“I love all the musicians – they’re like family. Looking back I realize I was there at the beginning of something special, I’m like a historian. There’s an honesty about this work that I’m proud of. It feels good to think, my God, I really captured something amazing.”
Jim Marshall (1936-2010) was born in Chicago and moved to San Francisco with his family when he was only two years old. There in the City by the Bay he remained during his lifetime. A Brownie camera was one of his first toys. Later he bought a Leica when he was in high school. After coming back from the serving in the Air Force, Marshall met John Coltrane. One day, while he was photographing backstage at the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco in 1960, Coltrane asked him for directions to Berkeley. “He asked me for directions to a club,” Marshall said later. “I told him I’d pick him up and take him there if he’d let me take his picture.” This way the visual linkage between Marshall and the best jazz and rock performers was strengthened.
Clara Virginia Clarke holding Jim Morrison
Eric Clapton grew up with his grandmother, Rose, and her second husband, Jack Clapp, who was stepfather to Patricia Clapton and her brother Adrian, believing they were his parents and that his mother, Patricia, was actually his older sister.
“In the beginning, the rock world was all Adams and no Eves,” Newsweek commented. But now, “the typical rock group resembles a beehive, three or four drones humming around a queen bee.” Two “queen bees” singled out by Newsweek are Janis Joplin and Grace Slick. “There would be no Big Brother & the Holding Company without Janis Joplin and her nuclear-powered blues delivery,” the magazine noted.
Miss Joplin joined the four-man group in 1966 and transformed it into “an acoustical aphrodisiac.” She said: “The tenor of the band is different now. The guys are starting to sing and there is something to build around: me.” Miss Slick, who sings and writes for the Jefferson Airplane, has “a crystalline contralto that could haunt a house… and [is] author of two of its most brilliant songs, ‘Rejoice’ and ‘White Rabbit’.” She explained that she got more attention than the rest of the Airplane because “if you had a group of five cows and one pig, you’d look at the pig because he was different.”
BMI Magazine, March 1968
“This shot of Grace Slick and Janis was taken in 1967 for Teen Set magazine for an article on the two Queen Bees of San Francisco Rock. That morning I went over to Grace’s house and then had to pick up Janis. Janis wasn’t in the mood to do any pictures that day, but I begged her and she came along. Everyone always thought there was a huge rivalry between Janis and Grace, but they were dear friends…. by the end of the session, we were all getting pretty silly and clowning around.”
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