Suspicious Minds

WHO SHOT ROCK & ROLL – A photographic history, 1955 – present

Yesterday’s visit to the Who Shot Rock & Roll exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery has irrevocably unleashed the swingin’ rock n roll goddess within me. The premise of the exhibition rests on the importance of photography in capturing the rock n roll movement. After all, an image is concrete evidence of the events that shaped the rock n roll movement, and is thus crucial in determining how we remember and reflect on this era – the image lives on, long after the music ends.

“Rock’n’roll isn’t just a sound. It’s a look…A great Rock’n’roll photograph freezes that for all time.”

Daily News, New York

When a song is complete and the sound is turned down, the musicians are intent on having rock n roll continue –  they breathe it through their every actions – through their attitude, through their clothes, through their thoughts, and through their fans – this exhibition solidifies the crux of rock n roll in a  lasting pictorial form. The photos reveal timid musicians before reaching stardom, the vulnerability of those musicians upon reaching stardom, and the fans who play an undeniable role in dictating the stars’ rise to fame and fortune.

My favourite photo was of Kurt Cobain, taken after he smashed his guitar on stage, walked off and started crying. It reveals the great interface between a confronting yet apprehensive musician – no matter how famous they become, at the end of the day they are not a star, but a human being, as susceptible to life’s dealings as you and I.


“We’re caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much baby

Why can’t you see
What you’re doing to me
When you don’t believe a word I say?

We can’t go on together
With suspicious minds
And we can’t build our dreams
On suspicious minds

So, if an old friend I know
Drops by to say hello
Would I still see suspicion in your eyes?

Here we go again
Asking where I’ve been
You can see these tears are real
I’m crying

We can’t go on together
With suspicious minds
And we can’t build our dreams
On suspicious minds

Oh let our love survive
Or dry the tears from your eyes
Lets don’t let a good thing die

When honey, you know
I’ve never lied to you
Mmm yeah, yeah.”

Suspicious Minds, Elvis Presley

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