In the early sixties, Bob Dylan’s guitar-led protest tunes tapped into the psyche of an America troubled by social and political unrest – so much so that Columbia Records snapped up the singer-songwriter almost as soon as he moved from the Midwest to New York in 1961. From this contract came revolutionary protest hymns like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They are A-Changin’”. But by 1966 his music had changed - his ballads had become more aggressive, and he had swapped his folk guitar for an electric guitar. In short, Dylan had created a new music genre – “folk-rock” - a style that some critics even said influenced the Beatles.
Thus is the background to the Cité de la Musique’s “Bob Dylan l’explosion rock” exhibition. Through a selection of rare photos, video archives and artefacts, the museum covers the years between 1961 to 1966, to illustrate how Bob’s sound affected cultural trends, politics and American society in general.
In conjunction with the exhibition, don’t miss the “Bob Dylan Revisited” cycle of concerts and documentaries. You’ll find groups like Syd Matters and Sophie Hunger interpreting Dylan’s works, plus films such as “The Other Side of the Mirror – Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival (1963-65)”, which covers three years of interviews and performances at the Newport folk fest.
Check the Cité de la Musique’s website here for the full programme.