The Digital Journalist
© Henry Diltz
I had become friends with Stephen Stills long before he even thought of the Buffalo Springfield. He used to come to the Village Gate in N.Y.C. to hear our group, The MFQ, in '63 or '64. In 1970 I hung out a good deal with him in Hawaii, Colorado and England. Early one morning, in the mountains of Gold Hill, Colo., after staying up all night at the news of Jimi Hendrix's death, we looked out the window to see a new blanket of white snow. "Grab yer camera," said Stephen as he headed outside with a guitar. After a few frames he ran back in and came out with a pink wooden giraffe, which he stuck in the snow beside him. I took a few more frames and said, "OK, we got the giraffe!" He looked up and said, "No, I want this in the picture!" So be it. This photo became his first solo album cover. What did the giraffe mean? No one knows. Years later, though, I love the giraffe. It would have been a boring photo without it.