Grandfather of Cleveland rock 'n' roll photography George Shuba remembers the early years

Cleveland photographer has seen it all

CLEVELAND - Early in his career, George Shuba was willing to take on most any photography assignment. When a local radio station asked him to photograph the Beatles, Shuba took the job.

"I didn't know why anyone would want to photograph bugs, but a gig's a gig and I needed the money," said Shuba.

When he arrived at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and saw hundreds of screaming girls, he realized he was shooting a very different kind of Beatle. This was the start of a lifelong career as a rock 'n' roll photographer.

Shuba documented many rock concerts in Cleveland. He shot for local radio stations like WHK, WIXY, and WKYC. When the syndicated television show "Upbeat" started on WEWS, he was hired as our photographer.

Aretha Franklin, Neil Diamond and James Brown were just a few of his favorites.

"I asked Aretha if I could get her a cup of coffee. She then asked me if she could get me a cup of coffee. I told her that she was the star and I was just a photographer. Aretha replied, 'Without photographers like you, I wouldn't be anybody.'"

Shuba's long list of rock 'n' roll photo shoots include The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and Janis Joplin. His work has been published in magazines around the world.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has purchased 48 of Shuba's photos as part of its permanent collection.

Gallery One in Mentor also has a number of Shuba's photographs on display.

Many of Shuba's photos are available for purchase online. You can see many of them by following this link:

Print this article Back to Top