Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, photographed by Henry Diltz, May 17, 1971.
It's been almost 50 years since Diltz first picked up a camera -- a second-hand model purchased on a lark -- and in that time he's become one of the premier photographers of the music scene.
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan
Born in 1938, Henry Diltz has shot the rising stars and legends of rock, folk and blues - from Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Mamas & the Papas and The Eagles, to Jackson Browne, Michael Jackson and B.B. King.
A musician himself, Diltz was invited by Stephen Stills to his band's sound check at a club in Redondo Beach: "And as I was shooting this big mural on the back of the club, thinking that'll be great for the slide show, they come walking out the back door," he recalled to CBS News' Anthony Mason. "And I said, 'Hey, you guys. Just stand there for a minute.'
"And a couple days later Teen Set magazine called and said, 'We hear you have a picture of the Buffalo Springfield. We'd like to run that in our magazine. And we'll pay you $100.' I went, 'Oh my God!'"
His new career was launched.
It's almost impossible to illustrate a history of American music in the late Sixties and Seventies without his pictures, as catalogued in his North Hollywood archive, which holds some 400,000 photographs -- from "A" (for America) to "Z" (for Zappa).
Cass Elliot, photographed by Henry Diltz.
The Lovin' Spoonful
Henry Diltz's photo appeared on this 1966 Lovin' Spoonful album, one of more than 200 rock albums graced by his images.
"For Certain Because…" (1966) by The Hollies. Photo by Henry Diltz.
Cass Elliot & Graham Nash
Cass Elliot, of The Mamas & The Papas, and Graham Nash, of The Hollies (and later, Crosby, Still & Nash). Photographed by Henry Diltz.
Cass Elliot's Picnic
Diltz's camera captured a famous picnic in Cass Elliot's backyard, Feb. 25, 1968:
"She invited Eric Clapton to come and meet some friends, 'cause he didn't know anybody," Diltz recalled to Anthony Mason. "And she invited David Crosby, who brought his young protégé, Joni Mitchell, who sat and played her entire first album before anyone heard it before."
David Crosby, photographed by Henry Diltz.
Crosby, Stills & Nash
This photograph by Henry Diltz was used as the cover for the first album by Crosby, Stills & Nash.
"That was just a little old shack with a couch in front of it in West Hollywood," he told Anthony Mason. "We took the picture and it turned out they were sitting in the wrong order -- they'd named [the group] a few days later. So we went back to re-shoot the picture, and the house was gone. They'd torn it down, yeah. It was a pile of sticks in the back of the lot. It's parking to this day."
Arlo Guthrie's "Running Down the Road" (1968). Photography by Henry Diltz.
Linda Ronstadt, photographed by Henry Diltz in Santa Monica, 1968.
Henry Diltz photographed the Eagles at Joshua Tree.
"Bubblegum, Lemonade, and... Something for Mama" (1969), featuring Cass Elliot (billed as Mama Cass). Photograph by Henry Diltz.
Jim Morrison of The Doors, photographed by Henry Diltz at the Hollywood Bowl, July 5, 1968.
In 1969, as word got around about his work, Diltz got a phone call from The Doors. He took lead singer Jim Morrison and the band to a rundown hotel, named the Morrison Hotel, in downtown L.A. "This is the hotel that Ray Manzarek, the keyboard player, had seen just driving by, randomly."
He took one roll of film, no lights: "I never knew how to use lights. God's light, that's all I knew, you know?"
Ramblin' Jack Elliott
Ramblin' Jack Elliott's "Young Brigham" (1968). Photography by Henry Diltz.
Steppenwolf's "At Your Birthday Party" (1969). Photography by Henry Diltz.
Stephen Sills' eponymous 1970 album, with photography by Henry Diltz.
In 1969, Diltz was hired to shoot some black-and-white publicity shots of James Taylor, but he liked the colors that day:
"So I said, 'Don't move, James.' And I got my color camera, took a couple of shots just for myself. And that became the cover of 'Sweet Baby James.'"
"Sweet Baby James" (1970) by James Taylor. Photo by Henry Diltz.
George Harrison & Bob Dylan
George Harrison and Bob Dylan photographed by Henry Diltz at the Concert for Bangladesh, August 1, 1971, in New York's Madison Square Garden.
Joni Mitchell, photographed by Henry Diltz.
Joni Mitchell & Graham Nash
Joni Mitchell and Graham Nash, photographed by Henry Diltz.
The Mamas & The Papas
The Mamas & The Papas' "People Like Us" (1971). Photography by Henry Diltz.
Judee Sill's eponymous 1971 album. Photography by Henry Diltz.
Stephen Sills & Mick Jagger
Stephen Sills and Mick Jagger, as photographed by Henry Diltz in Amsterdam, October 9, 1970.
Paul & Linda McCartney
Henry Diltz photographed Paul & Linda McCartney for a 1971 Life magazine cover.
Michael Jackson and feline photographed by Henry Diltz, 1971.
David Cassidy's "Cherish" (1972). Photography by Henry Diltz.
Jackson Browne's eponymous debut album, 1972. Photograph by Henry Diltz.
Henry Diltz photographed the Eagles for their 1973 album, "Desperado."
Dan Fogelberg's 1974 album "Souvenirs." Photography by Henry Diltz.
Kris Kristofferson's "To the Bone" (1981). Photography by Henry Diltz.
Diltz's photographs, often displayed at the Morrison Hotel Gallery (which he co-owns) and featured at an exhibition at the Grammy Museum this past fall, were really just pictures of friends - friends who changed the course of American music.
For more info:
Henry Diltz at Morrison HotelGallery- Fine Art Music Photography
The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live, Los Angeles