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.
In the Beginning 1957
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
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
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.
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
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
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–?
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.