06/01/2015 01:29 pm ET | Updated Jun 02, 2015

15 Mesmerizing Photos That Capture The Spirit Of Aging Musicians

Leland Bobbé

About five years ago, photographer Leland Bobbé, 66, went to a New York City club to hear a friend's band and spotted what he describes as "this cool looking guy with great long gray hair in the audience." As soon as he saw him, he knew he wanted to shoot a portrait of him.

The man turned out to be a guitar player named Al Maddy. Bobbé shot him and then revisited the photo on his computer last year -- wondering what it would look like in black and white. "I did the conversion and liked it so much I thought it would be something to pursue as a project," Bobbé said. "Musicians 50+ in black and white."

He hadn’t done anything in black and white since his New York City street photography from the 1970s, he told The Huffington Post.

Bobbé is an ex-musician with many close friends from that world. The photos were shot over the past year in his New York studio.

Bobbe's work has previously been featured in The New York Times and The Huffington Post.

"My intention was to take real and honest portraits of musicians close to my age who still play music. I find that older people's faces have much more character than younger people’s do. They have lived and it shows," Bobbé told The Huffington Post.

On a personal note, he added, "This project has connected my past as a musician and my present as a photographer."

Simply beautiful.

  • Al Maddy
    Leland Bobbé
    This portrait of guitarist Al Maddy was originally shot in color, and then converted to B&W.
  • Annie Golden
    Leland Bobbé
    Singer/actress Annie Golden currently appears on "Orange is the New Black," and she just won a SAG award.
  • Binky Phillips
    Leland Bobbé
    Binky Phillips is lead guitarist and songwriter from the legendary NYC band The Planets.
  • Carmine Appice
    Leland Bobbé
    Carmine Appice was the drummer in The Vanilla Fudge. He has been credited with influencing every hard rock drummer that came after him including John Bonham from Led Zeppelin.
  • Cheetah Chrome
    Leland Bobbé
    Cheetah Chrome is a guitar player and songwriter from The Dead Boys, one of the original punk bands.
  • Gene Cornish
    Leland Bobbé
    Gene Cornish is the guitar player and singer from the Young Rascals/Rascals and is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • John Berenzy
    Leland Bobbé
    John Berenzy is a singer, songwriter, poet and guitar player who toured Europe with Willy Deville. He has recorded with Garth Hudson from The Band.
  • John Bruschini
    Leland Bobbé
    John Bruschini is a jazz guitarist who had a long tenure with jazz giant Cecil Taylor.
  • Jojo Mayer
    Leland Bobbé
    Jojo Mayer is a drummer extraordinaire who currently has a band called Nerve.
  • Kenny Aaronson
    Leland Bobbé
    Bass player Kenny Aaronson has played with Bob Dylan, Billy Idol, Joan Jett, and many others.
  • Lenny Kaye
    Leland Bobbé
    Lenny Kaye has been playing guitar with Patti Smith from day one.
  • Liberty DeVitto
    Leland Bobbé
    Liberty DeVitto was Billy Joel's drummer for 30 years.
  • Ricky Byrd
    Leland Bobbé
    Guitarist Ricky Byrd is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Joan Jett And The Blackhearts.
  • Rob Duncan
    Leland Bobbé
    Rob Duncan is a keyboard player/songwriter/producer living and working in NYC.
  • Walter Lure
    Leland Bobbé
    Walter Lure was a guitar player with The Heartbreakers. He now has a band called the Waldos.

A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled the name of John Bonham. It has been corrected.