Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Hendrix burns his guitar | Jim Marshall

with 39 comments

The first time Jimi tried to burn his guitar (London Astoria, March 31st 1967), he suffered hand burns and was hospitalized. Despite having bruised his ego a little, the move made Jimi Hendrix very popular internationally as an icon of that swinging generation.

With the help of Paul McCartney, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was given a chance to perform in Monterey International Pop Festival. It was their chance to crack the American audience, which had previously rejected their first single. There were not only a large audience but also many journalists.

At its finale, Jimi Hendrix squirted lighter fluid onto his Stratocaster, smashed it, and set it on fire. The above photos taken by Jim Marshall, and a film footage immortalized in the documentary Monterey Pop, made Hendrix an international icon. The photos later made Hendrix’s album covers and Rolling Stones put it on the cover for its 20th anniversary issue (below).

Jim Marshall himself was an icon. A confidante of many rock ‘n’ roll stars, he was given extraordinary access. He was the only photographer allowed backstage for the Beatles’ 1966 farewell concert in San Francisco. A balladeer of very visual San Francisco Bay Area music scene, Marshall also photographed everyone who was someone: from Rolling Stones to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin to Limp Bizkit. His many iconic photos included those of Janis Joplin and her whiskey bottle backstage, Bob Dylan following a stray tire down a New York street, concert-goers queuing outside The Matrix, Jefferson Airplane cover Volunteers, Johnny Cash showing his middle finger at San Quentin prison, and double portraits that brought together Joplin and her rival Grace Slick.

Jim Marshall refused to put any identifying numbers on his photos, making some of them almost impossible to date. Marshall died in March 2010. The New York Times put together a great slideshow of his photos. See Marshall’s other photos on his website.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

June 5, 2010 at 9:55 pm

39 Responses

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  1. just one more thing.when JIMI played the Fillmore East ,after one show Bill Graham gave JIMI an unexpected lecture about too much hot doggin’ and showmanship and not enough musicianship. this put Jmi off a bit but caused him to put it to positive energy and this is why that New Year’s show turned out so well JIMI stood still and wailed like only a genius can .he said to BG just before the encore” I hope you’re happy motherfucker”Graham assured him that he was never better and JIMI went out and played w/ his teeth, behind his head ,under his leg,and the rest is history.

    Tony M

    February 22, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    • I was at that show, and still have the Fillmore East program and the ticket stub.

      I brought my GF at the time who never saw Hendrix but heard about him through me. Though I didn’t know that during the early show (I went to the 11PM late show) because it was to be recorded for a contract obligation.
      Graham reminded Jimi after the first set of that, so when he played the second set, he didn’t do his usual showmanship.(and just played. seriously wearing aqua/turquoise chiffon shirt headband.,

      I was a bit disappointed as I had told my GF about how he played behind his back, with his teeth etc. so when Jimi came out for the encore and pulled out all the stops we (the audience ) were ecstatic!!!

      BTW much of Tony M’s post came from the book, “Let Me Kiss the Sky” word, for word….

      Steve Harrison

      February 23, 2016 at 1:32 am

  2. […] real, man? – was incensed enough to give his well-thought through (for 6yrs…) reply. Enjoy. Personally, after “you’re a fool” I  stopped […]

  3. […] 1964 Sunburst Fender Stratocaster (Bob Dylan) $ 965,000 Forse, assieme alla chitarra data in pasto alle fiamme da Jimi Hendrix al Monterey Pop Festival del ’67, lo strumento musicale più iconico di tutti i […]


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