My original black & white photograph of Marsha coincided with her appearance in the hit Musical HAIR at the beginning of the 70’s. It’s ‘popped up’ many times since in various forms (posters, T-shirts etc.,) as it optimises the original and iconic ‘Afro’ hairstyle which Marsha made her own. Marsha lived along the road from me in Ladbroke Gardens, Notting Hill, and we became good chums. At the time she was surreptitiously seeing Mick Jagger, and in fact had a beautiful daughter Karis by him. Mind you, I was more impressed with the fact that a little later she had a hit single with my hero Dr John the Night Tripper’s song ‘Walk on Gilded Splinters’ and caused an outrage when she appeared on Top of the Flops flashing her threepenny bits in a transparent blouse!
About ten years ago and out of the blue, I had a call from Marsha, who I hadn’t seen for at least 20 years! She asked my permission to use the ‘famous’ Afro hairstyle portrait for a book she was about to publish. Of course I agreed, but to tell the truth I had actually forgotten that I had taken the picture. At the time I was putting on a play I had written for the theatre (A Fake’s Progress) and my brain wasn’t concerned with photographs of the past. I was delighted that Marsha used my portrait (she had to send me my original print!) as it was perfect for my new digital painting.