Bob Dylan at the old Aust ferry
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Here's an interesting thing.  The main publicity photograph for the new Martin Scorsese film about Bob Dylan, No Direction Home, was taken by the River Severn suspension bridge.  Here it is:

dylan3.jpg (50805 bytes) Click thumbnail to see full size image

Look closely at the ticket office sign - Aust ferry, the old car ferry that used to cross the river here until the bridge was opened on 8 September 1966.  It is clearer on this detail.

This must have been just before or after the famous "Judas" concert at the Manchester Free Trade Hall on May 17 1966.  Fans were objecting to Dylan going electric for the second half of his set.  

Dylan gave concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, and in Cardiff on the same tour but the bridge had not yet opened when Dylan came through.  Read more here.

As a small boy my family used the Aust ferry to go, from our home in Almondsbury, on holiday in South Wales. My recollection is that it was fantastically rickety and dangerous, having had no repairs while it lay under sentence of death from the new bridge.  Dylan must have been one of the last people to use it.  

Jim Thornton 25 Sept 2005


27 September update. 

I've just watched the film on the BBC.  It is an overlong, but otherwise marvellous collection of original footage,  interviews and performances.  It tells Dylan's story from the acoustic start, through the early 60s protest songs, till he fell out with his original folk fans when he went electric at the Newport folk festival in 1965 - everything building to the Judas moment.  

Dylan the contrarian - upsetting his fans, discomfiting reporters and writing great poetry.   


28 September update.

David Bailey of BBC Gloucestershire tells me that this was already a well known photograph, apparently once voted among the "top five rock photographs of all time"!   It was taken by Barry Feinstein.   Here it is without the modern captions. 

 dylan4.jpg (18868 bytes) Click thumbnail for full size image

To read BBC Gloucestershire's take on the picture click here.

Or for a Dylan poem, "I want you" click here.


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Last modified: November 12, 2006