There’s a collection of photography coming to town and it’s great. Fans of rock ‘n’ roll, fantastic imagery, Bruce Springsteen or just music in general will love it and it touches down in Aintree in July. At Etc., we love The Boss and take any opportunity we can to help get the legend to the city. So, we had a chat with renowned photographer, Jo Lopez, about it all. By Alan O’Hare.
Yes, I’m back on the ‘bring Bruce Springsteen to Liverpool‘ trail. But, this time, there’s a twist… Springsteen is coming to town! Aintree, in fact, when ‘Photographing Bruce Springsteen’ – a unique exhibition of shots taken by his tour photographer, Jo Lopez – brings the renowned flash’s collection of intimate off-stage moments, rehearsal and ‘down-time’ images never seen by the public before. “These shows are not easy to pull together,” says Lopez, who last toured with the E Street Band in 2015. “But they’re always very popular.”
Springsteen’s latest boom period has coincided with a number of peripheral promotional opportunities, but this is different. For a start, Lopez is on the inside of The Boss’ camp: “I had a connection with Clarence Clemons that I’ll always treasure,” he reveals. The photographer developed a friendship on the road with the late, great saxophonist and became his technician and travelling companion: “I loved the guy.”
Fans of Springsteen, rock ‘n’ roll and photography will love this ‘Off Beat Lounge’ exhibition, too. There’s a focus on the more relaxed side of Springsteen and his consiglieri, but also piercing photography of the E Street Band and their indefatigable leader in full flight on-stage.
Tell me more about Clarence…
The big thing we had in common was that we’re both very spiritual and that’s not easy to put into words Like I say, I loved the guy.
There must be a lot ‘in the air’ when you’re on the road with Bruce and the E Street Band?
Their unique personalities make it all so exciting and the pure energy of every show is an incredible thing to capture. It’s all a real privilege.
Tell me about your favourite shot of Bruce…
I always love shooting in Hyde Park, but torrential rain at a Florence show in 2012 makes a particular shot from this collection very special to me. It was a real do or die moment. The shot then appeared around the world, but I had to pay a real price to get it… the camera was ruined because of the rain! Strangely, in the frame, there’s a poster that someone had made laying by Bruce on the stage that reads ‘The Price You Pay’… very appropriate!
What got you started with the camera, Jo?
The Led Zeppelin film ‘The Song Remains The Same’ really inspired me when I was a kid. We didn’t have cable TV, or many of the things that can entertain young people today, and that’s one of the most iconic rock movies of all time.
Outside of music, what are your favourite things to shoot?
Fashion and old abandoned buildings and cars in the desert. It’s very therapeutic for me.
Who, or what, would you most like to photograph that you haven’t yet?
It’d have to be a person… and I’d have to say, Jimmy Page.
Back to Bruce, it really is true that no two shows are the same… isn’t it?
Absolutely! You never know what to expect. Keeps you on your toes though…
… I can imagine! Who’s taken your favourite shot of Springsteen?
I’ve always loved Frank Stefanko’s work. The raw early stuff… he has a wonderful eye.
What can fans expect in Aintree next month?
I just want people to have a great time and enjoy Bruce, the band and my photographs.
‘Photographing Bruce Springsteen – an Off Beat Lounge collection by Jo Lopez’
Thursday July 19th 2018, 7.30pm
Aintree Racecourse Exhibition Hall, Ormskirk Road, Liverpool
‘Capetown, South Africa, 2014’
Pic by Jo Lopez