Shaping the Sound of a Generation
During the period from 1967 through 1972 “The Golden Age of R&R” I was fortunate to have a camera at my side. Most of the time I was in the studio recording these great artists, but there were many occasions when I had to travel with them on tour to record their live shows or capture their performances in the cities where they lived. 1969 was a particularly busy year doing sessions with Santana in San Francisco, Johnny Winter in Nashville and recording the Woodstock Festival in upstate NY…..
During 1967 besides The Stones and Hendrix, I recorded The Beatles, Traffic, The Small Faces, The Animals, among others. Some of the more memorable moments during that year were the Beatles sessions. Apparently, they could not get into EMI Abbey Road as it was booked up! I was on the first session and we all felt a tremendous responsibility to make sure that we could demonstrate that Olympic (being an independently owned facility) was the equal or better than Abbey Road (most of the studios were in fact owned by the major record labels, Decca, Phillips, PYE etc.) I do remember being pretty damn scared about the fact that the Beatles were coming in, it was like as if royalty had descended upon us. I knew if I even so much as dared to bring my cameras in, I would be killed or fired!! We recorded, overdubbed and mixed “Baby You’re a Rich Man” in one night.
Having a close working relationship with the artist enabled me to get shots of them in a relaxed atmosphere when they were in the middle of creating a song during rehearsals or actually in the process of recording the track. As long as I did not interfere with the actual recordings, the artist never raised any objections.