CR AWARDS: Baron Wolman
Honouring Baron Wolman, the famed rock photographer. Warning: contains further traces of Ross Halfin.
VIP Award (Sponsored by currencies.co.uk)
Baron Wolman, presented by Ross Halfin
There seemed to be a skirmish as you came off the stage after collecting your award. What happened?
Ross Halfin (in hysterics): He was grabbed by Pete Townshend…
Baron Wolman: My first ever professional assignment was for Rolling Stone magazine, photographing The Who. When Townshend destroyed his guitar it used to terrify me, but it made me wonder: ‘He’s destroying the thing that makes music, what if I did the same thing to a camera?’ There was such an orgasmic look in Pete’s eye, for 45 years I wanted to do the same thing. So I took an old camera with me and smashed it. It worked phenomenally.
How have you enjoyed the evening?
Wolman: There are so many people that have achieved so much, I feel completely humbled. Taking pictures [of artists] is one thing, but making music is quite another. My goal, much like Ross I suspect, is always to honour the musician and make them look as good as possible. There’s no point in making then look foolish.
As Rolling Stone’s chief photographer from the age of 21 years old, throughout the classic years of the seventies, let’s not underestimate your own achievement. There’s definitely a mutual appreciation society going on between you two.
Wolman: I just wish I were Ross’ age again.
Halfin: And I wish that I’d started at Baron’s age. It was great to present him with this award as without Baron, publications like Melody Maker, Sounds, NME, Kerrang!… even Classic Rock… would not exist the way they did. His work completely revolutionised things. Before that, magazines used photos that looked they were taken by a wedding photographer, or even worse, by your mum.
Wolfman: Those photographers went [with a slapdash affection]: Bang, bang, bang…
Halfin: … Baron stylised everything and gave it warmth. That’s why he’s such a great photographer, especially in these days when any idiot with a digital camera thinks he can take pictures.
(Interview: Dave Ling)
The awards issue of Classic Rock is on sale now.
Buy the digital edition here http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/id451398560?mt=8&affId=1621074&ign-mpt=uo%3D6 or here http://bit.ly/sQiaRB
Zinio editions are available here http://bit.ly/ukyn52 or here http://bit.ly/rAwV8P