Baron Wolman, in 1967, was 30 years old and a freelance photojournalist in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury. Janis lived a few doors away, and the Grateful Dead was just around the corner. He was living life when he was approached by a 21-year-old journalist named Jann Wenner.
Jann had an idea to start a “rock magazine”—better known to us today, as Rolling Stone. Baron agreed to come on as the chief photographer—working for no money, but being able to get two things: ownership of his photographs and stock in the company. Through his three year tenure as Rolling Stone’s chief photographer, Baron had the opportunity to shoot some of the biggest names in rock-and-roll. Janis, Frank Zappa, the Who, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, The Doors, George Harrison, and, the Rolling Stones, among others.
Wolman shot 22 covers along with countless other photos that appeared within the magazine including iconic images of Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia. In those three short years, Baron was able to capture not only fabulous musicians, but a time that we will never know again. He had a gift—the gift of being able to capture a moment. A moment such that when we look at the images today, we can feel what it was like to see things through Baron’s eyes.
In the historic 1,000th issue of Rolling Stone, Greil Marcus spoke of Wolman, “Baron Wolman had an unmatched feel for the moment when a performer sucked the flattery of a camera into himself or herself, and so got people to come out of themselves, to drop their modesty and anonymity.” Baron’s photos are exhibited in fine art galleries around the world. His recent London show was featured in the British music magazine “Mojo.”
Wolman has also published several books of his photographs including “Classic Rock and other Rollers” “Woodstock 1969” and the “Classic Rock Postcard Book.” He was also one of the official photographers at Woodstock.