Embedded With the Rolling Stones

A retrospective on the late, legendary rock and roll photographer Jim Marshall.

By 1972, Jim Marshall (1936-2010) was already a premier photographer of the golden age of rock and roll. But that year, he got the assignment from Life magazine that would change his career forever: head to Los Angeles and shoot the Rolling Stones putting the final polish on their soon-to-be-canonical double album Exile on Main St. (recorded the basement of a château in the south of France, a process also documented in Stephen Kijak’s 2010 Stones in Exile).

Marshall’s embed was successful enough for Keith Richards to dub him “another Stone,” and Marshall walked away with a catalog of Rolling Stones images unrivaled in their candid intimacy. Many of those images appear in the upcoming book The Rolling Stones 1972; they’re also on display until September 8 (2012) at a new installation at New York City’s Steven Kasher Gallery.

The gallery offered Mother Jones this sneak peak of some of Marshall’s best shots of the Stones, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and other heroes of 1960s-era rock.

Mick Jagger en route to San Diego, 1972

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards recording vocals for Exile on Main St., Los Angeles, 1972

Keith Richards, 1972

Rolling Stones, backstage, 1972

Mick Jagger, Los Angeles, 1972

Mick Jagger at airport, 1972

Keith Richards backstage, 1972

Mick Jagger backstage, 1972
The Baez sisters: Joan, Pauline, and Mimi. San Francisco, 1968.

The Baez sisters: Joan, Pauline, and Mimi. San Francisco, 1968.

The Beatles arrive at Candlestick Park. San Francisco, 1966.

Bob Dylan in New York City, 1963

Buffalo Springfield, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1966
Janis Joplin backstage at Winterland in San Francisco, 1968

Janis Joplin backstage at Winterland in San Francisco, 1968
Ray Charles, Longshoreman's Hall, San Francisco, 1961

Ray Charles, Longshoreman’s Hall, San Francisco, 1961



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  • Tim McDonnell is a Mother Jones alum and current Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow reporting on climate change in Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria. Follow him on Twitter.