BEHIND THE LENS – HENRY DILTZ AND PATTIE BOYD
Henry Diltz was the official photographer for Woodstock. Pattie Boyd was married to George Harrison and Eric Clapton. These are pretty impressive rock history credentials. When they came together to show their photographs and tell the stories behind them it made for an excellent evening to reminisce at the intimate Murray Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.
If you don’t know who Henry Diltz is, you certainly know his photos! Iconic images from Neil Young to Hendrix. Over 400 album covers to his credit, you probably owned some back in the day – James Taylor, Eagles, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell and many more. Henry started out as a musician, who knew a lot of the artists as they were all living in Laurel Canyon during the explosion of the 70’s southern California music scene. He picked up a second hand camera and started taking pictures of his friends and having slideshows on the weekends for fun. Word spread to get Henry to take your pics. He was asked to shoot at the original Woodstock for a plane ticket and $500.00! He has been the photographer at all of the Woodstock festivals and they are planning to have one for the 50th anniversary in 2019. Henry told great stories as he showed the audience a slideshow of both famous and never before seen photos. Most of the shots were not planned and just happened. He was in the right place at the right time during the advent of the singer-songwriter. His photo shoot with a 12 year-old Michael Jackson was on the cover of the Rolling Stone in 1971. His photo of Paul and Linda McCartney was on the cover of Life magazine, “the holy grail” for photographers. Mr. Diltz now co-owns the Morrison Hotel Galleries in NYC and L.A., the namesake of one of his most famous album covers “The Doors – Morrison Hotel”
Pattie Boyd has been a muse for some of the most beloved rock songs from The Beatles and Eric Clapton. “Something” was written by George Harrison who was inspired by Pattie. “Layla” written before Clapton’s marriage to Boyd when he was in unrequited love with her while she was married to his good friend Harrison. “Wonderful Tonight” was written by Clapton as told by Boyd, “We were getting ready to go out and I was taking a long while to get dressed”. She thought Clapton “would be upset waiting for her, instead he spent the time writing the song”. She was a young model in London and New York and had appeared on the cover of Vogue. She was cast in the Beatles movie, “A Hard Day’s Night” when she met Harrison. They were married for 10 years during and after the Beatles heyday. After divorcing Harrison, Patti married Clapton but the marriage was in trouble with Clapton’s admitted addiction. They divorced in 1988. Pattie started to get behind the lens after being a model and she says she much prefers being the photographer to being photographed. Her photos of both Clapton and Harrison show a more personal side to these public musicians. She also showed some fun, casual photos of Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger and Keith Moon. There were many fans with her book “Wonderful Tonight” in the line at the meet & greet following the show.
Many people brought albums, Rolling Stone magazines and various photos for Henry and Pattie to sign. This is a great idea since these two photographers are part of music history as we know it! Be sure to check out www.pattieboyd.co.uk and www.morrisonhotelgallery.com
photos by Vicky Sullivan, Rock The Lens Photography for The Sarasota Post