Barry Feinstein: Photographer acclaimed for his work with Bob Dylan

 

Thanks to his work with musicians such as Bob Dylan, Donovan, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Janis Joplin and Gram Parsons, the American photographer Barry Feinstein was rightly considered to be one of the most influential practitioners of the art of rock photography. In particular, his photos of Dylan's 1966 European tour with the Band, when the singer-songwriter was heckled after he had "gone electric", captured a performer on the edge and helped turn him into a mythical figure.

Feinstein had already shot a memorable, brooding portrait of Dylan for the cover of The Times They Are a-Changin', the musician's third album in 1964, and was commissioned by LIFE magazine to photograph the 1966 tour.

"The shows were thrilling," he recalled. "I would watch from the side of the stage and pick my moment carefully. I was in a unique position, given complete access and trust during a very special period." Feinstein enjoyed a special rapport with Dylan and once drove with him from California to New York to deliver a Rolls-Royce bought by the singer's manager, Albert Grossman. "It was really a great adventure. I saw Bob perform hundreds of times, travelled with him, often spent 24 hours a day with him. Sometimes there were thousands of people at a concert, other times it was just the two of us. I liked his work, Bob liked mine. He knew I would make him look interesting and he was interesting. He was comfortable with me and my cameras."

When Dylan and the Band performed together again in 1974, Feinstein was retained as tour photographer and came up with the striking picture of fans waving lighters that graced the cover of the joint live recording Before The Flood.

Feinstein's photos appeared on over 500 albums, and featured a variety of techniques, including a fish-eye lens for the Byrds' debut Mr Tambourine Man (1965), controversial or quirky juxtapositions as in the case of Ike and Tina Turner's Outta Season (1968, the duo caked in whiteface, biting into slices of watermelons) and Harrison's All Things Must Pass (1970, the ex-Beatle pictured surrounded by garden gnomes in the grounds of his home at Friar Park).

For Pearl by Janis Joplin (1971), the photo session took place the night before she died of a drug overdose in Los Angeles. However, the graffiti-covered toilet wall Feinstein shot for the Rolling Stones' album Beggars Banquet in 1968 proved too much for Decca in the UK and London in the US, though it was used for the 2002 CD reissue.

Born in Philadelphia in 1931, Feinstein was an only child and dropped out after a year at the University of Miami. He discovered his photographic ability while taking pictures at at the Atlantic City racetrack, where he worked in 1955. He joined LIFE as a photographic assistant but soon relocated to Los Angeles. Working as a production assistant at Columbia Pictures, he carried a camera and took unlikely photos of the studio parking lots and the Hollywood sign from the back – "the part of Hollywood that nobody thinks about or looks at," as he put it. Promoted to studio photographer, he took pictures of Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Charlton Heston and Jayne Mansfield, accompanied Marlon Brando to a civil rights rally in 1963 and photographed Steve McQueen on the set of Bullitt.

Feinstein favoured an instinctive approach and excelled at the unexpected. When Magnum sent him to cover Marilyn Monroe's death in 1962, he zoomed in on the bottle of pills by her bedside. He also photographed Presidents John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon and was published in Time, Esquire and Newsweek as well as countless European publications.

In the early 1960s, Feinstein met Grossman in Los Angeles and was asked to take pictures of his charges, the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. He started a relationship with the singer Mary Travers, whom he subsequently married. This placed Feinstein at the epicentre of the Greenwich Village folk explosion and brought him into Dylan's orbit.

In 1967, Feinstein was one of the cameramen helping DA Pennebaker capture the Monterey Pop Festival. The following year, he directed You Are What You Eat, a counter-culture semi-documentary that featured David Crosby, Barry McGuire, Tiny Tim and Frank Zappa. In 1971, he photographed Harrison's Concert For Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden.

He remained in demand throughout the 1970s and '80s but found that the restricted access he was getting to musicians stunted his approach. In 1993, he was badly injured in a crash with a drunk driver near his home in Woodstock. While recovering, he began looking at the contact sheets in his archive and assembled Hollywood Foto-Rhetoric: The Lost Manuscript, a book of film star portraits that also incorporated 23 "cosmic prose" poems written by Dylan in the 1960s. It was published in 2008, along with Real Moments, a collection of Feinstein's photos of Dylan from 1966 that were also exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery.

"Musicians are easier to photograph than movie stars," Feinstein said recently. "They're just not as uptight."

Barry Feinstein, photographer: born Philadelphia 4 February 1931; married firstly Mary Travers (marriage dissolved; one daughter), secondly Carol Wayne (marriage dissolved; one son), 2000 Judith Jamison; died Kingston, New York 20 October 2011.

News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits