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Merrilee Rush

In honor of the Seattle Music Project, a photo exhibit on display in our flagship Seattle store, we’ll be highlighting iconic Northwest musicians from the past five decades. Today: amped-up garage rock and melodic pop from the ’60s.

Text below by Charles R. Cross, excerpted from the exhibit.

THE SONICS
photo by Jini Dellaccio

“Jini Dellaccio was a commercial photographer who photographed many of the classic bands from the ‘Louie Louie’ era. Her most memorable portraits were of the proto-punk band The Sonics, whose songs ‘The Witch’ and ‘Psycho’ would influence bands from the Sex Pistols to Nirvana. Dellaccio often shot her subjects in their street clothes in natural settings. This iconic photograph of the Sonics on a Gig Harbor beach, just below Dellaccio’s home, also captured a foggy winter day. Their clothes—peacoats, sweaters, and Beatle boots—were their own, a significant shift from earlier pop bands, who wore uniforms or matching stage outfits.”

 
 
 

MERRILEE RUSH AND THE TURNABOUTS
photo by Jini Dellaccio

“Merrilee Rush and the Turnabouts scored one of the first top-ten hits by a Northwest act with the 1968 million-seller ‘Angel of the Morning.’ Jini Dellaccio photographed them in her yard, as she did many bands, by a reflective pool. The distinctive stage outfits worn by the Turnabouts were common for pop groups at the time, and taken out of the music context, they could just as easily have been the outfits of circus performers.”

 
 
 

THE WAILERS
photo by Jini Dellaccio

“Jini Dellaccio sought to capture bands in their element—backstage, onstage, or in rehearsal. This photograph of the Tacoma band The Wailers was taken from behind a tiny stage inside the Hudson’s Bay department store in Victoria, British Columbia. The two women were ‘fans,’ as the band recalls, though they may have been store employees on duty during the group’s appearance.”

 
 
 

The Seattle Music Project is an exhibit of photos and ephemera commemorating five decades of Northwest music. Curated by renowned local photographer Lance Mercer, the exhibit resides in the Men’s Shop of our Downtown Seattle store, now through the end of October.

All three photos above © Jini Dellaccio. View more of her work here: Jini Dellaccio Collection.

[Songs courtesy of Etiquette Records and Bell Records. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]