Jean-Pierre Leloir : « Rock by Leloir »

The ExhibitionJean-Pierre Leloir"The Eye of the Rock"

Jean-Pierre Leloir…
A name that makes music lovers dream. And for good reason! In 1966, Jean-Pierre, master of black and white, specialist of music photography (Piaf, Trenet, Brel and Brassens) joined the young magazine Rock&Folk. At Philippe Koechlin's request, he became part of the small battalion of young journalists, photographers and other good-for-nothing people who gravitated towards rock.

The time is prodigious. Without hesitation, Jean-Pierre, the jazz fanatic, moves on to rock and soul. He shoots exceptional pictures of Aretha Franklin or James Brown. Otis Redding is his favorite and becomes his friend. Soon, his colleagues will give him a nickname: Jean-Pierre is simply the Eye. And as he says it himself: he never misses a photo.

One day in the 70's, we all meet in the lounges of the George V for a morning press conference of Jethro Tull. Ian Anderson, the singer and flutist of the group launches into a great explanation of his new album and decrees: "at the beginning of the recording I had ideas of songs, but it was rather foggy, (pointing to Jean-Pierre who attends the conference standing up, cameras slung over his shoulder) a little like you, Mr. Photographer, when you make a blurred photo .... "
-Know young man that I NEVER take a blurry picture!
Jean-Pierre is launched. In flight. Unleashed. His exchange with the unfortunate singer is hilarious, worthy of Pierre Dac, chiseled in perfect English.

With us young rockers, Jean-Pierre will live countless adventures, approaching Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Frank Zappa, Queen. Without forgetting the heroes of soul music, from the Supremes to Stevie Wonder. Fascinated by the incredible Jimi Hendrix, Jean-Pierre take with the left-handed guitarist legendary shots, stage or backstage.

When I became editor-in-chief of Rock&Folk in 1995, I immediately suggested to Jean-Pierre that he get back to business by going to photograph Prince... A terrible moment. Pulling on his whistle, the Eye confesses a terrible secret: he is now almost blind.

So there will be no more new Leloir photos... But until the end, helped by the faithful Marion, his daughter, we worked together, in total harmony, drawing from his fabulous archives the material for many Special Issues.

All these fabulous documents, witnesses of a bygone era, continue to exist, to live, to pulsate with incandescent electricity.

Thank you Jean-Pierre, you and I knew it, but it is now a certainty: your work beautifully supports the famous test of time... (I wish I could say the same about my old articles...).

Philippe Manœuvre, September 2021

Jean-Pierre Leloir (1931-2010)

A jazz fan since the age of 17, Jean-Pierre Leloir started his photography adventure in 1950.
From the 60's onwards, as an enthusiastic witness to the advent of
of Rock, he became a familiar figure in concert halls and festivals.
He very earlytakes pictures of great artists like Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Otis Redding. He was there for the first French concert of Jimi Hendrix, with as first part Johnny Hallyday, and followed him until his last appearance on the Isle of Wight.

Since his first covers for Jazz Hot, Jean Vilar’s TNP, the creation of
Rock & Folk with Philippe Koechlin, countless record covers and bookstestify to his unfailing curiosity and his artist's eye.

The Photographs

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56, Bld de La Tour-Maubourg
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