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Jim Marshall & The Rolling Stones

By Peggy Roalf   Thursday July 5, 2012

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While the Rolling Stones have postponed their 50th Anniversary tour, it’s not necessary to wait for iconic images of the band that won’t quit. Tonight an exhibition of photographs by one of rock’s great image-makers, Jim Marshall, opens at Steven Kasher Gallery. And a book of his photographs from the Stones’ 1972 tour is also being launched.

The book, The Rolling Stones: 1972 (Chronicle) is an album of a 2-month tour that netted a $4m box office—unheard of at the time—with a private jet that ferried the Stones and their glitterati hangers-on including best-selling author Truman Capote and Lee Radziwell (Jacki O’s sister). Photographer Robert Frank was also among the group; his feature film about the tour, Cocksucker Blues was embargoed by the Stones and can only be screened when Frank is present (or in bootleg bits on YouTube).

But Marshall’s photographs make an indelible imprint on a raucous year that had already seen the breakup of the Beatles and the release of the most-often-played rock anthem, “Stairway to Heaven,” by Led Zeppelin. According to Michelle Dunn Marsh, who edited the book, only about twenty of the over 1,000 frames that Marshall shot on the tour have been published until now—and ten of those were included in a single feature in Life magazine.

In the middle of the tour, that six-page spread in Life, shot earlier by Marshall, hit the stands and propelled the band from an underground subculture into the mainstream. In his essay for the book, Bay Area music critic Joel Selvin wrote, “Nothing escaped Marshall’s penetrating eye…He caught Jagger backstage in a pink dressing gown, peach ascot around his neck, leaning on a cane talking to Mrs. Mick Taylor—one of the greatest candid portraits of Jagger ever. Even standing next to a beautiful woman in an impossibly short skirt, Jagger dominates the landscape. He radiates star quality, his electrifying presence glowing even with his engine running at idle.”

The Rolling Stones: 1972 (Chronicle) will be released in August, but advance copies will be available at Steven Kasher Gallery at the opening reception tonight for Jim Marshall: The Rolling Stones and Beyond, which features over 60 vintage prints and more than 100 vinyl record jacket covers from Marshall’s personal collection.Thursday, July 5, 6-8 pm. 521 West 23rd Street, NY, NY. Above: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards at Sunset Sound, sprint 1972, Los Angeles California.

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