I’d just moved into The Castle with Tom. Bob rented a room for two weeks just before the release of Blonde On Blonde and before his European tour started. He got the suite on the second floor and was writing songs. I was the housekeeper and chief cook and bottle washer and late evenings I would give him massages. He drank a lot of chocolate milk shakes so I took it upon myself to feed him healthy dinners. We went out shopping to Fred Segal’s on Sunset Boulevard. That is where he bought his polka dot long sleeved shirt. — it’s still there. He was writing all the time. I photographed his desk with his typewriter. He didn’t crumble papers up and throw them in the trash or I would’ve kept them! He would type a song and then write over it and add things. If you look at the books that show his writings, you can see the notations. People always ask me if he let me shoot pictures. He didn’t stop me but a couple times he’d make faces at me. He had a way of looking at me that was intimidating.
Grammy Award winner and 6-time Grammy nominee, Peter Rowan has been one of the most influential singers and songwriters in contemporary bluegrass for over four decades. A musical experimenter, he has blurred the boundaries between old-time country, folk, reggae, blues, rock styles, and has even received some notoriety on the jam band circuit. Peter has played with everyone from Bill Monroe to Jerry Garcia, and his collaboration with guitarist Tony Rice has brought him critical acclaim.
I hung out with Peter during the seventies and did four album covers for him. He is a force to be reckoned with.
Lisa Law. There’s one in every family, in every group of friends, sidling around the edges of things, marked only by that distinctive shutter-hiss-snap and white-bright flash. The one with the camera. The one who keeps the records–the celebrations, the turning points, the events. The person to whom the others turn for the evidence of their lives. Lisa Law has been the one with the camera for as long as she can remember. Her friends, however, were folks like the Kingston Trio, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding, Peter Fonda, Allen Ginsberg, Janis Joplin and Andy Warhol, and their moments were, well, the ’60s. The Human Be-In. The Haight-Ashbury. Various communes. The Monterey Pop Festival and, of course, its more famous stepchild, Woodstock.For some, the ’60s are an obsession. For Law, it’s a profession. Hundreds of photos has Law, thousands of photos, some of which are collected in a book–“Flashing on the ’60s”(Chronicle Books, 1987)–and a documentary of the same name. But beyond that, Law is her own cottage industry, the unofficial archivist of the counterculture. If you need a picture of Vietnam War protest marches or bikers in the Panhandle or Dylan in the early years or a community of teepees, Law’s the one you call. Why, if the Smithsonian ever wanted an exhibit of those turbulent years, Lisa Law would be a natural resource. And they did, and she was. “A Visual Journey: Photographs by Lisa Law” opened last month at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where it will remain through March. Sixty-three photos are on display; an additional 148 are available through the archives. “The Smithsonian,” Law says. “Unbelievable. Two and a half million people will see these pictures. What a trip”.
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Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground came to LA from the Factory in New York where they had collaborated to meld music with art. It was just after they released the Banana Album. On the first night we all went down to see the show and I took a series of photos of their wild performance. Andy did the psychedelic light show behind them singing on stage. They wore black leather and used whips and strobe lights in their act. The gig at the Trip lasted 3 days before they were asked to leave because of the controversial content of their show. The Velvet Underground stayed with us at the Castle in ’66 during their gig at ‘The Trip’ on Sunset Strip. Hanging out with them was a blast. That’s where they met Severn Darden and became fast friends. We all lived together.