Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bob Dylan By Jerry Schatzberg @ Paris

In 2006, Modern Times, Uncut’s Album Of The Year, gave Bob Dylan his first US N° 1 since Desire in 1976. That made him, at 65, America’s oldest chart-topper.

In 1965, more than forty years before, Jerry Schatzberg first met Bob Dylan and began taking photographs of him at a time when he had folk purists up in arms with his switch to electric instruments. Dylan was an introverted, reserved figure, but Schatzberg quickly managed to earn his trust and the two men became friends. The next two years saw numerous photo sessions, with Schatzberg doing the cover for Dylan’s double album Blonde on Blonde and capturing him on stage, in the studio and at home. Above all, he was the only photographer for whom Dylan came to pose in the studio. Dylan’s motorbike accident put an end to their working relationship in 1967.

In 2006, Jerry Schatzberg selected some fifty prints especially for the gallery Luc Bellier located in Paris close to the Elysée, the residence of the French President. You should visit this unique and free exhibition that is open only on weekdays until January 26, 2006. Don’t miss it if you come to Paris around Christmas.

One of the photos you will see is the full size picture of the cover of Blonde on Blonde. On an interview with a French writer Michel Ciment in April 2006, Jerry Schatzberg explained the genesis of this cover: “A little while after the photo session in my studio, Albert Grossman asked me if I’d like to do the cover of his new album, Blonde on Blonde. I chose to photograph Dylan outdoors, in the meat market in Chelsea, where the art galleries are today. I think I managed to capture what is special about his personality. Out of all the photos I took that day, he chose the one with imperfect focus, the one that is slightly hazy. The record company could always make their suggestions but was in control of everything and made the decisions for the inside and for the outside of the album cover. People have been trying to analyse that photo for years – in fact, I lost the negative and had to reconstitute it digitally. Some thought the blur was the expression of an LSD trip. The explanation is much simpler: it was very cold (hence the scarf round his neck) and we were shivering! I had a lot of other photos, some of them very good and sharp, but I like it that he chose this one. It was a way of thinking I could relate to. I don’t mind it if a film isn’t always sharp. I don’t mind the photography being rough, as it is in Panic in Needle Park.”

Bob Dylan by Jerry SchatzbergGalerie Luc Bellier, 20 rue de l’Elysée – Paris 8ème. Open Monday to Friday (11 am – 6 pm).

The Book: Thin Wild Mercury: Dylan by Schatzberg, the signed, handmade limited edition of 1,500 copies signed by Jerry Schatzberg, is available through
Genesis Publications.

Bob Dylan - Visions Of Johanna .mp3
Bob Dylan - I Want You .mp3
Bob Dylan - Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again .mp3


Blogger ParispAl said...

well done Philippe. A bientôt


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