The Band, Levon Helm, ‘Winterland Ballroom’ © Elliott Landy at Proud Galleries London

The Band, Levon Helm, ‘Winterland Ballroom’

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© Elliott Landy
Winterland Ballroom, U.S.A. 1969
Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity

Actually the first session was when I went up to Canada to photograph their families. They wanted to include a picture of their relatives in the [Music From Big Pink] album, as a way of saying thank you for helping us our whole lives. And then a few weeks after that, I went up to the house they called Big Pink, which was in West Saugerties, New York, in the area of Woodstock – just down the road from where I live now, by chance. There’s some great pictures in that first shoot, but they didn’t see one that they felt was a cover, so I went back a second time, [by which point] they were no longer in Big Pink. I guess they got their advance from the record label and instead of living in one house, they got two larger places.

They’re in the garden outside a house that Garth [Hudson] and Richard [Manuel] rented on Ohayo Mountain Road, which is one of the mountains that surround Woodstock. It was quite a beautiful home that overlooked a big reservoir, and they just got musical instruments and went outside and started playing and fooling around. There’s a number of really good pictures from that sequence that I plan to put in the new book. They weren’t seriously creating music there, so they were improvising as far as I know. Garth was not a violinist, of course. I imagine he must have played violin somewhere on some of the tracks, but that wasn’t his job with the group. So they were really fooling around and just making for interesting photographs. They were improvising both visually and musically. Sam Richards for Uncut

Elliott Landy, born in 1942, began photographing the anti-Vietnam war movement and the underground music culture in NYC in 1967. His images of Bob Dylan and The Band, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and many others show the music scene during that time which culminated in the 1969 Woodstock Festival, of which he was the official photographer. He is also known for his work using kaleidoscopes and for his experimental still life of flowers. Landy’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide and published on the covers of major US and international magazines and newspapers including the New York Times, Life, Rolling Stone and the Saturday Evening Post. He is represented worldwide by Magnum Photos, Getty, and several other local photo agencies.

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