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Mike Frankel's photos captured rock 'n' roll's psychedelic era

Mike Frankel photographed music acts from the 60s and 70s like Hot Tuna, Jefferson Airplane and Mothers of Invention. He says back then bands "greeted you like a friend."

Frankel memorialized artists from Jefferson Airplane to Eric Clapton and bore witness to some of the biggest moments in rock 'n' roll history at venues like The Fillmore and Woodstock.

His work is characterized by its unique style of composing and exposing multiple images to one frame of film.

"I was just trying to really show the dynamism and the motion and how I reacted to the music," said Frankel. "It was so intense that representational imagery couldn't cut it in my mind."

Frankel watched the music photography scene over the years. The bands welcomed him into the fold back then, but now he says he would not pick up a camera to take photos of any band today.

"Back then it was all friendship," Frankel said. "Today, I have heard horror stories that some of the artists claim they own the copyright to any pictures that you take."

When asked for his press credentials in the early 70s, the photographer turned away from the rock scene.

Since then, Frankel has done pioneering work in the practical and commercial application of lasers and holography. In 2013, he co-created an interactive sculpture, inspired by Mars and the Hubbell Space telescope, and installed at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.

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Connor Stewart is an intern for KCUR's Up To Date.
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