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03 November 2023

Gram Parsons, Joni Mitchell, Grateful Dead Photos To Feature In New Book

Gram Parsons
© Ginny Winn
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Photographs of Gram Parsons, Joni Mitchell, the Grateful Dead and more are to feature in the new book Grievous Angels, Trout Masks, and American Beauties – 1970s Rock & Roll Photography of Ginny Winn. The book will be released on 1 March 2024 via Fantagraphics Books – distributed by Norton in America and Turnaround in the UK.

Edited and annotated by historians Pat Thomas and Jessica Hundley with Ginny’s cooperation, Grievous Angels, Trout Masks, and American Beauties presents Ginny’s remarkable story for the first time — and is rich with candid, never-before-seen photos. Beautifully designed by Nic Taylor at Thunderwing, this book also features an essay and interviews with Ginny’s close friend Maria Muldaur.

In the early 1970s, Ginny Winn became the first in-house staff photographer for Warner/Reprise Records in Burbank, CA. Back then, the label’s roster included John Cale, Grateful Dead, Van Morrison, Maria Muldaur, Jimmy Webb, The Incredible String Band, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, Captain Beefheart, Alice Cooper, Frank Zappa, Bonnie Raitt, Tim Buckley, Arlo Guthrie, and Jackie DeShannon.

Led by Mo Ostin and Joe Smith, the label’s catalogue was a blend of counterculture icons and Americana (before it had a name). By the late 70s, Ginny moved into Hollywood imagery, capturing the likes of Carly Simon, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Roz Kelly, Penelope Spheeris, Jodie Foster and Gloria Swanson. Along the way, Ginny also photographed Bob Marley, Al Green, Maxayn Lewis, Donna Summer, and Alice Coltrane.

It was rare for a female photographer to get such access, yet Ginny was not an outsider: she was welcomed into artists’ homes, dressing rooms, and private moments.

In her foreword, Muldaur writes, “I think Ginny Winn’s ability to blend in and become an empathetic part of the Musical Energy taking place is what made her such a successful music photographer; a dearly loved and always welcome presence by many of the top artists of the 70s. Her vast body of work from that era captures musicians at their best, most natural moments—whether live on stage, hard at work in the studio, or just relaxing. Her photos all have a very organic feel to them. Looking at these wonderful photos now, I feel a nostalgia for the natural, laid-back, spontaneous, uncontrived “vibe” we enjoyed in the 70s.”

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