Best Classic Bands: Through The Lens Article

Grace Slick at Woodstock Concert by Elliott Landy

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To celebrate Grace Slick turning 80 years old on October 30, 2019, we asked our friend, photographer Elliott Landy, for a special image of the classic rock legend. And did he come through! What you see is his stunning photo of the then-29-year-old Slick watching the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival in August, 1969.*

Landy’s iconic images of Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and The Band are featured on their album covers, and his work has appeared on the covers of numerous magazines, from Rolling Stone to Life to Saturday Evening Post.

Here’s how he recalls the moment:

“It was the time in my life when I was accustomed to knowing famous people. Bob Dylan, The Band, and Janis Joplin had become either friends or comfortable acquaintances. I had sat across a small table from Jimi Hendrix for ten minutes while he had a conversation with a reporter.

“Joe Cocker had been a small camera lens away and next to me when he came off the stage, having sung the anthem of Woodstock, “With a Little Help From My Friends.”

“I had known and been friendly with Richie Havens since college, six years before and I had shared comfortable, casual space with many others who I photographed.

“So, passing by Grace, I stopping only for a moment, made two rapid clicks of the shutter, and I moved along, leaving her to just be, not wanting to bother her.

“Looking at this picture now, remembering the power of her voice and her meaning to the Sixties’s culture—her deep importance to so many young people who wanted to change the world, I am amazed I was that close to her.

“Fifty years later, looking at this picture, and appreciating both its beauty and the magnificence of that moment much more than I realized at the time. I think of it two ways. One, it was my deep concern not to annoy people with my camera, not to interfere with their personal moments of life and this consideration was what allowed me to have all these relationships and take all the photos I took during that time in my career. The second thought is to wonder, should I have been more bold, hovered around for a few more moments or longer and engaged with her to take more photos. Would we both have been happier today that more existed from that magical moment in time?”

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