Today, Feb. 3, 2011, would have been Jim’s 75th birthday.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, Jim was amazingly sweet about some things, and remembering birthdays was toward the top of that list. I remember he would make a big deal about mine and then get rather morose around his own; I chalked it up to the age difference and the struggles to get his career back on track.
Back then, at 48 I know he felt the best was behind him, that he had blown it and couldn’t imagine making it to 50, let alone 74. I don’t think it made sense to him that, even after all of his wild times and debauchery, he was still in such great shape while Duane Allman, Jimi, Janis and a host of others were long gone.
But in quieter times he’d acknowledge that the Assyrian blood in his family was sturdy, lots of long lives, “So you’re stuck with me!!!” And then he’d cackle like a maniac.
When I got fed up with him, more often than not, he would be defiant for a time, then remorseful and elegantly apologize (usually with amazing flowers and hand-written verse on those little yellow legal pads he bought by the gross). He loved to quote from Kris Kristofferson’s The Pilgrim: “He’s a walkin’ contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction / Takin’ ev’ry wrong direction on his lonely way back home.”
That was the deal when you signed up for the Jim experience: up and down, good and bad, light and dark.
Amelia Davis aka DAAAAAAVIS!! — who Jim has entrusted with his estate and, most importantly, the care of his “children” (his body of work) — knows all too well that Jim was many different things to different people. Before he passed away in March last year, they were in the early stages of planning a huge bash to celebrate his 75th, maybe music (and booze and beautiful people) at The Great American Music Hall, maybe a big blow out at B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen.
In lieu of that, Amelia had this advice for me: “Instead of some sappy bullshit, why don’t we just use words that describe who Jim was …”
And so we did. We know this little list just scratches the surface and invite you all to come up with your own words to describe Jim or post classic Jim-isms you might recall (like calling the TV remote “the click-click”), in your comments here and/or on the Jim Marshall Photography LLC Facebook page.
Unpredictable, predictable, erratic, compulsive, impulsive, neurotic, paranoid, fiercely loyal, compassionate, tender, irrational, sensitive, cantankerous, nice, polite, innocent, childish, selfish, rude, romantic, passionate, poetic, giving, a genius, eccentric, caring, an addict, a lesbian at heart … but most of all a friend!!!!