Neal Preston was, and still is, is one of the lucky few allowed inside, behind the velvet rope, touring with superstars and capturing the entire experience on film. His body of work spans almost four decades, and his photographs document many of the music industry’s most important moments.
He has worked closely with rock royalty such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Sly Stone, Queen, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Madonna, and countless other luminaries.
Although Preston is best known in rock circles as Led Zeppelin’s U.S. tour photographer in the mid-1970’s, his rock-and-roll travels also included touring Russia with Billy Joel, Europe and Japan with Bruce Springsteen, China with Wham! , South Africa with Whitney Houston, and South America with Queen. Preston was one of the official photographers for the “Live Aid” concert at London’s Wembley Stadium and the official tour photographer for the legendary “Conspiracy of Hope” tour, a 5 week world trek with Springsteen and the E-Street Band, Sting, Peter Gabriel, and Tracy Chapman. He has also directed various music projects, including a live performance video for Stevie Nicks and a documentary on Alice Cooper. He documented Michael Jackson from his early days in the Jackson 5 to his solo tours around the world.
Preston’s skill at capturing live performance even extends to athletics: he has shot six Olympic games, heavyweight title fights, the World Series, NBA and NFL playoff games, and World Cup soccer matches.
For years, his photographs have appeared in every conceivable media outlet: countless covers and pages of world-class magazines and newspapers (Rolling Stone, People, Time, Newsweek), books, television shows (as a key contributor to VH-1’s “Behind the Music”), feature films and documentaries ("Almost Famous," "Laurel Canyon"), Broadway show programs and billboards, and live CD and DVD covers (Springsteen, Madonna, Fleetwood Mac, Kiss).
In May of 2006 Preston exhibited his music photography for the first time ever, at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York City (the gallery currently represents Preston exclusively for exhibition print sales). Since then, Preston’s photos have gone on to be shown at such varied institutions as the Smithsonian Museum, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Wembley Stadium.