The photography of Henry Diltz is on another level, when you consider the unparalleled access he had to so many music legends decades ago — a list that includes Joni Mitchell, who turned 75 years old on Wednesday.
The Laurel Canyon scene of Southern California was a vibrant and robust (and, retrospectively, incredibly rich) one, with musical acts cutting their teeth as fledgling artists looking to find a footing in the complex industry. Diltz was there for it all, snapping away, and looking back on it now he was privy to some amazingly candid moments. Like this one from 1968, in which Mitchell strums guitar while a transfixed Eric Clapton and David Crosby look on:
This scene took place in Mama Cass’ backyard, while the late singer’s daughter sat on the grass, as blissful as you’d be in that same situation. (The photo is available as a print at Diltz’s Morrison Hotel Gallery website — along with several more of his amazing works of photographic magic — at this link).
Happy birthday to Joni Mitchell!