Bruce Jarvis



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Mart Friedlander

Bruce Jarvis is an internationally published photographer who's been at the forefront of photographing rock musicians in New Zealand since the 1970's.

Back in the Summer of '69 most young Kiwi blokes were getting into baggy shorts, dragging their long-boards across the sand, and hitting the waves with good vibrations on their minds. Not Bruce Jarvis. He'd been experimenting with a good ol' Box Brownie, was sliding into a suit, and laying down the ground-work for a career photographing some of the world's greatest rock legends.

Initially starting out at the Taranaki Daily News, Bruce soon headed north to the Auckland Star where he spent the best part of the 70's and 80's photographing the likes of Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and David Bowie. Just to name a few. Along with the images he shot Bruce also collected a few stories.

One of the most memorable concerts was in 1972. Jethro Tull was playing at the Auckland Town Hall where photography had been banned. In true rebellious rock 'n' roll style Bruce covertly smuggled in his camera and lens past security, crawled along the aisles, to within eight rows of Jethro Tull. Then, hiding in the shadows, he proceeded to bang off around 30 boot-leg shots with an exclusive series published in the Auckland 8'O'clock Newspaper.

From Johnny Cash in 1971 to Neil Young in 1985 Bruce was there, blazing away and capturing the glory and nirvana of rock legends playing in New Zealand. Bruce has worked tirelessly photographing these concerts, capturing the emotion on the performers faces and sacrificing his own experience of them so others could enjoy the photographic memories another day. A day like today.


Bruce's images, and many more,appear in his book LIVE: Gigs that rocked New Zealand, that has earned the plaudits of reviewers since it's release.

As Bruce said on the opening of his exhibition at the Auckland Skytower “These images have been waiting decades to be shared with people who love their music. Having them available in a book has taken them to a wide audience but the Sky Tower exhibition means people can see them on a large scale and close-up. Visitors will be able to see every detail of these iconic artists in their prime.”

The book is available at Fishpond.