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Shindig! Archive : The Band

As today would have been LEVON HELM’s 80th birthday we decided to re-visit a piece on THE BAND from way back in issue 54, enjoy……

“The Band, Canada, 1968, Rick Danko’s uncle’s farm, the first time I photographed them. We were there to take the “next of kin” photo which was inside Music From Big Pink.” Elliott Landy.

The photographs that ELLIOTT LANDY took of THE BAND in their hometown of Woodstock, at the fabled house, “Big Pink”, and in Los Angeles as they recorded Music From Big Pink and The Band, have become as iconic as the music itself.
A luxurious book containing many previously unseen images chronicles those first two years, when the synergy between the musicians and the photographer was at its peak, titled The Band Photographs 1968 – 1969 by ELLIOTT LANDY is out now published by Backbeat Books. All photographs and captions by ELLIOTT LANDY.

“Richard and Garth’s house on Spencer Road, Ohayo Mountain, Woodstock, ’68. In the summer of 2013, I woke from a dream with this image of The Band in my mind. I knew it was showing me who they were when I knew them and what I wanted my book to express – an idyllic togetherness on a perfect day, a time of harmony and brotherliness.”


“Outside Garth and Richard’s house on Spencer Road, 1969. Rick Danko, taken with Kodak infrared film. Garth Hudson, infrared colour film with green filter. I experimented with infrared film, using various coloured filters to obtain false colours and create a result which was like a painting than a standard colour photograph. Since I could not see what the picture would look like while taking it, using it was always an experiment.”


“West Hollywood, CA, ’69. This abandoned couch was too good to resist when we drove by. I asked them to stop and take some pictures.”


“Woodstock, ’69. Robbie and Levon, upstairs in Rick’s home on Chestnut Hill Road, in the Zena area of Woodstock. Rick had married Grace and moved out of the house he shared with Levon and into his own home in a different area of Woodstock. It had extra rooms and a large basement that he turned into their rehearsal space. (This was not where The Basement Tapes were recorded.)”


“West Hollywood, ’69. Richard, Robbie, and Rick working on the music after dinner in the living room of Sammy Davis Jr’s house which they rented to record The Band album.”


“West Hollywood, ’69. Self-portrait. Taken with a Widelux panoramic camera in The Band’s poolhouse studio.”


“West Hollywood, ’69. To record The Band album, they wanted to play together in one room: to be a band, not five guys playing parts to each other’s tracks. They also wanted to be an integral part of the production and audio engineering process, rather than be left out of the decisions made in a control room. So they converted the pool house of a West Hollywood Hills property formerly owned by Sammy Davis Jr. into a recording studio. They lived with their families in the main house.”


The Band Photographs 1968 – 1969 by Elliott Landy is available now through most online retailers or directly from Landy HERE.

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