So two weeks ago, on our first day in San Francisco, a certain Shady Dame and I were walking down Geary Street; I believe the plan was to go see the old Fillmore West, which is still a concert venue. (It was way disappointing, BTW, but that's a subject for another post).
At any rate, in the course of our moseying, we passed a small art gallery called the San Francisco Art Exchange, and suddenly we were both flummoxed to see a set of six photos from the Abbey Road album cover shoot -- five outtakes and the familiar iconic LP -- hanging on the wall.
Intrigued, we went in, and suddenly realized the gallery was also hosting this amazing exhibition.
And yes, the Abbey Road collection is the last commercially available complete set of the original photos, and can be obtained for your personal collection, if you have a lot of disposable coin, for 800 thousand clams (cheap, as they used to say at MAD).
In any case, we wound up talking to the gallery rep, a wonderfully enthusiastic and kind young man named Matthew Ely, who was gracious enough to take BG and I on a tour of the gallery's full cache of rock and movie memorabilia. Among the unbelievable stuff available for purchase there was one of Jim Marshall's last remaining prints of the cover for the first Moby Grape album (a mere 10,00 bucks, if you want to buy me a birthday present), an actual edition of Gered Mankowitz's famous shot of Jimi Hendrix in his trademark military coat, and signed-by-the-photographers prints of famous Stones and Beatles images up the wazoo.
But this is the one that totally killed me -- the Blonde on Blonde cover photo, signed by shutterbug Jerry Schatzberg. I was dumbstruck.
To browse the gallery's collection -- and BTW, the SFAE is also the largest dealer of original artwork by the great Alberto Vargas (yes, him) -- click on their website HERE.
And if you're ever in San Francisco, stop by 458 Geary Street and tell 'em PowerPop sent you.