Henry Diltz, photographer and chronicler of sixties rock and roll

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“Unpainted Faces,” was meeting this gentle soul in person.  He’s a legend in rock and roll (even though you may not have heard of him). He was the official photographer at Woodstock and he’s over a hundred album covers–back when albums were LPs.

He’s just reissued a book of photographs he took, mostly in the sixties, of people you have heard of, Jimi Hendrix and Michael Jackson as a kid and the Mamas and the Papas and Paul McCartney and David Crosby looking his handsome young best.  Linda Rondstadt when she was gorgeous; Joni Mitchell when she was in love with Graham Nash; David Cassidy slinking away from throngs of maniacal fans in the back of a limo in Australia, shielded by a bodyguard.

On and on, the parade of pictures of famous people who aren’t posing or posturing or nervous because Henry was their friend.  His career could never happen today; no one would send a guy on tour to shoot a band for weeks on end, catching people smooching and smoking pot and looking like normal fun people; who values the idea of documentary photography in this context any more, when everyone has an iPhone and Flickr stream?  But Henry lived when it was possible and the results are an encyclopedia of a time that no longer exists.

Check out the pictures from Unpainted Faces on Henry’s web site.  He’ll also be in a show this summer at the Annenberg Space for Photography and if you’ve never been there, it’s worth a trip to Century City.  Audio from our interview soon…