"Forever Young, The Rock and Roll Photography of Chuck Boyd"—He Was There And Now So Are You!

Until the publication of this book this past fall, few people have seen this mind-boggling collection of black and white images shot by the late photographer Chuck Boyd in Los Angeles beginning in 1965. Though Boyd passed away in 1991 this set stops with a remarkable double page shot of B.B. King taken in 1978.

Boyd's first job at the tender age of 16 was as the photographer for radio station KRLA. His assignment was to cover promotional events organized by record labels and artist's management. He also began working for Tiger Beat magazine, shooting candid, posed and in-performance photos.

Boyd photographed in black and white the goings on in both the obscure Sunset Strip clubs as well as in the more famous ones like the Whiskey a Go Go, the Trip and The Troubadour. He gained even greater access to the era's greatest stars when he was hired to take promo shots by indie record producer and Sunn Amplifier's national promotion director Buck Munger.

Boyd also had backstage and behind the camera access at television show tapings when counterculture rock stars made their incongruous appearances on mainstream shows aimed at an older audience.

The first photo is not from 1965: it's a previously unpublished eye-opening shot of Eric Clapton and Patti Boyd (no relation) taken in October of 1968 at at time when his relationship with George Harrison's wife was top secret. Boyd kept the secret and the photo remained in his archives.

The real action begins in 1965 with a series of shots of The Rolling Stones performing at the Long Beach Arena. The double page spread of the boys looking very young and very tired is fantastic, not as a work of photographic art but because of the content.

That leads to rapid thumbing as you see shots of a young James Brown, oh so young Beach Boys, The Lovin' Spoonful, Byrds McGuinn, Clark and Crosby on and backstage. A young Tom Jones, Glen Campbell in a turtleneck and sport jacket. Donovan, The Knickerbockers and Dusty Springfield on a TV show called Shivaree. The Turtles on The Lloyd Thaxton Show. Phil Spector standing in front of the ladies room at The Trip.

The Four Seasons in a promo shot holding copies of Tiger Beat. Franki Valli giving the "Joisey look", Dylan at a press conference, Jagger holding aloft a KRLA Beat Award looking so, so young.

1966 opens with a double page Yardbirds with Jeff Beck spread also from Shivaree. There are candid shots of Sonny and Cher and Jackie Wilson and Martha and The Vandellas in performance. John Phillips at United Western Recorders in 1966. Van Morrison and Them at The Whiskey. Roy Orbison on an unidentified TV set.

Boyd didn't keep notes so the book's editor and Boyd archivist Jeffrey Schwartz had to do forensic work trying to identify times, places and people, not always successfully. How about Ringo lighting a cigarette for Paul at Capitol Studios 1966? Some incredible pictures of impossibly young Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel candid and in performance.

Temptations, Led Zeppelin, Ray Charles, The Who at Monterrey, a youthful Felix Cavaliere shot at Disneyland. Frank Zappa, Arthur Lee. In the studio and onstage with Led Zeppelin. I could go on. But if that doesn't wet your whistle for this book, more lists won't.

Boyd's photos aren't works of photographic art as much as they are amazing documentation of a time long gone and youth long ago faded. The appropriateness of the book's title reinforces with every page turn. "Look how young," you'll find yourself repeatedly saying.

What a time it was! What a treasure trove of previously unpublished photos!

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COMMENTS
Devil Doc's picture

The rooms were so much colder then
My father was a soldier then
And times were very hard
When I was young

I smoked my first cigarette at ten
And for girls, I had a bad yen
And I had quite a ball
When I was young

maclaren1785's picture

Good post. I have found something different information from other post. Readers will definitely enjoy while reading it. Thanks.

Noosa wedding photographer

Billf's picture

I paged through this book at my local Barnes and Noble and, while the photos are great, was taken aback by the number of times that the caption misidentifies who the people are in the photo. For example, the one purportedly of Eric Clapton and Pattie Boyd is not so eye-opening for its 1968 date because she is clearly not the woman in the photo. Pattie was probably safely at home in England with her husband George when it was taken. Tommy ("Dizzy") Roe is identified as Glen Campbell in another. Many of the dates are wrong, like assigning the same one in July 1965 to facing photos of the Beach Boys performing and of a noticeably older, hairier and larger Brian Wilson. I can see such mistakes in one of those quickie archive photo books that goes straight to the cut-out table, but, for a full priced book, this is just sloppy. I put it back on the shelf and just kept shopping.

Michael Fremer's picture

The photographer did not keep notes or diaries so organizing and identifying dates, places and sometimes people was difficult and that certainly contributed to the problems you cite. I admit to being to mesmerized by many of the photos, which are as you say "great."

<p>

I admit it: I didn't do as good a job a you did in your store perusal. I can forgive the archivist for some mistakes but the story about Clapton buying that photo is obviously B.S.! And I should have realized that wasn't Patti Boyd. While I can't say I paid that much attention to her looks, when I looked at that woman with Eric I said to myself "What's all the fuss about here?" I should have gone with that and done some online research. Sorry! 

<p>

However, the book still does contain some great shots...

Billf's picture

Thanks for your very gracious response. My criticism was in no way directed at you. Your enthusiasm for the music that we all love is evident in every one of your reviews and other postings and I think we all respect and appreciate what you do. However, I hate when someone tries to make a quick buck by taking advantage of our affection for the 60s and 70s music scenes and the errors that I found lead me to believe that this book is an example of that. Looks to me like somebody either inherited these negatives or bought them from the photographer's estate, has no respect for what they represent, and decided to try to convert them to some money. The Pattie Boyd story, obviously intended to create buzz and move product, is a cheap insult to her, Clapton and the memory of her late husband. I look forward to buying the book when it is a cut-out.

Notwithstanding this, keep turning us on to great music, books and other things of interest. Please keep on doing what you do. A full review of the remarkable new Rhino Forever Changes vinyl would be great.

Michael Fremer's picture

The photographer did not keep notes or diaries so organizing and identifying dates, places and sometimes people was difficult and that certainly contributed to the problems you cite. I admit to being to mesmerized by many of the photos, which are as you say "great."

<p>

I admit it: I didn't do as good a job a you did in your store perusal. I can forgive the archivist for some mistakes but the story about Clapton buying that photo is obviously B.S.! And I should have realized that wasn't Patti Boyd. While I can't say I paid that much attention to her looks, when I looked at that woman with Eric I said to myself "What's all the fuss about here?" I should have gone with that and done some online research. Sorry! 

<p>

However, the book still does contain some great shots...

gubarenko's picture

Thanks for another great book, got it there:

http://amzn.to/ZsG4IC

jesuswept's picture

I like the Beatles and Led Zep as much as anyone, but for god's sake there are hundreds of new vinyl releases of -- wait for it -- NEW music coming out every month.  How about reporting on some of it? 

This site might actually grow into something useful if it acknowledged that we're the 21st century. 

Michael Fremer's picture

I understand. And I've got a large stack of new music waiting to be reviewed. The Beatles box was of great interest to many and that required comprehensive coverage. I think we did a better job than most. We'll get to more new stuff shortly....

Dydy's picture

This information is like air for a Rolling Stone fan, so thank you very much! I guess old habits die hard, but every time I listen a Rolling Stone song I get the same awesome feeling. Last year at my high school reunion, we even hired a Denver Landscape Photographer to take us photos, in different postures and stunning scenery, dressed like the Rolling Stones.

MCourouleau's picture

 

I have been so eager to read at least 3 books a week and I was successful until now. But when I read this I read it repeatedly for a week. - Michael Courouleau

gigihan11's picture

I saw on the internet the pictures made by Chuck Boyd, he managed to make beautiful shots of The Rolling Stones band members at one of their concerts. These photos gave me an idea about my wedding photos so I asked San Luis Obispo to make black and white images at my wedding.There are a lot of pictures that are not released yet, hopefully we will have the chance to see them.

 

shysper25's picture

Photography is one of my favorite hobbies. I have a great passion of taking landscape of nature. For this I bought my first camera at the last year of my graduation. It also helped me in my research work. After that I have captured thousands of pictures. Several people who saw my pictures did praise my hand of photography
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