Country Joe McDonald Prints

Scanned, original print showing signatures (click to enlarge)

A few weeks ago I obtained these amazing photographs from Country Joe McDonald. The first was taken at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967, the second at the equally legendary Woodstock Music and Art Festival in August of 1969. As you can see, both photos were signed by Country Joe and my friend Super Star photographer, Jim Marshall. Not only that, both men signed both the print as well as the matt board. Very rare and hugely collectable. I’ve got a couple of each; if anybody is interested in adding one to his/her collection, shoot me an email and we’ll start a conversation.

Scanned original print showing signatures on matt board, and label on back

Scanned original print showing signatures (click to enlarge)

Scanned original print showing signatures on matt board, and label on back

A Whole Lot of Free

Jimi Hendrix, San Francisco, 1968 © Baron Wolman

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, folks, but there is such a thing as a free book. Purchase an 8×10 signed and numbered silver gelatin print for $350 ($100 less than my normal retail price for a print that size) and I will send you a free signed and numbered slip-cased copy of “The Rolling Stone Years”, plus free shipping as well!

There’s a whole lot of free going on here. At the moment there are only 40 copies still available, so avail yourself of one today and then go treat yourself to lunch…

What A Year!

© Anna Webber

Baron here sending warm holiday greetings from the high desert in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to all my friends, old and new, and, of course, to the many musicians who posed for me over the years and thereby helped define my career and make “The Rolling Stone Years” the success it has been.

If it weren’t for the talent of the musicians there would be no music, no music photographers and no music photos; for all of you I am eternally grateful. I traveled the world in 2011, meeting so many amazing people and sharing stories from my book. It was a privilege and an honor to be among all of you, and I remember you all with great affection.

From Moscow to Sydney, from New York to San Francisco, from Austin to London, this has been one helluva year…!!! I am told the book is pretty much sold out in the stores, and who knows if the publisher will reprint. I still have a few copies of the Premium and Limited edition available directly from me; if you were hoping to add a copy to your library, I’d say that now is the time.

So, as the holidays come upon us and the end of the year nears, let me send you all greetings of the season with hope that 2012 brings our land and our planet greater joy, more peace, and endless generosity of spirit toward one another. Yes, it’s only rock and roll, but we love it. And I send that love to all of you…

(Read a new review of the book on Music Industry Newswire)

With my 2011 Classic Rock VIP Award!

Time To Buy

Good night and good luck…

OK, so I’m not Edward R. Murrow but I’ve been on TV and this book sure has brought me good luck. I’ve met some wonderful people on my ‘world tour,’ seen new places, eaten some tasty food, signed hundreds of books, and blushed too many times at the words of admiration for the photos and my life as a music photographer. I still say, “I was just another guy with a camera.” Sure! A very very lucky guy. Lucky to have been in the right place at the right time, and to have taken advantage of that singular opportunity.

However, a review of the past few months is not the point of the communiqué. Rather it is to alert you that there are less than 50 copies remaining each of both the Premium and Limited editions of “The Rolling Stone Years.” Only 600 copies of the Premium and 150 copies of the Limited editions were produced, and when they are gone they are gone forever.

As you probably know, the only way to purchase a copy is through me and this website (as well as from a few photo galleries which exhibit and sell my prints). So, if you have been considering adding a copy of “The Rolling Stone Years” to your library, now is the time.

The Premium edition is $60 plus shipping. The Limited edition which includes a signed and numbered 8×10 silver gelatin print of Jimi Hendrix, is $350. Shipping is free. Click here to buy your copy now.

No whining when the books are sold out, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Cosmic World Book Tour and More, Tucson

Joan Baez, Big Sur Folk Festival, Esalen, Big Sur, CA, 1969

Who Shot Rock and Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present – a museum-sized traveling exhibition of rock photography – rolls into the Tucson Museum of Art on Oct. 22. Organized by the Brooklyn Museum, it celebrates not only the music’s stars – Kurt Cobain, Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry – but the photography stars who made the music’s makers indelible.

Megastar rock photog Annie Leibovitz is in the show, of course, along with a host of others, including Baron Wolman, the first-ever photographer at Rolling Stone magazine; Lynn Goldsmith; and the late Linda Eastman McCartney. New York curator Gail Buckland approaches rock shots “as an art form,” says TMA chief curator Julie Sasse. “She captures an era, giving photographers credit for helping shape our vision of rock ‘n’ roll.”

Once the show was booked, the TMA folks enlisted as many partner venues as possible. The Etherton Gallery quickly took the bait. Its show, Rockin’ the Desert: Photographs by Baron Wolman and Lynn Goldsmith, features two photographers who are also in the TMA show. Wolman has “shot” everybody from Johnny Cash and Janis Joplin to Joan Baez and Mick Jagger, not to mention a groupie here and there. Rockin’ the Desert will actually open first, on Sept. 6, and continue through Nov. 12.

As the song says – sort of – there’s a whole lotta cross-fertilization goin’ on. Rolling Stone alum Wolman will give a talk about his work over at TMA, at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, the same day that Etherton stages an evening opening for Rockin’ the Desert, from 7 to 10 p.m. Then, right after the party, revelers can ramble round the corner to the Rialto Theatre, for real-life rockin’ by Jefferson Starship, a band piloted by Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane fame. Doors open at 10:30 p.m.; show starts at 11 p.m.

Janis Joplin – Concert For One

Janis Joplin, Belvedere Street Studio, San Francisco, 1968

“I needed to get some color shots of Janis, but there were no concerts scheduled so she came to the studio… I don’t know what goes on in the head of performers; maybe they either perform or they don’t perform… As I recall Janis could not “not” perform, so for an hour she gave me the gift of a Janis Joplin live performance. I call it “The Concert For One.” I was taking pictures and she was singing just for me alone.”

On The Set Of Odd Thomas

L: Eric Amundsen; R: Mitch Amundsen. On set, July 25th, 2011. All images © Baron Wolman

The feature film “ODD THOMAS” is currently being shot in Santa Fe. The name is not the odd part – for me there were several unexpected and odd coincidences. First, Eric Amundsen, the film crew’s Digital Imaging Technician emailed me about the possibility of buying a copy of “The Rolling Stone Years” in Santa Fe. He had seen the photo of Janis Joplin playing pool in her Larkspur, California home in the summer double issue of Rolling Stone. We exchanged emails and Eric invited me to the set to watch the filming. Second, the location was the radio studios of Hutton Broadcasting here in Santa Fe, the offices of which are decorated with my photographs! Third, it turns out that Eric and his brother Mitch, the film’s Director of Photography, “were raised in Larkspur [California], played pool on Janis’s table in West Baltimore, listened to lots of San Francisco music and stared at your pictures.” And I lived for years in Mill Valley, the town directly adjacent to Larkspur.

It was fascinating to watch the movie being made, in particular because this movie is being shot entirely digitally. The lenses look the same, the cameras don’t. I exchanged “war” stories with the crew over the catered lunch, then watched how Eric works with the huge digital files, and began to understand how they are managed and transmitted. All fascinating stuff. Everybody on the set was hugely hospitable. Now I think I want to make a movie. Is this a great world or what…!!!

Sally Mann

Sally Mann, ‘Groupie’ San Francisco, 1968

The lead story in Rolling Stone issue #27 was entitled ‘Groupies and Other Girls’. Sally Mann always considered herself one of the ‘Other Girls’, and I agree. There was a certain elegance and style about her, as there were with most of the women I photographed for that issue. But there was something else, too – Sally certainly didn’t behave like a groupie, she was reserved and confident and quiet. And when she married Spencer Dryden of the Jefferson Airplane she was a blushing, self-assured bride; I know because I photographed the wedding.

Other groupies had drug problems… some never recovered from them. Drugs were so much a part of the scene back then. During the groupie interviews we learned how they would chase after a rock star and get into his bed in his hotel room or wherever he was staying when he was on tour. For the groupies that was, of course, a central step in the chase, but the most important element – and they almost all admitted this to us – was when they would pick up the phone in the hotel room, call their friends and say, “You’ll never guess where I am.”

I lost track of Sally, heard stories about her various ‘problems’ and didn’t really try to make contact again. In the new book, my recounting of her life between my Rolling Stone days and hers was based upon snippets of information from the ‘Groupie hot line’ and an occasional email from her. Of course, I should have asked her about her journey before we went to press. The other day I finally did, and this is her tale.

“Here’s the scoop: After I was arrested in 1980 or so for failing to return or pay the bill on a rental car (Hey – what can I say?! I learned everything I know on the road!), my father and the inaptly-named Judge Love decided that I would benefit from a brief stint at the State Hospitality Suite. I did learn some eye-opening lessons there, just not the ones they had in mind. I was incarcerated for less than a year, was a Trustee, and did take college courses to keep from going starkers. It wasn’t until 1985, though, well after my release, when the real miracle happened – I finally got sober in AA, to the eternal gratitude of my family, the constabulary, the general population, and the Universe at large.

In 1986, I married a local musician and eventually became seriously interested in practicing law. I returned to college while working as a paralegal, and was graduated summa cum laude from the University of Saint Thomas. In my junior year there, through a stunning combination of good fortune and skull-numbing hard work, I was nominated by the University for, and was eventually named, a Truman Scholar, which is a fairly prestigious deal to people who care about such things. At any rate, this was a real watershed turn of events – it led to my receiving a full-boat free ride to law school and my nomination for a Woodruff Fellowship, not to mention a serious chunk of change. But all this has to do with scholarship and public service, not resurrecting the morally-impaired.

And, of course, I never would have been admitted to the Bar with a felony conviction so I had been simultaneously pursuing a pardon while trying to keep my eyes on the prize: admission to the State Bar. Thanks chiefly to the incredible fellowship of AA, my pardon application received hundreds of letters of support, and in 1993, one day before law school apps were due, I received a full gubernatorial pardon from the luminous Ann Richards. Of course, it didn’t hurt that she was a sober alcoholic herself, as was the Lieutenant Governor at the time, but I am not fretting over details – the pardon negated my conviction, and I was eligible to practice law. In 1996, I graduated with honors from Emory, was admitted to the Order of the Coif, and passed the Bar exam.

While my pardon meant that I did not have to reveal the conviction to employers, etc., because it no longer exists, I have never really worked very hard at hiding it and don’t really care too much anymore who knows about it; it’s kind of a cautionary morality tale for anyone who cares to take heed. The p-word just looks kind of jarring on the page these thirty years later, but God and everyone else knows that I can always use a dose of humility. At any rate, I owe my life to AA and the Democrats, and I don’t intend to abandon either one any time soon. Or you.

So do with this what you will – if you want to put this letter on the website, please do, or shorten it if you need to. I am just crazy about you and so honored to be in ANY book of yours. GROUPIE-SCHMOOPIE!

Keep clicking, dude, you RULE.

Love always, Sally”

Every Picture Tells A Story

Photographing Jann Wenner, San Francisco, 1968

“Every Picture Tells A Story – Baron Wolman, The Rolling Stone Years.” Its 176 pages are filled with photos and text. Some of the photos have never been seen; none of the words have ever been read – other than by me and the editors, of course. It’s a picture book with text, the stories behind the photos. For years I’ve been asked to talk about the photos, how they came to be, what happened on assignment at the various shoots. This book will answer those questions and more. I and my camera were fortunate to be around at a seminal time in the history of our country and the music business. The book is my “thank you” for the privilege.