Norman Seeff Shares Stories Behind His Iconic Rock Photos

Inside tales about the Band, Patti Smith, Andy Warhol and more
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Norman Seeff/Morrison Hotel Gallery

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The Band

After Cato assigned him to shoot liner-note art for the Band's Stage Fright album in 1969 – his first big gig – Seeff got lost on the way to Woodstock and arrived an hour late. "By the time I'm there, the band is really pissed off," he recalls. Because he couldn't afford to buy more film, the session only lasted an hour. When he turned his photo in to Cato, he was so embarrassed, he simply pushed it under the door and left.

Two weeks later, Cato called back and said the photo was going to become a wrap-around poster. "And suddenly I have an image in every bar in town. Every club. Every record store," says Seeff, who became creative director at United Artists Records a year and a half later.

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