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Submitted by m3jimphoto on Fri, 11/22/2013 - 7:00pm

Where Jim Marshall Was the Day JFK Was Shot

John F. Kennedy’s death was officially announced at 1:33pm Texas time on November 22, 1963, 50 years ago today.  We present here, for the first time, an array of portraits that Jim Marshall captured shortly after the announcement hit the streets.

On that Friday afternoon, Jim was in the Time-Life Building at Rockefeller Center (50th Street & 6th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan) when the horrible news of the assassination became headlines.  What was he doing there that day at the center of one of the busiest corners in America’s melting pot?

Maybe he was at Time-Life doing what most struggling young photojournalists did back then, comparing notes with other photogs and magazine art directors, cadging free coffee, showing his latest stuff, shmoozing for work, and generally hanging around waiting for something to happen.  And then it did.

It’s no secret that Jim was a man of tumultous emotions and polarized energies.  In addition to his news instinct, it seems likely that keeping the Leica to his face and taking these indelible images may have been one of the only ways he could deal with the moment.

In 1987, Jim gave me four prints of the astounding work he did that afternoon when he rushed out past the historic murals in the Time-Life lobby, through the revolving glass doors to those teeming streets to try and capture in photographs the dawning of a nation’s collective grief.  I love these prints and yet I can’t bring myself to put them on our walls, but we thought it would be fitting to present them here today along with a shot of the way Jim looked back then.

Submitted by m3jimphoto on Thu, 08/01/2013 - 7:54pm

Happy Birthday, Jerry Garcia!

Jerry Garcia, who passed away in 1995, would have turned 71 years old today.  To celebrate his life and times we’ve gathered a handful of great images from Jim Marshall’s vast collection of Jerry Garcia and Grateful Dead shots as a little JMPLLC tribute.

There are some other very cool things going on around town to celebrate Garcia’s legacy, the Grateful Dead and a social and musical phenomenon that was kickstarted in the ’60s and just seems to keep on truckin’.

Most notably, musician Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule, The Dead) and the San Francisco Symphony are offering up an orchestral program tonight and tomorrow, Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration With Warren Haynes, that features Garcia’s original compositions and the classic standards that were also linchpins of Garcia and Grateful Dead shows.

Also, Jerry Day at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park is happening this Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013 to “celebrate one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time and San Francisco native son – Jerry Garcia.  This event captures the true spirit of Jerry Garcia as we celebrate his legacy, the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, and recognize his Excelsior roots.

“By uniting the diverse communities of San Francisco through Jerry’s music, we are creating something extraordinary for Jerry’s childhood neighborhood – the Excelsior District, McLaren Park, and the City and County of San Francisco.”  More Jerry events can be found here.

And for those of you out there who’d like to learn a lot more about Jim Marshall and his connections to Garcia and the Grateful Dead, feel free to check out the original JMPLLC blogs that featured some of these shots and the stories surrounding them, at the following links or just search the blog for “Jerry Garcia”: More Rare Live + Still Dead Grateful Dead: The Long Strange Trip Begins Valentine’s from the JMPLLC Archives

Submitted by m3jimphoto on Fri, 06/07/2013 - 6:09pm

Jim the Icon Maker and a New Exhibit: “The Art of the Album Cover”

Highlights from Jim Marshall’s legendary photo work for album packages (he shot more than 500 of them) are being featured along with two other classic photographers and “icon makers” – Joel Brodsky and Barry Feinstein – in a first-time exhibition of iconic album art at the San Francisco Art Exchange: 458 Geary St., 800.344.9633.  The must-see show opens this Saturday night, June 8, from 7 pm-10 pm. In conjunction with this exhibit, Jim Marshall Photography LLC is releasing four limited-edition estate prints in a series of 25 each.  The series is composed of  the Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jerry Garcia images that accompany this blog post and are some of the most iconic, and never before printed, of Jim’s album cover images.

Printed in the same square format as an old-school vinyl album cover, these 20-inch x 20-inch estate prints are a great and rare opportunity for pop and fine art collectors to acquire the original album photograph and, perhaps, display it alongside the album itself.  Too cool.  This exhibit is an idea I think Jim would have just loved, especially getting to share the stage with Joel and Barry’s work, as well.  For more info about the exhibit opening, check out this link. From the SFAE’s press release: “Jim Marshall got his start in music photography in the Bay Area’s vibrant Jazz and Blues scenes and began producing album cover photography as early as 1959. Within a few short years Jim’s photos had appeared on album covers for such greats as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ray Charles, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, and Wes Montgomery.

“By the time Rock & Roll gained prominence in the San Francisco music culture, he was already a well established photographer and in demand. His photos soon appeared on the album sleeves of The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Johnny Cash and many others. Though he is best-known for his exceptional performance shots and unfettered backstage access photos that appeared countless times in publications like Rolling Stone and Life Magazine, he is responsible for over five hundred album sleeve photographs to date. “Sadly, all three of these great photographers have passed away, and their legacies remain vibrant and further elevated through the hard work and devotion of the strong women they left behind.

“Their album cover images continue to be sought-after and acquired by photography collectors and fans around the world. Original album cover art, and related outtakes, have become some of the most popular and collectible fine art in today’s global marketplace. The images are beloved by fans who appreciate not only the music it once accompanied, but also the cultural movement this iconic work represents. “Three incredible women were left to manage these archives, each of whom supported these artists during their lives, and have subsequently worked to preserve their photographic legacies. Please join us here at our opening event to meet the determined women behind the Brodsky, Feinstein and Marshall estates and to celebrate the lives and incredible contributions of these great artists, and the history of a lost art!” To view some of the images featured in the SFAE show and available online, click this link. And to learn a bit more about Jim’s early album cover shoots as well as his personal album collection, check out “From Jim’s Personal Album Collection: The Early Covers”. Hope to see you at the opening!

Submitted by m3jimphoto on Thu, 04/18/2013 - 11:23pm

More Jack Casady and Rare Jefferson Airplane, Please!

I was intrigued recently to note how “viral” Jim’s rare 1966 shot of Jack Casady, former Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna bassist, went after we posted it on the Jim Marshall Photography LLC Facebook page in honor of Casady’s 69th birthday on April 13. While it’s not too tough to predict that shots of Johnny Cash at Folsom or San Quentin or The Stones on their 1972 tour will gain huge amounts of “eyeballs & clicks,” sometimes there are sleeper images -- rare or never-before-seen photos -- whose popularity surprises and delights us no end. With more surprise and delight in mind, we searched Jim's archive to find other black-and-white shots of Jack Casady and the Jefferson Airplane from that same time frame to send out to the blogosphere and “tweeterverse” ... or whatever the kids are calling it these days (wink).  And we were NOT disappointed. All of the shots of the Airplane featured here were taken by Jim Marshall in 1966 (most likely in the Fall of that year since that’s when Grace Slick officially replaced the first co-lead vocalist, Signe Toly Anderson).

Slick performed with the band live at the Fillmore Auditorium in October, 1966.  It was to prove to be a huge year in the history of rock and roll and particularly the burgeoning SF music scene’s embrace of psychedelia.  If you’re curious about the pre-Slick Airplane, here’s a link to the Airplane performing "It’s No Secret" at the Filmore in early 1966.

Jefferson Airplane Lineup: October 1966–February 1970
Grace Slick - vocals, piano, organ, recorder
Marty Balin - vocals, rhythm guitar, bass guitar
Paul Kantner - rhythm guitar, vocals
Jorma Kaukonen - lead guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals
Jack Casady - bass guitar, rhythm guitar
Spencer Dryden - drums

To see more of Jim’s work on the Jefferson Airplane and/or the San Francisco music scene in the late ’60s, check out these JMPLLC blogs from the archive:
Somebody to Love
Feed Your Head
Janis + Grace + Jim
Valentine’s from the JMPLLC Archives

Submitted by m3jimphoto on Thu, 03/28/2013 - 7:25pm

Jim the Connoisseur

This week (March 24) marks the third year of Jim’s passing … and sometimes I still think I’ll pick up the phone and he’ll be yelling (affectionately) into my ear about what a pain in the ass I am, etc., etc. This time of year always gets me to thinking about how much I shared with him and how so many of those memories involved good food and, of course, drink.  More often than not, the drink was a fantastic bottle (or two) of wine, most likely a red of some sort from the Napa Valley. I’ve talked some about the tough times with Jim, how he was such a pain to deal with, his obsessions and passions, but there has been one passion that we really have only scratched the surface of: his love of fine wine, great bars and restaurants and his enduring, undying fear and loathing of onions. So what better way to honor his memory and usher in the season of new growth and all things delectable then to focus some blogs on the foodie side of Jim (not that he would “stomach” being called a foodie, I’m sure he would think it was uber-pretentious).  Instead, Jim would just say, “I know what I fuckin' like and what I hate.” And leave it at that.

However, I did see Jim take a bit of pride (on the down low) about his knowledge of California wines, which surprised me the first time he broke it out.  I must have looked rather skeptical at this hard-drinkin’ foulmouth who suddenly asked the waiter about their best “Cab Sav” in the house. Seeing my initial surprise, Jim said one of the reasons he knew a bit more than the average Joe about wines from “Sonapa-Noma,” as he liked to say, went back to a shoot he had done to accompany a piece for New West magazine – “Brother Against Brother: The Wine Feud that Split the Mondavi Family,” back in November 1976. And, thanks to Jim’s obsessive cataloging of his black and white work, we were able to dig up these never-before-seen shots of Peter and Robert Mondavi from that shoot.  I sure wish I could have been there to watch Jim interact with the two titan vintners.  For more info on the brothers, their famous feud and the history of wine in this country, check out Julia Flynn Siler’s book, “The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of the American Wine Dynasty.”

Stay tuned for more foodie and wine-related tales from the Jim vaults.  And, as always, we welcome your recollections, especially if they happened over a great restaurant table or in a favorite Jim dive or, ESPECIALLY, if they are about Jim’s ongoing battle to avoid his Kryptonite: onions.  If you have any photos documenting those memories, send them in, we'd love to see them and hear the stories that go along.  

Submitted by m3jimphoto on Thu, 03/07/2013 - 8:04pm

From the Blog Archives: Favorite Johnny Cash Posts

In honor of Johnny Cash’s recent birthday (he would have been 81) I gathered some of my favorite Cash images (plus a proof sheet) featured in the JMPLLC blog over the past two years. Many of the images shown below were highlighted to promote his wildly successful book, “Pocket Cash”– the last book Jim Marshall approved before his death in March 2010.

At Team Marshall we strive to protect Jim’s legacy with the spirit and purpose he fought to maintain throughout his long career.  We also revel in uncovering hidden gems, buried stories, connections and influences that make Jim and the artists who graced him with their trust as relevant today as they were the moment the image was captured.

In that spirit, I would love to hear from you all out there about any new directions, attitudes and connections that Jim may have catalyzed in your lives, both professional and personal. It can only make the blog better. And, after all, as Jim always liked to remind me: “It (meaning love and trust) cuts both ways, Michie.”

Submitted by m3jimphoto on Thu, 02/14/2013 - 11:10pm

Valentine’s from the JMPLLC Archives

What better way to celebrate February 14, the “official” day of love (in the U.S. anyway), than to focus on some of what we adore most here at Team Marshall: the lovely surprises and serendipitous gifts that await us when exploring Jim Marshall’s magnificent and still quite-mysterious photo archive. Jay Blakesberg, our archivist and head of North American licensing, discovered some beauties the other day when he unearthed the accompanying color slides of a shoot Jim did with the Grateful Dead in 1967.  The shot of the Dead (clockwise from left: Pigpen, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, and Bob Weir) from underneath with Jim laying on the ground is rare enough, but the really amazing finds were the two other shots taken of Jim and the Dead while in the midst of the shoot.

Who was it that took these shots whose identity is now (sadly) lost to the annals of time? An assistant? A friend of the Dead’s who knew his or her way around a Leica?  A passerby who Jim trusted enough to snap off a couple of shots correctly exposed and mostly in focus? I know, that last one’s highly doubtful given how protective Jim was about those Leicas, right? When Jay posted these onto the JMPLLC Facebook page recently there was quite a response and so I thought it only fair to re-post them here with Jay’s text from the Facebook wall as captions, for those of you in the blogosphere who manage (somehow) to resist Facebook’s siren song.  It’s interesting to note that in a number of different interviews and scenarios Jim mis-remembered that this shoot with the Dead happened in Golden Gate Park.

Here’s an example of Jim’s faulty recall: “This picture was originally shot in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco in 1967.  Jim Marshall said of them, 'We were going around in Golden Gate Park, I got a shot with a 21mm lens, then I laid down and did this one looking up at them and the sky.’ ” And yet as Jay and a multitude of other JMPLLC Facebook fans point out, the shots with Jim in them clearly show that the shoot was in the Fillmore.  Interestingly, Jim was laying down on what is now the site of today’s Boom Boom Room. To add some multimedia flavor to today’s post, here’s a video of the Dead at an Acid Test in 1967 to give you a sonic idea of what the band was about at the time Jim took these shots.  And kudos to my favorite Dead fan, Dan Sullivan, for sourcing this link.

Somebody to Emulate

I thought it would be neat to re-run a classic Jim Marshall shot of the Jefferson Airplane also taken in 1967 that is more than a little reminiscent of the Dead set up that leads off this blog.  I first ran this image of the Airplane in my blog “Somebody to Love.” See what I mean about connections in Jim’s work and how his passion propelled him, even if it meant rolling around in a dirt lot in the Fillmore?  Jim always pointed out that we are bound together by our shared experiences and he never lost the ability to be truly grateful over the small serendipities and coincidences of life.  It turns out they are all around us … if we just know how (and where) to look.  

Submitted by m3jimphoto on Thu, 01/31/2013 - 9:22pm

Birthday Surprises and Super Sundays

It would have been Jim’s 77th birthday this Sunday, February 3, 2013. Notably, one of Jim’s favorite teams, the San Francisco 49ers, is in New Orleans preparing to take it to the Baltimore Ravens in the Superbowl (Go Niners!) this Sunday as well. All this synergy got me to thinking about birthdays past and one of the more super surprises I ever pulled off. Basically, I managed to crash Jim’s big 50th birthday celebration: a formal dinner at his favorite Marina restaurant, Mulhern’s, with dozens of his nearest and dearest friends in attendance. To throw him off the scent, I had told Jim repeatedly that I couldn't just drop everything and fly out from New York for his dumb old birthday, which really hurt his feelings. I pretended not to care. The bash was organized by Jane Judge, Jim’s “sister,” who was kind enough to fly my starving freelance self out for the occasion. I hid out that afternoon and arrived very, very late with a guest and dear friend of Jim’s, James Mason, who was a rather large individual. Thus, he managed to totally camouflage me as he sauntered into Mulhern’s darkened back room, with me walking directly behind him in lockstep. Jim was giving Mason a rash of shit about being so late until I stepped out from behind Mason and said, “Happy Birthday, Jim!” I’ll never forget his reaction as long as I live. Jim’s eyes bugged out, he yelled “Michie!,” then he grabbed his chest, gasped, shut his eyes and fell back against the wall in complete shock. We all thought I had given him a heart attack. It was pandemonium. Needless to say, Jim recovered almost instantly, grabbed me in a bear hug that almost crushed my ribs (with assorted other extra curricular activities thrown in) and proceeded to never let go of my hand throughout the whole evening. I’m smiling now at the scenes running in my head, such a superb evening.

I was able to dig up the photo Jim took of me with truck at SFO that I’m running with this blog as evidence of that super weekend 27 years ago. Jim snapped it before I ran to catch my plane back to NYC and my new life. This mounted print sat around Jim’s kitchen table and shelves for all those years, so the print and mat is sort of beat to hell, and I treasure it all the more.

Go Niners!

I mean how fitting that the 49ers offense is known as the pistol, right? If Jim were here he’d say it’s just ’posed to be. Happy Birthday, Jim, we miss you now and always more than I can say.

Submitted by m3jimphoto on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 10:59pm

Finding Connections Among the Gods & Icons

Looking back on the past two years that I’ve been lucky enough to blog on “all things Jim” for Team Marshall – this is the 66th blog I’ve posted in fact – I feel a host of emotions: shock at how much time has gone by, excitement at how much is still left to uncover ... and gratitude.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity to explore the vast archive left behind by a photojournalist literally possessed by the need to capture the 20th century’s most important people and moments.

You would think it might be rather easy for our “inner photo editors” to get jaded, looking at one masterpiece image after another, but speaking strictly for myself here, there are basically two things that keep me marvelling at Jim’s talent and tenacity: 1. The near daily discovery of never-before-seen, often historic or heroic, images; 2. The Six Degrees of Separation-type connections, however random or reaching, that one can make among the photos of the people, places and things Jim chose to grace with those trusty Leicas.

Gathered here today is a “random” group of images culled from some of my favorite blogs over the past two years.  Some are among the world's most famous images and some were never seen before we ran them here.  There are more degrees of connection among these classic shots than meet the eye. Why don’t you see what you can uncover and let us know?  It just might be news to us.

Hint: Search the blog if you need any help.          

Submitted by m3jimphoto on Thu, 12/20/2012 - 8:09pm

More Gifts from Jim … Plus Another Look at Holidays Past

“I rambled all the time. I was just like that, like a rollin’ stone.” – Muddy Waters

Seeing as it is the height of gift-giving time has got me to musing a bit more on Jim’s generosity and how that generosity continues to live on our walls, looking down on us, inspiring and reminding one and all to live in the moment ’cause as Jim never tired of telling me: You never know which one will be your last. Today's blog features a wonderfully bemused color portrait of Muddy Waters that Jim took in 1974.  It is another great example of Jim’s spontaneous, urgent need to give the people he loved something he loved. I’m lucky enough to have a rather large version of this Muddy Waters print, a print that Jim gave to me on one of his regular trips to NYC in the late ’90s. The shot is featured in his book of color imagery, “Trust.” Here’s a caption that ran with the shot. The sentiment is initimitable Jim, rather terse and just the facts and yet he also manages to make a truly salient point that most in the music publishing industry would still rather not hear. “Muddy Waters backstage of some club in a small town near Chicago. Columbia Records sent me there, Johnny Winters was producing a live album for him. I shot Muddy a lot before, he was a real gentleman and a very influential musician, probably got cheated out of millions over the years like a lot of blues guys.” Every time I look at this framed portrait in its place of honor right above my beloved Dan’s turntable (yeah, that’s right, we still rock the vinyl from time to time just to keep things jumpin’), I get a little smile on my face, and I feel a little bit naughty and quite nice, just like Muddy would’ve wanted, I’ll wager. And I get to replay the moment in my head when Jim gave me that print in his room at the Paramount hotel, ostensibly because he didn’t want to schlep it home but really because he thought I needed to have it and knew that I would cherish it always. And he was right.

Speaking of replays …

It seems appropriate to re-run this blog, “Thanksgiving 1969 With the Cash Family”, one of our more popular, from last year’s holiday season in tribute to Jim's knack for finding family wherever he went and celebrating the ties that bind in all their myriad shapes and sizes.  Happy Holidays from Team Marshall, it has been a truly great year and we look forward to many more to come!

Thanksgiving 1969 With the Cash Family

Anybody who ever met Jim in his later years knows that he had a real love-hate relationship with this time of year.  Any holiday or birthday, especially Thanksgiving or Christmas, just seemed to depress him, and that depression would then send him into one of his manic spirals, full of misanthropy and chaos. Sadly, he started to use the holidays as an excuse to “get weird” and tune into the darker side of his nature, but that wasn’t always the case. Nowhere is the lighter, hope-filled side of Jim more evident than in his work documenting the Cash family, who embraced him, allowed him into their lives and their Hendersonville, Tenn. home just like he was one of the family. And, the intimate, powerful portraits that emerged – many taken during the Carter Family Thanksgiving of 1969 – are the legacy of that trust. As always when diving into Jim’s proofs, you never know what or who you’ll find and the connections and collaborations can be truly intriguing.  For example, in these Thanksgiving ’69 shots you see singer-songwriting renaissance men, Shel Silverstein and Kris Kristofferson, along with Johnny’s beloved parents Ray & Carrie Cash, his adored wife June Carter Cash, and the rest of the extended Carter clan.

Click here to check out the original blog and its amazing candid shots and remember to hug your family, and family of choice, just a little bit tighter during this holiday season.