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Love of music and a high school photography class figured prominently in Jerome Brunet’s opting for a career behind the camera. Born in southern France and raised in Ontario, his passion for music began at age four, when he began studying classical cello. Later, in high school, he became smitten with the guitar. “I remember taking a class in classical guitar, and a kid walked in and opened his guitar case. Inside was a white Les Paul studio. I was absolutely gob-smacked.” Brunet continues to play guitar to this day, but it’s his work in photography that’s earned him a stellar reputation. His award-winning shots have been published in Rolling Stone, Time, American Photo, Guitar World, Vanity Fair, and countless other prestigious publications. Below we present beautiful samplings of Brunet’s work, along with his comments about each image.

 

TOM PETTY

Tom Petty by Jerome Brunet

This is from October 2014, at the SAP Center in San Jose. Petty and the Heartbreakers were touring behind his The Hypnotic Eye album, which had become his first Number One record in a 38-year career. This is definitely one of my favorite SG shots—the Gibson logo appears almost “lit up” on the bridge.

ALEX LIFESON (Rush)

Alex Lifeson by Jerome Brunet

This was taken in 2007, at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. I grew up in Canada, so naturally Rush is one of my favorite bands. Lifeson is also one of my favorite guitarists. I’ve been shooting Rush since 2001, whenever they come anywhere near the San Francisco Bay area.

PETER FRAMPTON

Peter Frampton by Jerome Brunet

Here’s Peter Frampton performing in 2013 at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California. He and B.B. King were doing a co-headlining tour. It was my first time shooting Frampton, which made it doubly exciting. He’s playing a beautiful vintage Les Paul Sunburst, with an amazing flame on the top.

NOEL GALLAGHER

Noel Gallagher by Jerome Brunet

This was taken in December 2008 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. It’s an important historical date, in that it was the final Oasis tour, before they broke up. Here Noel is playing a vintage Les Paul. I love the composition of this shot, the way your eye goes from the guitar headstock down the length of the guitar to the microphone stand to his right hand--in a sort of circle. I also like that classic expression on his face.

B.B. KING

BB King by Jerome Brunet

This was shot in 2013 in Monterey, California, at the Golden State Theater. It was a wonderful show. Someone [in the audience] had a replica “Lucille,” and they brought it up on-stage and B.B. signed it. This shows him playing the stunning “Lucille” that Gibson gave him for his 80th birthday. The two best-known shots I did of B.B. have brought me more attention than any other musician photos I’ve taken.

SLASH

Slash by Jerome Brunet

Here’s Slash performing in 2011 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, opening for Ozzy Osbourne. I was lucky to get some amazing shots. Several of them were picked up by John Varvatos, the famous men’s clothing designer—for his personal collection, and also for his retail stores around the world. This is one of the shots he used.

BRITTANY HOWARD (Alabama Shakes)

Brittany Howard by Jerome Brunet

Here’s Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard performing in 2013, at the inaugural BottleRock Napa Music Festival in Napa, California. It’s nice to be able to shoot outdoors, when the festival months come around. I was blown away by Brittany’s sheer power. She and the band are the real deal—no artifice. Here she’s playing a stunning blue SG.

GEORGE THOROGOOD

George Thorogood by Jerome Brunet

This was shot at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California, in 2011. I’ve always been a huge fan of Thorogood. Back in high school, I got into John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and other blues giants. Hooker’s last couple of albums were collaborative, and his collaboration with Thorogood got me hooked. I remember that guitar he’s playing had an amazing tone.

AL DI MEOLA

Al DiMeola by Jerome Brunet

Here’s Al Di Meola performing in October of 2015, at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. This was the “Elegant Gypsy and More” tour, which featured him going electric again. One of his most famous albums is Elegant Gypsy, from 1977, which basically consists of him shredding on a Les Paul. Here he’s playing a beautiful Les Paul Deluxe.

TONY IOMMI

Tony Iommi by Jerome Brunet

This was shot during Heaven & Hell’s 2009 tour, at the Warfield in San Francisco. Iommi was performing with Geezer Butler and Ronnie James Dio. Of course he’s playing an SG, a Custom Shop version with a locking tremolo. Photographing Iommi is like photographing Jimi Hendrix, as far as I’m concerned. He’s the epitome of a guitar god. Being able to shoot him that close was an honor.

NALLE COLT (Vintage Trouble)

Nalle Colt by Jerome Brunet

This is from a show in San Francisco, at The Independent, taken in 2015. Vintage Trouble are a great band. I first saw them when they were opening for The Who. Nalle’s number-one guitar is a Les Paul, and this one has the most insane flame on it. The last time I shot them, they were opening for AC/DC. Nalle is one of the great up-and-coming Les Paul players.

You can view more of Jerome’s work on his website , and can also follow him on Facebook , Instagram , and Twitter. For additional viewing, check out the Rock Paper Photo gallery in New York, the Analogue Gallery in Toronto, and the Black Gallery in Paris, where Jerome Brunet is represented.