By: Willy Nichter, Contributing Writer Photographer: Willy Nichter
From March 20 to May 18, the Drew University Library will be presenting “Born to Read: Rock Icons of the 60s and 70s”, an exhibit on the lives and histories of the musicians who shaped early rock and roll.
The exhibit is curated by Marc Boisclair, Circulation Supervisor for the Library, and features an extensive collection of images, albums and paraphernalia for the viewer to observe.
The exhibit, which currently takes up the entire display case at the front of the library, is announced by a wall of posters advertising famous rock musicians who performed at Drew University. From Jefferson Airplane to the Who, the exhibit puts Drew’s own experience with the music of the time front and center, so as to best entice viewers.
The exhibit is divided into sections, with each one focusing on a particular artist. These sections include album covers, photographs and books written by or about the artist in question.
Each artist also gets an introductory blurb via placard, which tells their birth and, when applicable, death dates, their singles and albums, their affiliated acts, their musical influences and a striking quote either from or about them, usually from one of their books.
The artists currently featured include John Lennon, Janis Joplin, Brian Wilson, Keith Richards and Elvis Costello, all staples of the classic rock genre.
While the exhibit is small, it is well-crafted, using the artists’ words and creations to paint the picture of their lives and careers in a way that tends not to be fully captured. Every section tells a story, and all of the stories are fascinating ones. So go see it for yourself, and maybe learn a little more about the history behind rock and roll.