Robert Zimmerman had just reached 20 years of age when he quit his studies at the University of Minnesota and headed to New York City to meet his idol Woody Guthrie, of This Land Is Your Land fame. During the following five years, Robert Zimmerman would become Bob Dylan and release seven albums, which included hit songs such as The Times They Are A-Changing and Like a Rolling Stone.
Between the years 1961 and 1966, Dylan stormed the music scene and became an emblematic figure of youthful rebellion. He traded in his acoustic guitar for its electric counterpart and wrote songs that conveyed a sense of surreal protest. Up until the end of 1966, when a motorcycle accident would cause the singer to withdraw from the public stage, Dylan revolutionized music and destabilized the status quo.
From March 6 until July 15, 2012, guests of the Grands Hotels Parisiens can visit the Cité de la Musique and enjoy an exhibit covering this critical time in the singer-songwriter's life, entitled Bob Dylan: Rock Explosion. The exhibit begins with Dylan's childhood — his musical influences, his family photos and his high school yearbooks — all offering a glimpse into the personal life of the budding musician while at the same time evoking the history of American music in general.
However, the heart of the exhibit is made up of about 60 black-and-white photographs, taken by photographer Daniel Kramer. Through the photos of Kramer, we see Dylan's metamorphosis into a true rock star over the course of one year: his presence Woodstock, his shenanigans with Joan Baez, his concert at an immense stadium in Forest Hills, New York. Accompanying these mythic images are the sounds of classic Dylan songs, the perfect background music.