Exclusive: Preview of The Groupies, Baron Wolman’s new photo exhibition
Famed photographer Baron Wolman has a new exhibition opening in London next week called The Groupies. We’ve got a sneak preview of some of the photos on show.
Baron Wolman was the first chief photographer at Rolling Stone magazine. From 1967 his assignments for the just-launched magazine were as diverse as a backstage session with James Brown; dinner with Pete Townshend after a day photographing The Who recording Tommy; shooting Janis Joplin performing at his house to recreate a performance for a live review; flying to New York to photograph Mick and Keith as they announced the Stones’ Altamont show; being on stage with Santana in front of 300,000 people at Woodstock; or being almost whacked by Jimi Hendrix as he swung his guitar in concert.
Every day was different, every artist was different and the scene was constantly evolving.
The more he worked, Baron began to notice that aside from the usual hangers-on at concerts, there were women who had obviously spent an inordinate amount of time and effort putting themselves together for their backstage appearance. They were not just hanging out, they were strutting – style and fashion mattered greatly. In fact, Frank Zappa thought them important enough to form a band out of a group of them, The GTOs, led by the legendary Pamela Des Barres, and produce their album.
These women were a subculture of chic that Baron and Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner thought merited a story. And so in 1968 this led to an entire ‘special super duper neat issue’ of Rolling Stone called The Groupies And Other Girls featuring insightful interviews and photographs of the scene.
Baron’s interest in music and fashion would progress after his tenure at Rolling Stone as he went on to set up the influential magazine Rags, regarded as the Rolling Stone of fashion. Still, The Groupies special issue remains an important landmark.
See Baron’s exhibition at:
46/48 Beak Street London W1F 9RJ
15th-27th October 2012
All images in the exhibit can be purchased online at rockpaperphoto.com as limited-edition fine art prints hand-signed and numbered by Baron.
Check out some of the photos from the exhibition on the next several pages.