Seattle – Fans of Bob Dylan, the songwriter who has been called the conscience of the 1960s generation, will be able to see items from the artist’s early career and listen to rare recordings at an exhibit opening in Seattle this weekend.
Dylan’s handwritten lyrics for “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Like a Rolling Stone,” as well a 24-minute recording of Dylan’s first concert in New York, which was never commercially released, are featured in “Bob Dylan’s American Journey 1956-1966” at the Experience Music Project.
The collection is the first comprehensive exhibit of Dylan’s work, according to Jasen Emmons, the curator at the Frank Gehry-designed museum built by billionaire Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen.
The exhibit covers Dylan’s early years when he moved to New York, met fellow folk singer Woody Guthrie, released his early albums and then famously broke from the folk movement by going “electric” at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965.
Visitors take a chronological journey that begins with Dylan’s high school yearbook and ends with his 1966 motorcycle crash, an event that Dylan followers consider the end of his greatest creative period.
Included in the exhibit is the 16-inch tambourine that inspired Dylan to write “Mr. Tambourine Man,” his tattered paperback of Woody Guthrie’s autobiography “Bound for Glory,” which inspired Dylan to seek out Guthrie, as well as instruments, lyrics and show fliers.
Dylan collaborated on the project through his manager. Many of the items on display were loaned to the museum by individual collectors.
The show is tentatively expected to run through 2005 in Seattle. Over the next few years, the exhibit will travel to several locations, including Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Dylan recently published his first memoir, “Chronicles, Vol. 1” and director Martin Scorsese is working on a documentary on Dylan due out in mid-2005.