Pearl Jam. Bruce Springsteen. Neil Young. Radiohead. Green Day. Practically every rock icon who has seen the light of day in the last couple of decades has been on the business end of Danny Clinch‘s camera. Not only has Clinch emerged as his generation’s preeminent rock & roll photographer, he’s also directed videos for everyone from Tom Waits to the Foo Fighters, and his 1999 photo book, Discovery Inn, stands as one of the modern era’s finest collections of music photography. Now Discovery Inn has been updated for the iPad age, as an interactive app that includes not only the unforgettable images from the original book, but an abundance of additional multi-media material.
Clinch comes by his claim to the Annie Leibovitz mantle honestly, as he learned directly from her, having worked as an intern for her at the beginning of his career. “Her work ethic was amazing,” Clinch recalls, “She never took no for an answer. However she wanted to get things done she would get them done, she was just really driven.” Perhaps even more importantly, Clinch learned from her how to put his subjects at their ease. “She just has a way with people and getting them comfortable that not too many people have,” says Clinch, touching on a skill that is one of his own not-so-secret weapons.
The priority on Clinch’s own agenda is always remaining respectful of the moment while illuminating the essential aspects of whoever is standing in front of his lens. “I’m trying to capture something about the person that’s gonna resonate with the viewer,” explains Clinch, “I’m not overly directing them.” That naturalistic quality is ever present in Discovery Inn, a collection Clinch says first came to life as an idea through “these friends of mine who had started that company Razorfish. They had done really well for themselves, and they’re big supporters of the arts. They said ‘Let’s do a book of your photographs.’ We had no guidelines, no one was saying ‘Put this on the cover, it’ll sell better.’ We made this book and we wanted to keep it really simple.”