Bob Gruen this week on the Staring at the World Podcast (Q&A with BoDeans’ Kurt Neumann and podcast producer T Torrence Productions)
This week on Staring at the World podcast we sat down, virtually with Bob Gruen, one of the most influential rock n roll photographers of all time. He was the personal photographer to John Lennon and Yoko Ono and has photographed so many rock icons.
We are happy to be going behind the scenes another week with Americana Highways, to discuss the podcast interview, from Kurt’s point of view!
Q&A with BoDeans’ Kurt Neumann and podcast Producer, T Torrence Productions.
T Torrence Productions: Kurt, share with us a highlight from your interview with Bob Gruen or why you connected with him as an artist.
Kurt Neumann: Bob’s book is titled “right place, right time.” I feel this is one of Bob’s greatest gifts: he had an uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time to capture truly historical pictures. So not just a great eye…but really good luck. Which I believe had a lot to with him trusting his intuition. And the ability to say “yes” to opportunity.
I grew up loving photography. I would take my Dad’s Kodak out and shoot a roll of film in a few minutes. I felt I had a real natural understanding of the art of capturing and beautiful moment. So much so that my high school photography teacher accused my of using someone else’s pictures because I “couldn’t possibly have shot pictures that good.”
Bob understood how to capture those kinds of moments while in the audience watching some of the greatest rock and roll bands ever. And I think you really need to understand rock and roll to do that. And You need to understand the energy…the message…and the messenger.
T Torrence Productions: What was something Bob shared with you that you were surprised by, regarding his iconic career?
Kurt Neumann: Bob spent a fair amount of time out on the road with Ike and Tina Turner. Which must have been amazing. But growing up I had always heard stories about Ike Turner and his temper. Stories about fights with Tina and others. And I had seen the documentary.
But when I asked Bob about it he said in all his time with Ike he never saw any of that. That surprised me. Bob said Ike was one of the nicest, kindest person he knew. And one of the smartest most innovative people as well. Which I believe was true. I was surprised he never saw any of the other.
T Torrence Productions: Anything else you want to share with Americana Highway’s readers about Staring at the World podcast?
Kurt Neumann: Well it’s a two part podcast with Bob Gruen. He has so many incredible stories about his time in NYC and on the road. Capturing all these iconic rock and roll moments. I felt like I could have talked to him for many more hours.
It was a great talk with a man that lived his life for his art. Following his gut. Doing what felt right in any given moment. We should all learn to live more like that.
(Staring at the World with BoDeans Kurt Neumann is available on all major platforms, including Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, with an audio/visual podcast on YouTube)