Tag Archives: 1970s

Happy 70th Birthday, Jimi Hendrix: Photos of an Incendiary Talent

If a musician’s greatness is measured by the breadth of his influence and how else should we gauge it? Jimi Hendrix’s legacy commends him as one of the most inspiring virtuosos who ever lived. Consider just a few of the acts who explicitly cite Hendrix as central to their sound, or who pay tribute by incorporating at least something of him into their work: The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Miles Davis (who, of course, influenced Hendrix, as well), ZZ Top, Stephen Stills, Public Enemy the list is as long as it is dizzying in its variety.

To put it even more simply: Who else can be heard, resoundingly, in the music of both Prince and Metallica? Funkadelic and Van Halen?

Perhaps the only aspect of Hendrix’s career more remarkable than its aesthetic clout is how awfully short it was. (A fact often obscured by the seemingly endless reissues of his work that have hit the market in the decades since his death.) After making a name overseas in the mid-1960s, he came to sudden and enduring prominence in the U.S. after his legendary performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967; he died in London in September 1970, when he was just 27 years old. But for those 40 months, Jimi Hendrix was one of the few undisputedly indispensable pop-culture figures of the era. And as with so many huge stars who died young including other members of rock and roll’s “27 Club,” like Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, the Stone’s Brian Jones and more the brevity of his life has hardly made his place in the rock pantheon less secure.

On what would have been his 70th birthday (Hendrix was born in Seattle on Nov. 27, 1942), we pay tribute to the guitar wizard through photos made by another iconoclastic creative force, the rock and roll photographer Jim Marshall.

Image: Hendrix burns his guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival, 1967

Jim Marshall Photography LLC

Hendrix burns his guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival, 1967

Known for his work capturing legends (Jagger, Richards, Dylan, Sly Stone, Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, Johnny Cash and countless others) onstage and in quieter, unguarded moments, Marshall who died in March 2010 photographed Hendrix from the moment he exploded, flaming guitar and all, into the public eye at Monterey through the heady, propulsive months and far-too-few years that followed.

The pictures in this gallery, meanwhile, are emblematic of Marshall at his very best a distillation of a long career spent chronicling the charismatic, chameleon-like and frequently unhinged heroes and heroines of rock.

Here is Hendrix at his most relaxed and winning (laughing with his friend and sometime bandmate, the great drummer Buddy Miles, for example, in slide 7); at his most incendiary (slide 11); and at his Sgt. Pepper-meets-Voodoo Chile grooviest (backstage with Brian Jones at Monterey, slide 14).

But whatever mood or persona Hendrix happens to be projecting at the moment, the overriding sense we get from Jim Marshall’s pictures is one of intimacy. Few photographers who have spent any amount of time with the notoriously volatile egomaniacs (not to mention often-drug-addled paranoiacs) who inhabit the rarefied realms of rock have managed to come away with work that was clearly made by someone who belonged. Marshall who was something of a celebrity himself by the mid-Sixties was not cowed by the outsized personalities who could fill entire stadiums not only with music, but with attitude.

(MORE: Jim Marshall’s Collection of Rock ‘n Roll Portraits)

It’s fruitless to ask what Hendrix might be doing now, at 70, had he not died of “drug-induced asphyxia” that is, if he hadn’t choked to death on his own vomit at 27, while he was still growing and exploring as an artist. Fruitless, and inevitable. After all, it’s only natural to wonder what a talent as protean as Hendrix’s would have achieved in the decades after he gave us “Crosstown Traffic,” “Hey Joe,” “The Wind Cries Mary,” “Bold as Love,” his transcendent “Star-Spangled Banner” and scores of other singular classics. article writing submission . Would he have composed soundtracks? Symphonies? Would he have dug ever deeper into his bluesy roots, finding simpler, more elemental ways to tell his own story? Would he and Neil Young spend half the year, every year, touring together, trading beautiful, terrifying riffs in front of overawed fans?

Happy birthday, Jimi, and rest in peace. We shall not see your like again.


Ben Cosgrove is the editor of LIFE.com.


‘Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel’: Collaborative Semantics

Years ago, the photographers Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel decided to put together a book about the work on which they had collaborated, decades worth of significant art made between the 1970s and 1990s. Each had been working on his own solo projects and Mandel had left California, where the two grew up and met and studied together, so the book was always meant to be a look back, a visitation from a place of finality. But then Larry Sultan got sick. Sultan succumbed to cancer in December of 2009 at the age of 63.

We thought it would be great to take some of the work that people hadnt seen a lot of or hadnt seen anything about and bring that to light, and we just thought now would be a great opportunity to do that, now that we were kind of moving into a different part of our lives, Mandel says. We didnt realize Larry was moving into leaving this place.

The book project was dormant for a while after Sultans death, but his wife, assistant and galleristwho continued to be involved throughout the projecthelped Mandel get the idea going again. Because the book had always been about a collaboration that had ended, the form and structure imagined by Mandel and Sultan could still be implemented. linkwheel . The resulting book, Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel, will be released by Distributed Art Publishers in September.

The artists, who met as graduate students at the San Francisco Art Institute, shared an openness to conceptual and experimental photography. We were lucky to be young and freshly in that world when so much was changing, says Mandel. The medium was expandingalthough Sultan later became known as a photographer, the work the two did together is photography mainly in a conceptual senseand the community was small enough that the two had access to influential teachers and artists even outside their school environment.

Courtesy Mike Mandel

Larry Sultan (R) and Mike Mandel, circa 1997

Their collaboration began in 1973 with public art displayed on billboards, work that both interrogated the tropes of advertising and challenged art by placing it in a commercial context. They continued to make billboards for many years. They also worked together on books, including How to Read Music in One Evening, which re-appropriated advertising imagery, and the seminal Evidence, their best known work, which took documentary and archival photos out of their contexts. Later, the two turned their attention to the news media, applying their signature critical mindfulness to the subject. Alongside photographic highlights of their art career together, Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel features analytical essays and a metaphorical commentary by author Jonathan Lethem.

Mandel says that this new book was an opportunity to revisit some of their projects that had not been previously examined. As time went on I think we recognized that a lot of the work we had decided at the time we didnt need to talk about really ought to be talked about, for different reasons, he says. We did re-frame what we chose to put in the book based on this idea of looking back and being a little bit more generous toward ourselves.

But even though the photographers had discussed the content of the book prior to Sultans illness, Mandel was left to make many decisions alone. He says that there were moments when he knew that there would have been a disagreement if Sultan had been there; the weight of sole responsibility was a heavy one. And they hadnt yet decided how to end the book. Mandel chose the project Newsroom, a 1983 exhibit in which they used news tickers to edit their own versions of the days events, as the book’s stopping place. He says he felt that to stop there was to present the most coherent set of ideas, and it was also a chance to step back and look at a project that the artists had been such part of that they never got to see it from a distance. If Larry had been with me it would have been really great to have done that together, Mandel says.

In an essay that accompanied Evidence, Robert F. Forth, the dean of the California College of Arts and Crafts, examined the meanings of evidence, surprise and context. He wrote about the yin/yang balance between the circumstantial and the evident, the way that the two compliment each other to make one whole thought. If one has any defect, its relationship to the other can fill that whole. Likewise, says Mandel, his own introverted working process and Sultans gregarious quick thinking co-existed without one drowning out the other.

We just had a very different way of being but we both trusted each other a lot and we both gave each other as much room to argue and promote our ideas as much as we could. Thats what the Socratic attitude was about. It was about testing these ideas, says Mandel. We collaborated as equals all the way through our relationship.

Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel, will be released in September byDistributed Art Publishers.

Happy 70th Birthday, Jerry Garcia


On what would have been Jerry Garcia’s 70th birthday, LightBox presents a collection of images of the iconic Grateful Dead frontman taken by legendary music photographer Jim Marshall.

Any counterculture worth its salt will eventually succeed in having its values coopted by the broader culture. This, of course, can lead to such ironic outcomes as The Grateful Dead–the once underground ambassadors of indolence, free love and heavy drugs–becoming the best selling concert act in all of America, beloved by long-haired liberals and buttoned-down Reaganites alike.

Jim Marshall

Jerry Garcia, 1968

And Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist, singer and spiritual glue of America’s Greatest Touring Band, contained a few contradictions of his own. For instance, he was one of rock music’s most revered guitarists –named by Rolling Stone as the 13th greatest of all time–but was missing a finger in his right hand. He was a counterculture icon who profited handsomely from hawking ties and ice cream. And most tragically, he was an ardent advocate of mind-expanding drugs, but spent much of his life hobbled by addictions to cocaine and heroin.

Garcia, who would have turned 70 on Aug. 1, cut his teeth in the small San Francisco folk music scene of the early 1960s playing in a jug band with future Dead members Bob Weir and Ron “Pigpen” Mckernan. But Garcia and his hometown of San Francisco were quickly shaken from their attachment to the staid aesthetics of folk music by the arrival of LSD. The drug inspired Garcia to give up his half-hearted attempt at raising a family and earning a steady paycheck. As he told Jan Wenner in 1972:

“It just changed everything you know, it was just – ah, first of all, for me personally, it freed me, you know, the effect was that it freed me because I suddenly realized that my little attempt at having a straight life and doing that was really a fiction and just wasn’t going to work out.”

From its humble beginnings as the house band for Ken Kesey’s famous “Acid Test” parties in the Bay Area in the mid-to-late sixties, the Grateful Dead went on to tour the world and build one of the most loyal and ardent fan bases in the history of rock and roll. It did so not on the strength of platinum records, but on it’s reputation for lively and improvisational live shows, which featured foremost the dulcet guitar work and silky voice of Jerry Garcia. Garcia didn’t posses the raw power of a Jimmy Page or the slick perfectionism of Eric Clapton–but he did have a remarkable feel for the instrument, as well as an unrivaled musical intuition. As Rolling Stone told it,

“Garcia could dazzle on slide (“Cosmic Charlie”) or pedal steel (“Dire Wolf”), but his natural home was playing lead onstage, exploring the frontier of psychedelic sound. The piercing lyricism of this tone was all the more remarkable for the fact that he was missing the third finger of his right hand — the result of a childhood accident while he and his brother Tiff were chopping wood.”

And though The Grateful Dead were never chart-toppers at their peak like Led Zeppelin or The Rolling Stones, their influence is just as palpable today as those bands. In an age where fewer and fewer artists can make an honest living by selling records alone, the live show has become the medium through which many artists make their most significant artistic statements. Acts like stadium-packing Phish owe a huge debt to The Grateful Dead’s improvisational style.

But beyond the music, much of The Grateful Dead’s popularity can be attributed to Jerry Garcia’s magnetic personality. The man’s shaggy beard and incandescent smile are not only a defining image of his own band, but for sixties music in general. And those who knew him best were in awe of his ability to enthrall. “Insofar as you were able, you were an exponent of a dream in the continual act of being defined into a reality,” wrote Garcia’s longtime lyricist, Robert Hunter on the anniversary of his death. “You had a massive personality and talent to present it to the world. That dream is the crux of the matter, and somehow concerns beauty, consciousness and community.”

Chris Matthews is a writer-reporter at TIME.com.

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Legend: Jim Marshall’s Musician Portraits

He photographed legends and his pictures have become iconic in American cultural history, but the vast majority of music photographer Jim Marshall’s work has never been seen. Since his death in 2010, Marhsall’s estate has been combing through millions of unpublished negatives. This month, a new book and two gallery shows will debut many never-before-published images from Marshall’s coverage of the Rolling Stones 1972 tour, as well as singular portraits of musicians including Johnny Cash, BB King and Joni Mitchell.

The spectacle and energy of live performances are at the center of many of Marshall’s photographs–but arguably, it is his quieter shots that make his work special. Marshall got the pictures that others couldn’t–sunlight falling on Mick Jagger’s face as he peers out an airplane window, a young Bob Dylan crossing a littered New York sidewalk and Miles Davis leaning back on the ropes of a boxing ring. Taken backstage, in hotel rooms, tour buses and homes, these intimate portraits and moments are the result of Marshall’s insistence on having total access to the subjects he photographed.

“It’s really astounding when you look at the breadth of his work,” said Steven Kasher, of the Steven Kasher Gallery which will show Marshall’s work in July. “Jim was able to penetrate the inner sanctum and be welcomed both on stage and offstage.”

Marshall was also insistent about which of his frames made it to publication. He was a meticulous editor known for being incredibly protective of his work– a quality that helped him to gain the trust of his subjects by never allowing incriminating or embarrassing photographs to be published.

“He had an innate sense and a natural ability to pick a photo that was spot on and that represented the musicians,” said Amelia Davis, Marshall’s longtime assistant. “He knew his work so well and was also friends with the musicians so he really, I think he felt that he knew what would represent and convey them the best.”

Davis is now the manager of Marshall’s estate and has spent the past two years going though his massive archive. The decision to release new work, Davis said, came from her desire to share the pictures, which Marshall referred to as his “children,” that he had not released in his lifetime. “He was the hardest editor on himself,” said Davis. “Going through his work, you find out how incredible it was. I want to celebrate that and share that art of Jim with the world.”

Accompanying the release of the book will be gallery shows on both coasts. An exhibit of the Rolling Stones pictures will be on display at Seattle’s EMP Museum beginning July 14 and on July 5, the Stephen Kasher Gallery in New York will open “The Rolling Stones 1972, Photographs by Jim Marshall.”

The New York gallery show will feature a section dedicated entirely to the Rolling Stones work, made up primarily of images that have never been seen before. A second room will display a survey of the prolific photographers coverage of more than 30 folk, rock and jazz artists. The Kasher gallery will also display a grid of 150 original record covers that feature Marshall’s photography.

Looking forward, Marshall’s estate would like to continue to find and release new collections of work from the archives. “They’re pieces of history,” said Amelia Davis. “It’s important to share that with future generations.”

Jim Marshall: The Rolling Stones and Beyond” will be on display at Steven Kasher Gallery in New York City through September 8, 2012.

The Rolling Stones 1972 will released this month by Chronicle Books.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Legend: Jim Marshall’s Musician Portraits

He photographed legends and his pictures have become iconic in American cultural history, but the vast majority of music photographer Jim Marshall’s work has never been seen. Since his death in 2010, Marshall’s estate has been combing through millions of unpublished negatives. This month, a new book and two gallery shows will debut many never-before-published images from Marshall’s coverage of the Rolling Stones 1972 tour, as well as singular portraits of musicians including Johnny Cash, BB King and Joni Mitchell.

The spectacle and energy of live performances are at the center of many of Marshall’s photographs–but arguably, it is his quieter shots that make his work special. Marshall got the pictures that others couldn’t–sunlight falling on Mick Jagger’s face as he peers out an airplane window, a young Bob Dylan crossing a littered New York sidewalk and Miles Davis leaning back on the ropes of a boxing ring. Taken backstage, in hotel rooms, tour buses and homes, these intimate portraits and moments are the result of Marshall’s insistence on having total access to the subjects he photographed.

“It’s really astounding when you look at the breadth of his work,” said Steven Kasher, of the Steven Kasher Gallery which will show Marshall’s work in July. “Jim was able to penetrate the inner sanctum and be welcomed both on stage and offstage.”

Marshall was also insistent about which of his frames made it to publication. He was a meticulous editor known for being incredibly protective of his work– a quality that helped him to gain the trust of his subjects by never allowing incriminating or embarrassing photographs to be published.

“He had an innate sense and a natural ability to pick a photo that was spot on and that represented the musicians,” said Amelia Davis, Marshall’s longtime assistant. “He knew his work so well and was also friends with the musicians so he really, I think he felt that he knew what would represent and convey them the best.”

Davis is now the manager of Marshall’s estate and has spent the past two years going though his massive archive. The decision to release new work, Davis said, came from her desire to share the pictures, which Marshall referred to as his “children,” that he had not released in his lifetime. “He was the hardest editor on himself,” said Davis. “Going through his work, you find out how incredible it was. I want to celebrate that and share that art of Jim with the world.”

Accompanying the release of the book will be gallery shows on both coasts. An exhibit of the Rolling Stones pictures will be on display at Seattle’s EMP Museum beginning July 14 and on July 5, the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York will open “The Rolling Stones 1972, Photographs by Jim Marshall.”

The New York gallery show will feature a section dedicated entirely to the Rolling Stones work, made up primarily of images that have never been seen before. A second room will display a survey of the prolific photographer’s coverage of more than 30 folk, rock and jazz artists. The Kasher gallery will also display a grid of 150 original record covers that feature Marshall’s photography.

Looking forward, Marshall’s estate would like to continue to find and release new collections of work from the archives. “They’re pieces of history,” said Amelia Davis. “It’s important to share that with future generations.”

Jim Marshall: The Rolling Stones and Beyond” will be on display at Steven Kasher Gallery in New York City through September 8, 2012.

The Rolling Stones 1972 will be released this month by Chronicle Books.

Happy Birthday, Paul McCartney: 70 Iconic Images for 70 Years

In honor of Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday on June 18, LightBox culled various photography archives to feature 70 iconic images of the Beatle—one for each year of his life—with text from the introduction of TIME’s new book, Paul McCartney: The legend rocks on, by James Kaplan.

He is the most ordinary of extraordinary men: a historical figure with a common streak, a genius who’s still not entirely sure where it all comes from, or came from.

“I’ve always had this thing of him and me,” Paul McCartney told Barry Miles, his authorized biographer, in 1996. “He goes onstage, he’s famous, and then me; I’m just some kid from Liverpool … this little kid who used to run down the streets in Speke … collecting jam jars, damming up streams in the woods. I still very much am him grown up.

“Occasionally, I stop and think, I am Paul McCartney … hell, that is a total freak-out! You know, Paul McCartney! Just the words, it sounds like a total kind of legend. But, of course, you don’t want to go thinking that too much because it takes over.” And yet, “when I go on tour, I’m glad of the legendary thing,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to try and entertain 60,000 people in a Texas stadium with just the guy next door.”

No, that wouldn’t do at all. And so—still, in 2012—he steps out on the stage of whatever arena he may be playing, in whichever corner of the world—it scarcely matters where or what language they speak; everyone knows him and loves him, everyone knows the words to all the songs—and, as the roar rises to the rafters, begins singing, for the umpteenth time and with undiminished joy:

Roll up, roll up for the magical mystery tour, step right this way …

Today—inconceivably—he turns 70, and he’s still rolling. Fast. In the months before the big day, he seemed to be everywhere at once: touring in Helsinki and Moscow and Liverpool. Getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Playing at the MusiCares benefit (where he was honored as Person of the Year). Playing at the Grammys. Attending his daughter Stella’s fashion show in Paris. Vacationing in St. Barts with his wife Nancy Shevell—and then touring some more, in Rotterdam and Zurich and London.

It was almost as though, if he moved fast enough and squeezed in enough events, he might sideslip the 18th of June altogether and proceed to the next golden stage, untouched and untallied. Exactly the kind of dream a little kid running down the street in Liverpool might dream.

Except that no one, in his wildest imaginings, could have dreamed all that had happened to him in the years between then and now.

All four of them had remarkable faces, but only his was beautiful, the big-eyed, long-lashed looks saved from mere prettiness by a persistent, perhaps willfully untended, five-o’clock shadow and those asymmetrical, ironically arched brows, which seemed to say, I’ve got the goods. No, really. Think I’m kidding?

He had the goods, and then some. “Oh, beyond measure—on a Mozart level,” the musician and record producer Peter Asher told TIME recently, speaking of the musical gifts of the brash young -Liverpudlian who, beginning in 1963, dated his sister Jane and, though already famous, bunked in the attic of the Asher family’s town house on Wimpole Street: the attic where the melody of “Yesterday” came to him one night in a dream.

That, of course, was many yesterdays ago. And while Paul McCartney’s youthful beauty has gone the way of youth, the immense musical talent endures, along with, at the biblical three score and 10, something perhaps even more remarkable: “He keeps on going,” says another longtime acquaintance, the writer and director Michael Lindsay-Hogg. “He doesn’t have to. He’s got all the money and all the success, and he’s written some great songs. In Tennessee Williams’ Camino Real … there’s [a line]: ‘Make voyages, attempt them; there’s nothing else.’ I think that’s Paul.”

At 70, he voyages still, maintaining a schedule that would give pause to a man half his age: a 30-concert tour in 2011-2012, from the Bronx to Bologna, Moscow to Montevideo to Mexico City. “My wife says he’s an alien from the Planet Fab,” says Paul “Wix” Wickens, the keyboardist in the band that has backed McCartney for the past 10 years. (The band also includes bassist Rusty Anderson, guitarist/bassist Brian Ray and drummer Abe Laboriel Jr.)

“If you’re enjoying it, why do something else?” McCartney asked Rolling Stone, rhetorically, earlier this year. His pleasure in his art and his craft seems as pure as it was when he first picked up a guitar almost 60 years ago. “He absolutely loves music,” Wickens says. “He loves to play. And he loves being involved. He’s always doing something. When we [in the band] are not working, he is not not-working. He does relax, and he does take holidays. But he puts his head into other places, not just pop music, because he likes a challenge, he likes just to be doing it.”

Funny, the things an ordinary man will come up with.

Excerpted from TIME’s new book; Paul McCartney: The legend rocks on, by James Kaplan, copyright ©2012 by Time Home Entertainment Inc. To buy a copy, go to time.com/mccartneybook.

Read an excerpt from the book here.

Tearsheet of the Day | 3 June 2012

Anders Petersen did a commission in London’s Soho for The Photographers’ Gallery which re-opened in the very same neighbourhood end of May.

The Sunday Times Magazine has ran some photos from Petersen’s series in the magazine’s Spectrum section today.

Text on the spread: Toe’s Company. The Swedish photographer Anders Petersen first witnessed the seedy side of Soho in the 1970s. Now he has returned to document London’s most colourful neighbourhood – and see how’s it’s changed. Commissioned by the Photographers’ Gallery, he immersed himself in Soho life for a month, capturing these grainy black-and-white portraits in homes, hotels, and bars. Some are simple snapshots of intriguing subjects – boozers, bohemians or both. Others are more considered, with Petersen befriending people who live and work in the small, vibrant district at the heart of the capital. 

You can see some of the photos also on Guardian’s website, here.

Anders Petersen’s (b.1944, Sweden) personal website.

Vivian Maier at Steven Kasher

Untitled (Man with Glasses and Bow Tie), 1969 © Vivian Maier, Courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery, New York

On view through May 26, 2012

Steven Kasher Gallery
521 West 23rd Street
New York City, NY

When street photographer Vivian Maier passed away in 2009, she left behind over 120,000 negatives and 2,000 undeveloped rolls of film. Maier made hundreds of thousands of distinguished street photographs throughout New York City and Chicago during her life. Now, three years later, many of her undeveloped rolls of film have been processed and printed.

Vivian Maier: Unseen Images features a selection of the newly developed film, shot in the 1960s and 1970s. Thirty-five prints of the recently discovered work are debuting at the Steven Kasher Gallery.

The new book, Vivian Maier: Street Photographs, edited by John Maloof, is excerpted in Aperture’s latest issue, 207.