The work of Jim Marshall, noted photographer and chronicler of music history, is much in demand in today's storytelling.
The passage of time has been kind to the music, fashion and art of the music revolution, as evidenced by the recent resurgence of their influences in mainstream culture. Legendary musicians who have taken to the road once again—many, on nostalgic, commemorative tours—or returned to the studio to record retrospective albums have furthered the cachet of the decades-old music scene and kindled intense interest in the players and stories behind the music. In 2015 alone, dozens of movies, documentaries, books and exhibitions have emerged recounting the creative forces that shaped music history or have drawn upon the music and iconic images of those musicians to relate fictional tales or to produce original multimedia art forms. In all these genres, the photography of Jim Marshall—who, with a keen eye, great timing and an all-access, intimate style, captured the people, the places and the upheaval of a fascinating era—is a must-have.
Here's a partial rundown of where you can see Jim's work.
- The Sunshine Makers, cowritten and produced by Connie Littlefield; scheduled for release in 2016. Initially entitled "Better Living Through Chemistry," this is "the story of two young idealists at the heart of the American psychedelic revolution. Convinced in their shared mission that LSD could save the planet, these self-proclaimed psychedelic outlaws took on the immense, dangerous and ultimately illegal task of manufacturing industrial quantities of hallucinogenics—including the iconic Orange Sunshine—in order to ‘turn on the world’—one trip at a time." More at www.imdb.com/title/tt4419154/.
- Country: Portraits of an American Sound, an exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photograph. The exhibit features more than one hundred images of the "pioneers, poets and icons" of the country music genre music genre by the photographers who "documented its rise from innocent beginnings to a thriving industry and a national identity." It also includes an exclusive documentary produced and directed by Steven Kochones and named an Official Selection by the Nashville Film Festival 2015. More at annenbergphotospace.org/exhibits/country.
- Sam Lay In Bluesland, produced by Michael Prussian and Starr Sutherland; directed by John Anderson. Sam Lay "was on drums when Bob Dylan went electric at Newport. He was in the studio and on the road with blues greats Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Little Walter and James Cotton. He was a founding member of the groundbreaking Paul Butterfield Blues Band. He is, at the age of 79, still an active part of the Chicago blues scene and the man some call 'the greatest drummer of all time.' He finally steps into the spotlight." More at www.samlayinbluesland.com/title-page.
- Sound Tracks: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, narrated by Steven Van Zandt, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band; a documentary for the series Great Museums Television. The world-famous Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum is profiled in a one-hour special, to coincide with the museum’s twentieth anniversary. The film "features interviews, histories, and a look at spectacular artifacts from the roots of rock through today." More at greatmuseums.org/.
- Love and Mercy, directed Bill Pohlad. Named one of the best movies of 2015 by TIME and "one of the best music biopics ever" by Rolling Stone, the film portrays the life, musical genius and mental illness of Brian Wilson, cofounder of the Beach Boys. Photographs by Jim Marshall that Wilson selected for the film—and also for his 2004 album Smile—were taken after the release of Pet Sounds in 1966. Wilson had begun in-studio work for Smile and invited Jim to Wilson's Laurel Way home to photograph the songwriter. Their immediate rapport may be attributed to their eccentricities and their mutual proclivity for drugs. More at www.loveandmercyfilm.com.
- Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, directed by Ang Lee, for release in 2016. Based on the Ben Fountain novel of the same name, this is a contemporary war story about "19-year-old private Billy Lynn and his company, who survive a harrowing battle that’s captured by news cameras. They are brought home by the U.S. administration for a promotional tour, culminating at the halftime show of a Thanksgiving Day football game." More at variety.com/2015/film/news/ang-lee-shooting-billy-lynns-long-halftime-walk-at-120-frames-per-second-in-3d-1201477952/.
- Johnny Cash: American Rebel, directed by Jordan Tappis, co-directed by Derik Murray, and executive produced by Derik Murray and Paul Gertz. "When it comes to the extraordinary life, career and legacy of Johnny Cash, just scratching the surface would be a daunting task for any documentary filmmaker. Revisiting the legend that is the Man in Black can prove challenging, especially when the central subject has already been portrayed in an Oscar-winning biopic and numerous books and TV specials. The latest attempt to solve the fascinating puzzle of one of America's greatest entertainers is CMT's original documentary, which premiered on September 12, the twelfth anniversary of Cash's death. "The film examines the effect, for better or worse, that Cash (the man and the performer) had on his fans worldwide, as well as on those who knew him best, his family and friends. Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Eric Church and John Mellencamp are among those offering commentary, and some even perform snippets of Cash's most well-known songs." Also included are images by Jim Marshall, who was a great friend to Cash and shot hundreds of photos of Cash and his family, from intimate gatherings to live concerts at Folsom and San Quentin state prisons. More at: www.rollingstone.com/music/news/johnny-cashs-new-doc-10-things-we-learned-from-american-rebel-20150911#ixzz3mawZGwUG. Watch at www.cmt.com/shows/johnny-cash-american-rebel/.
- The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir, winner of the 2014 Audience Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival; directed by Mike Fleiss. Released just prior to The Grateful Dead's well-publicized fiftieth anniversary tour in 2015, the documentary is an in-depth look at the life of Bob Weir, cofounder of the Grateful Dead, and "features interviews with Weir's Grateful Dead bandmates, other musical colleagues, family and the musician himself." Footage includes iconic images of the group by Jim Marshall, who began covering The Dead in 1966, the heyday of the Haight and the counterculture movement, and over the next decade or so took a mother lode photos of the band in their various incarnations. More at www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-other-one-the-long-strange-trip-of-bob-weir-to-debut-exclusively-on-netflix-300063639.html.
- Janis: Little Girl Blue, directed by Amy J. Berg for the PBS series American Masters; produced by Amy Berg, Alex Gibney, Jeffrey Jampol and Katherine LeBlond. "With the blessing and production advice of Joplin's siblings Michael and Laura, Berg had access to a treasure trove of audio and video footage, including some in the studio shot by Monterey Pop documentarian D.A. Pennebaker, and a telling interview at her 10-year high school reunion in Port Arthur, Texas. There are also interviews with Joplin's family, childhood friends, boyfriends, bandmates and musical colleagues. But what gives Janis: Little Girl Blue its special insight are precious personal letters Joplin wrote home to her family, narrated by Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power) to help tell a complete story." The film includes portraits of Janis taken by Jim Marshall, who was her neighbor on Union Street and who befriended Janis and lovingly recorded her rise from obscurity. More at www.rollingstone.com/music/news/janis-joplins-bandmate-talks-heroin-pool-hangs-in-exclusive-doc-clip-20150902.
- Guitar Gallery: The Quest for Volume, at the EMP Museum in Seattle, WA. Fifty-five vintage guitars are on display in this exhibit, which traces the development of the guitar. Duane Allman's guitar is one of those featured and is paired with a photograph of the late guitarist by Jim Marshall. The photo has special significance: it was singled out by Duane's daughter—who was two years old at the time of her father's death—as her favorite image of her father. More at http://www.empmuseum.org/at-the-museum/museum-features/guitar-gallery-the-quest-for-volume.aspx.