Ken Regan was the official photographer for the Rolling Stones on several tours in the 1970s and Senator Kennedy’s unofficial personal photographer in the last four decades of his life.
If you grew up listening to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, or Bob Dylan like I did, you probably went and sought out their biographies… Like I did. Many of the photographs that you see in those books were taken by this man; Ken Regan.
As both a photographer and a musician myself, I love bringing my camera to shows. But I’m not there to mainly shoot the performance. I get there early, looking for the shots of musicians loading in, checking out the venue, setting up, and I go introduce myself to them. And of course I shoot the show, but I love capturing the essence of life when bands are not on stage, doing the same routine night after night. I know what it’s like, cuz I’ve been there. When I’m on tour, and we pull up to the next venue, I have a feeling of tranquility. I check out the place and soak it all in: the smell, the imagery of the landscape, the new city. There’s also a sense of anticipation that starts to build up. These are fantastic emotions to capture, and Ken was a champion at that.
In a 2010 interview with “Culture Brats,” an online fan magazine, Mr. Regan was asked what makes a picture special. Aside from esthetic choices involved in composition and lighting, he said, “If you’re able to capture an image that nobody else has, then that’s what makes the image important; that’s what people are interested in. You see hundreds of photographs of rock artists on stage, but do you see them on their plane? Do you see them at home? Do you see them backstage? And those are the things that I always wanted to do.”