The word “iconic” has long become a generic term for anything vague familiar to masses, yet when it comes to strictly visual arts images caught in the lenses of Baron Wolman are truly akin to the worship-warranting objects. From Woodstock to Altamont, from psychedelic London to hippie Frisco – the legendary photographer has been everywhere at the right time. And if you try to recall portraits of Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix, of Syd Barrett or Jim Morrison, of LED ZEPPELIN or SANTANA, chances that you think of Wolman’s work are high. One would assume master such as Baron and Instagram operate on different levels, yet the veteran embraced this platform in quite an arresting way, the results of it getting issued soon as “My Generation”: a book of classic snapshots of classic rock artists.
I asked Wolman about it, and that’s what Baron says:
“I came late to Instagram but, like many of my fellow photographers, younger and older, I am now totally enamored with – or addicted to? – social media’s premier visual app. Most of my early Instagram posts were classic rock images from my ‘Rolling Stone’ days. And I often added backstories to fill in some of the details. Many of my followers said I should put the music posts into a book, so I did.
It is published by Omnibus Press in the UK, the same publisher who produced my previous book, ‘The Rolling Stone Years,’ in 2014. The new one is titled ‘My Generation, The Classic Rock Photos of Baron Wolman,’ and is pretty cool, if I do say so myself. 260 pages for under $30! Quite reasonable considering the production values and the content. To most of the images I added the back story and some personal details. There’s even an index of the various performers.
As you know, I was the first chief photographer at ‘Rolling Stone’; I was with the magazine from Day One. The beauty of the situation was that I had access to all the musicians, sometimes on stage, sometimes in their homes. Access is the key to making soulful, intimate images. Without access, a photographer is just another camera in the photo pit…”
A thing of beauty, indeed – and a piece of history to boot.