There’s one item that should be on everyone’s gift list this season – assuming you actually know some cool people:

All Access: The Rock ‘N’ Roll Photography of Ken Regan, new from Insight Editions.

In Regan’s case, the book’s title is no mere boast – he has literally had unprecedented entrée to rock’s biggest names for over 40 years.

A brilliant new book featuring the work of Ken Regan

He was there when the Beatles touched down on U.S. soil for the first time in 1964 to get candid snapshots of their arrival at JFK, photographed their backstage downtime at the Ed Sullivan Show and spent a day clowning around with the Fab Four in Central Park.

It seemed he was always destined to be there for the big moments; as his good friend Keith Richards says, Regan has a knack for knowing said moments before they happen.

Click to enlarge

It’s that uncanny intuition that led him to take Bob Dylan’s favorite picture of himself, and got him an invite to pall around with the Stones in 1975 in Montauk at Andy Warhol’s house.

He hit the gym with Madonna in 1985, watched Alice Cooper play ping pong with Santa Claus, and rode shotgun with Run DMC in Hollis, Queens.

He palled around with the Stones at Warhol’s house in ’75

In addition to the amazing images, Regan brought back stories from the front lines of several cultural revolutions.

Rock & roll of course, but also Pete Seeger’s peace movement, Woodstock (“a photographer’s paradise”) and the birth of hip hop.

We’ll be bringing you a series of glimpses from the brilliant book, the definitive collection of Regan’s best work, and behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the past four decades.

Click to enlarge; courtesy Ken Regan / Insight Editions

To kick off here’s Jim Morrison at the Westbury Music Fair and Johnny Cash practicing backstage in Tennessee, both from 1970.

Two of the most legendary names in music, vastly different united by their incredible coolness, their influence on everyone who followed – and their exposure to Regan’s lens.

Jim Morrison and Johnny Cash photographed in 1970

Magic, historic, epic moments, and all in a day’s work for Regan, judging by the jaw-dropping number of them featured in the book’s pages.

But then who else could boast a preface by Keith Richards and an introduction by Mick Jagger….?