Wednesday, August 12, 2020

A Quick Snapshot: A Leisurely Visit with Gary Firstenberg Here in the Northland

World's oldest soccer ball. Sterling, Scotland.
The world is full of interesting people and it just so happens that many of them are music fans. Of this set of people there is a subset that is profoundly motivated to do more than listen to the music but also make time to visit important places in the lives of people they appreciate and admire. For this reason, there is a steady stream of people who visit the Northland to see the homes Bob Dylan grew up in and experience his early influences.

Mural by Wyland on the Edgewater Hotel, Seattle where Beatles stayed in 1964.
On Monday, Gary Firstenberg stopped at the Duluth home of Bob Dylan and as it turns out I was in town, so we quickly connected that he might gain a few pointers on points of interest that are off the beaten trail. GF has been an avid Dylan fan since Blood on the Tracks, has since collected and become intimately acquainted with all his music over the years. 

A professional photographer, his chief gig has been traveling the world with the internationally acclaimed "whale muralist" Wyland as his official photographer. The 60-year-old marine life artist is a celebrated conservationist who has painted more than 150 whale murals around the world.

As you can see from this array of photos, GF's passion for people and places is extensive.

Bruce Springsteen wrote "Born to Run" in this house, Long Branch, NJ
Gary F with Tracy Smith from CBS Sunday Morning. (Pre-pandemic)
Grave of Buddy Holley in Lubbock, TX
Buddy Holly's glasses.
Nevada Bob Gordon album cover: Long Trail to Nowhere.
Buddy Holly's guitar.
House where Chuck Berry wrote his classic hits in the 50s that influenced 
Gary F with Fred Tackett of Little Feat who did session work with Dylan in Nashville.
One of the six officers who arrested Lee Harvey Oswald in the Texas Theater.
At 13 this man played Dueling Banjos in the film Deliverance.
He now works in a Wal-Mart in Clayton, Georgia.

Firstenberger with "W". Gary has more than 100 photos in
the George W Bush Presidential Library.
Firstenberg has had the privilege of shooting five presidents (with his camera) and attending key moments in music history (funeral of Aretha, private audience with Fats Domino) and a documentarian of four decades of New Orleans jazz. 

In addition to photography Firstenberg has an extensive entrepreneurial bent, but that's a much more involved story. In the meantime....

Here's a link to his website. Ye shall be impressed.

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