look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Wed 30 Oct 02 05:36
Henry -- When I first saw UTC it was late night and I was scanning the tube. The public TV channel listing said something about a show on southern California Rock bands and album covers or something. Click. I was freaked. I had been very familiar with you and your photography so it was really cool to see you standing there live and in... well... celluloid I guess. In any event, I only caught part of the show but later got the disc and saw the whole thing. It's a wonderful piece that somehow strikes me as wonderfully eerie. Watching you and Gary back track through time to the places where this rock history was made, the scene of the first CSN cover... you guys are standing on a parking lot that many CSN fans would consider a shrine... and you clearly remembered it as if it were yesterday. The Morrison Hotel... I mean so many places reduced to memories... In the video you guys seem like a couple of happy go lucky guys just cruising around the town. And maybe I'm just a morose bastard, but it struck me that going back like that, especially to the places that had physically changed so drastically...it would have hard for me to do. Kind of real blast of mortality. "Stop it dude, you're harshin' my buzz!" Can you share your experiences of what that part of it was like?
David Gans (tnf) Wed 30 Oct 02 09:10
> If we do something in Hilo it will be to record another album. We've al- > ways intended to record an album of Hawaiian music with 4-part harmony and > Chip's amazingly good slack key guitar playing. If we actually do it, > David, you're most welcome to come and hang out. As a journalist, record producer, musician and recently-renascent photog- rapher, I'd be thrilled! But mostly I'd be happy to hear the resulting CD.
crawling along next to the highway (divinea) Wed 30 Oct 02 18:04
Henry, thanks for simplifying Christmas this year. Everybody that was here for the "launch" of the DVD wants it, so my shopping is done. We really really enjoyed ourselves. I hope that there was more left of your old NY neighborhood than there was in LA... I wondered while I was watching about the stories that didn't make it in. What was left out, in your mind, that you would have liked to include? Are there shoots that stand out as peak experiences? Were there jobs that were no fun at all (hard to imagine- Gary looks like big fun to travel with)? Anybody you wish you'd shot that you didn't get the chance to?
Chris Carroll (marvy) Wed 30 Oct 02 18:44
All these people with these excellent questions! I'm supposed to be interviewing here, but with y'all I think I 'll just sit back and let Henry answer. Henry?
Henry Diltz (henrydiltz) Thu 31 Oct 02 02:53
Hi Tony...Well it is too bad that little wooden house and old couch turned into a parking lot...it would have made a great little office/studio. Basically, tho, I feel like life is an adventure and you have to go along with it through all the changes that come along. All the past moments make rich memories, but it is what's about to happen that makes it interesting. I can remember being amazed, in psychedelic moments, to really understand that we are all in the moment together, moving along between the immediate past and the imminent future. Poised on the brink of anything. Feeling that way, I find it just a bit odd that I have become known as a collector of past images. They are past now, but at the time they were taken they WERE the moment. It's all very existential. Anyway, I try to accept change as a part of floating down the river of time, ya know what I mean? ( We get to do it all over again anyway ). Today I took pictures of my friend, Bennett, in Laurel Canyon for his CD cover, then Heather Mills McCartney at a Borders booksigning in Northridge, and tonite Waddy's Rockers at a club in North Hollywood ( Waddy Wachtel, Terry Reid, Rick Rosas, Phil Jones and sundry guest artists ). Tomorrow is Halloween so I'm goin to bed now and I'll jump back in here in the morning.
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Thu 31 Oct 02 07:36
As expected, a great answer Henry. I can't tell you how badly I would have liked to have been able to share some of those psychedelic awakenings with you. From our conversations I know that this most recent pressing of UTC includes some footage of Richard Pryor NOT found in some of the earlier pressings. I'm with divinea on this. Do you have stories about the segments that might have ended up on the cutting room floor? And what, if any, was the process used in selected which stories would make it, and which ones would'nt?
David Gans (tnf) Thu 31 Oct 02 08:49
Waddy! What a character. Is that band a regular gig?
Henry Diltz (henrydiltz) Fri 1 Nov 02 03:02
Ahh...finally back after overseeing my teenage son's Halloween party. It got a bit too crowded with friends of friends of friends, but no neighbors complained and no cops came. As to stories that didn't make the DVD...there are many that did not involve album covers ( which is what this DVD is about ). There are certainly enough to make another one, say ,about going on the road with CSNY, the Eagles, America, the New Barbarians (Ron Wood and Keith Richards), Bad Company, Dan Fogelberg, Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, the Lovin' Spoonful, the Turtles, the Monkees, David Cassidy...and memorable times hanging out with Paul McCartney and with Ringo Starr. There are enough home movies and photos of Stephen Stills to do one on him alone. All it takes to make another DVD is a lot of money. The music rights alone for "Under the Covers" ran about $270,000. The financing initally came from a Japanese electronics company that wanted our program to accompany the release of their new DVD player. The reason Richard Pryor was not in the first version is that he's not a musician and they didn't want him in. Later on we added him back in because we liked that album cover story so much. Actually, Gary and I did quite a few UNmemorable album covers...people you've never heard of. It might be fun to put all those together but who would finance that?...and more importantly, who would buy it? Divinea asked if there was anyone I would like to have photographed. I would have to say John Lennon, Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker. Before I got into folk music I was a huge fan of West Coast cool jazz. Paul Desmond, who played that incredible lyrical sax in Dave Brubeck's group was another hero. Roy Rogers was a big hero of mine when I was a young boy, and I finally did get a chance to photograph him in his later years. But my biggest music hero of all is Pete Seeger. I have taken his picture a few times with Arlo Guthrie, but not enough. After naming all those people though, I feel like saying that it's not about photographing famous people for me...it's just about photographing any people. I find them all fascinating in their own way, and the famous ones are just people like everybody else. Still, it IS fun to get to hang out and be a " fly on the wall " with people whose talents I've admired...but that is more about me as a musician than as a photographer.
Henry Diltz (henrydiltz) Fri 1 Nov 02 03:23
Waddy's regular gig with the band I mentioned is really every Monday night at a little place in West Hollywood called the Joint. Jack Tempchin ( songwriter with the Eagles ) originally put the band together and it also included Bernard Fowler who is off singing back-up with the Stones for the next year. All together it is the best music in LA. Waddy Wachtel is the American Keith Richards when it comes to a hot amazing sound. He is blistering and tasty at the same time. It's sometimes hard to believe it is just one guy playing all that. And Terry Reid is extremely entertaining as the clown prince of rock and roll. It HAS gotten a bit crowded in that place lately...and for good reason!
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Fri 1 Nov 02 04:26
+++++ As to stories that didn't make the DVD...there are many that did not involve album covers ( which is what this DVD is about ). There arecertainly enough to make another one, say ,about going on the road with CSNY, the Eagles, America, the New Barbarians (Ron Wood and Keith Richards), Bad Company, Dan Fogelberg, Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, the Lovin' Spoonful, the Turtles, the Monkees, David Cassidy...and memorable times hanging out with Paul McCartney and with Ringo Starr.There are enough home movies and photos of Stephen Stills to do one on him alone. +++++ Hhhmmm. Henry? Sounds like, smells like, walks like... A book maybe? <wink wink, nudge nudge> DZ -- I've got my recorder ready. Got your pencil and pad?
Henry Diltz (henrydiltz) Fri 1 Nov 02 15:00
I hear ya ,Tony. It'll happen someday. The game plan at this point is to keep photo sales building at the Soho gallery and maybe a couple more galleries until I can afford to hire the right person to sit here and do the stuff I am stuck doing every day...answer phone calls, look for the photos people and companies are calling about, get prints made, take them to Fed Ex, send invoices, water the plants, and so on. THEN I can sit down in some quite place ( Tahiti? ) and reflect on what this book would be. It would take half a year just to go thru all my journals and collected notes. I'm not trying to put it off, I really am looking forward to putting all this stuff together. And in the meantime I am having a great time just living each day and what it brings. Life is Good!
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Fri 1 Nov 02 16:28
I have to ask, Henry - did Heather Mills remove her leg? She was doing that, quite matter-of-factly, on an interview show earlier this week.
crawling along next to the highway (divinea) Fri 1 Nov 02 19:30
Slippage- Man, Henry, I smell a book, too. While I also look forward to what's next, I think we've had the privilege of living through some of the most interesting and beautiful times, so I say document it all for later, for our kids. It struck me that the film clip from Big Bear showed a lighthearted Stephen Stills that I've never seen. Why is he so underrepresented in the media, do you think (compared to his more verbose compadres...maybe that's it)? Would you agree that he's underappreciated, musically? When I saw your photos of Cass Elliott and Jimi Hendrix, I was blown away by young they were. I mean, I knew it, but to see them again and really get that was so sad. What would you say about those two? And for our vicarious enjoyment, can you share some great road moments, Henry- or just some favorites? Thanks...this is a great topic...
Chris Carroll (marvy) Sat 2 Nov 02 05:47
Hi everybody, remember me, I'm the guy who's supposed to be conducting this "interview". But y'all are doing such a good job asking questions I've just been lurking. But now I'm going away for a couple days, and won't be back till Monday or so. Carry on, keep it up, I'll see you guys in a couple...
David Gans (tnf) Sat 2 Nov 02 19:12
> Waddy Wachtel is the American Keith Richards when it comes to a hot amazing > sound. I loved that RONIN record he did about 20 years ago. He really showed his Keithitude.
Henry Diltz (henrydiltz) Mon 4 Nov 02 10:06
Heather did not remove her leg at the Borders book signing. There were hundreds of people in a line that wound throughout the store, and a zoo of papparazzi all flashing at once like a lightening storm every time see looked up and smiled. I think she would be more apt to do that kind of a demonstration in a less charged situation. I did meet her once at a McC recording session in LA, and she was delightful. She got me a coffee...even after I insisted I could get my own...and told me to help myself to the cakes (brownies...the plain kind ). The thing that seemed so different to having Linda there was her English accent. I was used to a blond lady with an American accent around Paul all the times I had been around him.
Henry Diltz (henrydiltz) Mon 4 Nov 02 12:23
As far as Stephen being underrepresented in the media...I think it IS because his two partners are more verbose. I don't think he is underappreciated musically. Of the three he is by far the hero of rock and roll notes put into the air, it's just that he doesn't hold forth vocally on all the issues the other two do. He's a musician first and formost and doesn't have a world renowned photo collection like Graham, or a reputation in the artificial insemination world like Crosby. He's just not an outspoken guy. Stephen does however have a program for donating musical instruments to needy grade school children, and he does host fund raisers at his home for Tibetian Monks and Democratic candidates. I think he just goes about his business a little more quietly than his partners.
crawling along next to the highway (divinea) Mon 4 Nov 02 20:41
>>a reputation in the artificial insemination world like Crosby. Ah, the perfect pseud waiting for its owner. Having spent your working life as an artist surrounded by artists, Henry, what do you think the role of artists should be in the public discourse? How is their voice best used, do you suppose? And just out of curiosity, how did you find Linda McCartney?
Gary Lambert (almanac) Mon 4 Nov 02 22:33
The temptation to say "turned left at Greenland" is enormous. But it would be wrong.
crawling along next to the highway (divinea) Tue 5 Nov 02 09:59
Wrong, yea- but still funny. And I thought that's how you find Santa.
David Freiberg (freemountain) Tue 5 Nov 02 11:23
I met Linda (Eastman at the time) in 1968, when she was shooting Quicksilver Messenger Service in New York. I quite liked her. As a matter of fact (as she later related in her book), I taught her how to roll a joint. About ten years later, I met her again, after a Wings concert in San Francisco. She and Paul were both most gracious and genuine. I was most saddened by her passing.
"bright sun 250th @ f8" or "deep shade 125th @ f4" (chrys) Tue 5 Nov 02 20:55
>Heather did not remove her leg excuse me? Can someone explain this to those of us who don't understand the reference?
Henry Diltz (henrydiltz) Tue 5 Nov 02 23:44
I found Linda at a photo lab in NYC...Modern Age Photo Lab...in 1966 when I was spending the summer photographing the Lovin' Spoonful. I found her to be friendly and open, and we became friends immediately. Later, in LA, we went to lunch and I took her to Gary Burden's graphic studio and showed her the white-washed garage in his backyard where we took photos. Some years later, when she was married to Paul, she called to ask me if I would photograph them both for a songbook..."Ram." We spent the afternoon sitting by the pool while Paul strummed his ukulele, and their daughters swam in the pool...and Paul made up a song about "two little sisters jumping in the pool." At the end of the day Linda asked me if they could see the photos early the next morning to choose one for a cover for LIFE magazine...which they did. A big thrill for any photographer, and Linda to thank for it . Several more years later I got a phone call from a yacht in the Virgin Islands asking if I could fly right down and spend the last week with the McCartney's as they finished up tracks for "London Town." "Paul wants you to do that 'fly on the wall' thing." There were three boats, anchored at Watermelon Bay, in the middle of a U.S. national park. They lived on one boat with their three girls, one boat was the recording studio, and the third was home for the musicians and guests and had the long captain's table where we had communal dinners. Never set foot on land the whole week. Swam a lot though. And at night the musicians and crew, high on booze, would get up on the roof and try to throw one another overboard. Linda asked if I would put together a photo memory book for them, an endeavor I found highly creative, The day I heard she'd left us, I walked into a thrift shop and immediately spotted a coffee cup with "Linda" on it. I took it home with me and think of her often in the morning when I'm having a cup of English breakfast tea. She was one of the best people.
Henry Diltz (henrydiltz) Wed 6 Nov 02 00:01
For those who do not understand Heather Mills removing her leg...it comes off. She lost a leg when she was run over by a police motorcycle in England several (?) years ago. She is now a champion for the removal of land mines and is very much involved in helping young amputees learn to walk with artificial limbs. She is quick to demonstrate the ease with which this is possible. She has a new book just out which details these events...I guess. You tell me, I haven't read it yet.
Gary Lambert (almanac) Wed 6 Nov 02 00:06
>I found Linda at a photo lab in NYC...Modern Age Photo Lab...in 1966 Wow, I was getting all of my photo work done at ModernAge in 1966... I may have been rubbing elbows with greatness and didn't even know it! My Well presence has been sporadic for the last week or so, so I haven't been able to spend as much time in this topic as I'd like. I also haven't seen the "Under The Covers" DVD yet, but aim to rectify that ASAP. Just wanted to say that I have loved your work for a long, long time, Henry... and even if I had never seen a single one of your photos, you would have a permanent place in my personal Hall of Coolness for one thing alone... the fact that you played clarinet on what is very close to my favorite album of all time -- "Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful" (made around the time you were hanging out at ModernAge photo labs, I'd guess!).
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