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Wednesday, 24 March 2010


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One of the greats, who helped create the 60s.

To hear of his passing is to understand that that great era is slipping away from living memory. But not just yet. Not just yet.


It was on my list to find out more about Jim Marshall, having seen his name next to so many great pictures. I'm sad to hear of his death but Ctein, I feel like I have a real idea of the man himself after reading your piece. Beautifully done—thank you!

I had just finished reading Jim's obit and slideshow at the NYT and thought I'd hop over here to see if Mike had a notice up yet. I was delighted, and completely immersed, to read your up-close recollections of this fellow. Thank you, Ctein.

p.s. That shot of Janis in SF has to be quite valuable, as is the Miles Davis image. Just compare your d/t print image to the image that the NYT posted. Which one's backwards?

Wow, to have one of JM's dye transfer print from Ctein...

That was my favourite article you've written, Ctein. Also, holy sh*t are you good at prints. Blows my mind man. But yeah, it was a great great post. It was the exact right length with the exact right stuff and the exact right wording. I feel like I knew him after only a few paragraphs.

Dam'. Sex and drugs and rock'n'roll is dying out. And is slowly being replaced by "safety", corporate greyness and nanny-state.

I don't doubt for a minute that I would have found Jim Marshall extremely irritating. I still wish there were more like him.

Great stories, great insight. The times I've gone into his Soho gallery, I thought most of the pictures were anodyne. Going through his website, many of those pictures really are great, and it wouldn't even matter whether the subjects are famous or not.

Inspired writing Ctein, the best thing I've read in a long long time. Quite a love story. Loss. Sorry. Thankyou.

I'm sad that Jim Marshall has died, but I'd like to raise a point for debate. It applies to Marshall and a lot of other phoptographers who captured pictures of 60s icons - just how good were they as photographers?

Looking at Marshall's work (I went through his website) he has a lot of iconic images - but how much of the power is due to the subject and how much to his own photographic skills?

My conclusion, which may be wrong, is that his greatest strength as a photographer was being there, being close and forming a connection with his subjects. These are all vital skills and contribute greatly to the end photograph. But if you look at his photographs objectively and try to disregard the identity of the subjects (which is hard) a lot of the photographs are no more than snapshots. A good example is the photo of Janis on the Porsche. If it wasn't a photo of Janis, but of some random girls, I would say "cool car, but you're not close enough to your subject - I don't feel involved with the photo". You can say similar things about a lot of his photos of bands. If you substituted the kid from next door's garage band in the pictures they don't amount to much as photographs.

I don't mean to say Marshall couldn't take a great photograph. Obviously he could as seen by the sample of the "chocolatey" picture of Miles on this page - anyone would be proud to have taken that shot. This is nothing personal - it's really more of an intellectual argument about what makes a great photo.

What do you think?

Not being a serious photographer or even photography enthusiast (I'm just in it for the gear - and I'd like to be able to produce three or four photos I'm not ashamed of hanging on my wall), I'd never heard of Jim.

But this very moving obituary made me feel like knowing him. Thank you, Ctein! And the only part I'm mildly offended about are the asterisks in "F*ck that sh*t".

What a great note and obituary.

Wow. This is a really honest and heartfelt piece of writing and a fascinating story. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences with this amazing person. It really stopped me in my tracks. Very powerful stuff.

Ctein, impressive article; I was not aware of Jim's work but your comments truly offered a clear window to understand some significant bits about him.

I have read many of your articles here in TOP but never felt like commenting; today's article is one of those which deserve public applause, and thus I just came here to say "Chapeau!".

I think that probably the best obituary I've ever read.

Wow, great obituary Ctein. Best article you have written, IMO. And sorry for your (and photography's) loss.


"And the only part I'm mildly offended about are the asterisks in 'F*ck that sh*t'."

We do that because there are automated spam-protection programs and firewalls and so forth that won't allow certain content in certain settings. Just trying to remain workplace- and school-friendly.


The New York Times has an obituary with a slide show that includes the same picture of Miles Davis. Yet the picture is reversed and much less saturated. I'll trust Ctein on this one, thank you very much!


Best regards,

Thanks for this wonderful appreciation. Seriously.

I met Jim Marshall once, the day Kodak announced that they were discontinuing black and white printing paper. He was outraged. I mentioned Ilford FB VC might be a viable alternative; Jim said "Ilford! F*ck that sh*t!"


"Which one's backwards?"

We have it right. Never mind that Ctein was making the print for Jim and Jim would have known which way was correct--just look at the trumpet.


@ Matthew

"What do you think?"

If I told you I don't think Mike would post my comment.

That was an endearing (in its own way) and honest obituary.

Depends what kind of photographs you consider "good," eh? JM's style was plainspoken, but that was what he was going for--the sense of real people in real space at particular times.

You need to ask yourself, what would be "good" for you? The mannered style of storefront professional portraiture? Should it look like advertising photography of models? Should it be heroic and hagiographic like Soviet-era Russian art? Should it be Photoshopped and HDR'd to death? Should it be pretty and pictorial and generic?

You definitely aren't obligated to like it, but good artists generally go for, and get, the style they intend.


Really well written; I loved the whole tone of the piece as well as the flow.

Beautiful tribute, especially the last line!

Nice article and great read, C.

His most iconic image might be the one of Bob Dylan kicking a tire down Bleecker Street in 1963. Not a standard portrait by any means.
Sad news indeed...

Thank you for a very interesting post.

Which are the best drugs (just joking)?


Fantastic piece of writing. Sad to see you go Jim.

Thanks Ctein, best obit i've read in a while, and i to hope he post pictures from hell (i'm sure they must have MySpace at the very least down there)


A very well written piece I almost thoroughly enjoyed. I am, however, offended by this, though:

...especially because I knew that if there were ever a white man who didn't have a racist bone in his body (and I'm not convinced there is)...

Believe it or not, there are a few white males out there who judge each human being on his or her own merits rather than by any any prejudices. It is interesting and saddening to me that you've both condemned prejudice and engaged in it in the same sentence.

I honestly take pride in the fact that I can look at my life and know that I have never judged any individual based on race, sex, religion, etc., etc. I think it is highly unfair that suddenly I've been lumped together with every other white male on the planet and that therefore I *must* have a racist bone in me.

I know you said "Too Bad," if we took offense to the piece. I don't overall. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. It's just that I just felt that this one part was unfair and needed to be called out.


Christopher May
Denver, CO

Thank you for a lovely tribute. We owe the dead at least our remembrance, and Ctein has done JM proud.

Ctein, thank you. I knew Jim and I think you encapsulated so much of the man in your piece. One of my favorite stories he told me...he was in Colombia, and the Lt that was assigned to him would get everything he needed/wanted. He apparenty got them best Columbian coke he'd ever had. Seven years later, Jim went back to Colombia and that Lt was the President of he country.

Thank you for a wonderful requiem for an era. It is good to be reminded photographers are people too.

excellent piece - as far as his great work was because of "being there", that's the biggest hurdle to get over- the photojournalist's motto is "f8 & be there" - having seen a lot of Jim's work & owning some of it, he was an excellent photographer who worked under pressure & usually had one chance to 'get it' - anyone who's been down that road knows

Jim rocks!

By the way I think that is the most beautiful M4 ever!!

Ctein, there can be no better proof that "the truth will set you free" than your remembrance of Jim. Very moving. Thank you.


Ctein -

As I was reading this, I was thinking about how well written it was. Then I scrolled to the bottom and saw that you were the writer. I think this is the best piece of writing of yours I have ever read. Now I see from the comments above that others agree with me.

Very enjoyable, inspirational work.



Thank you for this excellent piece on your relationship with an interesting man.

I have several of Jim's books but am not familiar with all the subjects of his photos, thus they're not celebrities to me. But regardless of the people captured by his Leicas and Nikons, his photos always succeeded on a technical level and as environmental portraits. I rate him as one of the best, above many photographers who are more commercially successful.

THanks Ctein. For someone who does not have access to see originals, is there a book being published right now that best represents JMs work - that is well printed?


Your best article yet. It just rings of truth and brings across the true nature of the individual written with heartfelt experience.

Keep them coming


Here's a short YouTube video of Jim Marshall talking about his work.

Nice obit. I worked for Jim once and it was the event of a lifetime. I threw a big wrench in the day watched Jim freak out. I reeled it back in to gain the nickname.. Convict John. At the end of the day he paid me, signed my book and sent me a print of my choice signed. I was amazed. I am still in awe of his work and generosity. F*ck that Sh*t!! RIP Jim.

Matthew I think you picked the wrong moment for your valid question. FOr folks like me who knew Marshall is a painful moment.
"...anyone would be proud to have taken that shot. This is nothing personal - it's really more of an intellectual argument about what makes a great photo."

But right off the bat, if that was the case then anybody else around his time would had taken those images too. Trust me was a genius and he was welcome with open arms by all his subjects.

Manuello Paganelli



While waiting to come online this morning, I was sitting and looking at my new copy of a Janis Joplin compilation album, one that features the above colour photo of her on the psychedelic car, taken by Jim Marshall. So, it was quite a surprise to read about his passing.

It's strange how the death of someone you never knew and indeed knew very little about can be so sad.

I have a personal term I use to describe certain individual photographs: single photographic event.

By this I mean a single photograph that impacts on me to an extreme degree when I encounter it. They leave me dumbstruck, transfixed and in awe. They have some quality I cannot define, that not only holds my attention, but moves me emotionally in ways I can't explain. It is like they are buoyant, and I can throw myself upon them and be swept away. Always present is the fact that they excite me to a point that is almost physical, like being pushed or even jolted. They get me excited about the possibilities of photography, they compel me, again almost physically, to go out and take photographs. In a strange way, they fill me with hope.

My own personal list of these singular events in experiencing photography is extremely small. Numbering less than the fingers on one hand.

Jim Marshall was the author of one of these.

I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Jim on several occasions. He very kindly offered me a beautiful print of one of his images from the South made during the civil rights era, a print I will always cherish. I hope Jim will be remembered as one of the great photographers of the second half of the twentieth century. His images of the music scene, pop culture, late sixties and seventies, and civil rights era offer a visual record with authenticity as great as that made by anyone at that time. He had a decisive eye and nose for the social news of the sixties and seventies, particularly relating to the music scene which was the backdrop for all of our lives during that period. He made some of the truly defining images of his and our era and I hope and am confident that his work will only continue to grow in stature with time. Peter Turnley

Dear Ken,

I got an appraisal for my prints several years back, for insurance purposes, and some of the results aren't what one would expect. Jim's recent fame is a baby boomer nostalgia thing. The main cohort is entering its 50s, which is the peak discretionary income phase, combined with memories of what it was like growing up becoming increasingly hazy and euphoric (that's age, not the drugs speaking). Jim's done photos that are just inherently great, photos that are iconic, and photos that people desperately want to own. Big surprise, they are not always the same photos.

The Miles Davis in the red jacket was one of Jim's less expensive dye transfers. Partly because it was a smaller print, partly because of where the demand was. (There was never a dye transfer of Miles with the green trumpet.)

Similarly, when I had the appraisal done by far the most expensive photograph of Jimi Hendrix was not the famous one of him burning his guitar, which is what I would have thought, but a vertical of him in a blue shirt, with his head thrown back singing. It was going for low five figures! Apparently it spoke to Jimi fans more than any other.

It's the vagaries of the market in spades. I have a digital print of Lenny Bruce at the Hungry I that Jim photographed in 1959. It is a terrible photograph. It's not only very uninteresting artistically, but the slide itself is almost unprintably awful. Fuzzy, overexposed, daylight film used under tungsten light. I managed to turn it into an acceptably mediocre print, which was a technical virtuoso performance, let me tell you. By no stretch of the imagination is it good.

But... I only made two prints of that for Jim and one for me before he died. There's a fair chance I have the only signed, unsold print that in the world. Wanna bet whether there's a Lenny Bruce fan somewhere out there who will pay one hell of a lot of money for that photograph?

As you, Mike, and others have written so intelligently, the world of art sales often does not have a lot to do with Art. In the case of Jim's work, it goes double. His best photographs are not necessarily his bestsellers nor his most profitable.

~ pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 


You've made me realize that when I die, I hope I have people around me with the courage and conviction to write a eulogy about me with the same kind of honesty, balance and above all, respect that you've done here.

Bravo, sir.

Dear Richard,

I can't say what Nick will end up doing regarding any unsold signed prints by Jim, but if you're actually seriously interested you should go to www.marshallphoto.com and leave them a contact message as they suggest on their homepage.

I am sure there will be some work available, I'm just not in a position to speak to that; that's Nick's part of the business, not mine.


Dear erlik,

Oh, no it's not. Believe me, it is very much not! It doesn't make the news for a variety of reasons (there's a whole 'nother column there) but sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll is bigger and more alive than ever. And I'm not talking about a baby boomer thing that's going to die out as we all kick off. I've got lots of friends in their 20s and 30s. There is a Scene, and it's huge, and one of the great things about the inter-web is that it's a lot easier for people to find out about it and stay connected to it than it was back in the 60s and 70s.

Have no fear, we are a dissolute bunch, and that uppity younger generation is even more so.


Dear Adam,

That particular Jjpeg (of Miles in the red jacket) is pretty lousy. One of the things I want to do is replace on the website; I didn't create it in the first place, and it's definitely substandard. When I copied it over from there, I did a moderate amount of correction to it for posting it here. It's still way, way off... but it's less off


Dear everyone,

Thank you so very much for all the praiseful comments (and private e-mails) I've gotten. Truth is that I don't much like obituaries. I tend not to read them (even when Mike writes them) and I try to avoid writing them (although, ironically, my very first column for TOP was an obituary). When Mike told me about Jim's death and asked me if I would write the obituary here, I was half ready to say no. Then I decided, "Oh, why not; easier for me than him."

And then the words just worked right for me. I could tell it was working right when I was writing it. I sure wish I could do that on demand. The muse has a mind of her own.

Anyway, I thought it was better than my average, and it's really nice to hear that other people think so, too.

~ pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

Dear Matthew,

I think that's a very good question. A short and glib definition: a great photograph is one that grabs you for reasons that have little or nothing to do with the subject matter. As opposed to a photograph that grabs you because of the subject matter, which I will call a "tourist" photograph. That doesn't mean it's a bad photograph, it just means that what attracts you to it is the (frequently exotic) content, not the form. Most of the photographs that appear in National Geographic, for example. And most of the photographs taken in or of space -- they're wonderful to look at and entirely technically competent, but it's not their brilliant artistic merit that underlies your enjoyment of them.

Notable exceptions, always, but I think it's a fair working definition.

Note what I said in my previous post to Ken Tanaka. To paraphrase that whole post, Jim's current fame is being built on "tourism." Using my glib definition of great, Jim's greatest photos are often not his most popular or best-known ones. And what's up on the website is what is most marketable.

To be sure, there is some overlap between great and profitable, but do not judge the overall quality of Jim's work by what is selling. Some of the work is entirely mediocre. There's a photograph of Carol King, for example, which is by no stretch of the imagination a great photograph in any way. But the record label like it and use it as one of her album covers. So it's going to be out there, because people know it. It's a commercial website, not an art website.

Some of the photographs of Jim's hold up just brilliantly small and at low resolution. Some of them don't. You are seriously underestimating the photograph of Janis on the Porsche. You'll just have to take my word for that unless you ever get to see a real print.

In short, don't go by percentages, go by the very best, and assume that that's representative of what Jim could do.

I also don't know how much experience you have photographing stage performers (and performances) but let me say for the general audience that doing so generally requires a combination of the photographic skills one would invoke for portraiture, kids (or pets) portraiture, and wildlife photography. Seriously. It's a learnable but complicated skill set, and 99% of the photographers out there simply wouldn't be able to do competent stage/performer photography if you dropped them into that situation.

That doesn't mean you should like the photographs because they're hard to do. But it is worth remembering that they are hard to do.

~ pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

"...especially because I knew that if there were ever a white man who didn't have a racist bone in his body (and I'm not convinced there is)..."

Right here. I'm Jewish, my wife is from China, and I have an Afro-Judeo cousin.

A few years ago, I attended a workshop where Jim was the instructor. It lasted three days and by the third day I, an attendee, was assigned the task of driving him from place to place because everyone else was scared.
On the last night I sat beside him in the front row while another photographer showed his work. Jim's cell phone rang, a new gadget for him I believe. He answered in a VERY loud voice, I think he was hard of hearing. The other person must have asked what he was doing and he shouted "Listening to some pompous asshole talk about photography!" loud enough for people on the street to hear.
I grabbed his elbow and asked if he wanted to grab a drink, and out we went -- to the great relief of the crowd.
In the end he signed a famous print of Dylan and Baez and gave it to me because I was "OK".

Sincere thanks, Ctein. Your raw and no holds barred tribute to Marshall is welcomed, indeed. What a rich legacy JM has left us.

Dear Mark,

Well, Mike's got a book sitting on his shelf, just waiting to be reviewed, doncha Mike? (noodge noodge)


Dear Chris,

(a) This isn't about you.

(b) I did not say you must [be racist], I said I am not convinced otherwise. But since I don't know you from a hole in the wall, I could hardly be speaking about you in the specific, now could I? Yet, somehow you feel you must take personal offense.

(c) Return to (a). Lather, rinse, repeat until done.


Dear Pete,

I had been meaning to ask to trade with Jim for a print of his photograph of the first (black) registered-since-Reconstruction voters. Very elderly couple in Georgia? Mississippi? Alabama? Can't remember which. But I vividly remember seeing the photo at his big show in SF a year or so back.

Procrastination. Bad thing.

(Maybe I can trade with his heirs, if it hasn't sold.)


Dear Brad,

Lead a sufficiently debauched and outrageous life and all good things will come to you, I'm sure.

pax / Ctein
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

I met Jim a few times over the years and I had to laugh at the title to this article.

Jim was as much a saint, as I am famous.

The best SOB you could ever hope to meet.

The world just got a little duller.

Yes, I guess I'll miss him.


It doesn't make the news for a variety of reasons (there's a whole 'nother column there) but sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll is bigger and more alive than ever.

Now that's a column I'd like to read. :)

Yes, I know there's a gazillion good young(er) bands out there. I'm listening to some of them.

But I think what really made the sex'n'drugs'n'rock'n'roll era was the general atmosphere, just as the general atmosphere was what made the punk era. And it's simply missing at the moment.

Indie became the new mainstream. Together with punk, it was coopted into the corporations. Corporations and profit makers control what's going out. If you don't have the luck to have a nearby channel where you can find some of the new bands, it's industrial pop/pap all the way down.

For instance, I heard AFI - Beautiful Thieves on the radio the other day. Looked around and found out that the band has been existing for twenty years. And as you can see with the video location, it got more widely promoted now they are a part of the corporate ecosystem.

Zagreb lost several rock clubs during the last 15-20 years. Nothing replaced them...

So yes, I'd really like to read the column.

PS. Yes, proper rock photography is quite hard to do. That's a very good analogy there, with wildlife photography. You have to wait for the decisive moment :), and you may not have it. I like to think I've caught some of the decisive moments in concerts, but maybe I'm just kidding meself because I like the subject.

Great, right on eulogy - thanks!! What can I say? Back when the Dead still allowed it, he and I shared a side of the stage at a gig or two, and I remember with fondness two visits to his place on Union Street, where we looked at photos and reminisced. Not an easy man, absolutely, but what a photographer! I am privileged to have been photographed by him, and one of those photos is on my website, with his kind permission, given with a, "Of course you can - you really didn't have to ask." Yes, I did. It's at http://www.rosiemcgee.com/writings/PassThoughtsGD/index.html - Jim Marshall, you were one of the BEST!

I met Jim in Minneapolis MN in 1999, he liked me, told me I was an AS*HOLE.. That was Jim. I spoke with him on occaision about 2 or 3 times a year. He was certainly different

I remember meeting Jim Marshall once in San Francisco at a Zim's restaurant on Geary Blvd. It was September 21, 1982. I was with two female friends; we were going to the Alexandria Theater to see the movie "The Wall" by Pink Floyd. We were early, so we went to Zim's for a snack. He was sitting there alone and started a conversation with us ----- I think he was trying to pick up on one of the girls. He gave me his business card (it was a 3x5 index card with his name and phone number stamped on it) and tried to impress us with who he was. I had heard of him, but didn't know much about him. He mentioned that he photographed the Beatles several times in concert; including their last concert in San Francisco at Candlestick Park in August of 1969. Of course, being a big Beatle fan, that impressed me. Anyway, we talked a bit, finished our food and then told him we had to go to see the movie. That was it ---- we left him at Zim's and went to see "The Wall". Many years later I came to appreciate him as a photographer. I bought an autographed book of his Candlestick Park photos of the Beatles. To this day, I remember him sitting alone at Zim's as we headed for the Alexandria Theater.

Jim shot my promo pix nearly 40 years ago. The SOB also had the temerity to die on my frickin' birthday. Probably just his way of saying, "I love you, motherf****r, but it's all about me! Now go out and shoot something. Try using a camera this time." LOL!

He was a genius, a mentor and an inspiration. If we'd never met I'd still know he was a legend. The fact we did connect was more than a plus. He taught me how to color outside the lines.

something I have repeatedly noticed in my travels (extensive to me) is that people everywhere delight in finding themselves in their grandchildren. A stronger physical resemblance delights even more. (re racism in white people).

Of all of the articles I've read since Jim died yours captures the Jim Marshall I knew better than any of them.

I knew Jim from sometime in the mid 60s.

I was the sound man at the Family Dog Ballrooms, first in Denver and then the Avalon and Great Highway locations.

Over 40 years of encounters with Jim and through a lot of altered states on both our parts I saw the many sides of his personality.

One thing that remained constant. He appreciated what I did and I appreciated what he did. We became quite adept at staying out of each other's way when doing our thing at the same concerts. There was a great mutual respect going on.

He was not happy at the way the concert business has changed, especially the "controlled access" that today's artists and their handlers demand.

I was fortunate to know Jim Marshal and lucky to be called a friend by him. We had some fun times and Jim had a million stories, which i listened to as if i was hearing tales of the the whole later part of the 20th century.
I truly think Jim recalled every story from every photo he ever took. I loved them all. He IS and will always be the best rock and roll photographer, hand down.
He did it all and he will be missed and I am better for knowing Jim. I met him years ago when he was talking to my girlfriend at an art opening. All I recall now is hearing, "Hey darling, what's your name mine's Jim Marshal." I swung around almost knocking my girlfriend over to get to Jim and shake his hand.
His attitude was ...what the fuck, who are you? looking back on that it makes me laugh, as the time it was quite intimidating.
I told him I loved his work, he'd heard that a million times, but i was serious.... I introduced him to my girlfriend and we had a nice chat. I asked him if I could someday come over and see his work. He took my number and said he would call me. Later that week I was over at his flat off Market Street drinking whiskey and looking through his archives. What a blast. The walls were a museum of my heroes. I asked him about the Cash Finger photo, the Hendrix Monterey Pop shots, the Allman Bros. Fillmore East lp cover, Janis, Coltrane, Bill Graham and all the Dylan shots he took and on and on. He was pretty cool putting up with me. I knew all his work. I loved it and what a thrill that day was. We became friends over the years and he often treated me like a son. He could really be a sweet guy. His rep is a bad-ass and indeed i saw that too. Fuck with Jim and you were in a world of trouble. I was always careful. He protected his copyrights, and rightly he should. He shot gold. He went nuts when folk used his work without his permission.
I ended up buying three photos that first day. He wanted cash, didn't really want a check. So he drove me to my bank and then we made a stop on the way and then he asked. "What are you doing today, you want to go have a drink, it's on me" I laughed and said, "Yes."
Over the years we had many drinks and many tales were told. I could write a book of the stuff he told me. I bought more photographs from him. I love looking at his work. It is so real.
He told me once as i was always curious, as he had shot everybody, but who did he like, who did he respect. He told me 3 of his all time favorite folk he knew well, liked, hung out with and photographed, and he called them sweethearts. At the time 2 were still alive. Duane Allman, Miles Davis and Jerry Garcia. He loved Garcia.
Jim said he was always lucky to be in the right place at the right time. I'm was a painter, and but Jim didn't dig when I called him an artist, he just said he knew when to shoot. I believed him, as the evidence was in his work. And he shot a lot more than music, he did so much.
Once we were going to the Fillmore, one of the first of many shows I went with him. He was going to shoot some band I had never heard of at the time. As we approached the door, I started saying something like, "Jim, do we have tickets or a pass, I'll pay if you want. He looked at me in that Jim marshal way and more a snicker than a laugh and said. "Are you kidding, pay? I'm fucking Jim Marshall !!"
He sure was Jim Marshall. He did rock and roll a service beyond the call of duty.

When I heard he passed away in his sleep the other night in New York City, I just knew he had his Leica pretty damn close. I know it's with him now, forever loaded up with film, ready to go.


I was hoping like hell that someone would write an honest yet touching assessment of the man. He was a crazy one, but he was a friend. I spent a lot of time with Jim in the middle eighties, and helped him out as best I could when he was having a rough go of it, the residue of one of those gun incidents. For every couple of prints I bought from him he gave me one free. Damn he was generous. And as infuriating as he could be at times, I'm going to miss him.



You nailed it, man! That was Jim...truly one of a kind. He was the Sinatra of photographers and the record shows he did it "his way"...not many people in this life can lay claim to that. R.I.P. Jim and thank you for all you taught me.

-Joseph Greco

He was a wonderful person, his dead take us off guard.He was a wonderful person, his dead take us off guard.

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