The man that never aged...

August 16, 2014

Regan.blog

When you think of some of the most iconic rock & roll photos, or any major event from the 1960s and 1970s for that matter, it was most likely captured through the lens of Ken Regan. His work made the covers of over 200 magazines and was the trusted photographer of the Doors, the Eagles, Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Kennedy family and many more.

As a teen Ken would sneak his camera into the Fillmore East, a music venue in New York's lower east side, where rock & roll acts would come and play. The Fillmore had a strict no-photography policy, and the promoter who ran the Fillmore East, Bill Graham, would catch Regan and throw him out.

“I would sneak in my camera under my coat, Bill [Graham] would catch me and throw me out, it must have happened over a dozen times. But I had all of these photos and I would show them to magazines. That’s how I got my first official gig, after one of the editors sort of took me under his wing.”

Ken was sent out on his first official gig by the New York Times to cover a concert on Thanksgiving at the Fillmore East. Bill Graham immediately tried to kick Ken out of the theater but this time he had credentials. That night Ken would take photos of Johnny Winter and Jefferson Airplane, but it wasn’t the photos that he took that changed the trajectory of his career (even though those photos were published a few weeks later in the New York Times). It was what he did with those photos.

“I sent Bill Graham a few photos along with a copy of the article that accompanied them and thanked him. I remember telling him how appreciative I was and what it meant to me and to my career.”

Weeks later Graham called Ken and told him no one had ever sent photos taken at his establishment or thanked him before. He said that the Fillmore East would always be open to him and the two became close friends. Bill later opened the doors to some of the biggest names in the industry for Ken.

Ken went on to become Bob Dylan's most trusted photographer and close friend and captured some of the biggest events for decades, from the Vietnam War to the Olympic Games. He gained the trust of the Kennedy's, members of the mafia, had access to back stages, war zones, and some of the most remote places of the earth. Ken Regan passed away in 2012 from cancer and never revealed his real age.

From humble beginnings of sharing a warehouse with a metal manufacturing company, to having sponsored players wearing TravisMathew at some of the biggest tournaments of the year, we understand how important it is to remember the beginning, and the importance of saying thank you.

To all of you who love and support us we would like to say thank you. We are sorry for being awesome.

Ken Regan's book: ALL ACCESS: The Rock 'n' Roll Photography of Ken Regan is available at our retail store in Newport Beach, California.

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