Mick Jagger’s seductive smile, the Beatles bonding with the Maharishi in India, Keith Richards strolling to his private jet with a half-empty Jack Daniels bottle - these are just a few snapshots that document an iconic period in music history - the birth of rock n’ roll. The drugs, the booze, peace and love, hippies and groupies are often things that come to mind when someone mentions the 60’s and 70’s music scene.
Photographers Pattie Boyd, Henry Diltz and Carinthia West strip away these clichés and invite us to take a glimpse into the lives of those who broke musical barriers – the forefathers and mothers of rock n’ roll. Eric Clapton, the Beatles, Mama Cass, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner and Jimi Hendrix are names we all know, but who are they really?
Writer, actress, model and photographer for the Rolling Stones, Carinthia West documented a day in life of iconic figures like Ronnie Wood, Helen Mirren and Neil Young. Member of the Modern Folk Quartet Henry Diltz started his journey as a photographer when he purchased a second-hand Kodak Brownie. Little did he know he would capture a number of famous album covers such as Crosby, Stills and Nash, the Doors and James Taylor, and document Woodstock. Collectively, these photographers’ images tell the stories behind the history of the 60s and 70s. Like these musicians, they were artists. As Carinthia’s documentary is aptly titled “Hanging Out”, Pattie, Henry and Carinthia were just spending time with friends ‘hanging out’.
As a gallery assistant at Hilton Asmus, I was lucky enough to hear the stories behind these photographs directly from the those captured them and the wonderful Renee Pappas, a true expert on music history, once married to co-founder of Atlantic Records, Jerry Wexler. Even prior to the shows official opening, I was struck by visitors’ nostalgic reactions to these images. “I had all these albums!” or “Oh my god, I had such a crush on James Taylor,” are just a handful.
Elliott Roberts, Neil Young’s manager, made a special appearance. The next day, he called Carinthia and Renee to say that when Neil Young found out Carinthia was in Chicago, he wanted to see her. He invited Carinthia and Renee backstage at Farm Aid at Northerly Island where they were able to reminisce with their old friend Neil.
It was a whirlwind week for the trio traveling from TV to Radio stations the first few days of their arrival. Fox News 32’s Corey McPherrin hosted Pattie, Henry and Carinthia on the morning show. Writer for WTTW, Chloe Riley conducted a fabulous interview in the gallery. Pattie and Henry were invited for interviews on WDRV (The Drive) and then Pattie was off the WBEZ. And Michigan Avenue Magazine did a fabulous article on the show with a half page photo of Keith and Ronnie in their lear jet.
As Ronnie Wood lovingly put it, Carinthia took photographs while we were getting on with life…”