Photographer from Alabama has 3,000+ rolls of undeveloped film of rock & roll legends

Film / Charles Daniel
Charles Daniels beside his massive collection of film rolls. (Susan Berstler on GoFundMe)

Earlier this year, an interesting fundraiser popped up on GoFundMe titled, “3,000 rolls of film & a lifetime of stories.” According to the organizer, the goal of the fundraiser is to pay for the development of over 3,000 rolls of film shot over the span five decades. Inside the collection are thousands of never-before-seen photographs of rock & roll legends such as The Rolling Stones, Faces, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Aerosmith and many more.

The person behind this collection? Photographer and Alabama native Charles Daniels.

Keep reading to learn more.

Charles Daniels — The Master Blaster

Film / Charles Daniels
Charles Daniels, The Master Blaster. (Susan Berstler on GoFundMe)

Before he made a name for himself photographing the legendary acts of the 1960s and 70s, Charles Daniels lived in a small town called Luverne in south Alabama. However, his family moved north to Roxbury, Massachusetts when he was 11. It was there that Charles discovered his parents’ Brownie Hawkeye—a small, portable film camera—and began nurturing his love of photography.

According to PetaPixel, in the late 1960s, Charles landed a job as the emcee for the Boston Tea Party in Massachusetts, a concert venue that hosted the likes of The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and many more of the biggest names in rock & roll history. As the emcee, Charles had nearly unparalleled access to each performance and was able to capture thousands of photos of the bands. With a camera always by his side, Charles Daniels was dubbed, “The Master Blaster.”

Film / Charles Daniels
Not all of Charles’ photos were taken in the 60s and 70s—here, he’s got a photo of Slash, guitarist for Gun N’ Roses. (Susan Berstler on GoFundMe)

Back then, most photographs weren’t instantly viewable like they are today on your cell phone or digital camera. Each roll of film—usually containing between 10 and 36 individuals photos—had to be developed in a lengthy chemical process. Although Charles shot thousands of rolls of film, he developed only a fraction of the photos. The rest ended up in bags scattered around Charles’ Boston home.

What to do with 3,000+ rolls of film?

Film / Charles Daniels
Some of Charles’ photos. (Susan Berstler on GoFundMe)

Earlier this year, Charles’ partner—artist Susan Berstler—set up the GoFundMe to help fund the development of the 3,000+ rolls of film scattered throughout Charles’ house. Over the next few months, several outlets—including PetaPixel and The Boston Globe—picked up Charles’ story. Soon, the GoFundMe surpassed its $40,000 goal.

What’s next for Charles’ collection? Since the long-expired film requires an extra level of care due to its age, the photographer plans to work with Film Rescue International—a company that specializes in developing expired film—to preserve as many of the photos as possible.

Want to learn more about the development of Charles Daniel’s photos? Follow us @thebamabuzz for updates.

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.

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