful Dead, Jim Morrison, Ike & Tina Turner, Boz Scaggs, BB King, James Brown, Donovan, John Fogerty, Grace Slick, Eric Clapton, Otis Redding, Eric Burdon, Miles Davis, Rod Stewart, Pink Floyd, The Band, James Taylor, and many others.
Tom Collins is among some of today’s brightest photographers that include James Fortune, Jim Rinaldi, Alex Lowey and Mark Weiss. Tom started photographing small events for a radio station. Those photographs got the attention of local concert promoters and Tom started to cover a number of smaller venues before being hired to cover most of the area’s theatre, arena’s and stadium’s throughout the North East.
Tom’s passion and knowledge of music shows in his photographs, he has a unique eye for capturing many of those amazing moments during a concert. His work has earned him the respect in the industry as being one of the most talented concert photographers of our era.
A number of Tom’s photographs on display at Coll’s Custom Framing on October 13, will include The Foo Fighters, U2, Dave Matthews, Chris Cornell, Neil Young, Tom Petty and Roger Watters among others. Tom will host the show from 10:00-3:30 on Saturday but his photographs will remain on display for at least 30 days.