John Olson worked with LIFE magazine to smash all the preconceptions and “coolness” of rockstars – photographing them with their parents at home – we see independent, iconic and untouchable idols brought down to a human level, no longer rock gods. This project is very humbling and despite being made in the early 70’s is a theme that is still current and interesting.
Frank Zappa in his Los Angeles home with his dad, Francis, his mom, Rosemarie, and his cat
In 1970 Rose Clapp shows off her tea service and Eric Clapton, the rock-god guitarist grandson she raised in the home he bought for her and her late husband in Surrey, England.
Not published in LIFE. The former Reggie Dwight, later known as Elton John, laughs with his mom Sheila Fairebrother and her husband Fred (whom he affectionately called “Derf,” Fred spelled backwards) in their suburban London apartment in 1970.
Not published in LIFE. Ginger Baker, the Cream and Blind Faith drummer, flashes a rare smile with his mother Ruby Streatfield inside her rowhouse in Bexley, outside London, in 1970.
Richie Havens with his parents, Brooklyn in 1970. The musician who opened the show at Woodstock grew up with his folks, Richard and Mildred, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, but he bought them this home in nearby East Flatbush when his music career took off. The Havenses had nine kids and, as Mrs. Havens told LIFE, “Richie is the only one who’s really moved away. I can’t get rid of most of them.”
The Jackson 5 pose with their parents in Encino, Calif., in 1970.
With their parents standing by, 13-year-old dynamo Michael (front left) and his brothers Jackie, Marlon, Tito and Jermaine straddle their motorbikes by the pool, 1970.