More than four decades removed from taking some of the most memorable shots in classic rock history, photographer Elliott Landy is using new fundraising methods to ensure some of his unreleased photos see the light of day.

"It's like having children, you always want to try and help them get out into the world and do well out there."he says. "So it's the same with my photographs."

Landy – who shot the cover art for albums such as Bob Dylan's "Nashville Skyline" and Van Morrison's "Moondance" – is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to create a fine-art photography book showing pictures he took of The Band. Although the goal was to reach $65,000 by Jan. 28 the campaign has already raised over $161,000 towards the project, making it the second-most funded photo project in Kickstarter history.

“I'm very grateful not just to the people but grateful that I can be in this position now to be able to do this work," he says. “The guys in The Band gave me the opportunity to take them and in exchange I can give them or their spirits back the reflections of what they were about during those years. It was five human beings working together in a loving space. That's what they do, and when people do that it makes a lot of people happy.”

Although only 30 photos from Landy's time with The Band during their first two albums ("Music From Big Pink" and "The Band") have been widely published, Landy has over 8000 frames to select from. He also says the book will enable him to bring out “the richness of color that is intrinsic in the original slide.”

Interview continues after slideshow

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  • The Band Rehearsing In Basement, by Elliott Landy

    “That was in Rick's basement, it was the basement from the Big Pink. Rick set up a rehearsal room downstairs in his basement in his house with Grace. Grace and him lived together and that's where they were, downstairs.”

  • Rick Danko, His Dog, and Wife Grace Walking Uphill, by Elliott Landy

    “That is Rick Danko on the lower left and that's his dog in front of him. In front of his dog is his wife Grace. Up on the hill is Levon standing, leaning on a Hudson brand car which belonged to Rick. And we're going swimming, it was obviously a hot day. It's right near the swimming hole.

  • Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm Jamming, by Elliott Landy

    “The picture of Levon and Robbie upstairs in the bedroom is also in Rick's house and that was another room where they could play music. I never got close, the contact sheet on that you'll never see me right up in their faces taking close up photographs. I was always very careful to not interfere, to not interrupt what was going on. I guess it's just basic politeness and they would like to think of it like that. It was a big part of who they were was the fact they were all very humble.”

  • The Band In The Rain, by Elliott Landy

    
“That was done for the Brown album, the second album called 'The Band'. It was taken in the rain. They used to rag me about it for a long time that I made them stand in the rain to take the picture. It was my idea in the first place to take a picture in the rain. Before we went out it was actually raining I tried to see if there was a way to super impose raindrops over a photograph. In those years I couldn't figure it out, I asked art directors and people in the know and they didn't really know how to make it seem like it was raining in the picture. Now of course it's very easy. So we were out in the rain for a very long time and that was the picture that we chose.” (Left to Right: Manuel, Helm, Danko, Hudson, Robertson)

  • The Band Facing The Water On A Bench, by Elliott Landy

    “That was the first time I photographed them outside Big Pink, it was a short walk away from Big Pink. And this picture was on the cover of Rolling Stone, it was the first picture published of them and Rolling Stone did the article a little premature even though it was going to be done. I don't know how they got the picture or whatever happened but somehow they did. 
“One of the factors in deciding which name they were going to use was that they didn't want to have a cutesy name, they didn't want to be limited in the kind of music that they play. I remember them saying something like, 'We don't want to be Jefferson Airplane.' They didn't want a psychedelic name. They didn't feel they were part of the psychedelic evolution. They were very talented musicians with interest in a lot of different genres. They just wanted to play. They were very emphatic about this actually, they just wanted to be a group of guys playing music. So this picture came out of that way of thinking and it was a natural. So I didn't really take it for any particular reason but I felt it really reflected the philosophy that they had explained to me of who they were and what they were trying to do musically. I thought this would have been a great album cover or a great album jacket. But I think it was a little too anonymous perhaps.”

  • Levon Helm photographed with infrared color film during a "Music From Big Pink" session

    “So this picture I was experimenting with infrared color film which was a special film created by the military to take spy photographs. And then in the '60s it became slightly popular to use this film for artistic reasons. So I did a whole series of pictures with The Band and a few with Dylan and a few other ones of musicians with this infrared film. And this is one of them. It's one of my favorites.”

  • Levon Helm and The Band – Infrared, by Elliott Landy

  • Photo from "Music From Big Pink" photo shoot for album sleeve

“It would be easier if there were only 50 good ones or 100 good ones, that would be great,” Landy – who was also the official photographer for the 1969 Woodstock festival – says. “But it's digging through the ones that are really, really, really good and the ones that are really good.

The photographer's relationship with The Band commenced on Rick Danko's uncle's farm just outside Toronto when he went up to shoot the then-unknown group. Landy says there was an immediate connection between both parties.

“I would use the expression down-home and so real,” he says. “The kind of people who just accept you than feel suspicious of you or cynical.”

Like almost any great photographer, Landy was impeccable regarding capturing a moment without becoming a part of it personally. He also says the late drummer Levon Helm was tougher to photograph early on while the shy nature of multi-instrumentalist Garth Hudson made him a bit challenging.

"It wasn't terrible, I don't mean to say anything bad about Levon by something that some people are easier in front of the camera,” he says. “But in the beginning it wasn't quite so easy. Whenever I was photographing Garth I felt his pain. He didn't express it to me at all, he was just shy about it.

"I was in those years and still today, I'm not really comfortable sticking a camera in front of somebody's face. The word sticking means it's pain to me, it hurts rather than just being part of the process of life. Put a cell phone in front of anybody today and nobody cares anymore. But in those years having your picture taken was almost a throwback to years and years before in other cultures where they think it's taking a soul. And it is, it's capturing an expression of the soul -- so they're correct."

Landy hopes to get the hardcover book ranging from 128 to 144 pages out "fairly quickly" and says it's possible there could be an electronic version of it down the road. He also says he's in touch periodically with The Band's surviving members Robbie Robertson and Hudson should they need photos for different releases or projects.

But he's happy some of these photos will make it into the hands of The Band's fan base.

"I'm 71 years old and I don't feel old,” he says. “I feel the same as I always did and I feel like I have eternity in front of me. But I realize that I have to start finishing things and this is an unfinished project, this book on The Band."

ALSO IN THE HUFFINGTON POST

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  • John Lennon & Yoko Ono by Ethan Russell, Weybridge England, 1968 ("Falling In Love" series)

    “I showed up at the house and it seemed like nobody was there. The door was unlocked, so I just walked in. Yoko eventually came downstairs. They had only been together about eight months at this point. They put on black capes, which is certainly not something I would have ever told them to do. In this photo, I love that they’re basically one item in black. It’s a nice little moment, and not a picture that’s been seen a whole lot.” -Ethan Russell, photographer

  • The Who by Ethan Russell, 1971

    Backstage. Photographed for the back of "Who’s Next".

  • The Rolling Stones by Ethan Russell, England, 1969

    The Rolling Stones “Through The Past Darkly,” album cover that didn’t make the final cut, but certainly makes for an epic photo.

  • John Lennon & Yoko Ono by Ethan Russell, Weybridge England, 1968

    John Lennon serenades Yoko Ono. (From the “Falling in Love” series.)

  • The Who by Ethan Russell, Rehearsals for the Quadrophenia tour, England, 1973

    “What I remember most from this is that Pete and Roger were having a fight about the mirrors that you see behind them,” says [Ethan] Russell. “Pete’s idea was they were going to project some filmed footage onto them. It was sort of avant-garde and maybe smart. Roger said, ‘People come to see us, right? It should just be us against a black background.’ The reality is they were both right.”

  • The Who by Ethan Russell, "Who's Next" album cover, England, 1970

    “We’re driving along and I see these shapes out of the corner of my eye. At that moment Pete asked if I had any ideas. I don’t know why he asked at that moment, but I told him there were these shapes back there. Everybody turns around and we walk out onto this slag. I look up after a minute and Pete’s pissed on it. I started taking pictures. The others couldn’t piss, so we filled old cans with water and dumped it on the thing. I took maybe 14 pictures. Today, I’d take about 400. It was nothing like today. No art directors. No stylists. No nothing. It was off to the record company in two days.” -Ethan Russell, photographer

  • John Lennon by Ethan Russell, Weybridge England, 1968

    "Sometimes I am asked who was my favorite artist; my answer is John Lennon. That is partly because I felt, of all of them, he didn’t lose his attention to our common humanity as the central focus." -Ethan Russell, photographer.

  • Jim Morrison by Ethan Russell, 1969

    Jim Morrison at Press Reception prior to The Doors’ appearance at London’s Roundhouse.

  • Keith Richards by Ethan Russell, 1972 US Tour

    “Much changed from 1969 to 1972. Now the Stones had a logo and a plane. Security was vastly heightened, and they travelled everywhere in limousines. You can feel the armour.” -Ethan Russell, photographer

  • The Rolling Stones by Ethan Russell, 1972

    Keith Richards with Jack and Coors, 1972.

  • RARE BEATLES PHOTOS

  • Rare Beatles Photos

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    (2nd left - right) George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney during The Beatles first tour of the United States (1964).

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    Paul McCartney during The Beatles first tour of the United States.

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    John Lennon during The Beatles first tour of the United States.

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    George Harrison (left) and Ringo Starr during The Beatles first tour of the United States.

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    The Beatles performing during their first tour of the United States

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    Ringo Starr during The Beatles first tour of the United States (1964).

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    John Lennon during The Beatles first tour of the United States in 1964

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    The Beatles during their first tour of the United States (1964).

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    George Harrison (left) and John Lennon performing during The Beatles first tour of the USA in 1964.

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    George Harrison during The Beatles first tour of the United States in 1964.

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    Paul McCartney (left) and John Lennon performing on stage during The Beatles first tour of the United States in 1964.

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    Paul McCartney during The Beatles first tour of the United States.

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    Paul McCartney during The Beatles first tour of the United States (1964).

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    Paul McCartney during The Beatles first tour of the United States (1964).

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    Paul McCartney (left) and George Harrison during The Beatles first tour of the United States in 1964.

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    Ringo Starr during The Beatles first tour of the United States in 1964.

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    John Lennon during The Beatles first tour of the United States in 1964.

  • Rare Beatles Photos

    Auctioneer Paul Fairweather holds four colour transparencies of The Beatles taken during their first tour of the USA in 1964.

  • Icons: Old And New

  • Madonna

    Madonna by Richard Corman

  • Bob Marley

    Bob Marley by Ian Dickson

  • Debbie Harry

    Debbie Harry by Martyn Goddard

  • David Bowie

    David Bowie by Andrew Kent

  • Notorious B.I.G.

    Notorious B.I.G. by Chi Modu

  • Remembering Joey Ramone Thorough Photos

  • Joey Ramone By Ian Dickson, Liverpool, United Kingdom, May 1977.

  • Joey Ramone by Deborah Feingold, New York City, 1983.

  • Joey Ramone by GODLIS, CBGB, New York City, 1977

  • Joey Ramone by GODLIS, St. Mark's Place, New York City, 1981.

  • Joey Ramone by Alice Wheeler, Omaha, Nebraska, 1978.

  • Joey Ramone by Deborah Feingold, New York City, 1983.

  • Who Shot Rock & Roll?

  • Tupac Shakur, August 1993 Gelatin silver print 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm) <strong>Courtesy of Danny Clinch</strong>

  • Tina Turner, Universal Amphitheater, Los Angeles, 1985 (printed 2009) Chromogenic print 24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm) <strong>Henry Diltz/Morrison Hotel Gallery © Henry Diltz</strong>

  • Frank Zappa, "Himself", 1967 (printed 2009) Chromogenic print 24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm) <strong>Courtesy of Jerry Schatzberg</strong>

  • Amy Winehouse, Miami, May 18, 2007 (printed 2009) Gelatin silver print 24 x 36 in. (61 x 91.4 cm) <strong>© Max Vadukul</strong>

  • L.L. Cool J, 1992 (printed 2009) Inkjet print Approx.: 30 x 24 in. (76.2 x 61 cm) <strong>Private Collection, Photo by Albert Watson</strong>

  • Elvis Whispers Softly, 1956 Gelatin silver print 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm) <strong>Photograph © Alfred Wertheimer, The Wertheimer Collection</strong>