GREENWICH VILLAGE, MacDougal St, New York City 2002.

I would have loved to have been in Greenwich Village in the fifties and early sixties when the beat generation and the emerging new breed of folk singers would make the scene there the coolest place on the planet.

I’ve visited the haunts of the beats, poets, writers and musicians every time I’ve been to NYC and especially in the village.

In 2002 I was commissioned by a well known bank to take some shots of New York for a brochure. Myself, my assistant Katy and Liz, the art director walked the streets for three days finding suitable locations to take photographs – not a bad way to earn a crust. One day we found ourselves walking through the viillage and down Jones Street.

It was on Jones Street where the iconic cover photo of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was shot by Don Hunstein. Dylan and his then girlfriend, Suze Rotolo are huddled together as they walk along in the bleak winter day in 1963. There are vehicles parked either side of the snow bound road including a blue VW camper van.

Having described the album cover, I said to the girls that I would like to find the exact spot where the photograph was taken and Liz asked, “How will we know where that is?”

My reply was, tongue in cheek, “Oh, just look for the blue camper van.”

Liz studied for a moment and asked, “Will it still be there?”


(The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is also featured in the Locals gallery. See Mick Gillis, Pontefract 1992).