Michael Friedman has done a lot in his 73 years.
The Staples High School Class of 1961 graduate produced “Hello, It’s Me.” He managed Todd Rundgren and Kris Kristofferson — as well as (with Albert Grossman) the careers of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, The Band, Odetta, and Peter Paul & Mary. He did publicity for the Dave Clark 5 and Herman’s Hermits.
He sold Americana and folk art. He also owned the Ash Creek Saloons in Fairfield and Norwalk, along with Darien’s Goose restaurant.
With such varied careers — and so much going on — he could be forgiven for losing the negatives of photos he took nearly 50 years ago.
Of course, they were not random snapshots of the Friedman family at the beach, or their naked newborn in a bathtub.
These were up close, personal — and superb — shots of some of the biggest names in the music world.
The Stones. Janis Joplin. The Band. Johnny Winter. Gordon Lightfoot. James Cotton. Ian and Sylvia. Rita Coolidge. All are artists Friedman worked with in the 1960s.
Last January, his wife Donna stumbled upon them. Friedman spent the next several months printing, restoring and mounting the photos.
Soon, they’ll head to the California Heritage Museum in Los Angeles.
But right now, they’re part of a pop-up gallery in Bedford Square. Friedman’s taken over an appropriately scruffy, unfinished space opposite the Spotted Horse. Dozens of images are on display there — and for sale.
There’s been no publicity. Yet plenty of folks discovered the intriguing gallery during last weekend’s Blues, Views & BBQ Festival. The word is getting out.
But remember: This is a pop-up place. Soon, the photos will be gone.
At least this time Friedman will know where they went.