Ronnie Wood’s work is available through Govinda Gallery.
This Sunday is Bob Dylan’s birthday. The Los Angeles Times published a fine story by Hugh Hart about Bob Dylan: NYC 1961-1964, the just-released book that features for the first time Ted Russell’s photographs of Dylan from the early sixties. Here is that story.
By Hugh Hart
Copyright © Ted Russell. All Rights Reserved.
In autumn 1961, New York City photographer Ted Russell got a call from a friend who spoke of a folk singer presenting himself as “an itinerant hobo-like person in the wold of Woody Guthrie,” complete with “funny cap and blue jeans and all that,” Russell says.
The photographer was deeply into jazz and knew nothing about folk music, but sensing intriguing story possibilities, Russell showed up at Gerde’s Folk City in Greenwich Village to photograph 20-year-old Bob Dylan in action. Russell was mightily impressed with the tiny club’s great lighting, but he doesn’t remember a thing about the music.
“I was looking through the viewfinder for every change of expression and oblivious to everything else,” he says. “I didn’t have a clue that the man I was photographing would become this international star idolized all over the world.”
A couple of days later, Russell visited Dylan and his girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, at their Village apartment. “I said, ‘Please do whatever you would be doing if I weren’t here,’ and they did just what I asked them to do: They ignored me.”
Russell failed to drum up interest in what he’d conceptualized as a photo essay about the trials and tribulations of an up-and-coming folk singer.
“Saturday Evening Post editors were enthusiastic about my proof sheets and a rave New York Times review that I brought in, but when I played a Dylan demo record, they asked me if I was playing it at the correct speed,” Russell said, laughing. “They passed.”
His candid portraits of the artist as a young folkie lay largely dormant in a file cabinet for decades, but they have been resuscitated in the new Rizzoli book “Bob Dylan: NYC 1961-1964.” Co-written by Chris Murray, the book also includes shots that Russell snapped during a 1964 Life magazine interview.
“The funny thing is, 50 years later, everybody raved about that film ‘Inside Llewyn Davis,'” Russell says. “I was basically trying to do a still version of that story.”
Ted Russell’s photographs are available from Govinda Gallery.
The stack of books at City Winery for the Reflections From Hell program. Copyright © Megan Bearder. All Rights Reserved.
I was in Chicago last week with Richard Lewis for the launch of Reflections From Hell: Richard Lewis’ Guide on How Not to Live. Lewis and his collaborator, artist Carl Titolo, who made the images that accompany Lewis’ ‘reflections’, appeared at City Winery in Chicago in a humorous and compelling program moderated by writer extraordinaire Howard Reich, who has covered music and arts for the Chicago Tribune since 1977. After the program, Lewis and Titolo signed copies of Reflections From Hell (powerHouse Books). A good time was had by all.
I’m looking forward to Richard Lewis’s appearance at 92Y in New York City with JB Smoove next Tuesday.
Artist Carl Titolo and Richard Lewis looking at their book in the green room at City Winery. Copyright © Megan Bearder. All Rights Reserved.
Music and arts writer Howard Reich and Richard Lewis, longtime friends. Copyright © Megan Bearder. All Rights Reserved.
Howard Reich, Richard Lewis, and Carl Titolo. Copyright © Megan Bearder. All Rights Reserved.
Chris Murray, editor of Reflections From Hell, responding to a question from the stage. Copyright © Megan Bearder. All Rights Reserved.
From Reflections From Hell. Copyright © powerHouse Books. All Rights Reserved.
Richard Lewis signing a copy of Reflections From Hell for Lara Weber. Copyright © Megan Bearder. All Rights Reserved.
B.B. King, Newport Folk Festival, 1968. Copyright © Dick Waterman. All Rights Reserved.
This photograph by Dick Waterman is my favorite of B.B. King. It was my good fortune to see B.B. King at the Cellar Door on 34th Street in Georgetown three nights in a row in March 1969. It was just B.B. and his guitar Lucille along with a bass player and a drummer… an essential blues trio. I managed to sit at a table those three nights just in front of the small stage at that legendary music club in Georgetown. I have a plank from that stage in my office that is now gilded, that B.B. King performed on.
To this day I will never forget how B.B.’s singing and guitar playing wove together with such feeling and creativity, that you actually had a transcendental experience listening to his performance. His guitar phrasing and his vocals would rise to a climax that would bring you to a place where your consciousness expanded. This photograph from 1968 captures that feeling at that time and was exactly how B.B. King looked as he was performing then. God bless B.B. King.
Copyright © Carl Nicholas Titolo. All Rights Reserved.
Reflections From Hell: Richard Lewis’ Guide on How Not to Live was published yesterday. Larry David’s terrific foreword is now on Vanity Fair’s website if you haven’t read it in their May issue already.
There are some terrific events coming up launching Reflections From Hell where Richard Lewis will be signing books and where you can meet him and the artist Carl Titolo, who’s images accompany Lewis’ reflections. I will be at the City Winery and 92Y events.
May 12, 2015: Richard Lewis and Carl Titolo with the Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich at City Winery, Chicago, IL
May 26, 2015: Richard Lewis in Conversation with JB Smoove, 92Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall, Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street, New York, NY
May 28, 2015: Richard Lewis in conversation with Carl Nicholas Titolo at powerHouse Arena, Brooklyn, NY
Govinda Gallery Director Chris Murray at the Museum of the City of New York. Copyright © Cindy Strauss. All Rights Reserved. .
Not long ago I visited the Museum of the City of New York to see the exhibition Hip Hop Revolution. It was a brilliant show with photographs that chronicled some of the earliest musical and visual artists in New York that formed and influenced the emergence of hip hop. I went to an evening program “Documenting Hip Hop from Three Angles” which featured photographers Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo, and Martha Cooper. It was a standing room only crowd that enjoyed the compelling stories and photographs told by the three photographers.
Govinda Gallery has known Janette Beckman for some time and is proud to have her portrait of Run DMC in Queens, NYC, 1984, in the Govinda music photo collection. Joe Conzo’s images of early performances by DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaata, Chief Rocker Busy Bee, Kurtis Blow, and more revealed a scene that started on the streets, in high school gyms, and in nightclubs. His story about starting photography as a teenager, his struggle with drug addiction in the 80s, and his recovery were compelling. Baltimore native Martha Cooper’s photographs of the graffiti scene in the 70s and 80s give us a definitive look at the great graffiti art in New York City in the 70s and 80s.
It was a terrific exhibition and another demonstration of fantastic photography documenting the hip hop movement. They are indeed extraordinary photos for serious collectors of this sort of photographic imagery.
Run DMC in Queens, NYC, 1984. Copyright © Janette Beckman. All Rights Reserved.
Govinda Gallery is delighted to announce the publication of Bob Dylan NYC 1961-1964 featuring the remarkable photographs of Ted Russell. Published by Rizzoli, this book is the first publication of Russell’s photographs of Dylan. Bob Dylan NYC also features an extraordinary foreword by Donovan and a preface by the book’s editor Chris Murray.
Exhibitions of Ted Russell’s photographs of Bob Dylan are being organized in galleries in Los Angeles, New York City, Havana, and other cities. Keep your eye on this site for details.
Bob Dylan in his apartment, New York City, 1961. Copyright © Ted Russell. All Rights Reserved.
Bob Dylan in his apartment, New York City, 1964. Copyright © Ted Russell. All Rights Reserved.
Vanity Fair published Larry David’s engaging and hilarious foreword to Reflections From Hell: Richard Lewis’ Guide on How Not to Live in its May issue. The cover features Annie Leibovitz’s fabulous portrait of the beautiful Sofia Vergara from Modern Family. Larry David’s essay about his longtime friend Richard Lewis is on page 90 and features a photo of Richard and Larry ‘back in the day’. Published by powerHouse Books, Reflections From Hell also features the brilliant images of Carl Titolo that accompany each of Lewis’s reflections. Reflections is edited and includes a preface by Govinda’s Chris Murray. Here is one of Titolo’s images and Lewis’s reflections featured on the back cover.
The back cover of Reflections From Hell
Image Copyright © Carl Nicholas Titolo 2015. All Rights Reserved. .
Chris Murray lying where President Lincoln died. Photo by Matthew Murray, 1959. Copyright © Govinda Gallery Archive. All Rights Reserved.
Today is the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death by assassination. In 1959, my father and I visited the former boarding house where President Lincoln lay mortally wounded after being taken there after he was shot at Ford’s Theatre. The house where Lincoln died was a much quieter place in the 1950s than it is now. When I walked in to the Petersen House with my father, Matthew Murray, there was only one guard sitting on a chair in the right corner of the room. He was sleeping. My father, who was a bit of a character, told me to climb over the little railing and lie on the bed in the room where Lincoln died and he would take a picture. I did as my father told me and the result is this photograph, taken with an original Brownie camera, that I saved since that time and which has never been seen before. If you look closely you can see I was wearing earmuffs. My family is from New York City and my parents and I were visiting my older brother Tom who was at Georgetown University and my sister Rita who was attending Trinity College in Washington.
Julius Ulke took this photograph shortly after the President’s body was removed from the Petersen House, 1865. Note the same wallpaper as in the photo from 1959.
“Now he belongs to the ages”-Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, 1865.
Art Kane’s eponymous book was just published by Reel Art Press. It was a great pleasure for Govinda Gallery to host Kane’s first exhibition Art Kane: Photographs 13 years ago. His photos were also featured in the much talked about touring museum exhibition Sound & Vision: Monumental Rock and Roll Photographs. Kane is well known for his photo of many of the greatest jazz musicians of the day posing outside a brownstone in 1958 known all over the world as “A Great Day in Harlem”.
Among the subjects featured in Kane’s book are Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Joe Frazier, Brian Jones, Sonny and Cher, Whitney Houston, Janis Joplin, Cicely Tyson, Tim Curry, Jeff Beck, and Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter along with beautiful models and imaginative landscapes.
The Who, New York City, 1968. Copyright © Art Kane Archives. All Rights Reserved.