Friday, March 18, 2011

Johnny Cash’s famous middle finger salute

Johnny Cash may have been considered a country music legend, but he always had a rock n’ roll heart.

The attitude behind one of Cash’s most iconic shots says it all: the middle finger salute image taken during his 1969 San Quentin State Prison gig.

NME reports that the story behind the legendary photo has now been made public.

Before his death in March 2010, photographer Jim Marshall explained that he had asked the country legend to express what he thought of the prison authorities when he played the show.

Marshall told the San Francisco Art Exchange: "I said, 'John, let’s do a shot for the warden'," before Cash flipped the camera the bird.

He added that the photo was "probably the most ripped off photograph in the history of the world."

The new quotes have been made public to coincide with the publication of Pocket Cash: a collection of Marshall's Cash photos.

Completed just before Jim's death, Pocket Cash brings together some unique moments from the illustrious career of The Man in Black. From never-before-seen photos of intimate gatherings to iconic pictures of his live recordings at Folsom and San Quentin state prisons, this is a visual tribute to the legendary singer, and to his wife, June Carter Cash. Billy Bob Thornton and Kris Kristofferson offer personal recollections, while John Carter Cash, in a heartfelt introduction, shares memories of his parents and reflects on the unique artistic eye of Jim Marshall.

An exhibition of the photos is running at London's SNAP galleries until April 2.

Johnny Cash Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash – Wanted Man
San Quentin State Prison – February 24, 1969