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Treasures From the Bob Dylan Vault: See Exclusive Photos, Artifacts

spinner image left the cover of the book bob left dylan mixing up the medicine by mark davidson and parker fishel right bob dylan and ronee blakley bobby neuwirth and david blue on his rolling thunder revue tour
Callaway Arts & Entertainment / Ken Regan

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, there’s a museum dedicated to the life and works of Bob Dylan. A new book, Bob Dylan: Mixing Up the Medicine, takes you inside and shares rare and never-before-seen photos and artifacts from the collection — glimpses into Dylan’s seven-decade (and counting) career. Here are just a few of the book’s many private images.

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In the Beginning 1957

spinner image bobby zimmerman at summer camp in wisconsin with louie kemp and larry kegan
picture taken by fellow camper, Mark Alpert

Bobby Zimmerman (aka Bob Dylan), with guitar, grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota, and spent four summers at a camp in Wisconsin. Fellow camper Louie Kemp, right of center, who later produced one of the singer’s tours, said he saw Dylan’s first public performance at the camp, when he played Hank Ballard’s “Annie Had a Baby” with Larry Kegan, left of center, in dark jacket.

Brothers in Song 1964–2003

spinner image johnny cash and bob dylan in london nineteen sixty six
Courtesy The Bob Dylan Center
spinner image a letter from johnny cash written to bob dylan nineteen ninety nine


Johnny Cash reached out to Dylan to express his admiration; the feeling was mutual, and the two became close. (Here they are, together in London, in 1966.) A few years before Cash’s death in 2003, Dylan performed Cash’s “Train of Love” at a tribute concert. Said Dylan in introducing the tune, “I used to sing this song before I ever wrote a song.”

Inspiration From a Fellow Poet 1975

spinner image bob dylan and allen ginsberg visiting jack kerouacs grave
Ken Regan
spinner image a letter from allen ginsberg to bob dylan nineteen sixty four


Poet Allen Ginsberg rekindled Dylan’s love of Beat poetry and prose. On tour together in 1975, they communed at novelist Jack Kerouac’s grave. Earlier, Ginsberg had recorded an album setting William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience to music; he wrote Dylan about the effort in 1969.

Ready for “Rolling Thunder” 1975

At a Greenwich Village club, Dylan met singer and Nashville star Ronee Blakley, second from right. He soon asked her to join him and other performers including, from left, Bobby Neuwirth and David Blue on his rollicking “Rolling Thunder Revue” tour.

Friends 1987

spinner image bob dylan with george harrison john trudell and jesse ed davis at a los angeles concert in nineteen eighty seven
Abe Perlstein

Caught in a rare smiling pose, Dylan sat happily with Beatle George Harrison at a Los Angeles concert featuring poet and singer John Trudell, left, and slide guitarist Jesse Ed Davis, right. The concert turned into a jam session, with Dylan, Harrison and their pal John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival each taking the stage to play full sets.

Blood on a Track 1993

spinner image dave stewart of eurythmics with bob dylan shooting a video for dylans cover of blood in my eyes by the mississippi sheiks in london nineteen ninety three
Ana María Vélez Wood

The singer revered blues artists of the past. In the 1990s, Dylan covered “Blood in My Eyes,” a 1932 record by the Mississippi Sheiks, and shot a video for it in London. Dave Stewart, above left, of the duo Eurythmics, directed in black-and-white.

Portrait of the Artist 1999

spinner image bob dylan at age fifty eight photographed in the now demolished ambassador hotel in los angeles in nineteen ninety nine
Danny Clinch

Dylan, shown at age 58, has sat for countless photo sessions, including this one at the defunct — and now demolished — Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, where Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968.

Scene From the “Never-Ending Tour” 1988–?

spinner image playing a card game clockwise from left david kemper tony garnier bob dylan larry campbell and charlie sexton
Ken Regan, Courtesy Camera 5/Regan Pictures, Inc.

Dylan has been on the road consistently for decades. This 2001 card game among bandmates (clockwise from left) David Kemper, Tony Garnier, Dylan, Larry Campbell and Charlie Sexton took place on his tour bus in Telluride, Colorado. “I see that I could stop touring at any time, but then, I don’t feel like it right now,” Dylan once said. “I’ve got no retirement plans.”

Adapted from Bob Dylan: Mixing Up the Medicine, written and edited by Mark Davidson and Parker Fishel, published by Callaway Arts & Entertainment. Copyright © 2023 by The Bob Dylan Center.​​​

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