Woman Using Umbrella as a Parasol
Hollywood, California USA
This is what I was looking at across the street from my little garage apartment, while we were listening to the Rolling Stones — live, as they were recording at Sunset Sound Recorders on the other side of my back fence.
Even then in the midst of “my generation” somehow I knew that this woman had as much to show me as Keith Richards did.
Even though I was getting paid to photograph Rock & Roll at night, my day photographs are a record of a commitment to a vision of humanity, that I did not understand for twenty five years. Photographs had a way of showing me what I was trying to learn from myself. They were a way to externalize what mattered to me, long before I knew why.
If I had waited to find out why I chose what I chose to photograph, I might never have found out. It’s certain these photographs wouldn’t exist.
Broadway & Off-Broadway
North Beach, San Francisco California • c. 1964
When some “Beatniks” were moving from North Beach — the old Italian neighborhood next to Chinatown, that like Greenwich Village had been a traditional refuge for musicians, painters, poets, sexual outlaws and bohemians with other sorts of enterprise — to Haight Ashbury, I moved first to Venice, then to Mexico… you know: “Follow the Sun.”
I’ve always felt this photograph, of an ominous message perversely screened on a street so steep that the sidewalk was a staircase, conveyed a bit of the Dantesque feeling of the period, which might be why I’ve kept it for 50 years.