Blondie at Coney, NYC Lennon, and More Iconic ‘Rock Seen’ Photos


For forty years, celebrated photographer Bob Gruen has captured rock ‘n’ roll and its shiniest, sweatiest, rowdiest stars and most mythologized icons. He captured John Lennon, posed on a rooftop in a “New York City” tourist tee that the photographer picked up for $5 off the street, Debbie Harry roaming through Coney Island in an indelible, natural capture, a young and fierce Joan Jett, lounging in a hotel room. Gruen was there to document it all.

His hard cover book Rock Seen goes on sale next month, with an introduction by Debbie Harry, a curated selection of his favorite shots, and insider anecdotes. To celebrate its release, here are some of the shots from the book, courtesy of Bob Gruen — a munching Sid Vicious with a face streaked in mustard, “brainy” buds Alice Cooper and Salvador Dalí and John grinding up on Yoko. Enjoy your nostalgia tour!

Debbie Harry of Blondie in front of The Cyclone in Coney Island, NY. August 1977. © Bob Gruen /

John Lennon and Yoko Ono humping in front of giant guitar at The Record Plant, NYC. December 1980. © Bob Gruen /

Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols ‘I’m A Mess’ in San Antonio, TX. January 1978. © Bob Gruen /

Alice Cooper and Salvador Dalí with ‘Brain of A Popstar’ in NYC. February 25, 1973. © Bob Gruen /

(L-R) Lita Ford, Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, Jackie Fox and Sandy West of The Runaways at My Father’s Place in Roslyn, Long Island. August 1976. © Bob Gruen /

David Bowie performing during the Diamond Dogs Tour at MSG, NYC. July 19, 1974. © Bob Gruen /

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones close up on stage at MSG, NYC. July 24, 1972. © Bob Gruen /

(L-R) Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of Kiss ‘Dressed To Kill’ album cover shoot at West 23rd Street and 8th Avenue in NYC. October 26, 1974. © Bob Gruen /

(L-R) Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious, Steve Jones and Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols playing with straws at a cafe in Luxembourg. November 1977. © Bob Gruen /

(L-R) Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Joe Strummer of The Clash on the road with a baseball bat in USA. February 1979. © Bob Gruen /

Joan Jett of The Runaways on a bed at The Sunset Marquis hotel in Los Angeles, CA. December 1976. © Bob Gruen /

Tina Turner in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. September 1984. © Bob Gruen /

Chuck Berry kissing his guitar on stage at the Rock & Roll Revival concert at MSG, NYC. October 1971. © Bob Gruen /

(L-R) Dee Dee Ramone, Joey Ramone, Tommy Ramone and Johnny Ramone of the Ramones on a subway in NYC. July 18, 1975. © Bob Gruen /

(L-R) Arthur Kane, David Johansen, Jerry Nolan, Johnny Thunders and Syl Sylvain of the New York Dolls in Los Angeles, CA. September 1973. © Bob Gruen /

(L-R) Paul Simonon, Topper Headon, Joe Strummer and Mick Jones of The Clash live in Boston, MA. February 16, 1979. © Bob Gruen /

Bob Marley at a press conference at The Waldorf Astoria, NYC. June 1978. © Bob Gruen /