Michael Zagaris’ photographs have been dubbed the “last untouched rock archive”. An explosive collection of unforgettable images, Zagaris was responsible for shooting everyone in the rock music scene in San Francisco in the 1970s, including The Clash, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Blondie, The Sex Pistols, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Led Zeppelin, and many more. Michael’s images are some of the best rock & roll photographs of their kind. Because a lot of his work was taken for pleasure rather than pay, the vast majority of his archive has remained unseen until now. Total Excess is the complete anthology of his incredible rock photography. The electrifying photographs are accompanied by the most unbelievable tales of debauchery and bad behaviour, with a cast of characters spanning the cultural, political, musical and sporting worlds of the 70s. This book is a fascinating glimpse into the rock and roll scene, “warts and all”.
Michael Zagaris (born 1945) grew up in the central valley of California. In 1967 he entered law school and also started working for Robert Kennedy as a speechwriter. The trauma of witnessing Kennedy’s assassination at close quarters propelled Zagaris away from politics and law and into photography, and he began covering rock music in San Francisco. He also captured some of the most vital counterculture figures of that period, including Billy Bowers, Divine, Peter Berlin, The Cockettes and Jim Carroll, who used one of Michael’s portraits for the cover of his book Basketball Diaries. In 1973 he became a a team photographer for the San Francisco 49ers, and the Oakland A’s in 1981, both of which he continues to shoot to this day. Zagaris lives in San Francisco.
Art Direction and Design by Dagon James
272pp; 304 x 245mm