Happy 70th Birthday
Robert Allen Zimmerman

Photographs by

Opening: Friday, May 20, 2011, 5 - 7 p.m.
Exhibition Dates: May 20 through June 25, 2011

Andrew Smith Gallery, next to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum at 122 Grant Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501 celebrates Bob Dylan's 70th birthday with the exhibit Happy Birthday Robert Allen Zimmerman: Photographs by David Michael Kennedy, Lisa Law, Baron Wolman and Guy Cross.  There will be an opening reception for the artists on Friday, May 20, 2011 from 5 to 7 p.m. As Dylan turns 70 this exhibit pays homage to an American icon and his music.

Born on May 24, 1941, Dylan's influence on 20th and 21st century music and culture is nearly incalculable. He has received 10 Grammy Awards, a lifetime achievement honor, and a Pulitzer Prize for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power."  The world's fascination with Bob Dylan has only increased with time, fueled by his relentless performance schedule called "The Never Ending Tour" that commenced in 1988 and has resulted in more than 2300 shows.

Opportunities to photograph iconic figures like Bob Dylan result in a lifetime of memories and stories, as well as a host of anxieties the individual brings to the meeting.  For the great one the meeting is merely a fleeting event.  But for the individual -- the photographers, in this case -- the encounter with the mythical celebrity will forever be the most elevated moment of their career.  Every detail of that meeting, each word of conversation is totally vivid.   Being around a superstar changes a person, regardless of whether the encounter is for ten seconds or ten hours. The combination of fame, charisma and dazzling talent makes for an intoxicating mixture that leaves an indelible memory, not to mention bragging rights.

Santa Fe photographers Lisa Law, David Michael Kennedy, Baron Wolman and Guy Cross all photographed Bob Dylan.  Each experienced a different emotion from the sessions. The exhibit at Andrew Smith Gallery includes some best-loved pictures as well as photographs never exhibited before.  In Law's androgynous portrait the twenty-five year old Dylan appears disarmingly cool and handsome.  Twenty years later Kennedy photographed a more masculine incarnation wearing black leather and straddling a Harley Davidson.  In Wolman's close-up color shots taken in 1979 at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco, Dylan is the archetypal troubadour.  Starting with a time worn print, Guy Cross deconstructed, reconstructed and enlarged a photo of Dylan he took in 1975 at Madison Square Gardens.


David Michael Kennedy, currently living in El Rito, has been based out of New Mexico since the late 1980s.  While here he has achieved a distinguished reputation photographing Native American Dancers, historic vernacular architecture, land and cloudscapes, the back roads of America, and other subjects that have inspired him over the decades. A master of the platinum palladium process, he continues to teach photographic techniques to students in his studio in El Rito, NM and in other photo workshops.

In the 1970s and 80s before moving to New Mexico, Kennedy owned a freelance studio in New York City where he did editorial work, album covers and fashion shots.  In 1985 he got an assignment that would prove to be a highlight of his career.

"I got a call from Spin Magazine in New York," said Kennedy in a recent phone interview,  "asking if I would fly to LA and photograph Bob Dylan in his home at Zuma Beach.  But there were some conditions.  Dylan had told Spin flat out that he didn't want some glitzy fashion photographer with lights and make up and a hair stylist coming out to shoot a glamor picture.  Spin thought I was the right guy for the job.

My assistant and I flew to LA with all the equipment I needed for the shoot.  I'd had back surgery recently and was having a hard time lifting things, so when we got to LA my assistant loaded the rental van with the gear.  At the last minute I had a sort of premonition or intuition. On an impulse I told my assistant that he wasn't coming with me, that I needed to go to Dylan's house alone. I wasn't even sure why I said it, especially since I knew I was going to need help getting the equipment out of the van. 

I drove to Zuma Beach to Dylan's property where a security guard checked me in at the gate.  From there I followed a winding brick driveway that made me think of the Yellow Brick Road.  It was like I was going to see the Wizard of Oz.   I'd photographed lots of famous people before  . . . but BOB DYLAN?   . . . God!  Talk about the BIG TIME!

As I pulled up in front of his house he walked up to the van barefoot and said, 'Hi, I'm Bob Dylan.'  I said something like, 'No shit!'  He said, 'you want a beer or something?  What can I do to help you?'  I said, 'I need help unloading my equipment.'  Suddenly it wasn't like he was BOB DYLAN; we were just two people unloading a lot of stuff.  He made me feel tremendously comfortable, and I think he felt the same way since I wasn't treating him like a star.  He really seemed to like that.  Later I realized that this unexpected easy friendliness was why I had told my assistant not to come.   
While we drank beers and talked he helped me hang the canvas background for the studio portraits, both of us sticking strips of gaffer tape on our pants, which you need to hold the canvas in place.  We worked for about four hours.  His motorcycle was sitting there and I said, 'Bob, we've got to do something on that bike.'  I took lots of photographs, including one of him sitting on his Harley Softail.   Later I photographed him in his painting studio.  In fact, one of the photos is being used right now to advertise a traveling exhibit of his paintings in Europe.

Later that afternoon we ended up hanging out in the back yard while he played his guitar.  It was so loose -- just wonderful.  He was everything you would want him to be -- kind, gentle, inquisitive. 

I was driving away when I noticed he had all these Greek marble statues in the yard that I hadn't really seen until now.  So I drove back to the house and ask him if we could shoot some more pictures.  He was even gracious about that.

Later I sent Bob some photographs from our sessions, including one of him with the Greek statues. That picture has never been shown before, but it will be in the Andrew Smith Gallery exhibit.  Right away I got a call from his people saying Bob wanted that photograph for himself.  I thought they meant he wanted it for PR reasons and started talking about usage fees, but they said, no, he wants it for himself.  I made a special print and sent it to him. 

Looking back I have to say that the most satisfying thing for me was that Bob Dylan turned out to be a fine person that I had the good fortune to spend a day hanging out with.  There's nobody who tops him in my estimation." 


Lisa Law lives and works in a 100-year-old adobe house in Santa Fe, walking distance from the Farmer's Market, her favorite hang out.  She grows a fruit and vegetable garden in her back yard and her tipi and bus are there as well, always part of her home decor.

Lisa's photographic career began in the early 1960s when she worked as an assistant to a manager in the rock and roll scene. Shooting with a Honeywell Pentax camera and later a Nikon F camera, she had front and backstage access to The Beatles, Peter Paul & Mary, The Kingston Trio, Otis Redding, The Lovin' Spoonful, The Velvet Underground, the Byrds, Janis Joplin and Big Brother & The Holding Company, among other legendary musicians. Hers and her husband, Tom Law's magnificent home in L.A. quickly became a guesthouse called "The Castle" where artists like Alan Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, David Crosby and Dennis Hopper enjoyed spending time. 

Lisa vividly recalls the time Bob Dylan rented the master bedroom:

"In 1966 Tom Law (Road Manager for Peter Paul & Mary) asked me to be his old lady and moved me into a mansion called "The Castle” in the Las Feliz area across the street from Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House, built in 1917.  He and his brother, John Phillip Law (the Blind Angel in Barbarella), had just bought it with their friend Jack Simmons.  It was a magnificent kingdom with three floors and a basement, a ballroom with sandstone walls and gold leaf ceilings, a huge dining room, solarium and giant bedrooms on each floor.  It was like Fairyland. I couldn't pass up the offer.  I moved in  . . . and became the chief cook and bottle washer.

The Castle soon became the hangout for musicians, actors and comedians like David Crosby, Dennis Hopper, Lenny Bruce, and Hugh Romney. Allen Ginsberg recited poetry in front of the giant fireplace in the ballroom and Richard and Mimi Farina played dueling dulcimers on the round sofa in the living room.

The Velvet Underground rented rooms during their gig at The Trip and rehearsed on the out door balcony. I shot Tim Hardin's first album cover in the jade gardens and ice plants of the three-acre back yard. Tiny Tim serenaded us with his ukulele from the balcony that sported two upright pianos. Barry McGuire (Eve Of Destruction) rented a room on the first floor and actor Severn Darden (Second City and The Committee) lived in the basement opium den. John Barrymore Jr. and David Wheeler (drug smuggler) visited often, as did Owsley, renown for his purple liquid LSD.

The most memorable visitor of all was Bob Dylan.   From mid-March to the first week of April 1966 he rented the master bedroom on the second floor and could be heard during the night typing away on his small typewriter as he was channeling some of the most profound songs ever written in the Sixties and Seventies.  He was bent on drinking chocolate milk shakes instead of food, so I took it upon myself to fix him some good square meals, which he loved. Many times, after he’d been writing all day and after dinner, I would give him a massage.  He didn't want me to let him fall asleep but he inevitably did.  One day, as he was descending the Castle’s spiral staircase, he told me he was going to marry Sara.

Bob was a Gemini, born one day after my husband, Tom.  Gemini's have the gift of gab and Bob was no exception.  He was very charismatic and when he talked everyone listened.  I knew I was in the same room with an Icon, just as he was becoming one.  I admired his ability to put pen to paper and come up with the poems he wrote.  The tunes he wrote to the songs were new and brilliant. 

I captured some good portraits of him at the living room table talking to Tom and John and Robbie Robertson of the Band.  One day, his manager, Albert Grossman, was visiting, discussing the release of Blonde On Blonde, and I captured some great portraits of him in the Solarium, which are now my most popular images.

I was never quite comfortable photographing Bob, but he let me do it, nonetheless. In early April Tom and I had a special evening with him when we went to hear Otis Redding at the Whiskey A Go-Go.  After his set, Bob went backstage and told Otis he could have one of his songs for his next album.  Otis was blown away.  So was I.  Shortly after that Dylan left the Castle since he and his band were starting their World Tour with a show opening at the Sydney Stadium in Australia.

When Dylan played at the Paolo Soleri in Santa Fe in 1990, I hid under a Pendelton blanket in the sixth row and got a killer shot.  Again, when he played at the Mesa del Sol Amphitheater in 2000, I was sitting in the third row center enjoying one of the best shows I had ever seen him do. At the end of the set kids were dancing in front of the stage joyously to “Like a Rolling Stone” when suddenly about 15 of them jumped onto the stage and danced with Dylan who was amused as this had never happened before.

The last time I shot Dylan was in 2007 at the Journal Pavilion in Albuquerque. Lots of folks had little cameras but because I had a large one I was spotted shooting by his guard backstage.  I quickly turned around in my 13th row center seat and put my camera on auto rewind. Just then I felt a pair of hands on my shoulders and I was asked to follow the guard to the side of the stage. I was stuffing the roll into my waistband when he tried to stop me.  He asked me for the roll and I told him it was back at my purse.  He ended up with two empty rolls of 3200 black and white film, but I ended up with the photos.
Now Dylan allows people to take photos from the audience. I think he realizes he would have to bust so many people it wouldn't be worth the trouble." 


Baron Wolman's photographic career began in West Berlin in the 1960s where he was stationed with the military.  From Berlin he sold his first photo essay for publication, images of life behind the then-new Berlin Wall.  Determined to work as a photojournalist, after his discharge he moved from Germany to Los Angeles and then to San Francisco. 

In 1967 Wolman met Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone Magazine, who asked Baron to be the magazine's first chief photographer.  Wolman made the most of the explosive scene.  His sizzling photographs of Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, the Who, the Rolling Stones became the graphic centerpieces of Rolling Stone's layout.

Wolman, who has lived in Santa Fe for many years, describes the time he thought he was going to meet Bob Dylan.

"Jann had hoped to begin the 'Rolling Stone Interview' with Bob Dylan that evening; I was there to photograph him.  We waited for him but in the end he didn’t show.  It was during the early days of Rolling Stone, when the magazine’s editorial offices were still in San Francisco.  Jann and I were often in New York, he taking care of business and doing interviews; me shooting pictures.  We were comfortably ensconced in the Warwick Hotel on 6th Avenue, one of Jann’s two favorites (the other being the wonderful Stanhope, for those of you who remember).  The two of us sat around for several hours, well into the night, but no Bob, no call to cancel, no nothing.  So, I never actually met Dylan although I was supposed to and wish I had.

I photographed Dylan only once, in 1979, well after I parted company with Rolling Stone.  It was on the occasion of the start of Bob’s Slow Train Coming tour.  He opened at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco; I shot from the aisles between the seats.  By then I was loading my Nikons with color film – during my tour of duty with the Stone we couldn’t yet print color in the magazine so I was relegated to black & white (mostly Tri-x, in case anybody wonders).  Slow Train Coming was Dylan’s 19th studio album and the lyrics reflected his mind-set after his conversion to Christianity.  A small gold crucifix he wore around his neck is evident in several of my photos from that night at the Warfield.

Dylan was widely criticized for Slow Train – people were angry with him for his conversion, just as they were when he changed from acoustic to electric.  I, however, empathized completely with what appeared to be his crisis of confidence in his faith – these were the questions I had begun asking myself, wondering what happened to the promised rose garden...

Thinking back on the relatively short time that photographing musicians was my specialty, it occurred to me that Dylan was the only one who stood me up.  Maybe it was because Rolling Stone was still in its infancy, not yet as respected as it soon became.  All the others were extraordinarily hospitable and cooperative.  Janis Joplin welcomed me into her Haight-Ashbury flat to make pictures in her bedroom.  The Grateful Dead came to the studio in my house for their cover photos. With Jimi Hendrix I hung out both in his San Francisco motel room and in his Manhattan apartment.  The Who allowed me to photograph them in the London studio as they recorded the Rock Opera Tommy.  I drove around Manhattan with Miles Davis in his Ferrari.  See how much fun we had, see what you missed, Mr. Zimmerman?  Eat your heart out, Bob Dylan!” 


Guy Cross was born in 1939 in New York City. He worked primarily as a fashion and beauty photographer from 1967 to 1978 in New York City and London doing advertising and editorial photography for Condé Nast Publications, Fairchild Publications, Redbook, Seventeen Magazine, English Vogue, Texas Monthly Magazine, Coty, and Faberge, among many others. He was the publisher and creative director of The Picture Paper, Santa Fe, from 1978-1981, Edge City Magazine, Eureka, CA., from 1988-1992, and has been the publisher and creative director of THE magazine—Santa Fe’s magazine of the arts since 1993. Cross has exhibited fine art photographs in Santa Fe at LewAllen Contemporary, the Klaudia Marr Gallery, the 18th Street Arts Complex in Santa Monica, and had a one-man installation at Museum of Rock Art in Los Angeles. As well, he has photographed album covers for Muddy Waters, Rita Coolidge, Happy Traum, and Eric Anderson. 

Guy Cross recently talked about making photographs of Dylan.

"I lived in Woodstock in the mid to late-seventies…I met Dylan a couple of times as he was a friend of my sister, Norma, and other friends and musicians I knew…but since Dylan is so private, and since I never had a “real” reason to ask him if I could photograph him, I never did do a formal photo shoot with him….as well, his vibe was (and probably still is) so weird—more than likely because everyone “wanted” something from him…remember the lines in one of his songs, “What was it you wanted?”)… anytime I did run into him, I became somewhat tongue-tied…after all, one does not want to be anything but “cool” around Dylan…but, I do love his music and his songs…and the fact is that if he didn’t exist, we would have invented him….

Pictures always happen for a reason…reasons like listening to your girlfriend…in 1975, I was living in Woodstock…my girlfriend at the time, Smokey Blue, said, “Hey, let’s go to Madison Square Garden and catch Bob Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Revue…we bought tickets…when we arrived and found that we were seated behind the stage, I complained, “Lousy seats, I am bummed”…Smokey turned to me and said, “These are good seats. We are behind the band—behind the band. Just wait and see”…“Behind the band…hmmm,” I thought…the concert began, and after 45 minutes, Dylan did a 360-degree turn and started to play for those—for us—(in all our vanity) sitting behind the stage (wow, Smokey was right)…I took a photograph, just one shot...when it came time to print the image, I printed it on a piece of shiny metal, about 5 x 7 inches, that was covered with photographic emulsion, the only print of the image made…twenty-five years later, I came across the printed image, which had become “distressed”…the emulsion had broken up, became liquid, and I was left with what looked like a mess…but, I am a person who loves to deconstruct and then reconstruct images (my strength lies in making something out of nothing…I scanned the image and blew it up to a 4 x 6 foot size and printed it on canvas….the print in this exhibition is one tiny moment in “rock and roll history.”

"What do Bob Dylan and Nico have in common? They were both “stars” in the late sixties and seventies…both had the world sitting in the palm of their hands, wrapped around their little finger(s)…Nico was super-gorgeous, a part of Andy Warhol’s Velvet Underground, had a son with French actor and heartthrob, Alain Delon…Dylan and Nico met…had a fling…back to the question: what did Dylan and Nico have in common?...they both smoked Marlboro cigarettes…thus, this is a two-part photograph—a collage…Nico photographed by me at the Whisky a Go-Go in Los Angeles in the eighties, lighting her Marlboro cigarette…the image of Dylan lighting his Marlboro cigarette is “appropriated (nay, stolen)” from the inside of one of his albums…one may ask, why do this?...I did it to create a dynamic between two icons—to illustrate a visual association that existed inside my head, and for that reason alone…"

Liz Kay

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