Saturday, 6 June 2009

[197] Bob Dylan 1966 European Tour: National Portrait Gallery, London

Barry Feinstein is one of the more recognised photographers in the popular music world, having snapped plenty of performers in his time, and providing many iconic album covers such as Janis Joplin's Pearl and George Harrison's All Things Must Pass. However, it seems that his continuing reputation lies in the volume of photographs culled from his time shadowing Bob Dylan on his 1966 European Tour - a tour semi-mythologised in the annals of rock music for its electric innovations (previously-folky Dylan was backed by the fully-amplified Hawks) and riotous reception.

London's National Portrait Gallery is currently hosting a small display of photographs from this 1966 collection, in part to mark the paperback release of Feinstein's sumptuous coffee-table book Real Moments, which anthologises his work with Dylan from 1966 to 1974, when Dylan returned to touring with The Band (a re-christened Hawks, by then successful in their own right).

The display is modest, yet fascinating. Many of the pieces will be familiar to the Dylan fan from their use on covers and in liner notes for various archive projects - such as the shot of the musician at the Aust Ferry terminal on the River Severn (used as the cover image for the No Direction Home DVD and soundtrack).

But there is much to enjoy, from candid shots of Dylan talking with French singer/actress Fran├žoise Hardy (who is mentioned in the 'Some Other Kinds of Songs' liner-poems in 1964's Another Side of Bob Dylan), to posed photographs of Dylan exploring Liverpool's dockside area, and hooking up with some local kids. It's a fascinating collision of American (hobo/boho) counterculture and mid-2oth Century working class Northern England (so far from the 'swinging 60s' circus of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones).

This free-to-view display is housed in the Bookshop Gallery, downstairs in the NPG, and is on show until August 30th. For more information, visit the National Portrait Gallery's listing for the display here, or to find out more about Barry Feinstein, click here.

1 comment:

she said...

loved it though