In 1977, Ed Rosenbaum, a 17-year-old born and raised in Brooklyn, decided to bring along a Pentax manual camera he’d been given by his brother-in-law to rock-and-roll concerts he attended with friends at New York City venues like the Palladium, CBGB, and Madison Square Garden. “It was a way to remember the shows you went to,” he recalls. Over the course of the next several years, Rosenbaum captured many of the rock-and-roll icons of the period, including Davie Bowie, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, Queen, and the Pretenders. The fact that Rosenbaum took all of these riveting photos from the floor—in many cases, from seats far away from the stage—is a testament to both his eye and his enthusiasm for the acts he documented.
In the early 80s, after a brief stint as a road manager for a friend’s band, Rosenbaum left music and photography behind, eventually finding a job as a doorman in an apartment building in downtown New York, where he has worked for the past several decades. Not long ago, he came across a box of negatives of these photographs and happened to show them to one of the building’s residents, a student at New York University who told Esopus editor Tod Lippy about them when he lectured recently to her class. This exhibition features a selection of photographs that appear in Golden Years, a 56-page, clothbound book forthcoming from Esopus.
Golden Years was curated by Tod Lippy.
Ed Rosenbaum was born and raised in Brooklyn and currently works as a doorman in a residential apartment building in Greenwich Village.