Book Review – Through the Lens of Music Photographer Rob Shanahan
RINGO STARR in the foreword shares “if I ever need a picture taken, he’s the man I call. He has the knack of being present but not obtrusive.” Roger Hodgson of Supertramp says “Rob, it’s such a pleasure to have found you. I love working with you.”
There is no table of contents, no alphabetized index, no numbered pages, but there is what matters CONTENT! Big bold in your face pictures. Black and white picture and colour, some candid, some staged, lots of smiling and laughing pictures as well as reflective, in the moment, in another world shots. The artists featured run the music gamut of young to ageless, metal, rock, jazz, blues and all in between from Elton John to Sheila E, Nikki Stixx to Quincy Jones. Lots of British artists included like Paul McCartney, Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Jeff Beck, Sting, Glenn Hughes as well as US artists like Dave Matthews band, Slash, Joe Walsh, Ben Harper, KebMo and more, It is rock’n’roll’s yearbook covering 15 years of Rob’s lens moments and pivotal trigger finger captured shots. There are angle perspective shots to warm the soul of any lover of musicians and musical instruments – from the base of the bass shots upward, a musician peering over the head of a Gibson as well as a drummer turned around with the drums behind them for a change. Thankful Rob gives the reader a quick perspective of each picture in a mini directory of the photos throughout the pages in various sections.
No two photos are alike, photos from empty arenas during soundcheck to views from behind the stage looking to the artists and out to the throngs of fans lost in the beauty of the musical moment. My two favourite pictures with the audience is a black and white photo of Edgar Winter wailing on the horn at the Bospop Festival in Weert, Netherlands July 2010 and another one of Eddie Van Halen in Boise, Idaho where Eddie tips off Rob the photographer with a wink and a nod of “get ready for this” look where he walks center stage to drop to his knees and salutes his brother Alex’s drum solo. As Rob describes, “It was gone in two seconds, I am thrilled to have captured this moment.”
This oversize hardback book by Rob Shanahan is a workout both visually and physically. It is big in size (3/4” thick, 10¼” x 13¼”) and spectrum with its weight and content. Definitely a coffee table book and a great desk arm exercise tool but all kidding aside it is a precision snapshot of talented musicians. Rob Shanahan has spent 15 years working with some of the biggest names and faces in the music industry. For any fan lucky enough to meet artists in person, there is always the wish for that keepsake photo. This book makes a lot of wishes come true all within its pages. Volume 1 has a beautiful cover with an enlarged amp volume knob set at one. This book is number 1 with me for its enjoyment. For more info or to order a book go to www.robshanahan.com