Carl Dunn was the preeminent rock photographer in Texas in the early and mid 1970s, and his ability to gain intimate access to the stars of the day helped Carl capture a visual side of his subjects not often seen elsewhere.
Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Neil Young, George Harrison and Bad Company are but some of the artists Carl has shot in concert, backstage, studio and candid situations.
As a kid, Carl took his first steps towards his photography future when he was busted for taking pictures at a show without a pass.
"I sneaked my mother's Polaroid camera out one time, when I saw the Rolling Stones in Dallas in 1965," he remembers. "I took 2 or 3 pictures, and the police grabbed me and escorted me out of the building. That was my first foray into photography. It was just a way to document something I really enjoyed, and that was music". Carl soon got himself some better camera equipment, he learned how to get photo passes from the record companies, and his career was well underway.
"I had the good fortune of becoming acquainted with a Texas concert promoter who turned out to be one of the big promoters in the country, Concerts West," recalls Carl.
"They were very good to me, and that's when I quit paying for tickets and started getting backstage passes. Through that I was able to link up with other promoters, and that allowed me access that was otherwise impossible to gain".
Carl's work could be seen in all of the Texas newspapers of the day, as well as many National and International magazines, like London's NME and Sounds. He was also commissioned to create album sleeves for such groups as ELP and Humble Pie.
"I shot pictures of basically everybody from Sammy Davis, Jr., to Elvis Presley, everybody who came through town for any reason. After I reached a certain point, I was familiar to all the record people in town, so if there was any kind of party going on any where, then I was always invited to come and shoot snapshots of people hobnobbing with these characters".
"I didn't have to do it to make money, I did it because I loved it," says Carl. "And in the course of doing that I amassed a catalog of probably 40 or 50 thousand black and white negatives and transparencies.