Jim Marshall was a maverick with a camera: an outsider with attitude who captured the heights of Rock’n’Roll music, and the seismic changes of an era. During the extraordinary rise of popular culture and counterculture in the Sixties, Jim Marshall seemed to be everywhere that mattered. From the Beatles to Jimi Hendrix, from Woodstock to the civil rights movement, Marshall immortalised some of the most iconic moments of the 60’s and 70’s.
Shot by Alfred George Bailey using Marshall’s original Leica lenses, Show Me The Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall chronicles the infamous photographer’s life behind the camera, with commentary from the likes of John Carter Cash, Peter Frampton, Graham Nash, Jon Savage, Anton Corbijn, Michael Douglas and more.
Marshall was a walking contradiction and most often his own worst enemy, spending much of his life battling inner demons. A child of immigrant parents, he was born in Chicago in 1936, and soon after moved to San Francisco when he was three. The family was then abandoned by his hard-drinking father, and Jim was raised by his mother and aunts.
While still in high school, Jim ventured out with his Leica camera to the local Bay Area jazz clubs and found a community where he felt at home. It was this passion for music that led him to capture some of the most iconic figures in music history including Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, The Beatles last live concert, the Monterey Pop Festival, Johnny Cash’s concerts in Folsom and St Quentin Prisons, Woodstock, and the infamous image of Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar.
Through these images and those of the jazz scene and vibrant counter-culture revolution of San Francisco and the early New York folk scene of the 60’s, Marshall’s photographs captured an era more powerfully than any moving image. In addition to documenting the dynamic music scene of the time, Marshall saw himself as an anthropologist and a journalist; documenting significant events of the era including political unrest, coal miners in Kentucky and families of murdered civil rights activists in Mississippi.
Posthumously, Jim Marshall holds the distinction of being the first and only photographer to be presented with the Recording Academy’s Trustee Award, an honorary Grammy presented to individuals for non-performance contributions to the music industry. The award was bestowed on the Jim Marshall estate in 2014 in recognition of Marshall ‘s unprecedented chronicling of music history from the 1950s through the early 2000s.
In a career that ended with his untimely death in 2010, Marshall shot more than 500 album covers; his photographs are in private and museum collections around the world.
At the time of the UK film release, an exhibition of Marshall’s work will go on show at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery, opening on 6 January 2020, followed by preview screening events (27 & 28 January) and a further special exhibition of his photographs at the Royal Albert Hall from 28 January 2020.