Low-graphic news index |
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - Page updated at 05:00 a.m.
'The Rolling Stones 1972': a year in rock icons' lives in photos
By by Charles R. Cross
Special to The Seattle Times
'The Rolling Stones 1972'
by Jim Marshall
Chronicle, 168 pp., $24.95
BOOK REVIEW |
Even the endpapers of "The Rolling Stones 1972" tell part of the story in this gorgeous new book of photographs by Jim Marshall. The endpapers reproduce Marshall's catalog sheet, and picture "7919" is guitarist Keith Richards "with JD bottle," meaning Jack Daniels bottle. The photo, of a young Richards looking like a cad, holding his booze, is a perfect example of how a two-dimensional photograph can tell a deeper story than even video.
Marshall was present to capture many of the seminal moments of rock history, including Jimi Hendrix setting his guitar on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival, and the Beatles' last U.S. concert. This new book, the first since Marshall's death in 2010, is made up exclusively of photographs of the Stones from 1972.
The book is a companion to a show of 37 of Marshall's photographs that just opened at Experience Music Project and runs through January. Both the book and the exhibit (which includes the original album-cover art for "Exile on Main Street") are not to be missed.
Marshall was one of the pioneers of rock 'n' roll photojournalism, but also the last of a breed of rogue photographers who insisted on complete and total access. The Stones gave him that entree into their private lives, which would be unheard of in the present day when publicists, stylists and bodyguards keep tight control. But the Stones trusted Marshall to capture them in their gritty glory, enough so that Richards wrote the forward to this book. "He was another Stone," Richards says.
This book is split up into live and behind-the-scenes sections. Though Marshall was best known for his concert photography, the backstage shots here are the gems. There's Charlie Watts getting makeup on, Mick Jagger doing a yoga stretch, Robert Frank filming the band and Richards holding that bottle of whiskey.
There is a certain magic to Marshall's photographs, particularly "7919." They represent the lost art of rock photojournalism, but also a time when rock music still felt like it could change the world. That magic is particularly present at the EMP show, where the size and format of the prints jump off the gallery walls and feel almost holographic. You couldn't make up a character like Keith Richards — or like Jim Marshall — and Richards seems more alive in these photos than he does in any photos since.
When Richards looked at Marshall's lens — or, in the case of "7919," just to the left of Marshall's lens — Richards also was looking at the viewer. That is the true power of Marshall's photography: His camera was there when history was being made, and we are there because of these shots. Richards was not just looking at Marshall — he was looking at us.
Copyright © The Seattle Times Company
Low-graphic news index
Graphic-enabled home page