Subscribe to our newsletter

Legendary music documentarian D.A. Pennebaker who made 'Don't Look Back' and 'Ziggy Stardust' has died at 94


The iconic music documentarian D.A. Pennebaker has passed away at the age of 94. The legendary filmmaker was the man behind the lens for a host of historic music documentaries including Bob Dylan’s 1967 tour film Don’t Look Back and David Bowie’s 1973 Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars.

Revisit Bob Dylan and Bette Midler singing ‘You Really Got A Hold On Me’

Born Donn Alan Pennebaker the filmmaker began his career in the early fifties when he completed the filming of his first short Daybreak Express. The film provided a colourful glimpse into the inner workings of New York City’s bustling life. This was just the starting point for Pennebaker who dabbled in a host of different film types. But he will remain best known for his work with some of the most electric rock and roll artists ever.

One such artist was Bob Dylan whom Pennebaker joined for his 1965 tour of England which would become his last acoustic tour in the country. This pivotal moment in Dylan’s career was expertly captured by Pennebaker in the now rightly highly acclaimed tour film Don’t Look Back. But Pennebaker filmed some more greats at interesting points in their careers. He also took footage of Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bo Diddley and, of course, David Bowie.

Enter, Ziggy Stardust: David Bowie introduces his alien rock star in a rare 1972 radio interview

Pennebaker was content with just music though and in 1993 he released the widely acclaimed film The War Room, which became an award-winning documentary on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. In 2013, Pennebaker received a Lifetime Achievement Oscar for his filmography.

R.I.P D.A. Pennebaker.