John Rowlands Give Him A Hand

Fri Feb 19, 2021

Famed photographer John Rowlands isn’t just a National treasure, he’s a global treasure and Canada is proud to call him a Native Son.  John has photographed such legendary performers as  the Beatles, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Rush, Kiss, Sam Cooke, Linda Ronstadt, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Glen Campbell, Leonard Cohen, and of course Elvis Presley and too many more too mention.

John recalls how he got started in the photography world.” I was a 13 year old living in Ottawa, Canada and I borrowed my Dad’s camera and went to see Brenda Lee perform. I took pictures of her show and when the set was over, I went backstage to try and talk to her. I knocked on the door and her mother answered. I asked her to tell Brenda how much I enjoyed her show. Her Mom said “Tell her yourself , she’s right here”. I talked to her and told her I had a whole roll of shots that I’d send to her. She liked the shots and I was paid the princely sum of $35. Doesn’t sound like much but in 1960 gold was $32 an ounce so I was paid more than the price of an ounce of gold. I used the money to buy a knock off Gretsch guitar, I think I paid $30 for it.