Wednesday, February 13, 2008

while on the subject of Dylan, here's a report on a very ROCKIN' photo

(above) Dylan's second album, released in 1963
(above) the Roy Schatt photo from 1954, which Dylan remembered
copyright Roy Schatt
(above and two below) more from the 1954 Roy Schatt photoshoots
all the James Dean photos copyright Roy Schatt

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During the 1963 photoshoot for the cover of Bob Dylan's second album, THE FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN, Dylan reportedly wanted to re-create Roy Schatt's 1954 photo of James Dean walking down the middle of West 68th St. in New York City, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Note the wind blowing Dean's clothes against him, his attention seemingly elsewhere.
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It's one of the most reproduced pictures of James Dean, but I should add, also very much copyrighted by the photographer, who eventually won a major lawsuit for infringement (against the James Dean Foundation, which licensed it for use on refrigerator magnets, posters, and calendars without proper permission).
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Dylan was 21 at the time. The girl in the photo is Suze Rotolo (apparently now a teaching artist at the NYC Parsons School of Design), who was Dylan's girlfriend at the time. Rotolo is said to have inspired the songs "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" and "Boots of Spanish Leather."
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The FREEWHEELIN' photo was taken in February by Don Hunstein. Dylan lived a short ways away from the photo-site, at 161 West 4th St.. The specific location is Jones Street, a one-block side street connecting West 4th St. and Bleeker St. in Greenwich Village.
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Schatt died in 2002, aged 92. Educated in New York, he started as an illustrator for government agencies in the 1930s, under the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. But he sooned turned photography from a hobby into a new career. He also studied acting and directed shows during World War II while with the US Army's special forces in India.
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He returned to photography in New York after the war, and director Lee Strasberg allowed him to shoot performers at the Actors Studio. Schatt's sessions with James Dean in 1954 led him to become Dean's tutor in photography. Schatt's most famous picture of the actor is shown above, hands grasping his torn sweater.
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Schatt's photo of Dean holding his "Rollie" camera was taken one day when Dean, fellow actor Martin Landau, and Schatt were walking near The Dakota apartment building (where John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived), when suddenly Dean leaped over a railing and positioned himself to take unusual photos of his friends.
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"I knew James Dean as a friend and as a student," Schatt was quoted. "He was a disrupter of norms, a bender of rules, a disquieter of calm." Sounds like the same description could have been made of Dylan.
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Recorded July 9, 1962 - April 24, 1963, FREEWHEELIN' (released May 27, 1963) reached number 22 on the US album charts, eventually going platinum. In the UK it reached number one in 1965. Likely its success was due to its inclusion of "Blowin' in the Wind," one of Dylan's most recognized, most honored songs worldwide, first brought to great success by Peter, Paul, and Mary.
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For us car buffs, the album also included "Down the Highway."

6 comments:

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kamagra said...

Wonderful pics, I really like to read about my favorite artist Bob Dylan. he is the best American singer-songwriter, musician, poet and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades.

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