Cinematographer Baird Bryant (1927-2008) used to take annual vacations from Hollywood, California, to Windber, Pennsylvania. Baird filmed the historic Altamont “stabbing footage” from the Rolling Stones concert documentary Gimme Shelter (1970). Baird filmed the classic New Orleans “LSD Graveyard” scene in Easy Rider (1969) starring Dennis Hopper. He also filmed Celebration at Big Sur (1971). He also filmed the Dalia Lama for all of Heart of Tibet (1991). He was a generous soul with endless great stories.
Baird was also a writer, living in 1950s Paris at the beat Hotel with American Beat writers William s. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and Jack Kerouac! Baird wrote the book Play This Love With Me (1955) pseudonymously. Baird also wrote the first translation of Pauline Reage’s erotic novel Story of O. His memoir was, Souvenirs of the Beat Hotel.
Baird would attend the annual KerouacFest in Windber and share his footage and offer incredible behind-the-scenes tales. One time when he visited just by coincidence his film Easy Rider was playing up the street at the Silver Drive-In!
Gimmie Shelter with Baird’s footage:
Easy Rider with Baird’s footage:
Celebration at Big Sur with Baird’s foootage:
Some Baird Bryant Links: