Coming this October from famous rock photographer Elliott Landy is a book of unseen photographs of THE BAND. Elliott has published several books and sits on top of a large archive of never released photos of the group in their most prolific period in Woodstock NY. This is a must have book for any BAND fans out there or a great gift for a BAND fan. See Elliotts comments on the books evolution.
As most people familiar with the Band’s music know, I took the photos for their first two albums, Music From Big Pink and The Band. During that period I was the only photographer they let take pictures of them. They treated me like a friend and allowed me the freedom to hang out and take whatever pictures I wanted. Looking back, I wish I had shot more, but my laid-back style was what allowed me to be close with them. I never interfered with what was going on, never asked them to do anything just for the camera.
I shot over 8000 frames of film. Of these, only about 30 have been widely published. The photos have been in my studio for over forty years, taking up prime space on the shelves and in my fireproof file cabinet. I am still in love with them. I feel it’s my best body of work from the Sixties and each time I peruse the unseen contact sheets, proof prints and slides, I find at least one new gem and think, “I am going to make a book of all this some day.” Well, now is the moment. I am seventy-one, still feeling twenty, but recognizing that time will catch my body and spirit soon enough and that with crowd sourcing support I will be able, finally, to make the book I want to make. I am gathering the best of it to make into a finely printed book so that the experiences I had while hanging out with them will be passed on. The photographs of Garth, Levon, Richard, Rick and Robbie show their camaraderie, their love of life and music. It will visually define who they were for the generations to come—brothers creating two of the greatest albums in the history of music.
My photographic journey with THE BAND began on Rick’s uncle’s farm outside of Toronto where we went to shoot the next of kin photo. The next time I photographed them was at Big Pink on Easter Sunday, 1968. The sessions with them continued for the next two years in Woodstock and on the road, taking me to Los Angeles to hang out at Sammy Davis Jr.’s pool-house while they recorded their self-titled album, backstage for their debut show in San Francisco, and to The Woodstock Festival.
Because of unfettered access, the photographs bring us into their lives, from the mundane chores of grocery shopping to the fun of playing football in the backyard to the sublime moments of creation in the studio and onstage. You will be transported back to their house above the Ashokan Reservoir and invited to gather on Levon’s bed as they discuss lyrics for who knows, Rag Mama Rag or maybe King Harvest….