record of an era

The ’60s were a heady time for most everybody, but for commercial production director Steve Banks, they were headier than most.

By day, Banks toiled for William Esty and other New York ad agencies. By night, he prowled Manhattan, photograph ing some of the legend ary names in music. He snapped Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone and others at Fillmore East, and Sammy Davis Jr. at the Copaca bana. One memorable evening in December 1969, he photographed Janis Joplin at one of her last big concerts before her death.

Banks, now a Los Angeles-based commer cial shooter, has self-published a book on the Joplin shoot called Janis Garden Party. It’s one of several books the peripa tetic shooter is planning.

“Agency and commer cial film production supports my passion, which is unobstructed [and unassigned] photo graphy,” said Banks, who runs production firms Tango Films and Tag Team in L.A. and boasts decades of agency work in New York, L.A., Brazil and elsewhere.

Next up are Hollywood People, a collection of Banks’ photos of behind-the-camera personnel, from Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorcese to the guards at Tinsel town studios, and our personal favorite, Small Change, chronicling lemonade stands around Southern California.