Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Allen and Bob part 2

























[Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, San Francisco, 1965, photo c. Larry Keenan]

In 1965 Allen arranged for Larry Keenan and fellow student photographer Dale Smith to photograph him and Michael McClure and Robbie Robertson and Bob Dylan in the alleyway behind City Lights Bookstore (originally for possible use on the Blonde on Blonde album cover). The images were never used (tho' some have turned up in subsequent Dylan projects).
As Keenan, on the Empty Mirror website, recalls:




[Michael McClure, Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, San Francisco, 1965, photo c. Larry Keenan]



"This session was arranged the night before at a party after Bob Dylan's concert at the Berkeley Community Theater. Allen Ginsberg introduced me to Dylan and we arranged to do a photo session...the same day as the Beats' last gathering at City Lights Books. At City Lights we hid out in the basement with Dylan and when the people started to break the door down we climbed out a window and ran down the alley and took these photographs. I was in college and living at home during the Beat period. I had to mow the lawn before I could borrow the car and go to San Francisco to shoot this...event".

Image

Robbie Robertson,Michael McClure, Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, San Francisco, 1965, photo c. Larry Keenan]

Dale Smith's images of this occasion he's fancifully titled. One of them features a "lost soul" (or, half a lost soul!), Julius Orlovsky, distancing himself from the four-some - Julius and the Spirits - (everybody get the Fellini pun?):



[Julius and The Spirits - Robbie Robertson, Michael McClure, Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, and (partially visible) Julius Orlovsky, San Francisco, 1965, photo c. Dale Smith]

Here's more of Dale's images - Smoking Poets (Allen would, of course, later, actively inveigh against such behavior in his "Put Down Your Cigarette Rag"):

[Smoking Poets - Robbie Robertson, Michael McClure, Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, San Francisco, 1965, photo c. Dale Smith]

And here, just the three of them, sans Robbie Robertson, Alley Cats (sic), the three poets:



[Alley Cats - Michael McClure, Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, San Francisco, 1965, photo c. Dale Smith]

Also on hand to record this occasion was the pre-eminent rock photographer, Jim Marshall.

Here's one of his images:

[ Robbie Robertson, Michael McClure, Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, and unidentified photographer, San Francisco, 1965, photo c. Jim Marshall Photography, LLC]

Turning to another occasion. Ken Regan was the official Rolling Thunder photographer. It was Ken who shot this extraordinary picture of Allen and Bob in Lowell at Jack Kerouac's grave:

Main Photograph
[Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg at Jack Kerouac's grave, Edson Cemetery, Lowell, Mass. 1975, photo c.Ken Regan]

Ken's remarkable Rolling Thunder work is currently on exhibit at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York (it is also available in a limited edition portfolio (a mere 350 copies, signed and numbered by the photographer, and available from the gallery). Here's some other classic Regan shots

Ken Regan, Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg at Jack Kerouac's grave, Lowell, MA, 1975
[Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg at Jack Kerouac's grave, Edson Cemetery Lowell, Mass. 1975, photo c.Ken Regan]


[Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan, Edson Cemetery Lowell, Mass. 1975, photo c.Ken Regan]

Here's another shot from that time (from Gerard Malanga) - taken in Allen's apartment in New York, just a few weeks prior to the beginning of the tour

[Allen Ginsberg, Roger McGuinn, Bob Dylan and friends, New York City, October 15 1975 - photo c. Gerard Malanga]

and here's two classic Elsa Dorfman images


[Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, 1975 - photo c. Elsa Dorfman (www.elsadorfman.com)]



[Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, 1975 - photo c. Elsa Dorfman (www.elsadorfman.com)]

A page featuring other Dylan photos can be accessed here (and here are some more Allen photos). Elsa's Housebook: A Woman's Photojournal, first published by David Godine in 1974 is now an integral part of Elsa's website

[more on the remarkable Elsa Dorfman here and  here 

2 comments:

  1. A couple of friends of mine went to see Dylan at the Beacon Theater in the early nineties. After the show, they went around to the back stage door to see if they could get Dylan's autograph. When they got back there they found three other people standing by the door: a father and his young son, and Allen Ginsberg. At one point, the father asked Allen if he could say something memorable to his son. He leaned into the boy, took him by the shoulder and said, "Read 'The Bells' by Edgar Allen Poe. It's all in 'The Bells'." I don't think any of them got to see Dylan, though.

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  2. I once found a footprint of Dylan in Camden London in '93, freshly laid in wet cement. I carved it out with my pocket knife and then carefully placed it in a plastic bag and then inside the box of some shoes I had just bought. When I got home I unwrapped it and let it set it in the sun.

    Now I'm open to bids from potential purchasers: starting from $10,000

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