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Dylan in Providence, RI, 1965

In 1965 I took a month-long sabbatical from my job as an insurance broker in San Francisco. The counter-cultural movement of the '60s was in full bloom and I wanted to explore a bit of the world. I took a Greyhound bus to Bakersfield, where I hopped on a freight car. Got off in Barstow and started hitchhiking. My second ride took me all the way to Detroit in a 1950 Ford. From there, bus to New York and after hanging out there for a week I went to see my cousin Mike, a painter living in Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod. On the way back from Mike's I got a ride from a bunch of students at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. There was a Bob Dylan concert that night. Did I want to come?
Did I!
I took my Nikon 35 mm camera and rolls of tri-x. Things were so loose in those days — just having the camera meant the cops let me walk right up to the stage. Told them I was a photographer for some newspaper, heh-heh.

The first half of the concert was folk music, not thrilling to moi. After the intermission a bunch of musicians came out and guess what — rock and roll! A number of people got up and left, muttering. Dylan didn't care. The world was opening up for him. A great concert. I shot a bunch of pix and had a front row vantage point. In looking back at these old photos, I realize that the other guy here is Robbie Robertson — history in the making.
I got back to San Francisco eventually in drive-away cars (VW fom NY to Miami, Pontiac from Miami to Phoenix), hitching to SF. The morning after I got back, I got up, heard the faint hum of commute traffic going into SF on the nearby freeway, quit my job, and started to work as a carpenter.


Ruthita said...

An amazing story. An amazing photo. Thanks for sharing; I enjoy your blog so much.

Carl said...

In 1965 I took a month-long sabbatical from the job,is pretty good to read and also the information given is great.

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tuskedbeast said...

I've got to say it- you are da man.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for chatting yesterday, would love to follow up sometime and bring some great Dylan recordings out to Bolinas... Something on the order of a Knopfler Dylan compilation... Those were great shows.


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