Archive for Jim Marshall

Jim Marshall’s “The Haight: Love, Rock, And Revolution”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 15, 2014 by johnbuckley100

A couple of years ago, the estate of the great rock photographer Jim Marshall published The Rolling Stones 1972, which contained some of the most iconic photos taken of the Stones as they finished Exile On Main Street and embarked on what inarguably was their best tour.

Now we have something that is in many ways finer — Marshall’s entire oeuvre, or so it would seem, of images taken between 1965 and 1969 as the San Francisco bands, and the spirit they unleashed, changed the world.  The Haight: Love, Rock, And Revolution is the best large book of rock photos and essays since Ethan Russell’s Let It Bleed: The Rolling Stones, Altamont, And The Death of the Sixties.  And what is clear is that, in addition to the great stage shots and band portraits of the Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and the Grateful Dead, Marshall was a genuinely gifted street and event photographer, capturing not just how, say, the Trips Festival looked, but how it felt.

Jim Marshall was the only photographer allowed into the Beatles dressing room when they played their final show ever at Candlestick Park in 1966.  It is a measure of his sheer force of personality that a guy wearing a corduroy suit and with short hair and horn-rimmed glasses could have insinuated his way into the inner circle of the counterculture leaders and the great bands of the day.

The text written by Joel Selvin contains gem after gem, the details piling up in an authoritative manner.  Random sample: here is Selvin on the night in October 1967 when Grace Slick joined the Airplane:

“The first night at Winterland, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band brought onstage a friend from Chicago to jam named Steve Miller, who earned a standing ovation by announcing he was moving to town to form a band.”

Even after leafing through the book for the photos, you go back to the beginning to read every word.

Selvin’s writing, which is more than merely an accompaniment to Marshall’s images, captures the full arc of The Haight, from innocence in an environment where acid was legal, to the curdling of the movement during the Summer of Love, to its collapse amidst speed freaks and tourist busses by the end of 1967.  Read this book and then Sam Cutler’s You Can’t Always Get What You Want to see the sorry conclusion at Altamont, in December ’69.

Back to Marshall’s photographs: this visual document of the rise and fall of the Haight is also, of course, an image-drenched trove capturing both the short-lived artists who did not get out of the ’60s alive and those who stood the test of time.  Worth it alone for the pictures of Hendrix that Marshall made so famous, it is a glorious compendium.

The Delights Of Jim Marshall’s “The Rolling Stones 1972”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 5, 2012 by johnbuckley100

It was the greatest tour, by the greatest band, backing the release of perhaps the greatest album in the history of rock’n’roll.  Purists point to the Stones’ ’69 tour as the apogee of the art form, noting that it was the band in its naked glory, with only Ian Stewart to radiate the 88 on just a song or two.  But the Stones in ’72 were at their absolute peak, and with Nicky Hopkins looking at the mirror installed on his piano so he could see what the boys were up to behind him, with Jim Price and Bobby Keys filling in on horns, with Mick and Keith standing on that dragon-painted stage that had to be washed with a combination of water and 7Up, with all those songs from Exile On Main Street to be played to huge audiences, this was the pinnacle.  We don’t just say this because we were there, at Boston Garden (on the good night when they played on time), or that first night at Madison Square Garden.  We say it because it is true.

Jim Marshall was a tough, Leica-wielding pro on an assignment for Life, and he was embedded in the early hours, the pre-tour studio wrap up, the West Coast swing.  The only pictures he took from this period that really ever saw the day were what was in that Life published right around the end of the tour.  To see the remaining 80-plus pictures, in one place at one time, you had to wait until now, as The Rolling Stones 1972 was published by Chronicle Books.  Though in the text there is a swipe taken at the great Ethan Russell — they dismiss him as an amateur who hooked up with the Stones for the ’69 tour — this is a nice companion piece to Russell’s fantastic photographic chronicle of that period.

And it’s a reminder that the Stones need to do the right thing and finally release a live album from that magical moment, the ’72 tour.  Keith seems finally to have stopped blocking what for all of us, if not him, was the highlight of the band — the period when Mick Taylor played lead — and last year allowed “Brussels Affair” to be released as an official album.  A few years ago, they allowed new songs to be released from the Exile sessions. They’ve let Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones to be rereleased as a DVD.  Now comes Marshall’s book.  It is time the Stones stepped up and allowed tapes from the ’72 tour to come out as an official album.

We’ve always surmised that the reason they didn’t was that it would reveal too clearly that the nearly 40 years since Ron Wood joined the band were substandard.  But with a live album from Mick Taylor’s final tour (’73 Europe) already released, and with the movie made in ’72 available, what’s the point of keeping under wraps that live album recorded in Ft. Worth?  Jim Marshall’s fine book of photograph merely whets the appetite.

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