When photographer Daniel Kramer first met Bob Dylan, the 23-year-old singer was still widely unknown. He fidgeted in front of the camera, restless and uncomfortable. Yet over the course of a year and a day, all of that would change. From performing with Joan Baez to the legendary leap to electric sound, Kramer watched a quiet kid from Woodstock transform into the poet laureate of a generation.
From 1964 to 1965, Kramer’s extrordinary access to Dylan on tour, in concert, and backstage, allowed for one of the most mesmerizing portfolios of the artist on the cusp of superstardom. It captures the vast concert halls, the spellbound fans, and the incomparable Dylan himself, by turns playful, ebullient, focused, and introspective. Highlights include such “breakthrough” moments of the Bringing It All Back Home recording sessions and now famous concert at Forest Hills, when Dylan’s controversial transition to electric guitar exemplified his constant, cryptic state of becoming. As much a document of a seminal period of rock-n-roll history as of Dylan himself, the pictures also feature such compelling friends and collaborators as Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Allen Ginsberg, and Albert Grossman.
When first published in 1967, with the encouragement of W. Eugene Smith, Kramer’s Dylan portfolio became an instant classic. Now, a half-century later, TASCHEN rediscovers this body of work with a curated selection of some 250 images, many never published before, including outtakes from the Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited album cover shoots. A prized edition for any serious Dylan fan, this is an intimate and infinitely evocative testimony to a seminal photographer, to a particular point in time, and to a mysterious artist at the moment his career went global.
Take a look at some of the outstanding photography readers can expect.