The Band Photographs, 1968-1969
The Band Photographs,1968-1969
By Elliott Landy
Over 200 photographs, more than half never before published, document the creation of the Band’s first two albums, as seen through the lens of Elliott Landy.
On rare exalted occasions, a photographer gains the trust of a performer or band, and his work fuses with theirs in such a way that the two entities become “married” in the public consciousness. One can think of David Duncan’s pictures of Picasso at work or Alfred Wertheimer’s pictures of Elvis backstage in 1956.
The Band Photographs, 1968-1969 (December 2015, Backbeat Books, $44.99), Elliott Landy’s chronicle of the Band from 1968 to 1969, is of such importance. The mutual trust and collaborative partnership was so deep that this collection of photographs forms an intimate portrait of a group of musicians not only engaged in their craft, but captured as they created a new genre of music.
Originally crowdfunded by what would become Kickstarter’s highest funded campaign for a photography book, The Band Photographs, 1968-1969 features more than 200 photographs documenting the making of the Band’s first two albums, Music from Big Pink and The Band. More than half of the photos, drawn from Landy’s archive of more than 12,000 images, have never been published before.
“I designed and created this book entirely in my own studio, with complete creative control,” Landy explained. “Because of this, I was able to lay out the photos as I wanted, in order to create the most harmonious visual book experience and communicate what was going on in front of the camera.
The book also features commentary from John Simon, who produced the Band’s first two albums and was considered the Band’s sixth member, and an introduction by Jonathan Taplin, tour manager for the Band from 1969 to 1972. As Taplin writes in his foreword, “In a sense, these pictures are the photographic analogue of The Band’s song, ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’—harkening back to the formal portraiture of Matthew Brady and other late 19th Century photographers. But these pictures are honest and true. They live in the photographic tradition of Robert Frank’s The Americans. Elliott’s images are a record of a wonderfully creative period in America that won’t come again.”
12.0″ x 12.0″
BackBeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ELLIOTT LANDY is one of the first music photographers to be recognized as an “artist.” His images of Bob Dylan and the Band, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Joan Baez, Van Morrison, Richie Havens, and many others documented the music scene during that classic rock-and-roll period that culminated with the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival, for which he was the official photographer. His photographs have appeared on the covers of major magazines such as Life, Saturday Evening Post, and Rolling Stone, and in all media internationally for the past 40 years. He is author of six books, including Woodstock Vision: The Spirit of a Generation, also published by Backbeat Books. He lives in Woodstock, N.Y.