Tom Gundelfinger O'Neal - Owning The Moment - From Monterey Pop To Deja Vu & Beyond
All pictures and information shown with courtesy of Tom Gundelfinger O'Neal. Link to Tom's Homepage ==>
Tom’s photography career was launched at the iconic Monterey International Pop Festival. From there he immersed himself in the intense music scene that exploded in the sixties. He found himself in great demand by several high profile rock and roll stars. He applied both his photographic and graphic design skills in the creation of over 72+ album covers, including the acclaimed Déjà Vu cover used by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Other notable groups were the Rolling Stones, Steppenwolf, Joni Mitchell, Poco, Crazy Horse, the Mamas and the Papas, B.B. King, and The Three Tenors.

He developed relationships with entertainers that created opportunities for many years to follow. Two of Tom’s shots are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

Today Tom travels worldwide shooting for accounts such as Rolex, The Council, The Pebble Beach Company and giving keynote presentations.

Toms photographs and presentations reflect his unbridled approach to life. "Whether a still life or of people, each photograph, represents a burst of excitement," he says. Just like Tom at work.

When Tom O’Neal tells his stories about working with some of the greatest music artists, he shares refreshing and surprising perspectives regarding such work that is perfect for any audience.

It is more than just taking pictures or designing record album covers. It is about owning, taking charge, connectivity in social settings, and creating your own circumstances. When failures become postponed success, preparation is key, as is looking for alternatives and recognizing that being on the brink of an opportunity, acting on it.
Gundelfinger - Memoirs of a rock and roll photographer; Text by Harvey & Kenneth Kubernik

It all started with passion. A passion for painting that turns into a passion for the click of a camera. Inspired after seeing a record album of the Mamas and the Papas, Tom Gundelfinger has an epiphany “I am going to be a rock and roll photographer.” His career is launched with full access at the International Monterey Pop Festival in 1967.

The book ”Gundelfinger” portrays musicians onstage and crowd photos of Tom’s beginning with the summer of 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival. Photos Tom snapped at this landmark event include Jimi Hendrix, Country Joe and the Fish, David Crosby in the Byrds, Janis Joplin, the Mamas and the Papas, and others.

The book also presents the 1967-1972 rock 'n' roll pictures Tom created and their stories of behind the scenes in environmental settings for album covers and publicity for the groups. The photos and stories include BB King Guess Who album, CSNY Déjà Vu album, Steppenwolf albums, working with Mick Jagger, behind the scenes with Jim Morrison, and shooting Joni Mitchell on the precipice of her career.

Young photographer Tom Gundelfinger followed his rock 'n' roll heart and soul path along the melodic artistic journey living in the moment, as was the state of mind of the 60’s. In the mid 70’s he pursued a photo career in art and commercial photography. Only in the last decade has he released and unearthed photographs from the iconic era Music scene of the 60’s and 70’s.

"With this book I feel that these photographs, which I’ve lived with for so many years, are finally being shared with the world. Whether it was an album cover or shooting someone on stage.. it always has come down to owning the moment, getting yourself in the right position so that you have that person in your sights. You strive for that peak moment where it becomes purely intuitive."