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Tom Wright Exhibit Info, brought to you by Rick Coates:

Several of you have been in contact with me about the exciting Tom Wright Exhibit...a lot of info is circulating so I have compiled and outline below...a week ago at The Official Who Site they put info up about Tom's website...we anticipate that next week they will have info up about the show...the response of musicians and others planning on coming for the show on November 13 is very exciting...last week Joe Walsh called Tom and invited Tom to go out on the road with The Eagles and photograph the band when Tom said he might be able to get to one show Joe asked Tom what could possibly keep you away...when Tom told Joe about the exhibit in Traverse City Joe said count me in I will be there and I will try to get to LA and grab my photos that you took for your here is the apologies about the information overload but a lot is happening and quickly...Rick

Tom Wright

Knew & Used Photography




International Debut of the

Tom Wright Collection

November 13, 2003

Dennos Museum

Traverse City, MI


“In Memory of Royden ‘Chuch’ Magee”


6:00pm VIP Preview & Reception

6:30pm Ticketed Viewing & Reception

7:30pm Presentation by Tom Wright ~ Panel Discussion by Scholars & Musicians

(Discussion on Tom’s work and the 1967-73 Detroit Music Scene, Grande Ballroom)

Question & Answers

9:30 pm Jam Session/Party Streeters Ground Zero Night Club



Tickets are $20.00 and include admission to the museum, panel discussion and jam session

Tickets to the jam session only will be $5.00

Streeters will have some of Tom’s work on display and will also have it on their big screens



Tom Wright captured the heart and soul of those he photographed during a career that has spanned 40 years. He began his photographic journey in the early sixties by attending the famed Ealing Art College, attending their school of photography and studying the art of black & white imagery. It was there he met and became friends with legendary Who guitarist Pete Townshend. After Ealing Wright moved to Paris, living on the left bank where he photographed café scenes and sold them as postcards while honing his photographic skills. He made his way to the infamous art colony of Ibiza, Balereas off the coast of Spain, living among and photographing some of Europe’s most avant-garde artists. He returned to the United States in the mid-sixties working for Born Free Author Joy Adamson, as an underwater photographer in Florida. 

His career took a dramatic change when his friend Pete Townshend arrived in the United States with his band The Who and invited Wright to tour and photograph the band. Wright would eventually become the bands tour manager and would continue to capture the group on film and tape through the1980’s. Sensing that Detroit was in the middle of the emerging rock scene he left The Who to become manager of the renowned Grande Ballroom, where Wright oversaw several shows from such artists as Led Zeppelin, Cream, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and the United States debut of The Who’s Tommy. During his stay in Detroit Wright would oversee the first annual Rock and Roll Revival attracting 100,000 people and the Goose Lake Festival with over 350,000 in attendance. 

After leaving Detroit, Wright would continue to photograph and tour manage several bands including The James Gang with guitarist Joe Walsh, and The Faces with Rod Stewart, now Rolling Stone Ron Wood and Ian McLagen.  

In 1990 his collection was accepted by the prestigious Center for American History on the campus of the University of Texas where a majority of his 300,000 photographs and some 3,000 hours of impromptu-recorded conversations with various musicians will be archived.  

Unlike his rock and roll contemporaries whose photography focused on commercial opportunities, Wright focused on the moment, capturing the essence of the 1960’s and 1970’s music scene by pursuing both the onstage and off stage moments of the artists as well as roadies, bus drivers and groupies. While others simply showed up to the gig with a pass and took photos Wright lived amongst those he captured on film. Until now he has allowed only minimal commercial access to his work. Tom Wright is and will remain as one of the most important contributors to the art of rock and roll photography.  

                                                                                                                        Rick Coates

                                                                                                                        September 2003


The Rock & Roll Odyssey of Tom Wright

Author:Rick Coates
Issue: 2003-08-28

The Wright Stuff -- part II

Author:Rick Coates
Issue: 2003-09-11




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