"Tucson Rocks!" is a citywide celebration of rock 'n' roll that has a number of local galleries, museums and theaters harmonizing.

Think of "Who Shot Rock & Roll; A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present," on display at the Tucson Museum of Art Saturday through Jan. 15, as the frontman.

Organized by the Brooklyn Museum of Art, "Who Shot Rock & Roll" is described as the first major museum exhibition on rock and roll to put photographers in the forefront.

It features works from photographers such as Baron Wolman, the first photographer for Rolling Stone magazine, Annie Leibovitz and Linda McCartney.

Julie Sasse, the museum's chief curator, said the combination of music and photography hit the right note for Tucson.

"We thought this would be perfect because of Tucson's love of phototography and love of music," she said.

"The passion the community shares for both these areas lend themselves well to this exhibition."

Robert Knight, the director of TMA, knew the subject of the show would entice others. He brought the idea to local arts organizers, and, just as he thought, many wanted to get involved.

"This is a community coming together," Sasse said.

The exhibit takes the viewer behind the scenes of concerts and to intensely personal moments. Some of the photographers are fellow musicians, so a trust level was already there, said Sasse. One photo of Paul McCartney, "My Love, London," was taken by Linda McCartney as she was riding in a car with him - access that most photographers wouldn't have.

At that time in the 1960s and '70s control wasn't as much of an issue, added Sasse.

"Over and over, the photographers have said that they took pictures at a time when big record labels and PR machines didn't have much control, so they had a lot more access," said Sasse.

"Nowadays, you can't get that close."

Other photographers include Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon and Dennis Hopper.

A New York Times review called the exhibit "an entertaining and sometimes absorbing show. … Particularly for baby boomers, the demographic whose taste it most clearly represents, it is powerfully nostalgic."

The exhibit has made appearances in six cities so far, including Birmingham, Ala., and Memphis, Tenn.

Sasse said "Who Shot Rock & Roll" is special because the photographers were able to continue the excitement beyond the music.

"The photographs last when the music stops. At the same time, the photographs bring back the music," she said. "All it takes for me is to look at a photograph of an album cover. … It brings back how I felt, what I was wearing, who was the boyfriend at the time."

If you go

• What: "Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present"

• When: On exhibit Sunday through Jan. 15. The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

• Where: Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave.

• Admission: $8; $6 age 60 and above, and veterans; $3 students age 13 and up.

• More: 624-2333, www.tucsonmuseumofart.org

Etherton Gallery's 'Rockin' the Desert'

Stand long enough in front of any of the photographs in Etherton Gallery's "Rockin' the Desert" exhibit, and classic rock will surround you.

Original issues of Rolling Stone magazine line the gallery's front hallway, paired with the actual photograph Baron Wolman, the magazine's first photographer, shot for that cover.

"This is the first time that there's any kind of music journalism," said Daphne Srinivasan, one of the gallery's curators. "Before this, record companies would hand in their assigned photos of their musical stars and that would be about it."

Since it opened Sept. 6, Srinivasan said the exhibit has brought new faces into the gallery and introduced others to what downtown has to offer.

The works range from $750 to $3,500.

At the end of the front hall, a large, rectangular picture by Lynn Goldsmith contains what appears to be hundreds of tiny black and white images of the Rolling Stones. Pictures of sweaty concert nights, rowdy tour buses and days spent being a Rolling Stone. Take a few steps backward and the little photographs form a portrait of Rolling Stones' frontman, Mick Jagger.

Moving through the exhibit, which is arranged in no particular order, viewers see intimate photography such as Linda Ronstadt sitting casually backstage as people work to prepare her for a show; Keith Richards staring intensely as he grasps his wife in a hug, and James Taylor relaxed, and lounging happily in a rocking chair on his porch on Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

"Lynn's photos are very different because she got to know these people, a lot of them are her friends or she worked with them in some capacity and got to know them personally. They're much more intimate, more personal," Srinivasan said. "The scale is a little different."

This stands in contrast to Wolman's more journalistic approach. However, photos such as John Fogerty on stage, guitar slung over his shoulder, hand stretched upward - as though he is preaching to the adoring crowd through his music - still convey great meaning.

If you go

• "Rockin' the Desert: Photographs by Baron Wolman and Lynn Goldsmith" - Etherton Gallery, 135 S. Sixth Ave., continues through Nov. 12. 624-7370, www.ethertongallery.com

Rockstar wine dinner

Janos Wilder has paired a wine tasting dinner with Tucson Rocks!

The four-course meal will be served Friday in the Etherton Gallery, which is upstairs from Wilder's Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, 135 S. Sixth Ave., and where "Rockin' The Desert" will remain on display through Nov. 12.

"It's really awesome that it all came about at the same time," said Kristian Unvericht, who manages the restaurant.

Unvericht said they had been looking for a way to incorporate more of the good wineries that have ties to rock when the Tucson Museum of Art exhibit inspired Tucson Rocks!

The founder of Charles Smith Wines managed the Ramones in Europe. Other examples include Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, which is partly owned by Tool front man Maynard James Keenan. Another is Bruce Cohn, who managed The Doobie Brothers and founded B.R. Cohn Winery, a midsized boutique family winery in Sonoma Valley, California.

"There's a lot of good tasting wine," Unvericht said. "It's not a novelty."

Lynn Goldsmith, one of the headline photographers in the Etherton show, will talk about what life was like on the road with the early rock stars.

"It makes for a really fun event," Unvericht said.

It starts at 7 p.m. Friday and costs $45, excluding tax and gratuity. Make reservations at 623-7700.

Party like a rock star

The Tucson Museum of Art kicks off this new exhibit on Saturday with "Art After Dark: Party Like a Rock Star."

"It's a wild wild opening night," said Julie Sasse, the museum's chief curator.

The frenzied night of all things rock 'n' roll will take place in and out of the museum. In addition to the rock 'n' roll exhibit, there will be Elvis impersonators, cover bands and a karaoke lounge. Wait, there's more: go-go dancers, guitar-pick jewelry making, Guitar Hero playing, music by the Modeens and a rock-star costume competition - so pull those leather pants out of the closet. And the photo booth - which TMA has had at the last few shows - will be available to catch you in all your glory.

The event starts at 8 p.m. Saturday and runs until midnight. Admission is $10; free for museum members.

Tucson Rocks! highlights

• "Who Shot Rock & Roll, Curator and Artist Talk" - Center for Creative Photography, 1030 N. Olive Road. 621-7968; creativephotography.org Photographer Lynn Goldsmith will speak at 1 p.m. Saturday and exhibit curator Gail Buckland will speak at 2 p.m.

• "Raymond Pettibon: The Punk Years, 1978-86" - MOCA Tucson, 265 S. Church Ave. Saturday through Dec. 18. Opening reception 5- to 6 p.m. Saturday. 624-5019; www.moca-tucson.org. The gallery of graphic art depicts Pettibon's posters and record covers made for L.A. punk band Black Flag, among others.

• "Good Vibrations: The Guitar as Design, Craft and Function" - University of Arizona Museum of Art, 1031 N. Olive Road. Friday through Jan. 15. 621-7567; www.artmuseum.arizona.edu The exhibit highlights the beauty and sounds of vintage and contemporary guitars.

• Celebrity Poets - University of Arizona Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen St., through Dec. 23. 626-3765; poetry.arizona.edu A tribute to influential musicians such as rapper Tupac Shakur and other celebrities who have widened the audience for poetry.

• "Calexico: A Retrospective" - Sacred Machine Museum, 245 E. Congress St., through Sunday. 777-7403. The exhibit features pictures from the band's most monumental career moments, and memorabilia like sheet music and album artwork.

• "Tucson Shot Rock & Roll" - Zocalo Magazine, 245 E. Congress St., through Oct. 29, www.tucsonshotrock.com A pop-up gallery with rock moments captured by Tucson photographers.

• Concerts and film - Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. 624-1515, www.foxtucsontheatre.org The theatre will rock out with events such as Official Blues Brothers Revue at 7:30 tonight and the screening of "X," the documentary about one of the most influential bands to crash out of the punk movement, on Dec. 10.

• "Graceland" - Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. Dec. 1-3. 884-0672, www.invisibletheatre.com. Ellen Byron's play about two adoring Elvis Presley fans who wait for Graceland to open.

Alexandra Newman is a University of Arizona student who is apprenticing at the Star. Contact her at starapprentice@azstarnet.com or 573-4128. Find more at www.tucsonrocks.org