Baron Wolman, the author of some of the most iconic rock and roll photos, passed away on Monday. He was the first Rolling Stone staff photographer and a person who documented Woodstock, as well as many other events in the 1960s and later. Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and many other legends were in front of his lens.
Wolman was born on 25 June 1937. His photographic career began in West Berlin in the 1960s, where he was in the military. After he was discharged, he moved to the USA and in 1967 he became the first staff photographer for Rolling Stone magazine. In other words – he was there from the very beginning of the iconic magazine’s life. Interestingly enough, he worked for free at first, and his photos appeared in almost every issue of the magazine between 1967 and 1970 when he left the position. According to Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, Wolman “helped set the visual style and paved the way for those who followed him.”
If you’re a Pink Floyd fan, you may know Wolman for this famous image. But there were many, many more musicians who posed for him, and many of them are my favorites: The Doors, The Beatles, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, The Who… He documented concerts, but also photographed groupie girls.
However, although Wolman is the most famous for music photos, it wasn’t the only thing he was known for. He was a founder of fashion magazine Rags after leaving Rolling Stone in 1970. It only lasted a year, though, due to financial difficulties. Later on, Wolman learned to fly and took aerial landscape photos from Cessna aircraft. He also did sports photography and documented the entire 1974 season with the Oakland Raiders football team. During his career, he also published several books. In 2011, Wolman was awarded as a VIP at the Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards.
Baron Wolman died at the age of 83 after losing a battle with ALS. His death was confirmed by his assistant Dianne Duenzl.