On Feb. 9, the Arkansas Tech Museum began hosting “Photographs of Music Legends” with photos of rock, blues and country legends throughout the 1970’s. These photos, taken by Watt Casey, depict music legends that were extremely popular and on the rise during this time.
Casey’s earliest works in the exhibit appear around 1975. Casey was most active during this time, photographing the hits of this time frame, including The Rolling Stones, Steve Miller Band and Bruce Springsteen. However, Casey’s photos are not limited to the genre of rock and roll. Over the years, Casey has covered blues, folk and country music as well. His works have been included in Bruce Springsteen’s box set “The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story” and as a part of cover stories for several magazines. Once he got recognized with Springsteen, Casey got the chance to receive photo passes.
Casey’s concert work in the exhibit portrayed iconic photos. In one of these, the Steve Miller Band’s drummer is in the middle of playing, and he looks right at the camera with an intriguing look that seems almost angry. In another, The Rolling Stones are all grouped together and singing, and depicts a powerful moment with connectivity for the each of them. The photographs in the exhibit each tell a musical story.
Although, it is good to note that not all of the photos are of music legends candidly playing an instrument or singing. There are also photos of a set list, as well as photos of these legends in an everyday light. B.B. King is portrayed posing for an everyday photo. These types of photos could suggest that Casey got to develop a relationship and connection with some of the artists he photographed.
He took most of these using a film camera. Casey is now shooting in digital, which he switched to in the early 2000’s. Within the exhibit are also posters and a set up of a drum set, as well as many vinyl records and a record player. Music of the 70’s and 80’s plays throughout the exhibit.
The “Photographs of Music Legends” exhibit can be found at the Arkansas Tech museum, located on 1502 N El Paso Ave. The hours are Monday through Friday from 8 to 5 p.m.
For more information, students and faculty can call 479-964-0826. For more of Casey’s works, his website can be found at http://www. wattcasey.com.