Burlington City Arts

Rick Norcross : The Faces of Rock & Roll - 1969 to 1974

June 26, 2015 - September 19, 2015


Between October of 1969 and September of 1974, Rick Norcross was the music writer for The Tampa Times, a 70,000 circulation afternoon daily newspaper in the 13th largest market in America. Tampa was a major venue for touring music stars of the day and Norcross had free rein to cover any non-classical performance in small clubs, concert halls, stadiums and rock festivals in central Florida and southern Georgia.


Norcross was hired to write reviews, interviews and feature stories about the music scene and quickly became frustrated with the photos he got through the newspaper’s photo department to accompany his stories. When he put in a photo assignment for a concert, the paper sent a photographer who would shoot for 15 minutes and then move on to other assignments. So Norcross purchased his own camera equipment and film and the Tampa Times ran the photos with his stories and reviews on an unpaid basis. Per his agreement with Times’ management, Norcross retained sole ownership and all rights to the photographs.

Over his five years with the newspaper, Norcross interviewed and photographed many of the most famous artists of the century - Elvis, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Elton John, The Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones and hundreds of others. With front row, stage and backstage access to these artists, access unheard-of in today’s atmosphere of super-strict celebrity security, these images were rare indeed.

44 years later, these Norcross photographs emerged to document the spirit and the unbridled energy of rock and roll stars caught at the peak of their careers, many of whom have long since passed away and many who are still rocking, buoyed by the quality of these seminal performances.

These photographs were printed from the original negatives by PhotoGarden of South Burlington.