Young Bob: John Cohen's Early Photographs of Bob Dylan

Young Bob: John Cohen's Early Photographs of Bob Dylan

by John Cohen, Studs Terkel, Oscar Brand, Cynthia Gooding
     
 

In 1962, a young John Cohen and the young songwriter Bob Dylan went to Cohen's East Village loft and rooftop for a few hours to make some photos in "a moment of invention…without planning, and with the freedom that comes from uncertainty," recalls Cohen. The never-before-published, black-and-white photographs in Young Bob: John Cohen's Early

Overview

In 1962, a young John Cohen and the young songwriter Bob Dylan went to Cohen's East Village loft and rooftop for a few hours to make some photos in "a moment of invention…without planning, and with the freedom that comes from uncertainty," recalls Cohen. The never-before-published, black-and-white photographs in Young Bob: John Cohen's Early Photographs of Bob Dylan reveal the soon-to-be-legendary musician on the cusp of fame, just before the release of his revolutionary self-titled first album. "These are pictures from a more innocent time at the beginning of Bob Dylan's career," Cohen recalled. "his is what he might have looked like when he first arrived in New York…. the making of these photographs was quite naïve. We weren't into creating a persona for Bob. I was more interested in documenting what was before the camera, and what I was seeing wasn't so clear.

The session was just a free-flowing pursuit of picture making and taking poses. We didn't know what he was going to look like." To complement the images, Cohen has painstakingly transcribed and edited forgotten radio interviews that aired between 1961 and 1963. The interviews conjure up voices from the past, where you can hear a youthful Dylan joking and quipping with WBAI's Cynthia Gooding, WNYC's Oscar Brand, and WFMT's Studs Terkel. With a flourish of color, Cohen's recently rediscovered Ektachromes shot in 1970 for the album "Self Portrait" appear at the end of Young Bob.

These finely constructed "self portraits," art directed by Dylan himself, offer a contrast to the uninhibited loft and rooftop photos and serve as a reminder that just a few years later the famed persona of Dylan had truly been formed and that the young Bob we caught a glimpse of on Cohen's rooftop was now and forever gone.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In the folk scene of New York City's Greenwich Village, Cohen (There Is No Eye) met and photographed twentyish Bob Dylan. Taken during 1962-63, these candid shots (31 b&w) are notable for capturing an icon in the making. While some feature Dylan as a fresh-faced newcomer, clowning around the city, ubiquitous cigarette in mouth, others capture him in a more somber mood during his earliest performances at the Gaslight. Cohen also includes 12 color photos from 1970, in which Dylan looks like the grizzled folk and rock troubadour we've come to know and love. In addition, there are three transcribed radio interviews from 1962 and 1963, including one with Studs Terkel, in which Dylan talks about his influences, music, and philosophy. Though light on text, Cohen's book provides an intimate and unstilted look into the dawn of one of our most enduring artists; other monographs, like Barry Feinstein and others' Early Dylan, tend to focus on the mid- to late 1960s. Recommended for complete Dylan collections and for large public libraries to complete Dylan collections.-Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Lancaster, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781576871997
Publisher:
powerHouse Books
Publication date:
11/28/2003
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
72
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

John Cohen, born in 1932 in New York City, studied photography and painting at Yale under Josef Albers and Herbert Matter. His photographs are in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, as well as The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Cohen studied photography and painting under Joseph Albers and Herbert Matter at Yale, and his images have been published in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and Aperture. Cohen's award-wining films have been screened worldwide and his band, The New Lost City Ramblers, has received several Grammy nominations. A former professor of Visual Arts at SUNY Purchase, New York, from 1972-1979, and the author of There is No Eye (powerHouse Books 2001 and 2003), Cohen lives in Putnam Valley, New York.

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