Bob Dylan: See Rare Photos From 1964-65 Turning Point - Rolling Stone
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Bob Dylan: See Rare Photos From 1964-65 Turning Point

Daniel Kramer, who shot ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ and ‘Highway 61’ covers, opens Sixties archive for new book

Bob Dylan Book

At a pool hall in Kingston, New York, December 1964.

© Daniel Kramer/courtesy of TASCHEN

Photographer Daniel Kramer had barely heard of Bob Dylan when he was booked to shoot the singer at a studio in Woodstock one day in 1964. "I was only supposed to have an hour with him, but I ended up shooting for five," Kramer remembers. "A few weeks later, I brought the prints to his management office. Bob walked around the table where I laid the prints out, then looked at me and said, 'I'm going to Philadelphia this week. Would you like to come?'"

Dylan loved Kramer's work enough that, between August 1964 and August 1965, the photographer shot the young folk singer about 30 different times, playing a big role in shaping our image of the budding superstar. Kramer's most famous shots appear on the covers of Dylan's twin masterpieces from 1965 – Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited – but some of the best are candid and quiet: Dylan backstage with Joan Baez, goofing around in Manhattan with his buddies, playing chess in Woodstock.

Bob Dylan; A Year and a Day; Book cover

Now, Kramer has assembled a new book, A Year and a Day, which mixes many of his most iconic images with unseen photographs from his vast archives. Some of the most interesting of the previously unpublished shots show Dylan reinventing his sound, recording his first electric music at the sessions for Bringing It All Back Home in 1965. "People always say that Dylan went electric at Newport in the summer of 1965," says Kramer. "Well, not to me he didn't. I saw him go electric that January while it was still snowing. It was incredible the first time 'Maggie's Farm' came out over the speakers. Very exciting."

A Year and a Day is almost 300 pages long, but Kramer says he still has many Dylan photographs that nobody has ever seen – and it well might stay that way forever. "You have to take 10 pictures to get one good one," Kramer says. "The rest is snapshots, junk. They're repetitive. Many I haven't even scanned. There will probably always be other pictures."

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