Rolling Thunder: Photographs by Ken Regan, the limited edition book from Ormond Yard Press. 

Ormond Yard Press: Bringing You The Bigger Picture.

Rolling Thunder: Photographs by Ken Regan contains the very best of Ken Regan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue photographs of Bob Dylan – a tour on which he was official photographer. Incredibly, Ken’s Bob Dylan photographs have never been the subject of a dedicated book of their own, and many of the photographs in the book have not have been published before.

As with all previous Ormond Yard Press volumes, it is a book on a spectacular scale: a hardcover volume housed in its own printed slipcase and measuring 24 inches high x 18 inches wide (60x45cm) when closed, 24 x 36 inches (60 x 90cm) when open, with 96 pages of photographs. The physical scale may be large, but the edition size for Rolling Thunder is reassuringly small – just 750 individually numbered copies are available to collectors worldwide.

Rolling Thunder is available now

Rolling Thunder: Photographs by Ken Regan is in stock and shipping now.

It costs £ 395 (plus shipping if required.)

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Why is this book important?

First, because Ken Regan’s Rolling Thunder archive is the most important Bob Dylan archive not to be the subject of a specific book of its own. Until now – and we are putting that right.

Second, because something revelatory happens when photographs are presented in this ultra-large format. Hidden details come to light, and the power and impact of the images are magnified exponentially. Unless you go to a gallery and see a large format print on the wall, you can’t experience this. Imagine an entire art gallery exhibition that you get to take home and keep forever.

That’s where we come in. Through our publishing arm, Ormond Yard Press, we brings to life a carefully curated series of spectacular large format limited edition photography books.

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Sample pages from Rolling Thunder

Take a look at some of the double page spreads from Rolling Thunder in the slideshow. In the book each of these spreads measures 24 x 36 inches (60 x 90cm.)

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Why should you buy this book ?

Rolling Thunder: Photographs by Ken Regan is a book on a spectacular scale.

It features the very best of Ken Regan’s Rolling Thunder archives. Many of these images are being published for the first time. There are just 750 individually numbered copies worldwide.

Rolling Thunder defies the normal ‘coffee table’ convention. Much larger than a traditional coffee table volume, it is slim and elegant at the same time.

Your book is housed in a beautiful printed slipcase which reproduces the front and back cover art.

All our publications seek to redefine the book as more than just a book – and as a piece of art in its own right. With this in mind, the cover of the book and slipcase have been deliberately left free of text so that nothing detracts from the power of those images.

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Rolling Thunder: facts and figures

This ultra-large-format book measures a staggering 18 x 24 inches (45 x 60cm) when closed, and 36 x 24 inches (90 x 60cm) when open.

Rolling Thunder has 96 large format pages, with 130 stunning black and white photographs, reproduced in sizes up to 24×36 inches (60x90cm), together with an introductory essay, and is limited to 750 individually numbered copies worldwide.

Rolling Thunder is housed in a custom protective slipcase, with front and back cover artwork showing two of Ken Regan’s best known photographs of Bob Dylan.

An optional acrylic slide-in slide-out wall unit allows you to display Rolling Thunder on your wall.

Ormond Yard Press: Bringing You The Bigger Picture

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The contents

In this incredible large format book, we have chosen to present Ken’s photographs free of text, so that nothing detracts from the power of the images. The sequencing is broadly chronological, with a blend of live and offstage material, including:

Ken’s first shoot in October 1975, documenting a day of rehearsal sessions in New York.

Secret Sound Studios in Manhattan when Bette Midler and Bob duet on “Buckets of Rain” for her Songs for the New Depression album.

The Other End club in Greenwich Village, when Bob Dylan duets with Ronee Blakley.

The party in Greenwich Village where Ken takes a famous series of photographs of Patti Smith and Bob Dylan in animated discussion on the stairs. Patti Smith is invited on Rolling Thunder, but doesn’t go. She recalls Phil Ochs pouring a bucket of beer over her at this party, echoing an earlier incident where Bette Midler throws beer in her face.

Plymouth, Massachusetts, visiting The Mayflower II and Plymouth Rock. It is here that Ken takes the photograph of Bob Dylan in the fur collared technicolor coat that would appear on the cover of Desire. Ken later picks Desire as his favourite Dylan album.

Lowell, Massachusetts, where Ken photographs Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg visit Jack Kerouac’s grave.

The Sea Crest Motel in North Falmouth, Massachusetts and a series of pictures marking the appearance on camera of Bob Dylan’s beagle. The Sea Crest is the band’s early base and the cavernous indoor tennis court area is converted into rehearsal space for them.  

A day at Mama Frasca’s Dream Away Lodge, in Becket, Massachusetts. The owner, the larger-than-life Mama, is a huge Joan Baez fan, and takes the dungaree-clad Joan upstairs and gives her a present—her wedding dress. It fits like a glove. They shoot scenes for Renaldo & Clara with Joan in the dress, and eat home cooked food.

Durham, New Hampshire, where Ken takes close up portraits of Bob Dylan in whiteface. “I want the people way in the back to be able to see my eyes.” Ken recalls Bob Dylan explaining to him.   

The Breakers, in Newport, Rhode Island, with Bob Dylan leading the troupe along the waterfront, blowing his trumpet.

New Haven, Connecticut, where Ken photographs Bob Dylan in his dressing room, without the whiteface makeup, wearing the now iconic hat adorned with flowers, and a scarf over his left shoulder. “He turned around and looked right at me. I caught his eye and asked him to hold it for a minute. It was more like thirty seconds.”  recalled Ken. Bob Dylan declares this to be the best photograph anyone has ever taken of him. After holding the image back for twenty seven years, it is used in 2002 on the front cover of The Bootleg Series Vol. 5: Bob Dylan Live 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue.  

Niagara Falls—and then into Canada, including photographs taken at Gordon Lightfoot’s house in Toronto, and in Montreal, where Joan Baez dresses as Bob Dylan, complete with whiteface.

The Night of the Hurricane benefit concert on 8 December 1975 at Madison Square Garden, where Muhammad Ali visits Bob Dylan backstage, and gives him a gift—a huge boxing glove.

The day before, on Sunday 7 December 1975, when Bob Dylan visits Rubin Carter in jail, and plays an abbreviated set to an audience of inmates in Clinton, New Jersey. Ken’s photograph of Bob Dylan and Rubin Carter is the final image in the book.

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Hang your book on your wall

Make no mistake, this is a big book, and we wanted to give you some different display options. Of course you can put it on your coffee table or (big) bookshelf, but we felt it deserved something a bit special. With each of our books, we took a conscious decision to keep the covers free of text, so that nothing would detract from the power of the chosen front and back cover images. That notion gave rise to the idea of this display unit – because it means you can, should you choose to, display your book just like a piece of art on the wall.

Constructed from 5mm clear acrylic, this is a solid, simple and practical way to display your book on your wall in its slipcase. It measures 18.5 inches (w) x 25 inches (h)  x 1.5 inches (d). That’s approximately 47cm x 64cm x 4cm. It has curved edges, and a split baton hanging system on the reverse. Acrylic feet at the bottom ensures that it hangs parallel to the wall. It is a nice, elegant, simple, solid piece of work.

It is open sided on the left and right, allowing you to slide your book (and please read ‘book’ as ‘book and slipcase’ here) in and out whenever you want to look at the contents. You also have the flexibility to show the front or the back of the book and flip it over if you feel like a change of view.

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Display units are in stock and shipping now.

They cost £ 195 (plus shipping if required.)

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About Ken Regan

Ken Regan developed a passion for photography at a very young age. Raised in the Bronx, his world was New York City and it was in New York City that he would cut his teeth as a photojournalist. From the New York Yankees to the Fillmore East, Ken’s pictures told the story of a city during a time of transition, while they told his own story as well. Ken’s unparalleled knack for capturing a moment quickly paved the way to him becoming a respected member of the press community. No story was ever out of reach for him to cover. He could walk into an event without a press pass, and walk out with the next cover of Newsweek or Time. Humility would force him to shrug his shoulders and say “It was just the Bronx way”…but really it was Ken Regan’s way.

Ken had an eye for the instant, which became renowned throughout the industry. His career took a path that defied labeling, while so many of his peers were easing comfortably into a niche. With such a wide array of assignments thrown his way throughout the 1960’s, Ken learned how to cut artfully to the heart of anything that crossed his lens. He wasn’t specifically a sports photographer, a music photographer, a fashion photographer, or a landscape photographer. Ken was a photographer. To him that meant the self-assurance of knowing that he could approach a concert, a boxing match or a riot with the same visual attack that always gave his editors what they needed for print.

Photo-editors were not the only ones who knew that they could put their trust in Ken. It was his simple gestures of humanity towards those he worked for and with that always kept his name in the conversation.  Throughout his career Ken has photographed some of the most private people in politics, music, sports and film. He refused to selfishly exploit those he had the privilege to work with. It was his hardline stance on providing this comfort to his subjects that turned many of them into friends.

Ken Regan passed away on 25 November 2012 after a long battle with cancer. 

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If you have any questions at all about Rolling Thunder please just ask – we are here to help.