Leading into Musikmesse on Tuesday evening was the opening reception for the exhibition of the Lightpower Collection of Neal Preston’s extraordinary photography “In the Eye of the Rock’n’Roll Hurricane.” One of the highlights of the evening, attended by over 350 people, was the presentation by Ralph-Jörg Wezorke, owner of Lightpower, of the Lightpower Neal Preston donation of $50,000 to the Behind the Scenes charity. The donation, which represents proceeds from three previous exhibitions over the last year, will be split between BTS in North America and the newly launched BTS UK. Future showings of the exhibition are currently in the planning stages.
Neal Preston has spent more than 40 years capturing rock and roll, with unprecedented access to musicians ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Led Zeppelin, Mick Jagger to Queen, both on and off the stage. Considered one its’ greatest chroniclers, Neal has built up the most extensive body of work in rock and roll history. Taking the microphone after the check presentation Neal told the crowd, “I’ve been on a lot of rock tours, I’ve traveled around the world more times than I can remember and I know without question- there is nobody on this planet – nobody - who works harder than a roadie on a big rock and roll tour. It’s astounding when you go to a concert and you see the stage…. how on earth does that get done? It’s these guys – who don’t get paid a lot of money, or get hardly any sleep, but with a love of the music they carry the flame and get the job done. These are the guys that really make it happen and when they are in need it’s great to have Behind the Scenes to help them because without them none of those concerts would have existed. It’s very important and very worthwhile and I truly mean that from the bottom of my heart.”
The exhibition, open for the run of Musikmesse in Hall 4.1, features nearly 70 large-format, museum quality fine art prints. The collection represents the passion Ralph and Lightpower have for both Neal’s artistry and rock and roll. Once they decided to share the collection with the public, they agreed that proceeds from the sales of fine art prints, books, and souvenirs would be donated to charity.
Ralph explained, “We chose to support Behind the Scenes because without the passion and professionalism of the crews that make these shows possible, none of what is designed, manufactured or sold would have meaning. These are the people who use the tools we give them to bring what the artists envision to life. For that creative vision to come true in the technical way involves a lot people, hard work and energy from the craftsmen. Sometimes they are too passionate about what they do and they forget to take care of themselves and we, as an industry, need to take care of them. Behind the Scenes makes it possible for us to do that.”
Behind the Scenes provides entertainment technology industry professionals who are seriously ill or injured with grants that may be used for basic living and medical expenses. For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit www.behindthescenescharity.org.