Photographer Ken Regan, best known for his iconic images of Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Jimi Hendrix, died of cancer on November 25th, Rolling Stone has confirmed. A spokesperson for his studio declined to give Regan’s age, calling him “ageless.”
A native of the Bronx, New York, Regan logged countless hours on the road with rock stars, shooting the Beatles on their 1965 tour, Hendrix at the Fillmore East in 1968, Springsteen on the Amnesty International tour in 1988 and Neil Young at the Ryman Auditorium in 2005. He also photographed the Concert For Bangladesh in 1971, the Last Waltz in 1976 and Live Aid in 1985. In 1975, Regan toured with the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review, shooting thousands of pictures along the way.
“Many times I’ve been onstage only to see Ken’s beady left eye drilling through me with that wry grin under his camera and know he’s got the shot he was after,” Keith Richards wrote in the preface to Regan’s 2011 book, All Access: the Rock & Roll Photography of Ken Regan. “I know a lot of photographers and they all have a personal style. When I see Ken in front of me, I know what he’s waiting for . . . the moment!“
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Regan had a knack for capturing private scenes offstage: Andy Warhol hanging out with Mick Jagger at the Factory in 1977; Bob Dylan meeting Bruce Springsteen for the first time backstage at a show in 1975; and a shirtless Dylan playing backgammon that same year. One of his Dylan shots was used on the cover of The Bootleg Series Vol. 5: Bob Dylan Live 1975; another was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone’s June 21st, 1984 issue.
Regan also spent years covering the sports world, and his Muhammed Ali photographs have been widely reproduced. In 1975, he photographed Ali and George Foreman’s famous Rumble in the Jungle match in Zaire and landed a photo on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
More recently, Regan had turned his attention to documenting film shoots. He worked with Clint Eastwood on the Bridges of Madison County, Jonathan Demme on Silence of the Lambs and Alana Pakula on The Pelican Brief.
Regan continued to work until he was sidelined by illness earlier this year.