Photo: © Steve Somerstein
Robert at the Lush Life Theatre
July 24, 2011
Some of the guest feedback... not bad! Thank you!!
Rick Marianetti, Culture & Events, The San Francisco Examiner, July 8, 2011
Last night Robert Altman (no relation to the late director) took over the Lush Life Gallery at Yoshi’s San Francisco for a book signing for “The Sixties,” a collection of his photos documenting a time long ago, in a place so far away it might as well be in another universe.
What Ansel Adams is to Yosemite Park in California, Robert Altman is to The Sixties in the U.S.
As the counter culture began to sprout and vibrate from central nodes in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, Altman seemed to be there, camera in hand, to record just about everything that happened.
After the reception, the overflow crowd squeezed into Yoshi's Jazz Heritage Center for a slide presentation accompanied by Altman’s commentary.
He began the evening reminiscing about the night Miles Davis opened for the Grateful Dead at Fillmore West. Pictures he took as a teenager followed, including one of actress Celeste Holmes in the same frame as former heavyweight boxing champ Floyd Patterson.
Another photo inspired Altman to quip: “Jane Russell, who, with Howard Hughes, reinvented breasts in the America.”
Then there was the Joe Montana portrait. Joe expressed feeling anxious about having his picture taken by such an illustrious photographer. Altman could not believe what he was hearing. He took a break and returned with a plan, telling Joe he was nervous. Joe forgot about himself, trying to help Altman relax. The result is one of the best photos ever taken of the 49er great.
Showing his photo of Groucho Marx, Altman read from a hilarious Jon Carroll column recounting a story about how Nixon’s Attorney General planned to arrest Groucho for threatening the President’s life based on Carroll’s interview for a new magazine he worked on with Robert.
Groucho was in his 80s at the time.
Altman: “Imagine the cross-examination of Groucho Marx.”
Somebody should make the movie.
“A BRILLIANT evening!” -Deborah Grabien
“Robert what an amazing evening, hosted by an amazing man. Thank you for sharing your passion with us!”-Daphne D. Evans
“Thank you so much for your beautiful stories and images. I was fortunate to be among the people gathered on the floor near the front. You are a delightful, engaging storyteller, and obviously much beloved.” -Susan Doran
“Thank you Robert. It was a wonderful wonderful event.” -Bruce Ong
“You are beyond fantastic Robert. The beauty of your work and the spirits you captured. Thank you for sharing the magic. You are light.” -Giancarlo Vega
“Robert’s book is a must have... a forefront of inspiration. The visuals and forward by Ben Fong-Torres, so easy on the eyes. Oh what glorious memories. Thank you again- and for all the laughs!” -Shannon Cinnamon McCloud
“Kudos Mr.Altman !” -Wayne Mesker
“Fabulous slide show! Great party. Wonderful people! Loved it! ” -Ann Pierson
“Wonderful Robert, I really enjoyed the slide show. Congratulations on a splendid event!” -Denise Demise Dunne
“Great time last night Robert...the story behind the photo of Dennis Hopper will be helpful when I try to sell it.” -Holly Horn, San Francisco Art Exchange
“Great night!..great crowd...great slideshow...great stories intertwining us all back in time...Sometimes it seemed that we were all one, as someone in the back or side or middle of the room could remember exactly where and when the shot was taken...Then we can't forget the little doggie, who just had to express himself when things got a little too exciting! Thanks for the fun!” -Carole Tomkins
“I said once and I'll say it again: When you're shot by Robert Altman, you STAY shot. Forever.” -Edwin Heaven
“A very memorable evening , one of the best times, the energy and love was so organic, you are a special person with much love to share.” -Armando Morales
“A life worth living...by Robert Altman. Well done, sir.” -Adam Sparks
“So very talented and inspiring are you!..Congratulations!” -Joyce Mancini
“Thanks Robert for the slide show and commentary, great ending with the live concert and Big Sur photos at the end of the presentation.” -Barry Toranto
“Robert, thanks for all of your wonderful photos, I look at them often to believe that this all happened in such a short time period. I know there is more to come. Peace. -Arlic Dromgoole