Q & A with Bob Dylan about Barry

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How did you first meet Barry?

Barry and I met in my manager’s office. Barry was either courting or was already married to Mary Travers from Peter, Paul & Mary. I knew Mary too, and she might have introduced him to me at an earlier date, but I don’t remember.

How did you guys become friends?

We became traveling partners. Barry was on some tours of mine and we also drove a car across the country once.

Did you like Barry’s photography? In what way?

Yeah. I liked Barry’s photos a lot. They reminded me of Robert Frank’s photos... Just in their stark atmosphere. Obviously the subject matter. I liked the angles Barry used in the pictures… the shadows and light, that sort of thing.

But what about you?

But what about me? Well I would have to refer to the academicians too. If they are poems, or if they are not poems… does it really matter? And who would it matter to?

What do you think of them looking back after all these years?

First of all I don’t think what I had written would have been written without seeing the photographs…and secondly…well I don’t know if there is a secondly.

What do you think of the photographs?

Well obviously I thought a great deal of the pictures. I think Barry was an incredibly great photographer as I still do to this present day.

A Bit About Barry by Tad Wise

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Soon enough his photographs of legends, living and dead, would make Barry Feinstein a world-famous photographer. Early on it wasn't too clear what he'd do, aside from taking black and white pictures of whatever intrigued him. When Feinstein was in his late twenties, Harry Cohn, head of Columbia Pictures, hired young Feinstein (as a favor to a certain someone) as a production intern. Barry moved to Hollywood and got an apartment on the corner of Fuller and Sunset for $125 a month.

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He spent a few months in most every department, learning a little about everything. The name "Harry Cohn" was a golden key and Barry wielded it, along with his Nikon, making calls, knocking on doors, and closing them, discreetly, behind him. In this way Feinstein passed himself off as professional photographer until the day he'd become one.

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Feinstein had access to the up-and-coming stars - this was where his bread was buttered. Barry was confident and polite, neither shy nor star-struck, and he had a penchant for the unusual. Fame, per se, didn't impress him much. Which was one reason his camera didn't blink, and why, in years to come, he'd be known for piercing the armor and showing us the human being inside the icon.

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Barry didn't "make friends with famous people to get their picture." In fact, I've been mightily disappointed over the years that the vault doesn't include more of his rogue's gallery of friends. Say, a cameo of Sal Mineo who, slight though he was, backed Barry in a fight and became a close friend. Or the genius comedian, Lord Buckley, who called Barry "his triple hipness." Or shots of the original roadtrip across the country in a Rolls with a Bob Dylan whose first record had just been released

Barry with Bob

No such images exist. "There's a time you don't take pictures," Barry told me a few years ago. The implicit message being: have fun and build trust, so when you finally pick up the camera, your subject lets you in because you've become a friend.

Subjects By Barry Feinstein

Notable Subjects Photographed

The Honorable Brian Alexander, Herb Alpert, Louis Armstrong, The Band, John Drew Barrymore, The Beatles, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Blake, David Bowie, Marlon Brando, Lenny Bruce, Lord Buckley, Gary Busey, The Byrds, President Jimmy, Carter George Carlin, Sir Harold and Lady Cassel, Basil Charles, Chicago, Eric Clapton, Montgomery Clift, James Coburn, Joe Cocker, Harry Cohn, Concert for Bangladesh, Joan Crawford, King Curtis, Salvador Dali, Bobby Darin, Miles Davis, Delaney & Bonnie, Marlene Dietrich, Donovan, Robert Duvall, Bob Dylan, Peter Fonda, Glenn Ford, John Ford, Redd Fox, Aretha Franklin, Clark Gable, Jean Genet, Benny Goodman, Davis Grubb, George Harrison, H. R. H. Princess Margaret, Dennis Hopper, Hedda Hopper, John Huston, Aldous Huxley, Mick Jagger, Jazz Crusaders, Dr. John, President Lyndon Johnson, Janis Joplin, Louis Kahn, Architect, Danny Kaye, Sally Kellerman, President John F. Kennedy, B.B. King ,Dr. Martin Luther King, Ernie Kovacs, Peter Lawford, Timothy Leary, Jack Lemmon, John Lennon, Lord Patrick Lichfield, Gordon Lightfoot, Brodslaw Linke, Claudine Longet, Linda Lovelace, Mamas & Papas, Jayne Mansfield, General Pierre V. Marais, Hugh Masakala, Dave Mason, Gavin McLeod, Steve McQueen, Zubin Mehta, Henry Miller, Rt. Hon. J.F. Mitchell, Red Mitchell, Thelonious Monk, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Muni, Randy Newman, "Easy Rider"(Graveyard Scene), Frank Sinatra, Ringo Starr, Barbara Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, Tiny Tim, Spencer Tracy, Ike & Tina Turner, Robert Vaughn, Carol Wayne, Ben Webster, Andy Williams, Paul Williams, Frank Zappa ...




Barry with Steve McQueen on the Set of "Bullitt" 1968
Barry with Steve McQueen on the Set of "Bullitt" 1968

Notable Album Covers by Barry

The Byrds "Mr. Tambourine Man" 1965 Album Cover

Bob Dylan

“The Times They Are A-Changin” 

“Before the Flood” 

“Greatest Hits”

George Harrison

“All Things Must Pass” 

“The Concert for Bangladesh”

Janis Joplin

"Pearl"

Neil Young

"Harvest"

Rolling Stones

"Beggars Banquet"

Eric Clapton

"Eric Clapton"

Barry Feinstein ~ (1931 - 2011)

Barry  was a photographer, camera-man, graphic designer, and art director who created many of the entertainment industry’s most compelling and iconic images.  


His work has appeared in countless publications including Life, Look, Time, Esquire, Newsweek, GQ, Rolling Stone, Mojo and The New York Times. Most famous for his album cover artwork, Feinstein is responsible for nearly 500 cover shoots including the classics All Things Must Pass by George Harrison, Pearl by Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton’s first solo album, Ringo by Ringo Starr, The Times They Are a Changin’ by Bob Dylan, and Mr. Tambourine Man by The Byrds.  


Feinstein was the exclusive photographer on Dylan’s legendary 1966 European tour and again for Dylan and The Band’s 1974 US tour. As a cameraman, he documented the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, produced and directed the cult classic "You Are What You Eat" and was a cameraman and official photographer for George Harrison’s groundbreaking 1970 charity performance, The Concert for Bangladesh, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.


Barry was an innovator in all that he did whether it was photography, art direction, graphic design, or film. Nowhere is this more apparent than with his now legendary hand-held cinema-photography for the film "Easy Rider" in 1969.  In would be another 30 years before similar camera work was seen again in a major motion picture.


Feinstein also photographed leading Hollywood and political figures of his day, from JFK and Nixon to Marlon Brando and Judy Garland. During his lengthy and varied career, Feinstein received over thirty US and international art director and photo-journalism awards, including being nominated for an Emmy for his Ike & Tina album cover.  


Feinsteins’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, including the National Portrait Gallery, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Columbus Museum, Georgia; National Portrait Gallery, Scotland; Gibbes Museum of Art in South Carolina and the Hunter Museum in Tennessee.  


Feinstein was born in 1931 in Philadelphia and passed away in 2011 after a lengthy illness in Woodstock, New York, where he had lived for many years with his wife, the artist Judith Jamison.

Barry in the Coast Gaurd in the North Sea
Barry in the Coast Gaurd in the North Sea