I began my adventure as a photographer in the early sixties when, just out of the Army and after a few stints in restaurant kitchens as a young sous chef, I got a job through family connections working as a runner for a live television dance party show out of Los Angeles. I had a car, so my job was to take the acts from the show to a nightclub owned by the host, where they would perform. I drove Little Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Jan and Dean, and many acts from the East Coast. It was the beginning of rock ‘n’ roll hitting the mass consciousness. My boss at the time was selling his tired old camera, a twin-lens 2¼ Mimayaflex.

I was like a kid with that camera; wait a minute, I was a kid, a kid with a new toy. I went around L.A. and shot twelve shots, the camera’s capacity. I took them to a photo lab, saw the proof sheet, and had each one printed on 11 x 14 paper. These I put into a book, my first portfolio.

I lived in Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles in those days, which was the meeting point for all the top musicians and artists of the day. I got some names at record companies, made appointments, and showed up with my portfolio in hand. I got work and began doing publicity shots and album covers. There were no young photographers shooting in the music business in those days and I think it was my youth and enthusiasm that got me jobs.

I had to do a vast amount of catch-up to get proficient. I didn’t know anything about the technical aspects of photography, let alone a camera. I went to camera shops and photo labs and asked lot of questions. I was fired from my job with the television production company and so I set about taking pictures full-time. I borrowed some money and bought my first new camera, a Nikon F2 with lenses and a motor drive. I was in heaven—and in business.

My burgeoning career as a photographer opened a lot of doors (no pun intended). In the sixties, if you were associated with the music business on any level, you were in the music business. I tried my hand at artist management with a friend who turned out to be an impossible drunk whom I had to pull out of seedy bars in Hollywood at seven in the morning. That was a short-lived career, and I went back to being a shooter. I worked as a photographer for record companies, did actors’ head shots, album covers—anything to make a living. I photographed the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and made many connections there that served me well.

This very personal collection of images recalls some of the visuals and the feelings of those days in the sixties on up to the 1980s, when I did a book with Steve Martin.

The winding road of my life after my photography career took me into a wonderful ten-year marriage, two very cool children, and a bohemian life in Laurel Canyon. Then I went into the restaurant business and opened the Black Rabbit Inn in West Hollywood with some friends. Jack Nicholson helped finance us, and we were a big hit, natural food before the trend. We closed the restaurant after a few years, and I went on to study traditional Chinese medicine and become one of the first acupuncturists in the United States and was instrumental in getting the practice legalized in California. During that time I discovered my ability to “read” people, which had been very valuable when I was a photographer. This made me realize I had intuitive abilities in medicine and healing. This discovery led me to go back to school to achieve a doctorate in clinical psychology, which led to a forty-year practice as a counselor and intuitive energy worker.

There have been many chapters between then and now. Look for the book, coming soon. I now am an ex-pat living in Mexico on the Caribbean, in a little Mayan pueblo called Tulum. I have a healing and counseling practice here and an international practice using Skype on the Internet. I still take pictures here and there and am living one of the best and happiest chapters of my life.

Thanks for reading this and looking at my work.

Take a risk, do your best.

Many Blessings.

Bobby Klein