Rock & Rock Stories: Lynn Goldsmith

U.S. photographer who captured rock icons at the top of their game

She followed the Rolling Stones on tour, chronicled the rise of Bruce Springsteen from blue-collar troubadour to stadium filler and made an icon out of Marky Mark’s abs.

She’s Lynn Goldsmith, icon of American rock photography. Goldsmith got her break in music working for Elecktra Records, working in artist management. She made a name for herself as a director, going behind the camera for ABC’s In Concert, the first rock show to be screened on network television in the US.

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But it was behind the stills camera that Goldsmith excelled: taking pictures of rock n roll icons, shooting more than 100 album covers and occasionally putting herself in the picture, as with Gene Simmons in his full Kiss regalia.

Goldsmith’s work was collected in a 1995 book, Photo Diary, a new expanded and redesigned edition of which has just been published under the title ‘Rock n Roll Stories’. Here, black and white portraits of Debbie Harry and Patti Smith at the height of their respective reigns on the Manhattan rock scene sit against the brash, full colour pop of Michael Jackson in his imperial early 1980s phase. 

Rock n Roll Stories Lynn Goldsmith is out now on Abrams