In 1967, 100,000 hippies from across the country converged on San Francisco in a mass phenomenon dubbed the “Summer of Love.” Many were college kids on summer break and would leave come autumn—others stuck around to witness the Haight’s slow decline into a cultural wasteland.
Like a lot of young people, Jim Marshall was there. Drawn to the city’s Haight-Ashbury district by the surge of culture manifesting there—in music and fashion, in politics and mind-expanding drugs. Unlike the hordes of flower children washing up in the bohemian enclave that summer, Marshall was there to work. As a photographer employed by the biggest music labels in the business his job was to create a visual record of what Hunter S. Thompson would later lament as “the crest of a high and beautiful wave.”