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Byron Shire
March 7, 2021

A Stairway to Heaven from Byron

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In conjunction with the appearance of Robert Plant at this year’s Bluesfest, Retrospect Galleries is presenting the largest collection of Led Zeppelin photos ever seen in Byron Bay.

Sorting through some old boxes one day, local photographer Ted Harvey found a cache of photos he had almost forgotten: more than 100 intimate shots of Led Zeppelin he had taken during their 1972 Australian tour.

In the 1970s Ted worked as a freelance rock photographer shooting all the big bands as they passed through Sydney. His large format camera put him right in the front row at concerts by international rock acts as they toured Australia, transforming music culture, nationally and internationally. He zoomed in and captured the very essence of the times, photographing iconic musicians such as Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Cat Stevens, Elton John and Led Zeppelin.

Through a string of events, Ted’s photos from the only Led Zeppelin concert in Sydney in the summer of 72 were never published. This was in spite of the fact that Robert Plant told Ted at the time that his photos were the best live shots anyone had taken of the band anywhere in the world.

Despite selling millions of albums Led Zeppelin were notoriously camera shy and almost inaccessible to the media and few photographs of their performances exist and those that do tend to be continually recycled.

More than three decades on, Ted Harvey’s images were first showcased in an exhibition called One Night Stand at the Lismore Regional Art Gallery. Now, with Robert Plant headlining at the Byron Bluesfest, Ted is delighted to exhibit them once more and offer them for sale at Retrospect Galleries in Byron Bay, with proceeds going towards Rockphoto Aid – a charity set up by Ted to help raise money and awareness for children living in poverty in Brazil.

‘I thought others might like to relive the memories of an era that will never be repeated,’ he said.

As well as the Led Zeppelin photos, the exhibition will include photos of Roger Waters from Pink Floyd, Liza Minnelli and Cat Stevens.

North coast resident Ted Harvey began his career as a professional photographer in the mid 60s. His first job was assistant photographer at a leading photographic firm in Sydney – Studio Commercial. In the early 70s he went freelance, working for various rock magazines in Australia and overseas. His photographs have appeared on record covers and sheet music. Ted considers the early 70s to be the most interesting time in his photographic career with a swathe of iconic rock bands touring in Australia.

Where: Retrospect Galleries, 52 Jonson Street, Byron Bay. 6680 8825. 

When: From Wednesday March 27 to April 4, 2013.


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