Untitled, c.1973 (Alex Chilton) by William Eggleston © Eggleston Artistic Trust

Eggleston is closely associated with the alternative music scene in his home town of Memphis, most notably the work of Alex Chilton and his band Big Star, as well as acts such as Tav Falco. Eggleston’s then unknown, but now iconic, image Untitled (Greenwood, Mississippi, 1973) appeared on the front of Big Star’s second album Radio City, and the photographer even plays piano on ‘Nature Boy’, a Nat King Cole cover featured on their record Third. Other musicians from Primal Scream to Chuck Prophet have used Eggleston’s photographs as their album covers, while Cat Power recorded the video for her 2006 single ‘Lived in Bars’ in Eggleston’s Memphis home. In spite of this, Eggleston has expressed ambivalence towards the alt-rock of his friends and followers; a classical pianist himself, he holds no musician in higher esteem than J.S. Bach.

Listen to our playlist of songs by artists inspired by or connected to William Eggleston.