Monday, February 13, 2012

Bob Dylan's Leather Jacket to go on display at the Smithsonian's Museum of History in new exhibit opening April 5th

It was night that Bob Dylan plugged in and set the world of music on fire.

Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival
The event has become legendary in the American music lexicon, when Bob Dylan was booed while on stage at the Newport Folk Festival in the summer of 1965. With his rendition of Maggie's Farm followed by Like a Rolling Stone and stories of Pete Seeger trolling backstage with an ax looking to cut Dylan's electric power, what is clear is that it was a landmark event when rock, folk, blues, prophesy and poetry all smashed together in one performance and changed American music:

You can imagine what a shock it was to see the guy who they called the King of Folk, who had stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with Martin Luther King, Jr. when he gave his historic I Have a Dream Speech, came out swinging.

It was a far cry from his earlier showings at the Newport Folk Festival, like this one in 1963:

In the performance in Newport on July 25, 1965, just five days after releasing Like a Rolling Stone (now considered one of the greatest rock compositions and performances of all time), Bob Dylan wore a leather jacket with attitude.  That jacket is now part of a new exhibit "American Stories," and will also include other great American collectibles such as Dorothy’s ruby slippers, Benjamin Franklin’s walking stick, Abraham Lincoln’s gold pocket watch and Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves. It is on loan from an anonymous collector.

American Stories will open in April next to the famed Star Spangled Banner Gallery in the American History Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

Read more about it here.

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