Chester Simpson “Outtakes”
“Outtakes: Tales of a Rock & Roll Photographer” will be on view Friday, October 15th and Saturday, October 16th.
Chester Simpson grew up painting, drawing, and taking pictures in a town set in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. In the summer of 1975 he hitchhiked across the US to accept a scholarship at the San Francisco Institute of Art and study photography. In San Francisco, he met two of the major influences on his life, legendary master photographer Ansel Adams, and Jim Marshall, the famous rock-n-roll photographer. While attending school, he assisted photographers to learn the business side of photography and started hanging out and taking photographs in punk rock clubs at night.
Rolling Stone magazine published his first picture in 1977, which kicked off his career as a rock-n-roll photographer shooting for MTV, Warner Bros, MCA, A&M, Capitol, CBS, and Chrysalis Records. He also shot for magazines like Rolling Stone, BAM, NME, Melody Maker, People, Time, Newsweek, Cream, Berkeley Barb, Circus, California, Mother Jones, New West, New York Rocker, Texas Monthly and San Francisco.
After ten years he moved to Washington, DC and became a contract photographer at the Pentagon. While working with the military he was introduced to the USO and became a tour photographer, traveling on 35 USO Tours all over the world with musicians and celebrities who entertained the troops.