Bob Dylan at the gate to Nottingham Castle - photo by Barry Feinstein - May 16, 1966.
Bob Dylan walking through gates from Barry Feinstein's book of Dylan 1966 tour, REAL MOMENTS. (click to ENLARGE)
The gates to Nottingham Castle in Nottingham, England.
Dylan walks through the Nottingham Castle gates.
To see the location of the gates in Google Street View, click here:
HOW THE LOCATION WAS FOUND
This photo was in Barry Feinstein's book REAL MOMENTS which consists of many pictures of Dylan during his 1966 European tour, primarily while he was in England. Marie Fotini, the PopSpots Chief Foreign correspondent and I had figured out the location of most of those photos (the subject of a future PopSpot) but this one always baffled us.
In it Dylan is walking through the gates of some famous castle, museum or university- but we couldn't figure out which one.
There were several clues, among them:
1) A Small building off to the left.
For some time we put off the search, but Marie took it up again and brought in Don Whistance a researcher with extensive photos of The Clash and Steve McQueen who we had been in contact with.
Working together, and by contacting others, they found the location. Here's how they went about it.
1 - Marie Fotini, the POPSPOTS European correspondent, contacted a correspondent from England she knew, Don Whistance (www.theclash.org.uk) to ask him some ideas about those gates since they were just labeled "ENGLAND, 1966" by the photographer Barry Feinstein.
She indicated him her main clue, that Dylan wore exactly the same clothes (and shoes) as in the famous LSD shot we had already located in Nottingham and not in Sheffield as labeled by Feinstein: here
Here's the famous "LSD" shot, also by Barry Feinstein, taken in central Nottingham. (LSD are the initials of an chain of English betting parlors.)
And this comparison shot shows Dylan in Nottingham in the same clothes - dark blue jacket and striped pants - as he was wearing walking through the gates.)
2 - Don sent the photo of the gates to Nottingham Council switchboard and the Tourist Board confirmed that the gates may well be at the castle. Nottingham Castle manager, Mick Smurthwaite, was pleasantly surprised to discover this photograph he didn't know and confirmed that was exactly the side gate entrance to Nottingham Castle. He was nice enough to recreate the photo with his staff.
(Recreation-photo taken by Mick Smurthwaite, with his staff: Richard Taylor as Bob. Sandra Donson & Richard Fear holding the gates.)
Given that Dylan had played in Leicester, England, on May, 15, 1966 and Sheffield, England, on May 16, 1966, the photo would have been taken on May 16, 1966 as the Dylan entourage drove from Leicester to Sheffield.
3 - Don then found an article about "Dylan in Nottingham" and the LSD photograph in a local newspaper (West Bridgford Wire). He also noticed a comment by a man named "Richard Evans" who wrote he had seen Dylan at the Castle that day. (Thank you. Very good spotting, Don!)
(Below: Richard Evans' comment in West Bridgford Wire)
4 - From reading what Richard's reminiscence, Marie found a connection with what she had noticed on the Dylan's Gates photo. To wit: the boys in the park, and the one with a camera. So she contacted Richard Evans to ask him if he could be one of the two boys with the camera. . . And Richard confirmed that was him behind the Dylan's Gates !
And Richard turned out to be a famous album cover designer, working with Pink Floyd and The Who (among others) . . . but more on that later.
Here's the picture that Marie sent to Richard Evans that he would confirm was he and his friends) (Click TO ENLARGE).
Here's the note Richard wrote to Marie confirming that he's one of the boys in the picture, and describing his chance encounter with Dylan at Nottingham Castle. (used with his permission).
(Email 1: December 27, 2016):
"Yes, I can confirm that is me in the photograph, second from the right and wearing the pale shirt, standing next to my friend Bob Gregson who is carrying the cine camera. He was a photography student at Nottingham School of Art and I was a fashion student. This is the first time I have seen this photograph. Great to know that I have been photographed by the late Barry Feinstein!
It is interesting to see that you collaborate in finding locations seen in album covers etc. After I was a student at Nottingham I then moved to London and in the early 1970s became the graphic designer for my friends Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell who ran the design group Hipgnosis. Over many years we created album covers for many people including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, Genesis and many, many others.
For the past 40 years I have been the creative director and designer for The Who, a position I still hold today. In the summer of 1998 I finally got to meet Bob Dylan backstage at Wembley, London - although I didn't tell him about the incident at Nottingham Castle all those years before!"
After Marie sent Richard some more shots of the castle, Richard wrote back with some added details (Thank, you, Richard!):
(Email 2: December 28, 2016):
"Your research into this story is quite amazing! Well done, for all your efforts.
Now I see the Street View shot that you sent me it all makes sense now. I remember the main gateway with the two round towers and there is an archway between with the iron gates. Bob Dylan's black Daimler car was parked in front of these gates where now there are flower containers.
My friend Bob Gregson and I noticed the car as we approached the gates and as we walked through the main gates close to these gates on the right side were Dylan and his entourage of perhaps five or six people. They had a cine camera and microphone and there would have been photographer Barry Feinstein too.
We hung around for perhaps ten minutes or so watching Dylan and then the castle park keeper came to close up the gates because it was closing time at the castle. We left through the main gates to see Dylan and friends getting in the Daimler. As it drove away Dylan looked out of the back window at us.
I'm very glad I have been able to provide the story for this photograph of Bob Dylan and thanks again for sending it to me."
As a conclusion Richard wrote :
"Looking back on that day in Nottingham, it was just one of those chance moments of being in the right place at the right time. In 1966 Bob Dylan was pretty much the only person who was as cool and as compelling as any or all of The Beatles."
5 - Richard Evans became a great album cover designer who worked much for The WHO (and many others).
This is his bio on Wikipedia:
Click here to see his website. Some of his album cover designs are below.
Here is a sample of his many album cover designs:
A photo of Richard Evans.
The original entrance to the castle.
The gates to Nottingham Castle.
Dylan walking through the gatesonce again.
To see the location of the gates in Google Street View, click here:
Marie's interpretation of the players.
The Gazebo (bandstand) that was in the background.
Where the Bandstand was in the photo. (click to ENLARGE)
Nottingham Castle was on a hill. The castle burned down but small parts of the original castle exist. The large building on the hill is a mansion built on the location of the castle.
Here's an aerial view of the former Nottingham Castle location. The large mansion is in the foreground. I have circled the gates that Dylan walked through in the background. (original photo is a little fuzzy) (click to ENLARGE)
Nottingham is famous in the story of Robin Hood, the thief who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor (taking a percentage for his efforts). There is a statue of him near the gates. He and his Merry Men (and girlfriend Marion) lived in Sherwood Forest, a little north of Nottingham.
(photo by Mike Peel via WIkipedia)
The original entrance to the castle grounds.
The castle gates from inside the castle grounds, circa 1961.