EXPIRED: 03/24/10 – Jim Marshall, 74, used to say “I have no kids. My photographs are my children.”
And indeed they were. You might not know who Marshall was, but if you were a fan of music, especially during the 60’s and early 70s, you were quite aware of Marshall’s work. He was considered to be ‘THE” rock and roll photographer – the artists choice, often living and touring with his subjects . They were that comfortable with him.
Marshall was a San Francisco high school student when he saved up enough money to buy his first camera. He started documenting street artists, beat poets and musicians in cafes that dotted the growing scene in the City by the Bay. After graduating and serving in the U.S. Air Force, he relocated to the other coast, settling into the folk scene that was happening in New York City.
You’ll recall those iconic photos of Dylan kicking a tire across a Greenwich Village street, of Janis Joplin clutching a bottle of Southern Comfort backstage at the Winterland Theatre, The Who wrecking at Woodstock, and Jimi Hendrix setting his guitar on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival.
Marshall was the only photographer allowed backstage at The Beatles last concert, and was amazingly responsible for getting Johnny Cash to give him the finger for that classic shot, one of my favorite photos of all time.
A new book of photographs by Marshall and Timothy White, “Match Prints,” was released earlier this month, and a book party had been scheduled for Wednesday evening at the John Varvatos boutique in New York City.
He died that night, alone in his hotel, in his sleep, just before the party. Resting in peace.