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Part of the Mabey Collection

Dylan - Don't look back

Alan Aldridge (1938 – )


77 x 52 cm
Accession number


It could be argued that no other Western musician has affected the course of the 20th Century more than Bob Dylan. Born Robert Zimmerman, he took his stage name from poet Dylan Thomas, which is appropriate given that he was as influenced by poetry as he was by music. A prominent figure in the civil rights movement, adaring musical trendsetter, and with a career spanning over five decades, Bob Dylan continues to court controversy and adoration to this day. Since commencing his “Never Ending Tour” in 1988, he and The Band have played over 2500 shows.

DA Pennebaker's documentary follows Bob Dylan on his 1965 tour of England. Widely credited with inventing the “rockumentary”, 'Don't Look Back's fly-on-the-wall style served as a stark contrast to the polished cinema aesthetic of the time. The film is also the source of the iconic video for 'Subterranean Homesick Blues', during which Dylan holds up flash-cards showing the song's lyrics. It also captures his difficult relationship with the press, his performance at the Royal Albert Hall, and his declining romance with Joan Baez. Fifty years after its released, it was commemorated with its own exhibition, and is regularly listed among the greatest and most influential documentaries ever made.