‘There are so many great pictures’: Special edition book focuses on Elliott Landy’s portraits of the Band

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When Elliott Landy was first charged with shooting them, the Band didn’t exist yet as a named entity. Many argue that his sepia-toned iconography helped establish their instantly resonant image.

And yet, outside of unforgettable moments like the cover of 1969’s The Band and assorted magazine layouts, the vast majority of Landy’s photography of Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm and Co. has remained hidden from public view: “There are so many great pictures that no one has ever seen but myself — and the inside of a Kodak photo-paper box,” Landy says. “Every time I visit the contact sheets, and the slides that I have, there are just so many more good pictures there.”

Thus, the idea of a fine art photography book was born. Landy has begun a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project, which will be available in both regular and deluxe limited editions. There will be just 500 copies of the deluxe model, which will come signed and numbered in a special slipcase with a 8×10 print of a rare “Band with Hamlet” image. There are additional rewards for donations, as well. Deadline is January 28, 2014.

“In those days, there was only physical reproduction — it was on an album or in a magazine,” Landy says. “And how many of those kind of images do you need? 20? 15? Yet, I was taking hundreds of thousands of photographs.”

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