Bob Dylan Playing Harmonica, Guitar in Lap at Café Espresso, Woodstock, New York
Medium:Silver Gelatin Print
The photograph is in black and white. A portrait of Bob Dylan while he plays the harmonica. An electric guitar sits on his lap and he is wearing a dark shirt. He is in a coffee shop in Woodstock, New York.
For LOOK Magazine in July of 1964, Gilbert was given the assignment to photograph Bob Dylan in his hometown to get an alternate and fresh perspective of the star. At the time in Dylan’s career, his popular album “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” had been released in January and crowds embraced Dylan as a beloved folk singer. The following year, 1965, when Dylan crashed Newport’s Folk Festival with an electric guitar and band became infamously known as “the day Bob Dylan died”, but Gilbert captures him before any of this, strumming an electric guitar with his friends in coffee shops and with his family in his home, when he is comfortable and hidden from the public eye. These photographs convey a different Bob Dylan than the public knew, living a quiet and simple life in Woodstock, New York. Perhaps this is why, upon viewing Gilbert’s proposed layout, LOOK cancelled the story, claiming Dylan was “too scruffy” for their magazine.