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Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Photo of the Moment: Neil Young Portrait by Jini Dellaccio - 1967

"Cat, Waffles & Sideburns"
Neil Young, 1967
Photo by Jini Dellaccio


Legendary rock photographer Jini Dellaccio defined a generation of rock 'n' roll and her work still inspires photographers and musicians alike. 

In 2009, we did a feature on Jini's cool portrait of Neil Young, and her capturing photos of many rock musicians traveling in the Seattle area during the 1960's. (We posted an update in 2017, on the documentary film being made of Jini Dellaccio, also.)

Neil Young, 1967
Photo by Jini Dellaccio

Dellaccio asked Young to get up on his roof in his fringed leather jacket and "fly like a bird." She didn't print the shot at the time because she thought it made his face look old, "and he was so beautiful."

Neil Young, 1967
Photo by Jini Dellaccio

Inspired and captivated by Jini’s life story, filmmaker Karen Whitehead set up a team of equally determined and creative colleagues to ensure Jini's story is captured on film. In command of a state of the art digital Hasselblad, on her first photo shoot with a rock band in 3 decades. This is the stuff of legends, but it is also the heart of the film reveals an elegant 93-year-old and her remarkable story of a woman who reinvented herself several times and pursued her artistic dreams out of her Depression era childhood and went on to produce some of the most transformative images in rock photography. 

Trailer for Karen Whitehead's documentary on Jini Dellaccio, "Her Aim is True", 2013

The top of the front page of The Seattle Times on October 10, 2009 featured photos of two renowned men.

Men of the People who say Keep Hope Alive
The Seattle Times, October 10, 2009

In one small color photo was the President of the United States who had just been announced the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Barack Obama. The other large black and white photo was of a fringe clad 1960's folkie-rocker, Neil Young.

The leader of the free world and the rocker in the free world.

Such a contrast. But are their improbable stories really such a contrast?

The front page Seattle Times photo was part of a feature story on local photographer Jini Dellaccio. Back in the 1960's, Dellaccio captured photos of many rock musicians traveling in the Seattle area and has trunks of memories to share.

Jini Dellaccio: 1917 - 2014

Jini Dellaccio, whose distinctive photographs documented the Pacific Northwest music scene of the 1960s, and who was the subject of the 2013 documentary “Her Aim Is True,” died at home Thursday (July 3) of undisclosed causes. She was 97.

Karen Whitehead, director of “Her Aim Is True,” which had its world premiere at this past year’s Seattle International Film Festival, described Mrs. Dellaccio as a “real trailblazer.” Not only was the self-taught photographer a female in a male-dominated profession, she didn’t even begin shooting rock bands until she was in her mid-40s.

It was a time when the Northwest music scene was developing its sense of identity, and Mrs. Dellaccio gave the burgeoning scene a visual style. Her memorable black-and-white shot for the cover of the Sonics’ 1966 album “Boom” conveys a sense of American cool that rivaled anything seen on Swinging London’s Carnaby Street. She also drew on the natural picturesque qualities of the region, frequently photographing bands in outdoor settings; despite its title, her cover picture for the Wailers’ 1966 album, “Out of Our Tree,” showed the band most decidedly in a tree, grinning down at the photographer.

Contact Sheet of Neil Young Portraits by Jini Dellaccio


You can enjoy Jini's stunning photography at

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At 2/02/2023 12:51:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Clicking on the label "photos" at the bottom of this item I wondered whether there should be a gallery somewhere assembling all the iconic shots by Joel Bernstein, Henry Diltz, Jini Dellacio, Gijsbert Hanekroot, Graham Nash, in more recent times also Daryl Hannah (advance apologies: I omitted a few favourites). The natural place for this would be the archives, as some other artists have this on their sites. But maybe Neil Young considers this to be a vanity feature beyond the limits of good taste or there are copyright issues.
Anyway, Jini Dellacio's portraits belong among this fan's eternal list.

At 2/02/2023 01:00:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

yes, it would be good if there was such an archive.
we try our best here @ TW.

agree on Jini's work which we've been highlighting since emerged in 2009. that photo w/ the buckskin was so inspired. she really had an uncanny eye for the ages.

speaking of which, today is Graham Nash's birthday.

Graham has taken a lot of neil shots over the decades.

here's a recap of some of the best @ Deny Fear


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