If you’ve got a picture of your favorite rock star clipped from a magazine and taped to your wall, chances are good that you’re familiar with the work of Janet Macoska. She’s been shooting everyone from the Ramones and David Lee Roth to Neil Diamond and Bette Midler. And she’s been doing it for 30 years — but her career wide-spanning collection, Jews Rock! A Celebration of Rock and Roll’s Jewish Heritage, is fresh off the presses — independently released, ready for coffee tables, and ripe for Chanukah.
Macoska is completely wild, filled with amazing stories. She has a great sense of humor and she’s a natural sponge for this type of photography, which comes across in both her photography and her interview prowess. She speaks of Michael Bolton and Spinal Tap’s Harry Shearer in the same reverent tones…and she’s not afraid to dish on a few other celebs.
She’s selling the books herself at JewsRock.net and at local JCCs and synagogues — yes, Barnes & Noble doesn’t treat independent authors very well. But don’t let me try to convince you — check out what she has to say.
Thereâ€™s an eyebrow-raisingly wide variety of musicians included. Itâ€™s hard to say how many readers are going to appreciate action photos of both Joey Ramone and Kenny Gâ€¦Whatâ€™s your target audience with this collection?
It’s hard to say…Rock and roll is now over fifty years old, so there have been many artists and many different varieties of music that live under that umbrella of rock and roll — Kenny G.’s soft jazz and The Ramones’ punk rock being just two of them. As a fan of rock and roll, and as a photographer of it, my taste in music encompass more than one “flavor,” so I’m guessing that is probably true of others. This book is aimed predominately at a Jewish audience who loves rock and roll, and some will be more attracted to hard rockers like KISS or Twisted Sister and others to the iconic figures, like Dylan or Billy Joel.
When you look at a roll of photos, do you always remember the night when you shot it? Do you remember the stories?