L'Oeil de la Photographie
Barbara Pyle’s intimate behind-the-scenes photographs from 1975 during the recording, rehearsing and touring of Born to Run have been eagerly awaited for forty years and are finally being published this month for the first time by Reel Art Press. This photographic essay captures a special and unique moment in time, with Bruce and the Band on the cusp of fame. Barbara Pyle is the only photographers to have ever been allowed in the studio during rehearsals.
“I first saw Bruce and the E Street Band by accident ... I was blown away by their music. For the next year, I drove to as many of their gigs as I could reach. They jokingly started calling me their ‘official unofficial photographer.’ I was just expected to be there, and I almost always was – on my self-imposed mission to document this little known New Jersey band. ... I had the remarkable good fortune to spend most of the last Born to Run months in the studio with Bruce and the Band. I became sort of a living ‘good luck’ charm and was asked to be there many nights. I knew I was witnessing history in the making.” The photographs document “the road house, garage band look of Bruce and the E Street Band out on the streets of New Orleans, Barbara’s hometown of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, and in the small venues they played before the era of arena rock.” One of the most fascinating sections of the book shows each band member’s first ever passport photos and outtakes, shot by Barbara before they went on tour. Barbara has a photojournalist’s eye and each image is perfectly caught. Fellow Springsteen photographer Eric Meola writes in the book’s foreword, “Pyle’s photographs of Bruce and the E Street band … are a dazzling document of the moment in time when the poet of a generation stood at the edge of glory and grasped it.” He continues, “these photographs … are a memory bank, a set piece, a wonderful collection of moments that went by all too fast.”
Barbara Pyle is an executive producer, filmmaker, photographer, media innovator and environmental activist. She is a United Nations Sasakawa laureate, awarded for her lifelong dedication to environmental concerns. She created and led the environmental ethos of Turner Broadcasting for 20 years and created the globally known Captain Planet cartoon series. Pyle has produced 65 documentary films and is the recipient of hundreds of industry and personal awards. She is also an acclaimed photographer.