Supporting Our Own Kind

Nick Valenti. Photo by Jeanne Rice

Rock & roll stars: they're what every teenager with a $200 used guitar and a vivid imagination dreams of becoming when they grow up. That is, until six months later, when that $200 used guitar breaks. And then reality sets in: it's super-mega-insanely expensive to be in a band. For most kids—and by "kids," I mean "parents"—this means one thing: out with the guitar, in with life's other, super-mega-insanely expensive option, schooling. And so each May sees droves of fresh-faced wannabe rock journalists (a.k.a. "English majors") and rock photographers (a.k.a. "English majors with a camera" . . . kidding!!!) land back on their parents' couches, jobless but still with a dream: to cover that hot new band or shoot that unforgettable, down-in-history show.

Some eventually get jobs—or, as is increasingly the case, get lucky with a wittily named blog—but most end up facing reality again: time to go back to school, mom and dad! And yet there are those talented ones who slip through the near-impenetrable cracks of rock media and forge careers. We've got a couple of these folks here at the Weekly, but few have seen the rock & roll life like our own Jeanne Rice has. Whether it's her shots from the front-front-row photographer's pit at area concerts and music festivals—everything from Bowie to Bono—to her more personal, backstage snaps of such musicians as the Strokes' Nick Valensi, Jeanne's photos not only capture some of the best local rock & roll moments from recent years, but also represent something a little more special: that sometimes—okay, once every decade or so—dreams do come true.

Visual Reverb: Imagery by Jeanne Rice on display at Memphis Soul Caf, 2920 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 432-7685; Opening reception Mon., 8 p.m. Free. All ages. Exhibit continues through Sept. 31.

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