Rock Shots

"I photographed a lot of big bands early on, and a lot of other ones at their peak," says Chris Deutsch, whose snaps are at the center of Front Row Classic Concert Photography, an exhibition that opens tonight. "Twenty years later, quite a few of them — Metallica, Van Halen, Elton John, KISS — are still around, but they look quite a bit different."

Things have changed for Deutsch, too. These days, he's the Western region product-training manager for JVC, charged with teaching electronics dealers and their crews the ins and outs of high-def TVs, surround-sound stereos and more. During the mid-'80s, though, he was a rabid rock fan who published Front Row, a music magazine crammed with photos of national and local performers, many of which he took himself. During a four-year stretch, he captured images of Denver acts such as the Fluid and Bop Street, undergrounders like the Dead Kennedys (starring Boulder's own Jello Biafra) and rock icons aplenty: Bruce Springsteen, U2's Bono, Ozzy Osbourne, etc. "It was a really awesome thing to be doing," Deutsch notes, and he feels the two decades or so that have passed since Front Row ceased publication have made the photos even more striking. "I ended up with a really cool collection," he says — and he's eager to share it once again.

The opening reception for Front Row Classic Concert Photography takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. at Camera Obscura Gallery, 1309 Bannock Street; admission is free. For details, call 303-623-4059 or go to
Aug. 3-Sept. 16

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts