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Long lost photos from the Last Waltz concert
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: January 28, 2016 09:07AM
[www.sfchronicle.com]

"For decades, The Chronicle’s photos from “The Last Waltz,” one of San Francisco’s greatest rock music events, were lost, thought never to be seen again.

The concert at Winterland in 1976 was to be the final concert that The Band performed on the road, and filmmaker Martin Scorsese was on hand to shoot it and produce a feature-length movie.

The evening started with a Thanksgiving dinner for the 5,000 concertgoers, with the diners entertained by Berkeley Promenade Orchestra, a 40-piece string group. Bill Graham borrowed set decorations from San Francisco Opera’s production of “La Traviata,” and he added chandeliers and a fountain in the lobby. After dinner, The Band took the stage, and as the night went on the musicians were joined by several famous friends: Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Ronnie Wood and Ringo Starr.

It was a San Francisco concert filled with rock royalty in a starry setting, but the images disappeared among the dust of The Chronicle’s vast archive.

Then, 40 years later, fortune smiled on fans on The Band.

Chronicle pop culture critic Peter Hartlaub and I had searched extensively for the photos and negatives but had come up empty-handed. Last week, our luck changed. We were searching through shots of a 1980 Bread and Roses show featuring Joni Mitchell playing guitar with B.B. King. Looking at the negatives as I scanned them, it became clear it was a different show.

The first few negatives showed an indoor venue with ornate decorations. It didn’t look dilapidated enough for Winterland, but by the 10th negative I was looking at couples dancing, maybe waltzing, and I started to get excited.

I kept scanning, and there they were: dozens of shots of the concert, taken by ace Chronicle photographer Gary Fong, showing The Band, the guest rockers and the final jam with all of the musicians on stage.

After 30 years digging through The Chronicle’s archive as a big rock ’n’ roll fan, this might be my favorite find."





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Re: Long lost photos from the Last Waltz concert
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: January 28, 2016 09:54AM
Very cool... iconic performers relaxed in their native habitat...
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Re: Long lost photos from the Last Waltz concert
Posted by: $tevie
Date: January 28, 2016 10:15AM
Great! Thank you for posting!



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Re: Long lost photos from the Last Waltz concert
Posted by: A-Polly
Date: January 28, 2016 11:03AM
Oh wow, thanks for the post! I especially like this one:
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Re: Long lost photos from the Last Waltz concert
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: January 28, 2016 11:54AM
Gary Fong is a huge name. His Linkedin page says 30 years, but I would have sworn it was more than 40. I guess that is only as a manager/publisher.



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Re: Long lost photos from the Last Waltz concert
Posted by: voodoopenguin
Date: January 28, 2016 12:12PM
Quote
pinkoos
The Band took the stage, and as the night went on the musicians were joined by several famous friends: Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Ronnie Wood and Ringo Starr.

Great photos, thanks for the link but shouldn't that be Neil Young rather than Neil Diamond?

Paul



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Re: Long lost photos from the Last Waltz concert
Posted by: kledo
Date: January 28, 2016 12:28PM
I believe both Neils performed. At least both were in the Scorsese film The Last Waltz.

--Kledo
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Re: Long lost photos from the Last Waltz concert
Posted by: voodoopenguin
Date: January 28, 2016 12:45PM
Quote
kledo
I believe both Neils performed. At least both were in the Scorsese film

Ah, thank you for the information.

Paul



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Re: Long lost photos from the Last Waltz concert
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: January 28, 2016 01:03PM
Can they photoshop Neil Diamond out?
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Re: Long lost photos from the Last Waltz concert
Posted by: billb
Date: January 28, 2016 02:02PM
why would someone want to rewrite history



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Re: Long lost photos from the Last Waltz concert
Posted by: $tevie
Date: January 28, 2016 02:18PM
Quote
Dennis S
Can they photoshop Neil Diamond out?

My sisters and I never liked Neil Diamond all that much, but my older sister got dragged to a concert years ago by her husband. She said that the man gave a fabulous show, giving 110% and engaging the audience, and that she had to admit he's a helluva performer even if she still didn't like his music.



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Re: Long lost photos from the Last Waltz concert
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: January 28, 2016 06:25PM
I've always felt his music was dated, even when new.

But I've known people with similar tastes who ended up at one of his concerts, and were made fans, because of the performance he gave.

Just hearing them talk about how much they enjoyed the concerts, and how unexpected their reactions were, has given me a little appreciation for the man's work.

Still not exactly a fan, Sweet Adeline is tolerable now and I do to enjoy almost everything else I hear.




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