Grace Slick: Amazing Photo at 1969 Woodstock Festival

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Grace Slick, Woodstock Festival, 1969, Bethel N.Y. (Photo © Elliott Landy; used with permission)

When Grace Slick turned 80 years old on October 30, 2019, we asked our friend, photographer Elliott Landy, for a special image of the classic rock legend. And did he come through! What you see is his stunning photo of the then-29-year-old Slick watching the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival in August, 1969.*

Landy’s iconic images of Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and The Band are featured on their album covers, and his work has appeared on the covers of numerous magazines, from Rolling Stone to Life to Saturday Evening Post.

Here’s how he recalls the moment:

“It was the time in my life when I was accustomed to knowing famous people. Bob Dylan, The Band, and Janis Joplin had become either friends or comfortable acquaintances. I had sat across a small table from Jimi Hendrix for ten minutes while he had a conversation with a reporter.

“Joe Cocker had been a small camera lens away and next to me when he came off the stage, having sung the anthem of Woodstock, “With a Little Help From My Friends.”

“I had known and been friendly with Richie Havens since college, six years before and I had shared comfortable, casual space with many others who I photographed.

“So, passing by Grace, I stopped only for a moment, made two rapid clicks of the shutter, and moved along, leaving her to just be, not wanting to bother her.

“Looking at this picture now, remembering the power of her voice and her meaning to the Sixties’s culture—her deep importance to so many young people who wanted to change the world, I am amazed I was that close to her.

“Fifty years later, looking at this picture, and appreciating both its beauty and the magnificence of that moment much more than I realized at the time. I think of it two ways. One, it was my deep concern not to annoy people with my camera, not to interfere with their personal moments of life and this consideration was what allowed me to have all these relationships and take all the photos I took during that time in my career. The second thought is to wonder, should I have been more bold, hovered around for a few more moments or longer and engaged with her to take more photos. Would we both have been happier today that more existed from that magical moment in time?”

We encourage you to visit to see his broad array of photographs, including many at the ’69 Woodstock Festival. They are available for purchase in various sizes.

Related: Jefferson Airplane members talk about their Woodstock performance

*We’d be grateful if a reader can accurately identify the young man standing next to Slick in Landy’s photo.

Watch the Airplane perform at Woodstock

Grace Slick was born on Oct. 20, 1939.

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

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4 Comments so far

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  1. DAB
    #1 DAB 31 October, 2019, 11:00

    50 years ago the musical odyssey called
    Woodstock took place.
    Named for the open land where it happened on
    and yet somehow it seemed to have taken place
    further back in time and not so long ago
    at the same time.
    Grace Slick was stunningly beautiful.
    Her musical band,Jefferson Airplane,
    were Top Flight excellent players.
    The priceless moving film captured Live
    something that would only happen once
    A Movement setting out to change the world
    The incredible imagery of the amount of souls
    that made the trek to surround the sound
    is still amazing to me to see.

    Reply this comment
    • Sweetdaddy
      Sweetdaddy 31 October, 2019, 16:09

      Those were the best of days.. we had a female vocalist in the band that did Jefferson airplane songs.. great music!!

      Reply this comment
  2. Kais77
    #2 Kais77 15 August, 2020, 13:39

    I would most definitely say Mr Landy made the very correct choice and snapped and left! Knowing how Ms Slick is!! I admire very much his philosophy and it’s no wonder he had captured these moments!

    Reply this comment
  3. Johnny Trump
    #3 Johnny Trump 31 October, 2022, 00:11

    I was at the first Woodstock. 16-1/2. Uncle gave me a ride. Never found my friends. Solo the weekend. But fantastic music. What a memory.

    Reply this comment

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