Since the late 60s, native Chicagoan Dean Simmon could be spotted on the sidelines at various sporting events, backstage and in the photographers’ mosh pit at concerts, at rock stars’ hotels, at the IndyCar races working for Al Unser Sr., and on major Chicago and Hollywood soundstages. Dean worked his way from processing film in his basement at the age of 12 to majoring in photography in college. He covered the sports beat at a Chicago suburban newspaper before moving in to the world of music, shooting for local and national magazines, record labels and poster companies.
His portfolio includes iconic images of KISS, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Ramones, Rush, The Rolling Stones, Van Halen, Cheap Trick, Journey, and other platinum-selling rock bands, plus candid photos of Bob Marley, Todd Rundgren and Debbie Harry. Insider access, coupled with extensive concert experience, an intuitive eye and hair-trigger shutter finger, enabled Dean to capture definitive onstage poses by some of the world’s greatest rock stars. He caught Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Tom Petty and many others in action at their most intense moments. Working in the late 70s and early 80s, Dean covered Chicago and Midwest concerts for national and regional publications including Circus and Billboard.
In the mid-80s, Dean moved into the next phase of his career focusing on major films and television shows such as “Flags Of Our Fathers,” “Pink Panther 2,” “The Amityville Horror,” “Spider-Man 2,” “ER" and “The West Wing.”
Dean's images have been used in publicity by such record companies CBS, RCA, A&M, Elektra, Casablanca, Warner Brothers, Epic and Mercury. The labels created worldwide posters featuring his shots of Rush, Olivia Newton-John and others. Dean has also curated his own photography show, which spotlighted over 600 images.
Dean lives near Chicago with his two children.