Fifty Years Later, Bob Dylan Assignment Still Reverberates

By Richard Horgan Comment

ForeverYoungCoverAlthough Look magazine killed a planned 1964 feature story on Bob Dylan, deeming the cresting singer “too scruffy for a family magazine,” the photographs from the spiked assignment continue to be appreciated today. The shots were taken over a span of several weeks in New York City, Woodstock and at the Newport Folk Festival.

Photographer Douglas Gilbert was able to reclaim the pics after Look¬†ceased publication, turning them into the 2005 book Forever Young, lending them to Martin Scorsese for a PBS documentary and sharing them via an ongoing, traveling gallery show. With the exhibit currently at Michigan’s South Haven Center for the Arts, area native Gilbert took time to share a few anecdotes with Kalamazoo Gazette¬†entertainment writer John Liberty. Starting with this memory:

Gilbert steered through a small town in New York when his passenger, a 23-year-old Bob Dylan, shouted, “Stop the car! Stop the car!”

Gilbert, a relatively green 21-year-old photographer from Michigan, obliged as the curly-haired musician ran to a newspaper stand on the side of the road. Gilbert said Dylan was drawn to a magazine with news about aliens on the cover.

“He was very intrigued,” Gilbert said during a phone interview from his home in Ferrysburg, just north of Grand Haven. “He wanted to look at that [magazine]. He came back and said, ‘Ehhh. It’s not that great.'”

We’re guessing the publication was either the National Enquirer or the Globe. Or, in song title parlance, “Subterranean Supermarket Blues.”
 
[Image via: foreveryoungbook.com]

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