Dylan ‘Waifs’ together again

Dylan ‘Waifs’ together again

An iconic photograph of Bob Dylan surrounded by scruffy “waifs” in a Liverpool doorway has been re-created 40 years on.

The original was the work of legendary photographer Barry Feinstein, who captured Dylan at the height of his fame during his 1966 world tour, a year after he caused uproar by going electric.

Dylan fan Chris Hockenhull, 50, from the Waterloo area of Merseyside, set out to re-create the image by tracking down the 10 people who appeared in the picture as children.

Eight of the 10 agreed to go back to the scene in the Dock Road area of Liverpool, where the doorway to the warehouse in the photograph remains intact despite the demolition of the surrounding tenements.

Mr Feinstein, Dylan’s sole photographer during his 1966 and 1974 world tours, remembered of the youngsters: “They were all like waifs. They weren’t your Beverley Hills kids.”

Mr Hockenhull, who teaches a Bob Dylan course, said: “It was such a clash of 1960s culture. The kids looked like Victorian street urchins and Dylan looked like a man from Mars with his loud shirt and wild hair – that’s what fascinated me.

“It began when I first saw a Bob Dylan picture without any location credits in the mid-1970s. Something just convinced me it was from Liverpool.

“When Barry Feinstein’s book, Early Dylan, came out in early 1999, there was the picture and the location, Liverpool. There were a lot of others too from Liverpool and the one with the children in the doorway caught my attention.

“I started looking around various sites in Liverpool and finally stumbled across the place where it was taken. I couldn’t believe the building still existed.

“The kids lived around there in the 1960s, in what could be termed now as real squalor. The Swinging Sixties hadn’t hit that part of Liverpool.

“The houses were demolished about two years after the photograph was taken but some of the kids remained in contact with each other even though they were dispersed around the city.”

He added: “Very few of the children had any recollection of the event in 1966. They had no idea until we tracked them down.

“They were oblivious to the fact that the picture had gone all around the world and used on CD covers and in magazines.

“What really fascinated me is that they were not Dylan fans. A man with a cine camera swept into the area in a big black car and offered them 10 shillings to have their picture taken.

“Their picture was splashed around the world, and yet they had no interest in Dylan. That’s the nice irony of it.”

Mr Hockenhull added: “We didn’t try to get Dylan to come and appear in the photograph. There would have been no room for him.”

The former children were found living as far afield as Scotland, London and Merseyside and were tracked down using electoral registers, through visits to the pubs were they drank and by placing adverts in local newspapers.

The resulting shot was taken in November last year and is featured in the BBC1 regional TV programme Inside Out North West, to be shown at 7.30pm on Friday.

 

https://metro.co.uk


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