Henry Diltz: Rock's 'accidental photographer' wins lifetime achievement prize

2023-09-20 01:31:50  • 8 mins

By Mark Savage

BBC Music Correspondent

He's shot more than 250 album covers, was the official photographer at Woodstock, and saw his work appear in Life Magazine. But Henry Diltz considers his career a lucky accident.

"I never went to photo school, I've never had a job, I never even thought about it," he says.

"I just hung out with all my musician friends, taking photos. It's been a fun, adventurous lifestyle."

Despite that (or maybe because of it), he's responsible for some the most iconic images of the 1960s and 70s: David Crosby holding a gun made from the US flag to his head; Joni Mitchell playing lap steel guitar in the middle of a field; The Eagles, high on peyote, posing in the Joshua Tree National Park.

As a musician himself, Diltz had unrivalled access to some of rock's biggest names - often contributing backing vocals and banjo parts to their albums when he wasn't behind the lens.

His ease around people like Neil Young, Debbie Harry and Jimi Hendrix meant he often caught them in private moments, lost in thought, or playing with their pets - and there's an organic, unposed aesthetic to his work that's impossible to recreate.

Continue read on bbc.com

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