Bitner's bits

By GREG COOK  |  September 19, 2012


Since 2007, Rhona Bitner has traveled across the country photographing the hallowed halls of rock and roll — from drums and mics set up in the Electric Lady Studios that Jimi Hendrix built in New York to LA's Whisky A Go Go, where the Doors were once the house band.

The New York– and Paris-based photographer's "Images from the Series 'Listen' " features seven of the more than 200 venues she's documented. She photographs the joints empty, deadpan style. The stage at Randy's Rodeo in San Antonio is just one more dull shithole, but here's where the Sex Pistols played their infamous 1978 concert. Sid Vicious called the disagreeable crowd of Texans "faggots" and then bashed those who objected with his bass guitar.

In other words, the photos are okay, but the backstories are platinum. One photo stands out: Detroit's Grande Ballroom (below). You may or may not know that this was where the MC5 and Stooges defined Motor City rock. Once an ornate dancehall, the site has a fallen-in ceiling and a floor in shambles. Detroit is sick of the rest of us focusing on the bad news, but how can you not be astonished by such magnificent ruins?


Related: Shots seen 'round the world, Frank Gohlke's New Topographics, Crazy lids, More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Photography, music history, venues,  More more >
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