Jim Marshall, the artist behind some of classic rock’s most legendary images, including Jimi Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire at Monterey in 1967 and Johnny Cash flipping the bird at San Quentin in 1969, is the subject of a new documentary film. “Show Me The Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall,” directed by Alfred George Bailey (“Gregory Porter Don’t Forget Your Music”), holds its South By Southwest (SXSW) premiere on Friday, March 15.
The photographer had a front row seat for some of the biggest moments in musical history. He was in there when Bob Dylan went electric and spent a lot of time in San Francisco documenting the psychedelic era befriending The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Big Brother and the Holding Company. He was behind his notable Leica lens for the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 — when Jimi Hendrix famously lit his guitar on fire — Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison and San Quentin concerts, Woodstock, The Beatles’ final concert in San Francisco in 1966 and many more musical and cultural milestones.
Marshall was a stocky and petulant man with a penchant for fast cars, cocaine and a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, which he documented better than anyone. While being abrasive, he had a way of making artists feel comfortable, creating life-long friendships as he brilliantly captured their every move.
The film features interviews with Peter Frampton, Graham Nash, John Carter Cash, Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, actor Michael Douglas and Marshall’s longtime assistant, Amelia Davis, who worked with the photographer from 1998 until his death in 2010. Davis and her partner now carry on Marshall’s legacy and maintain his impressive archive.
“Show Me The Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall” will premiere at SXSW in Austin on March 15 at 4:45 PM at the Stateside Theatre and will also be screened on March 16 at 2:15 PM at the Alamo Ritz 2.
About the photos:
Led Zeppelin in Los Angeles, 1971: This photograph has never before been seen or published. It shows the band on stage at The Forum in Los Angeles, in August of 1971, just a few months before the band released its watershed album Led Zeppelin IV.
Bob Dylan Greenwich Village, NYC, 1963: This never before seen photo was taken in New York City’s Greenwich Village in 1963, two years before Dylan went electric and prior to becoming a world-renowned artist. The photo was taken during the same photo shoot that produced the classic image of Dylan rolling a tire down the sidewalk in NYC.
Jim Marshall and The Rolling Stones in Los Angeles, 1972: Jim is captured taking a photo of Mick Jagger backstage at the LA Forum. Marshall was the official photographer for the West Coast leg of the 1972 Stones Tour. This rarely seen photo captures Marshall’s unlimited access and his close relationship with the Stones.
Janis Joplin and Sly Stone at Woodstock Festival, Bethel, New York, 1969. A sample of a never-before-seen proof sheet, which captures the energy of Janis Joplin and Sly Stone’s respective Woodstock sets. Says Marshall’s assistant Amelia Davis: “The proof sheets tell a story very well. It’s like taking a glimpse into Jim’s mind much like looking at a writer’s notebook or a musician’s notes for song lyrics. Showing the images taken before and after the iconic ones were chosen and they’re brilliant.” Marshall left Woodstock before the three-day concert was over but stayed long enough to capture some amazing photographs.
All photos used with permission; courtesy of Jim Marshall Photography LLC