Detroit exhibit turns spotlight on rock star photographer

Some live a rock star life, others photograph rock star lives and then there are a few who cross over and do both. 

Starting Friday, concert photographer Scott Legato will have the attention turned back on him as more than 60 of his photographs of music icons such as the Rolling Stones, Ozzy Osbourne with Black Sabbath, Lady Gaga and others will take center stage on the walls of the Detroit Shipping Company.  

A senior designer at auto parts manufacturer Martinrea International by day, Legato’s night job takes him to bars and concert venues across Michigan, photographing up-and-coming acts as well as established superstars of music. 

Concert photographer Scott Legato displays two images he shot of Laday Gaga, one from 2008 at Royal Oak Music Theater and the other in 2010 from Lollapalooza.

Legato, 54, who plays guitar and has been in bands since high school, saw his first concert at Pine Knob — the Monkees — and went on to photograph his first concert in Detroit. 

“I brought my camera to the Motley Crue concert in '84 at the Fox Theatre, front row.  After that, I was freakin' hooked.” 

Sitting in his basement with band equipment scattered throughout and numerous pictures of concerts that he has shot as well as other photographers' work, Legato found it difficult to pick just one favorite image or act from amongst the thousands he has photographed.

 “Seriously? "Um, Steven Tyler. My favorite band to photograph is probably Aerosmith, back when we were allowed to photograph them from the pit. Nowadays, we have shoot them from the sound board.

 "Miley Cyrus too, man, she was another one," Legato said. "I had a chance to photograph her with the Flaming Lips at the Fillmore, and that was incredible."   

"Rockstar" opens from 8-11 p.m. with a performance by Legato’s band, Sons of Detroit, at the Detroit Shipping Company, where the exhibit will run for six weeks.