PEOPLE & PLACES

A Leisurely Visit with Photographer Gary Firstenberg Here in Duluth

Bob Dylan’s roots as the draw for an intersection with history.

The world is full of interesting people and it just so happens that many of them are music fans. Of this set of people there is a subset that is additionally motivated to do more than listen to the music but to also make time to visit important places in the lives of people they appreciate and admire. For this reason, there’s a steady stream of people who visit the Northland to see the homes Bob Dylan grew up in and experience his early influences.

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Mural by Wyland on the Edgewater Hotel, Seattle where Beatles stayed in 1964.

On Monday, noteworthy photographer Gary Firstenberg stopped at the Duluth home of Bob Dylan and as it turns out we quickly connected so I could share a few pointers on points of interest that are off the beaten trail. Firstenberg, an avid Dylan fan since Blood on the Tracks, has since collected and become intimately acquainted with all Dylan’s music over the years.

A professional photographer, his chief gig has been traveling extensively as official photographer for the internationally acclaimed “whale muralist” Wyland (https://www.wyland.com/). The 60-year-old marine life artist is a celebrated conservationist who has painted more than 150 whale murals around the world.

As you can see from this array of photos, Gary Firstenberg’s passion for people and places is extensive and goes beyond traditional rock legends.

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World’s oldest soccer ball. Sterling, Scotland.
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Bruce Springsteen wrote “Born to Run” in this house, Long Branch, NJ
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Grave of Buddy Holley in Lubbock, TX
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Buddy Holly’s glasses.
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House where Chuck Berry wrote his classic hits in the 50s that influenced
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Gary Firstenberg with Fred Tackett of Little Feat who did session work with Dylan in Nashville.
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One of the six officers who arrested Lee Harvey Oswald in the Texas Theater.
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Nevada Bob Gordon album cover: Long Trail to Nowhere.
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Back cover: Nevada Bob in Jack White’s Third Man record store.

Only two of these recording booths from the 1930s (pictured above) are in existence today. Jack White owns both of them.

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Buddy Holly’s guitar at the museum in Lubbock.
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The artist Wyland with Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam.
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Gary F with Tracy Smith from CBS Sunday Morning. (Pre-pandemic)
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Firstenberg has photographed five U.S. president.
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Bruce Springsteen wrote “Born to Run” in this house, Long Branch, NJ
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At 13 this man played Dueling Banjos in the film Deliverance.

He now works in a Wal-Mart in Clayton, Georgia. You never know when you meet someone at a store just where they’ve been or who they’ve known.

Firstenberg has had the privilege of shooting five presidents (with his camera), attending key moments in music history (funeral of Aretha, private audience with Fats Domino) and being a documentarian of four decades of New Orleans jazz.

In addition to photography Firstenberg has an extensive entrepreneurial bent, but that’s a much more involved story. In the meantime….

Here’s a link to his website. Ye shall be impressed.
www.firstinphoto.smugmug.com

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj

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