Though The Australian Magazine said of him in a 1989 profile, “To the crowds at Sydney rock concerts King is almost as familiar as the exit signs,” he has pursued his unique craft well beyond the Harbour City – as tour photographer for AC/DC, Mick Jagger, Barbra Streisand, Bon Jovi and INXS/Jimmy Barnes. He has focused his lens upon the Who in London, Peter Gabriel in Moscow, Jason Donovan in Jakarta and Bananarama in Hong Kong and along the way has covered a brace of rock festivals, feature film and music video sets, stage musicals, outdoor extravaganzas and more opening nights than he cares to remember. As well, he has shot record covers images for entities as diverse as Joe Cocker, AC/DC, Joan Armatrading, George Benson, Divinyls, Skyhooks, Saints, Radio Birdman and Barry White.
Having long ago mastered the art, so essential at a production on any level, of knowing – as one senior publicist has put it – ”where to be and, more importantly, where not to be”, the extraordinarily professional and adaptable King has earned respect and admiration from artists and industry principals. John Farnham, Australia’s arena concert champion, has declared: “I gravitate towards him because he makes me feel comfortable on stage. It’s like he’s part of the family.”
“These photographs surprise us with their honesty and astound us with their perception” wrote Glenn A. Baker in the Foreword to the book Rocklens. “Bob King’s photographs capture and distil the very essence of the performing art - the anxiety, the adrenalin, the intensity, the pain, the exhilaration.”