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Bruce Springsteen: See Intimate Eighties and Nineties Portraits From New Gallery Show

As photographer David Rose unveils his “Unseen Springsteen” exhibition, he looks back on documenting a transitional time in the rocker’s life

David Rose Springsteen gallery

See a selection of intimate Eighties and Nineties Bruce Springsteen portraits from photographer David Rose's new "Unseen Springsteen" show.

David Rose

Beginning in 1992, photographer David Rose was Bruce Springsteen‘s shooter of choice for a full decade. It was a time of transition, experimentation and reunion for the rock superstar – marked by his first albums and tours without the E Street Band – as he raised his young family in Los Angeles and New Jersey. Rose documented much of that era on the road, in the studio and at home with a mostly unguarded Springsteen.

A selection of photographs from this era has just opened in “Unseen Springsteen: Intimate Portraits,” Rose’s first exhibition at the Mr. Musichead Gallery in Los Angeles. The show, up through June 2nd, coincides with the release of Springsteen’s new vinyl box set, The Album Collection Vol. 2: 1987-1996, which includes more than a dozen of Rose’s photographs.

Now based in Bisbee, Arizona, Rose first met Springsteen early in his career while assisting Annie Leibovitz during her cover-photo session for 1987’s Tunnel of Love LP. Over the years, he’s worked for Vanity Fair, Vogue and Playboy, but he has special affection for his many memories of shooting with Springsteen, beginning at the famed Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

“For this project, I realized it had been 25 years since I started shooting him, so I started going through the archives and looking through contact sheets,” Rose tells Rolling Stone. “It was a great honor to be able to capture part of rock & roll history on an intimate level.”

Look at photos of Bruce Springsteen exclusive

David Rose

Unplugged

Springsteen plays acoustic and harmonica at the Hit Factory, 1995.

“That was probably ‘Secret Garden,'” says Rose. “I was never able to read the lyrics. He’s got his own form of shorthand, I think. [laughs] He’s got notebooks that he carries around all the time. It’s almost like an artist’s sketch pad. It’s interesting to watch him writing them out. I don’t see a lot of cross-offs.”

Look at photos of Bruce Springsteen exclusive

David Rose

Slow Dance

Springsteen dancing with wife Patti Scialfa at home in New Jersey.

“I’ve done a lot of personal photos for him over the years – they’re family moments,” explains Rose. “I was happy that he used this on a book called Songs. He had music on the jukebox and was dancing with Patti. It says everything about his life – having a good time and dancing with his girl.”

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