In May of 1974, Bruce Springsteen performed a show that is considered to be a watershed moment in his career. Having released two albums to date with minimal sales success, he was in danger of being dropped by his record label. Photographer Barry Schneier, having seen Bruce Springsteen perform locally in Cambridge, Massachusetts, suggested to concert promoters, Windowpane Productions, they consider booking him for a show. This chance encounter would lead to Bruce and the E Street Band opening for Bonnie Raitt at the Harvard Square Theatre on May 9th, a show previously planned with no opening act.
In the audience that night was Jon Landau, a music critic for Rolling Stone magazine. Landau, a bit jaded by what he was hearing lately, covered the show for Boston’s The Real Paper. What he witnessed that night, and would write about afterwards would alter the trajectory of Bruce’s career forever, as well as his own (Landau would soon become Springsteen's co-producer and manager, which he remains to this day). One line in Landau's review — perhaps the most famous concert review of all time — would reignite support for the artist as it was emblazoned in ads and repeated in the press: “I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen." As Eileen Chapman, Director for the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University says, “It was the night that Bruce was no longer the new Bob Dylan, but became Bruce Springsteen.”
Barry Schneier was also in attendance at Harvard Square Theatre on May 9, 1974 — with his camera. His photographs, which remained entirely unseen for decades, are the only visual record of that night. His images and personal perspective on that night comes from a point of view that no one else can lay claim to.
PRESERVING ROCK AND ROLL HISTORY
After numerous requests to tell the stories behind the photos, Barry has teamed up with Chris Phillips, editor and owner of Backstreets Publishing, to produce a hardcover book that will serve to be the defining record of that evening. This 90-page, richly designed, narrative and photographic journey through the night, will feature Barry's personal recollections of the evening along with both color and black and white images, of both soundcheck and performance. In addition to Springsteen himself, Barry captured each of the E Street Band members, which in the Spring of 1974 included Clarence Clemons on saxophone, Garry Tallent on bass, Danny Federici and David Sancious on keys, and Ernest "Boom" Carter on drums. Though Barry’s work has since been internationally recognized and exhibited, many images planned for the book have never been seen before. This book will be a treasure not just for dedicated Springsteen fans around the globe, but for any musicologist and lover of rock 'n' roll.
We wanted to create a book that was more than a collection of photos. The design interweaves the narrative and images to lead the reader through the experience and significance of one of rock 'n' roll's most historic evenings.
We have commissioned three 8" x 10" Black & White prints in open editions specifically for this Kickstarter project, as part of the Rewards offering for our backers. Barry's photos from the Harvard Square Theatre show have never been available to the public in the 8x10 format. If you ever wanted to own a copy of "For You," "Sound Check Take One," or "Rock and Roll Future"... NOW YOU CAN!
For those fans who have asked to own a print of these images but were looking for something more affordable than gallery offerings, these 8x10 RC Silver Prints will be exclusive to this campaign. Depending on the reward tier you select, you can have your choice of "For You," "Sound Check,Take One" "Rock and Roll Future," any two, or all three. These 8x10 prints will be offered only through this Kickstarter campaign, no longer available after the project ends.
For $15 you'll receive a thank you postcard featuring one of the photos from the show.
For $40 you'll receive a copy of the book, if you're an "early bird," which when released will sell for $49.95.
For $150 you'll receive a copy of the book and your choice of one (1) signed 8x10 RC Silver print.
For $250 you'll receive a copy of the book and your choice of two (2) signed 8x10 RC Silver prints.
For $350 you'll receive a copy of the book and ALL THREE (3) signed 8x10 RC Silver prints :"For You," "Sound Check, Take One" and "Rock and Roll Future."
And for the first time, a new limited edition of 25 museum quality, gelatin silver fiber 16" x 20" prints of "Sound Check, Take Two" will be available. This print will be available as a reward for backers at the $500 level.
ANNOUNCING… STRETCH GOALS
Now well past our funding goal, having reached 150% at the halfway point of the campaign, we've been talking a lot about how to make Rock and Roll Future even better, to give our supporters more bang for their buck. To add some bells and whistles, to improve the overall quality, to say thanks again to all our current backers while encouraging new ones… today we're announcing Stretch Goals. With just under two weeks to go, we're excited to have come up with some wonderful additions that will enhance the beauty of the finished product as support continues to roll in. We hope you'll help spread the word, as our book will get even cooler at each level.
STRETCH GOAL ONE [$50,000]: YOUR NAME IN THE BOOK - REACHED!
No need to keep reaching for this one, you've already stretched! We're so grateful to all our backers for making this project possible, and we're now able to give credit where credit is due by listing all of our supporters' names in the book. We'll be able to add pages for special Thank You section, giving each of you a shout-out by name.
STRETCH GOAL TWO [$60,000]: CUSTOM SLIPCASE - REACHED!
Our intention all along was to make Rock and Roll Future a beautiful art book — not just "hey, that's alright," but a true beauty. One that you'll proudly display. Adding a custom slipcase will not only protect your book but will enhance its presentation and make it a real work of art.
STRETCH GOAL THREE [$66,000]: “FOR YOU” TRIPTYCH GATEFOLD - REACHED!!!
Earlier this year, Barry released a special limited-edition triptych of "For You," featuring three photos from the piano series. At this funding level, we'll be able to add a gatefold to Rock and Roll Future, incorporating a special fold-out reproduction of this triple-image series for everyone, bound inside the book.
STRETCH GOAL FOUR [$92,000]: AN ADDITIONAL, EXCLUSIVE 8X10 PRINT WITH EVERY BOOK
Every Kickstarter creator team dreams of hitting their goal and possibly even doubling it. Thanks to our backers' support, we're there... with a week still to go! So here's something else to shoot for. If we reach this level, every book — for Kickstarter backers only — will come with a very special 8x10 print. Yep, everyone whose pledge level includes a book will also receive an exclusive, never-offered-before print signed by the photographer, in addition to whatever other print(s) you may be selecting as part of your pledge rewards.
For this final stretch goal we've selected a new take on one of Barry's piano shots — the same image that was featured in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum’s exhibit "From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen" — in a vertical composition that's never been offered before. We love the idea of sending this book out to our supporters with at least one print for everyone. Help spread the word if you can, and there's a chance we can make it good!
THE BOOK, THE PROCESS, THE RESULTS
The book is currently planned as a 12" x 9" case-bound hardcover, on 105lb matte text stock.
Barry has teamed up with Digital Silver Imaging of Belmont, Massachusetts to digitally scan, create and preserve the imagery the book will be built from. Digital Silver Imaging is regarded in as a world leader in digital and fiber based photographic print production. Their clients include the Smithsonian Institute, The Leica Galleries, and Morrison Hotel Gallery. Eric Luden and his team at DSI have worked with Barry over the years and are the exclusive print house for Barry's gallery clients. Each original negative and slide are scanned using the Hasselblad X5 scanner, the industry's leading tool, to ensure the images are of the highest quality possible... on Earth. Seriously, they are that good!
Meet Eric Luden!
WHO WE ARE
Barry Schneier is an internationally recognized photographer who has been immersed in the rock and roll music scene since the mid 1970s. He has been exhibited in multiple shows with work in the permanent collections of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Grammy Museum and The Smithsonian Institute. Though he has covered numerous acts, he is best known for his work with Bruce Springsteen — particularly his photos of Bruce and the E Street Band on the evening of May 9, 1974 at the Harvard Square Theatre in Cambridge, MA. That night became a night of legends, and Barry’s work is the only visual record of that evening.
Chris Phillips, editor and publisher of Backstreets Magazine and owner of The Backstreets Publishing Empire, Inc., has been at the helm of this magazine covering all things Bruce Springsteen since 1993, working closely with writers and photographers for 25 years. Backstreets.com, with an international readership of thousands of passionate readers and fans, is widely acknowledged as the go-to source for updates and news about Bruce Springsteen. He is often the lead source on bringing news and updates on Springsteen’s music to the community his publication reaches. Chris is also the editor, with Louis P. Masur, of Talk About a Dream: The Essential Interviews of Bruce Springsteen (Bloomsbury Press) and has interviewed Springsteen himself numerous times, as well as every member of the E Street Band. Chris’s passion for music and journalism permeates through all he does.
As this project is born out of the love for the artist, the respect for the passion of the music, and the significance of the night, it made sense to us that it should be created for the fans by the fans. It is because of this approach, and desire to bring the community into the creation of the work, that the approach Kickstarter affords is a natural fit.
Risks and challenges
We currently are anticipating no significant risks in completing the project. The book concept has been approved by Bruce Springsteen's management, all production costs have been accurately priced and estimated by the parties responsible for fulfillment and the printer has been sourced and reviewed. Should the press proofs of the production of the book serve to be unsatisfactory or not up to our standards, we would source another printer. However, sample books and materials we have received to date meet and exceed our expectations.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)