Stellar new exhibit, organized by Experience Music Project, showcases Bob Dylan material and media between 1956 and 1966, his formative years as an artist, poet, prophet and pop/folk/rock/blues chameleon
Photo by Barry Feinstein
The LA Report attended the opening party for this new Skirball exhibit, and we can say hands down that you will love it - even more so if you are a Bob Dylan fan. At the opening party, a large crowd came to get the first glimpse at all the artifacts, as well as enjoy a wonderful assortment of food (amazing tomato soup, tuna casserole, pizza, broccoli and mushrooms for a fondue cheese dip, brownies and a chocolate dipping area, and more), libations, and even a great Dylan cover band called Highway 61 Revisited.
The exhibit itself is excellent -- thrilling, fun, inspiring and enlightening. Featuring more than 160 artifacts, including Dylan's handwritten drafts of classic songs, rare posters and a recording of his first concert, which has never been commercially released, Bob Dylan's American Journey, 1956-1966 focuses on the first (and some say best) decade of his long career. From his beginnings as Robert Zimmerman in the post-war industrial town of Hibbing, Minnesota, to his debut on the Greenwich Village folk scene, to his rise to unprecedented fame as the rockstar/poet who "electrified" contemporary songwriting, the exhibit chronicles Dylan's first ten years as a public figure, artistic innovator, and compelling voice of social conscience.
There are many booths and walls full of media to explore - photos, mementos, guitars, notes, videos, booths where you can hear every track of his first few albums at the push of a button, even an entire interactive-music section where you can remix Dylan ditties, play drums along with Dylan tunes, and even sing along with Bob. (I heard one attendee doing a not-bad Bob as he bobbed his head with high levels of enjoyment - a kind of personal grok concert, if you will.) And, when you first walk in the exhibit, there is the Wall of Covers - an eclectic international record collection of cover versions of one Dylan classic (Blowin' in the Wind) all mounted on the welcoming wall.
Bob Dylan's American Journey, 1956-1966. Skirball Cultural Center, on Sepulveda just off the 405 near Mulholland (just south of Mulholland, technically). Open til 9 on Thursdays. Exhibit runs Feb. 8 to June 8, 2008. The LA Report highly recommends it. Don't forget to see the Gift Shop, which has several cool Dylan items to buy; some are unique to the Skirball. ADMISSION: $10 General $7 Seniors and Full-Time Students $5 Children 2-12. Free to Members and kids under 2; Free to all on Thursdays. Includes admission to all other exhibits.
- Brett Dennen (Friday, February 15, 8:00 pm)
- Bob Dylan's American Journey - Orientation Talks (Friday, February 8, 1:00 pm)
- East of Eden (Tuesday, February 12, 1:30 pm)
- Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (Thursday, February 28, 8:00 pm)
- Making Music: Shelter From the Storm (Sunday, February 24, 11:30 am)
- Dylan's Image and Identity (Sunday, February 10, 2:00 pm)
- Rebel Without a Cause (Tuesday, February 19, 1:30 pm)
- Bob Dylan's American Journey - Members Only Docent Orientations (Wednesday, February 6, 1:00 pm)
- Bob Dylan's American Journey - Members Only Exhibition Preview (Wednesday, February 6, 12:00 pm)
- Defining Dylan: A Bob Dylan Symposium (Sunday, March 30, 9:30 am)
- Kiosk (Friday, March 7, 8:00 pm)
- Bob Dylan's American Journey - Members Only Dinner Buffet (Thursday, February 7, 5:45 pm)