Dylan BEFORE Dylan

Posted on in Features by Rob Sidon

man and woman

BOB DYLAN BECAME THE FIRST MUSICIAN to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, setting off headlines and worldwide debate. As a tribute, Common Ground is proud to present a collection of rare photos that capture the essence of the young folkie in a tender era unmarked by his eventual fame.

This rare glimpse comes courtesy of the late Joe Alper, who met Dylan for the first time in May 1961 in Branford, Connecticut. Joe was 37 and Dylan was still a teen. A friendship ensued, and Dylan would stay at Joe’s house and allow him to capture moments of unusual innocence and smiles, often in the company of Dylan’s then fiancée, Suze Rotolo.

Alper drove Dylan into New York City to record his first session with the legendary producer John Hammond in what would become The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, and the rest is history. Dylan became Dylan. Joe died in 1968, but his legacy lives on and we are grateful.

All images by Joe Alper. Special thanks to Edward Elbers, who manages the Joe Alper Photo Collection LLC.

Bob Dylan, eating at Alper Home, Schenectady, NY January 1962
Bob Dylan, eating at Alper Home, Schenectady, NY January 1962
smoking Bob Dylan on the bed
Bob Dylan is smiling
Bob Dylan playing piano
Bob Dylan examines a vinyl record
Bob Dylan plays guitar
Bob Dylan plays piano
Bob Dylan at the piano, speaking with girl and smiling
Bob Dylan with woman and boy
Bob Dylan is smiling
Bob Dylan is smoking and girl next ot him
Bob Dylan in glasses
Bob Dylan with men
Bob Dylan and man with cigarette
man and woman
Bob Dylan with guitar
Bob Dylan is playing guitar
Bob Dylan and woman are singing
Bob Dylan is singing in microphone

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