March 26, 2010 Last Updated 7:55 pm

Photoblogging Friday – 12

For the second week in a row I’ve had to set aside a Photoblogging Friday post put together by our photography editor Dean Brierly. Dean is in Japan this week and his photograph from Jeff Alu will appear here next week. Last week we replaced that feature with a look back at the work of the great civil rights era photographer Charles Moore who died last week. This week we remember Jim Marshall, the great photographer known for his shots of rock and jazz musicians from the sixties and early seventies. Marshall died Tuesday night in New York.



In 1964 an already fairly well established young photographer moved back to San Francisco from New York and set up shop. “I drove a car cross-country, and moved into a small apartment in North Beach,” Jim Marshall said in an interview for the magazine Double Exposure. “I was getting fairly well known and started shooting all the rock shows. I started doing some work for a small magazine out of L.A. called Teen Set, and did some of my most important shoots for them.”


Top, left: John Coltrane, shot for the Prestige LP Settin’ the Pace.
Bottom, right: Janis Joplin, Winterland 1968
Photographs © Jim Marshall



His timing could not have been better. He had once lived in the City and had taken some of the best shots of the great John Coltrane for Ralph Gleason, then the music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Marshall seemed to be everywhere in the rock scene after that shooting the first U.S. tours by Cream, the Who, the Beatles. He was at all the important rock events of the era —  Monterey in ’67, Golden Gate Park in SF, Woodstock in ’69 — and his LP cover shots for the Allman Brothers Fillmore East LP and others are iconic.
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Marshall’s shots were the result of a bit of luck. “He asked me for directions to a club. I told him I’d pick him up and take him there if he’d let me take his picture.” In addition to Coltrane, his shots of Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk are among the most famous of the jazz musicians.

For a while he lived in Greenwich Village where he took photographs of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and others. He returned to San Francisco where he remained the rest of his life.

In addition to the New York Times obituary, and the Double Exposure article mentioned above, this story that appeared in the SF Weekly about Marshall’s fight with the Bill Graham Archives is of interest. (Marshall was attempting to get back the rights to many of his most famous shots, including the famous “finger” shot of Johnny Cash.)

While Marshall continued to live in San Francisco, he died in New York while promoting his book Match Prints. He was 74.


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rom top to bottom:
Cream, first U.S. Tour.
Jimi Hendrix at Monterey
Grace Slick and Janis Joplin
All Photographs © Jim Marshall



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