Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Joe Hilton from Music Makers, July 1967

This really isn't a "photo" of the Minolta Autocord. I put it on the glass of my scanner. It's a scan of the Autocord.

I shot this with that old Minolta Autocord that I'd picked up second hand for $39.95 back in about 1964. The list price new was $99.95 back then.

Joe worked at a record shop at Northside Shopping Center at the corner of N.W. 79th Street and 27th Avenue. I guess that he was hired on as a "porter", a stock clerk essentialy, because that's what colored boys did back then, but he knew his music and was soon the most valuable sales person in the shop.

He's the one that first got me to listen to Jimi Hendrix, convincing me that Hendrix played rock, not "black" music. Once I judged Hendrix by his sound rather than the photo on the album cover I was sold!

A well known big name photographer of the day was Philipe Halsman who shot a photo of Marilyn Monroe jumping. It appeared on the cover of Life Magazine. I started getting requests from people to photograph them mid jump. It was easiest to do this in the studio with electronic flash. Getting a high enough shutter speed to stop the action outdoors wasn't always possible unless it was a bright sunny day. Most of my jump photos were shot with my Minolta Autocord. A twelve exposure roll of 120 film was more than enough. Very few people had the energy to even make six decent jumps before taking a break. Joe had the energy! He gave me the highest jumps and the best facial expressions. The last time I saw him was maybe 1970. I started buying my records at Discount Records across 15th Avenue from the 163rd St. Shopping Center.

For several years that Autocord shot a wedding about every weekend, sometimes two! Then I got a Hasselblad and the Autocord sat on a shelf. I finally sold it. A few years ago I got another one with a bunch of old photo stuff, and then that one sat on a shelf unused.

I dusted it off. The lens is clean and the shutter speeds sound right. I just got back from Wide World Photo, four rolls of Ilford FP4 film in hand. Life is good!

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