Great Moments In Popular Music

The ‘Great Moments in Popular Music’ exhibition was held at Snap Galleries in London in 2011. The show was a look back at the moments in rock ‘n’ roll that made history, shaped our lives and spawned hundreds of bands. An often wry, sometimes poignant retelling of music legends, the work featured vinyl Gods and Goddesses alongside fervent fans and radio icons like John Peel. Pete captured the clothes, the hairstyles, the hours spent alone listening to records in bedrooms up and down the country- all painted with the wit and reverence we’ve come to expect from his work. As Pete believes, the essence of rock and roll is in the journey, not the destination- the ups and downs, excesses and indulgences and of every music lover and band member;

‘What interests me more is not that the Rolling Stones are the biggest rock 'n' roll band in the world, but that, once, they were spotty teenagers with greasy hair and a dream.’

In the piece ‘Jimi Starts a Fire’ it's not the flaming guitar that features, but rather the corner shop selling the lighter fuel. 

‘My wardrobe is a throwback to the '50s, my house has '60s furniture, my formative memories are the '70s and I tried to be a rock star in the '80s. Through all of this, music has shaped my life. So here is my homage to the wonderful and mesmerising world of popular music.

Coming up with a title for the show, I went through a number of puns and clever references. I settled on “Great Moments in Popular Music” as it’s very grand, yet to the point and also allows me to be cheeky with my choice of subject matter. It’s so subjective as to what constitutes a ‘great’ music moment. Is it your first record? Is it the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl?” 

The exhibition was a big success at Snap Galleries, with 28 paintings exhibited over three floors of the gallery and a high demand for the work on show. The Director of Snap Galleries, Guy White, was delighted to be involved in the show-

‘This exhibition has been a complete pleasure to put together. Every few days for the past couple of months an e-mail from Pete would arrive with another classic piece for the show completed. My excitement has been building over time as the overall shape of the exhibition has come into sharper focus with the revelation of each successive painting.’

You can view the collection of works here.

Reading next