John Fogerty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Oakland Coliseum Arena, CA, 1970
Always lovely to see the original Rolling Stone Magazine photographs reproduced in current issues. This week Rolling Stone, Spain, published a long retro piece, talking about Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Pete Townshend, Frank Zappa, Miles Davis and Mick Jagger, in conjunction with Baron’s appearances in the country this month.
Jimi Hendrix, New York City, 1970
Australian magazine Photo Review just published an interview they recorded during the Antipodean leg of the Rolling Stone Years Cosmic World Tour. Some of the highlights:
PR: You’ve said that often you’d come away from shooting a concert and remember almost nothing of what had happened. Why is that?
BW: You had to be totally involved in the photographic moment. There was no autofocus, no auto-exposure, no auto-winders. Everything was done manually and you had to think it out in advance before you did anything. On stage the lights were always changing, and that meant the correct exposure was always changing too. I had a spot meter that looked like a machine-gun almost. I’d point it at the musician hoping that the reading I got then would kind of stay that way for awhile, you know. That was before there ever was a meter in the camera itself.
PR: So your mind is filled with the technical challenges while you’re shooting, then you come out of it and discover what you’ve done?
BW: Well, I knew that I could turn it on and off. I had to actually stop thinking actively about what I was doing and just let it come to me. You know, I felt like I was a conduit for these images to come through – wherever they were coming from – through me to the camera. I felt like I didn’t play a major role in it – obviously I did – but I felt somehow disconnected… I didn’t feel like I was responsible for the pictures; although obviously I was.
James Brown, San Francisco, 1970
“In 1970, I had to shoot a James Brown New Year’s Eve concert, that is, once I finally made it through his multiple layers of security. He had more security than I had ever seen; everybody checked me out, “What are you doing here? Does James know about this?” Big black guys made me very aware of being a small white guy. But once they approved you, once they brought you in with the “family,” they left you alone, you could shoot what you wanted, and you were golden.”
Jim Marshall, Oakland, 1970
One night at Newport, Jim and I were both shooting at an outdoor stage. It was crystal clear with a full bright moon hanging overhead, a perfect summer night, a night I’ll never forget. I looked up and said, “Jim, think about it. Those mother-fuckers are walking on the moon right now while we’re shooting this concert. It was July 20, 1969 and Neil Armstrong was up there in the sky talking about “one small step for man…” Had you asked Jim, he would have told you how time suddenly stood still for us and what an amazing moment that was.”
Eric Clapton, Fillmore East, New York City, 1970
By 1970, Baron slowly realizes he himself has gained a little fame: “Once I went to the Fillmore East to shoot a show, I think Eric Clapton was playing with Delaney & Bonnie. I went to the stage door where my name was supposed to be on the list. “What’s your name?” “Baron Wolman.” “Oh, you’re already here.” Somebody had impersonated me and gone in earlier! I was flattered; by then my name had some clout.”