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Henry Diltz Honored with Lucie Award for Music Photography at Carnegie Hall Ceremony Next Week


Henry Diltz

By DONNA BALANCIA – Photographer Henry Diltz will be honored with a prestigious Lucie Award for his work in Music Photography at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday.

Diltz said he never expected to be honored for his career.  After all, photography is something he just loves to do and that is reward enough.

“Being a photographer is a solo thing, the actual act of doing it, that is,” the 77-year-old Diltz said. “It’s not like being a opera singer or circus star or a rock star. You don’t get the applause. It’s something you do alone over the years.”

But as the photographer who has shot some of the most famous record albums of our era, the award is well-deserved. The Lucie Awards are given each year to exemplary photographers who make a mark in their respective fields.
“I’m aware that people have read my name,” Diltz said. “In the 1970s I noticed I did a few album covers and sold more than a million records, a million people read my name. Yes your name does get out there.”


Frank Zappa – Photo © Henry Diltz

Among some of his famous subjects are Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and many others. These days, Diltz continues to shoot but he has started to take stock in his images — and those of other photographers — as he is a curator and co-owner of Morrison Hotel Gallery located in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville.

“Around the turn of the century, Peter Blachley my partner at Morrison Hotel Gallery said, ‘You must have quite an archive.’  And I thought, ‘Archive – that sounds too professional. I don’t like the sound of that.’  But I do have a lot of cardboard boxes. People would ask, ‘Are you a professional photographer?’  I thought, no, I do it because I love it.  But then, I thought, I have supported myself for more than 50 years, put kids through school on the money I’ve made, so I suppose I am a professional.”

Diltz said his career as a documentary photographer started during the down time musicians experience between gigs.  He was playing in the band, Modern Folk Quartet in the 1960s when he picked up a camera and it stuck.

Henry Diltz

The Monkees – Photo © Henry Diltz

“In the ’60s and ’70s a lot of your life was hanging out,” Diltz said. “As a musician you’re hanging out. And musicians know how to hang out. You’re not doing anything productive, just passing time enjoying life. So as we were hanging out, I was taking their pictures incidentally.  In doing that to all of my friends, it taught me to be a documentary  photographer. I was only doing it because it was fun.

“I picked up the camera in March of 1966.  During all that time, I was exploring life. I did something else equally good, and that was to write down things I’ve heard. I have stacks and stacks of notes, I don’t write the whole conversation, I’d just be like ‘Wow, that is so great what you just said.’”

Diltz was the official photographer for Woodstock, the Monterey and Miami Music Festivals and was the photographer to document the burgeoning music scene in Laurel Canyon in the 1960s. He left Laurel Canyon when he got married, had kids and moved to the valley.

As for how he manages his inventory of life, he has tried to stay current with the most modern technology.


The Doors – Photo © Henry Diltz

“I always used color slides, for those there were no negatives. Say you work for a record company they want all those. With digital you can keep some also. I have a ’32-trillabyte’ external hard drive.”
His conversation is just as creative as his photography process, which legend has it is a fluid experience as simple as pulling the car over on the side of the road when inspiration strikes.

With the well-known Crosby Stills and Nash couch shoot, the group and Diltz were driving around waiting for inspiration to hit, when they found the white frame house with a couch in the front.  They set up shop and took some photos.  They realized the musicians were not in the right order and went back shortly after the shoot to simply re-arrange the guys on the couch.  The house was razed and the couch was gone.

Life is not as glamorous as it appears for music photographers today as they deal with more and more issues of control, Diltz said.


CSN album cover by Henry Diltz

“Unfortunately, unscrupulous people could make a poster out of the image and the group has no control,” Diltz said.  “As for limiting photographers to shooting the first three songs of a set, I’m not so sure why they have to do that. Maybe they want to look good or they don’t want the photographer to make a poster and make money.  That’s why they started saying ‘sign this contract.’

“But as a photographer I hate that,” Diltz said. “And I did go along and have those concerns for the first 30 or 40 years of my career. Now as a gallery owner I understand the pictures we sell are not usually taken on stage. It’s the backstage pictures that are interesting, a publisher said to me, ‘I want to see Neil Young in socks and underwear.’”

The art of the rock photograph is to capture “the seeing and the hearing,” Diltz said. “Music is the soundtrack to our life. We all have songs to bring us back to memories. As soon as you hear a song you remember. We also have eyes to see, if we’re not there at the concert another way to see the show is in magazines.

“Photography is an adjunct to hearing the music, if you can’t go to a show, you can appreciate through the photos,” Diltz said.

As for those starting out, Diltz said, “Just photograph everything you can.  Take pictures of your family, take pictures of the cat, take pictures of your friends who play in bands. I photographed my friends in bands so that on the weekend we could have a slide show.  I took photos because I wanted to entertain my friends with a slide show on the weekend.”

Diltz will be part of a special event on Oct. 28 called “An Evening with Bernstein, Diltz and Nash,” featuring Joel Bernstein and Graham Nash.  The three will hold a retrospective of their photography work at the Roxy Hotel in NYC.

Rock N Roll Photographers Pattie Boyd and Henry Diltz Bring Their Remarkable Show to NYC

henry diltz

Henry Diltz

Iconic Images by Legendary Snappers Mark First Tour

By DONNA BALANCIA – NEW YORK – Pattie Boyd and Henry Diltz may not look alike, but they both see life in a similar fashion from Behind The Lens.

The two photographers will be on hand to discuss their respective work as Behind The Lens, an exhibit of their photography work, hits New York City on Sept. 21.

“The (Behind The Lens) tour is so great,” Diltz said. “We’re very excited to be doing this type of tour, the first of it’s kind.”

Presented by Morrison Hotel Gallery, produced and directed by gallery co-owner and founder Peter Blachley and executive produced by gallery co-owners Rich Horowitz and Timothy White, Behind The Lens features a live presentation of still and moving images along with the stories told by each photographer.

Crosby, Stills and Nash - Photo © Henry Diltz

Crosby, Stills and Nash – Photo © Henry Diltz

“People think Pattie and I have known each other for a long time, but we only met when Morrison Hotel Gallery started to represent her photography,” Diltz said. “So, it hasn’t been that long, but she is a wonderful person and such a talented photographer.”

Morrison Hotel Gallery will also create a gallery exhibition and sale to travel with each show. GET TICKETS HERE

Diltz is considered one of the greatest music photographers of the last century with over 400,000 images in his archive and over 400 album covers to his name. He has created iconic images for artists including the Doors, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and James Taylor.

Pattie Boyd

Pattie Boyd

Boyd, known as “Queen of the Sixties,” and a well-known model, was the inspiration for the love songs ‘Something,” “Layla,” and “Wonderful Tonight.”  She is known for her photographs of George Harrison, The Beatles, Eric Clapton and others.

“Between the two of us, with all of our stories and the photographs, we have some great stuff to share with the audiences at each stop on the tour,” Diltz said.  “We hope this will be the first of many more Behind The Lens tours to come, with some of the other photographers the gallery works with.”

For New York City Behind The Lens ticket holders, a private reception will be held at the gallery in Soho the night after the show.

The show is presented by Morrison Hotel Gallery.  The gallery has several locations. For more information see Morrison Hotel Gallery. 

Photos from Stevie Nicks, Danny Clinch on Display at Art Basel

Still Moving by Danny Clinch - story produced by Donna Balancia

Danny Clinch has assembled a book of his works, Still Moving

MIAMI — The photographic works of music industry photographer Danny Clinch and rock icon Stevie Nicks will be on display Thursday through Friday at Dream South Beach during the 2014 Art Basel convention in Miami.

All images are for sale via Morrison Hotel Gallery‘s sales suite at Dream South Beach. 

On Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Clinch will sign copies of his new book, Still Moving, in the Dream South Beach lobby.  A private cocktail reception hosted by D’Angelico Guitars, Stillhouse Original Moonshine, Morrison Hotel Gallery, and Dream South Beach will follow on the hotel’s 1970’s-themed poolside rooftop.

Clinch’s band Tangiers Blues Band will perform with a special appearance by Robert Randolph, pedal steel guitarist and front man of the American funk and soul band, Robert Randolph and the Family Band.

Rational Animal, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness to help at-risk animals is the charity to benefit. A dedicated supporter of the charity, The Kills’ Alison Mosshart will DJ at the reception, which runs from 9:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.

Clinch is a well-known photographer of the popular music scene, portraying a wide range of artists from Johnny Cash and Tupac Shakur, to Björk and Dave Matthews.

His images have appeared on hundreds of album covers, as well as in publications such as Vanity Fair, Spin, Rolling Stone, and the New Yorker.

The Morrison Hotel Gallery and Dream South Beach exhibit will showcase images from his book Still Moving (Harry N. Abrams).

Stevie Nicks’ self-portraits debuted at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York to coincide with the October release of her new album, 24 Karat Gold – Songs From the Vault.

A selection of this show comes to Miami for the first time for this Dream South Beach exhibit.

The never-before-seen self-portraits from Nicks’ personal Polaroid collection taken between 1975 and 1987 were curated with her long-time collaborator, music impresario, and co-creator of the Eurythmics, Dave Stewart.

These self-portraits show a fascinating and seldom seen facet of Nicks’ creativity – a photographic journey into the private world of the rock icon.
Morrison Hotel Gallery was founded in 2001 by former record company executive Peter Blachley, music retail industry professional Richard Horowitz, and legendary music photographer Henry Diltz. In 2012, author, director and photographer Timothy White joined the team, launching an additional West Coast gallery at The Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood.

MHG has a robust online presence, featuring over 100,000 images searchable by photographer, music artist, band or concert. MHG has four locations including: Prince Street in SoHo; the Dream Hotel in the Meatpacking District; the Mens Market at the Americana Manhasset on Long Island; and the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood, the company is at the forefront of culture.