Jurgen Vollmer’s Rockers and kitchen sink rock’n'roll
The people/photographs in Jurgen Vollmer’s Rockers book (also released as Rock’n'Roll Times) could well be one of the original sources that Karlheinz Weinberger’s rock’n'roll took and reimagined into their own image of such things.
Vollmer’s photographs from the late 1950s/early 1960s (?) document young teenagers, rock’n'roll and early Beatle’s fans; their style being a subtle version of what we now think of as 1950s rock’n'roll / rockabilly, post the first swell of such things but pre the move towards a more 1960s, mod or Swinging London style.
I’ve lived with these photographs for a long time without realising it; they were used on the cover of The Smiths album The World Won’t Listen, which I bought many years ago when it very first wandered out into the world.
At the time I don’t think I really understood them. My cultural antennae were not necessarily yet well tuned towards recognising period detail and I think I may have thought they were just photographs of some young chaps on the cover and some young gals at the fair on the back.
Looking at the photographs more recently I think they made more sense; the subtle turn of the decade rock’n'roll style is a somewhat Morrissey-esque, low key, kitchen sink friendly take on such things.
More a once-Manchester-Northern-England-like cup of tea version of such things than the exotic, otherly flamboyance of say Elvis or Little Richard.
I’ve seen a few different versions of this book, some of which can be perused below:
Rock’n'Roll Times, Rock ‘N’ Roll Times: The Style and Spirit of the Early Beatles and Their First Fans and Rockers.