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Showbiz Photographer Guy Webster Captured Hollywood Zeitgeist

In the introduction to the new book “Big Shots: The Photography of Guy Webster,” musician Brian Wilson, a longtime friend of Webster, writes, “I  am so glad that Guy was there to document the making of history and thrilled to invite you into his book.” And Webster’s book is a thrill for anyone interested in the L.A. music and film scene of the ’60s and ’70s, when artists were breaking boundaries and building a new aesthetic.

Webster photographed the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, Harry Nilsson, Liza Minnelli, Igor Stravinsky, Henry Mancini,  Kirk Douglas, Rock Hudson, Harry Dean Stanton, Cher (and Sonny) and just about anyone else making the scene.

He also did album covers, like “Turn! Turn! Turn!” for the Byrds, which was shot at Webster’s studio in his parents’ Beverly Hills home, according to guitarist Chris Hillman.

Webster is the son of Oscar-winning lyricist Paul Francis Webster. The photographer had a first-row seat to A-list Hollywood in the post WWII-era (he grew up playing with Dean Martin’s kids, and was in Little League with Harpo Marx’s son) and the subsequent changes in the biz. In this age of Instagram and Tumblr and Snapchat, Webster’s photos remind readers of the beauty of a timeless picture.

“Big Shots: Rock Legends and Hollywood Icons” by Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik, was published by Insight Editions in October.

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