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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Deceased S.F. Rock Photographer Jim Marshall: A Great F**king Interview

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Hendrix photo by Jim Marshall, from
  • Hendrix photo by Jim Marshall, from
As All Shook Down reported yesterday, legendary San Francisco photographer Jim Marshall died on Tuesday at age 74. Your humble narrator spoke to Marshall several times last year regarding a lawsuit he filed against the owner of the Bill Graham Archive. As we put it then, "Marshall broke the lawsuit down into terms so simple even Keith Richards on his 14th beer could get it: They've got my stuff and I want it back." The photographer eventually settled his suit, allowing the Archive's owner to select his 100 favorite prints and return the 500 or so remaining ones to Marshall.

Calling Marshall "plain-spoken" would be like calling Kareem Abdul-Jabbar "tall." He was one of the most profane -- and entertaining -- interviews we ever conducted: 

Here's a few of the quotes that made it into print: 

"We filed in state and federal court, but I just wanted it fucking

done. I wanted it out of my fucking life -- give him the fucking prints

and be finished with it," the septuagenarian photographer said with a


"There was no legal reason for me to give him the prints," the

photographer continued. "But I just wanted the whole fucking thing to

be over with."

He grumbles about the archives' "fucking lawyers playing games" and

accuses them of "nitpicking" and "asking chickenshit questions."

We'll give the last words to Marshall, culled from the introduction to Not Fade Away, a collection of his work: 

"Too much bullshit is written about photographs and music. Let the

music move you, whether to a frenzy or a peaceful place. Let it be what

you want to hear -- not what others say is popular. Let the photograph be

one you remember -- not for its technique but for its soul. Let it become

a part of your life -- a part of your past to help shape your future. But

most of all, let the music and the photograph be something you love and

will always enjoy."

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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