He began taking pictures with a $20 second-hand Japanese camera purchased while on tour with the Modern Folk Quartet. When MFQ disbanded, he embarked on his photographic career with an album cover for The Lovin’ Spoonful. Despite his lack of formal training, Diltz easily submerged himself in the world of music: the road, the gigs, the humor, the social consciousness, the psychedelia, the up and down times.
For over 40 years, his work has graced hundreds of album covers and has been featured in books, magazines and newspapers. His unique artistic style has produced powerful photographic essays of Woodstock, The Monterey Pop Festival, The Doors, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jimi Hendrix and scores of other legendary artists. Here are stories behind some of his iconic shots...
|Graham Nash, Stephen Stills and David Crosby, 1969. They decided to be Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) after this photo shoot was taken. When they all went back to retake the photos, the building had been torn down. This became their first album cover.|
|Joni Mitchell, 1970. This photo was taken in Laurel Canyon, a neighborhood located in the Hollywood Hills region of Los Angeles, California.|
|Neil Young, 1971. He's pictured at his northern California ranch with his dog.|
|Richard Pryor, 1968. This photo was the front cover of comedian Richard Pryor’s first album, which he titled Richard Pryor.|
|Jimi Hendrix, 1969. Jimi Hendrix playing at Woodstock. “I got to stand on the stage: it was real bizarre and psychedelic,” Diltz remembers.|
|Linda Ronstadt, 1968. Ronstadt was a musical "chameleon." She won numerous awards and experimented in country, rock, jazz and opera. This photo was taken in Santa Monica, Calif.|
(All photos © Henry Diltz)