Jim Marshall, Godfather of Rock & Roll Photography

When you think about some of the classic moments of early rock and roll, Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar at Monterey Pop, Bob Dylan kicking a tire down a Lower East Side street, Richie Havens on stage at Woodstock, Janis Joplin on the couch with a bottle of Southern Comfort, Johnny Cash flipping the bird at San Quentin prison  .  .  .  they were all shot by Jim Marshall, who died this week at the age of 74.

Most consider his work to be perhaps the most important visual archive of the musicians of the 1960′ and 1970s. People like The Beatles, The Who, The Stones, John Coltane, Miles Davis, all were in his lens. The images above are just a few of the more than 500 album covers that contained his photography.

As he said so eloquently about his relationship with these artists,

“I feel that in my photographs there is a trust given by the artists. When I point the camera at somebody, there is covenant, and I will not violate that trust”

Go to his website and be amazed by the legacy of his work.

And once you have done that you may want to read more about his life in The New York Times or Rolling Stone, where they report that,

“He was the only photographer granted backstage access for the Beatles’ final full concert at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in 1966 and he also shot the Rolling Stones on their historic 1972 tour.”

Lastly, here is a link to a Rolling Stone portfolio of his work from his 2009 anthology titled, Trust.


About Richard Shear

designer, husband, teacher, blogger, father, athlete, author, historian Richard has over 25 years of brand identity and package design experience, with a wide range of clients such as Ahold, Coca-Cola, Hasbro, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pernod Ricard and Procter & Gamble. He began his career working with the legendary advertising art director, and AIGA Medalist, George Lois and the British design manager Clive Chajet. In his next design management position at Lippincott & Margulies, he worked with Walter Margulies learning the complex skills of global corporate identity. He then became Creative Director and Partner at Peterson & Blyth, one of the premier brand identity and package design firms of the time. He is a founding faculty member of the Masters in Branding Program at New York’s School of Visual Arts. He publishes the blog The Package Unseen, and has been a guest lecturer at colleges including FIT, Trinity College and Tyler School of Art. He is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Richard is a Board member of the AIGA MetroNorth Chapter, past President of AIGA‘s Brand Design Association, President of the Package Design Council and a member of its Board of Directors. He is a member of USA Cycling and US Rowing, a nationally ranked masters bicycle racer, and a member of The Saugatuck Rowing Club, the 2010 Masters Club National Champion.
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