Over the last four decades Neal Preston has toured with the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen and countless others, documenting life on-stage, backstage and everywhere in between. Rolling Stone put his images on its covers, rock royalty pay big bucks for his original prints, Cameron Crowe calls on him for authenticity on movie sets—the guy’s a legend. Check out his special (and very rare) public exhibition on view at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
The best thing about Las Vegas is... The girl-watching. Las Vegas is the epicenter of the girlwatching universe, better than Dallas and Atlanta put together—and trust me, that’s saying something.
One of my favorite memories of shooting Jimmy Page is... Watching how he used to communicate—wordlessly—with John Bonham during a show. It was fascinating to see.
The secret to capturing a rock star on film is... Knowing their music, then finding the romantic light to bathe them in.
Life is an adventure because... Just when you think you have it all figured out, along comes the one person on Earth who can prove you wrong. Rock stars today are... For the most part, disposable.
If I weren’t a world-renowned photographer, I’d be... Probably a network news producer.
When I get a chance to escape for a few days, I head to... Someplace quiet where I can hear myself think.
My images are iconic because I like to think that I capture... I guess I’d put it this way: If I’ve done my job well, then the viewer can almost hear the music while looking at one of my photos.
My guilty pleasure is... Al Jolson. I could listen to him 24 hours a day. The greatest singer of the 20th (and any other) century, yet hardly anyone under the age of 50 even knows who he was. And I also have to cop to Titanic… I don’t know why, but anytime I turn on the TV and it’s on, I’m riveted and I will not move until it’s over.
My all-time favorite subject is... Pete Townshend—especially when he’s really, really angry. Rock doesn’t get any better than a pissed off Pete Townshend going for the jugular.
FROM TOP: A shot of Michael Jackson taken by Neal Preston in 1972; a photograph of Robert Plant taken by Preston, circa 1977