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    Description

    Stage Rocking Chair from Bob Dylan / The Band's 1974 U.S. Tour. A truly one-of-a-kind artifact: The wood-and-leather rocking chair that was usually positioned right next to Levon Helm's drum kit for every stop on the landmark Bob Dylan/Band tour in January-February, 1974. The chair was set up for Louie Kemp, Dylan's childhood friend and sidekick who recently wrote a book, Dylan and Me: 50 Years of Adventures. "Bobby and I were best friends for 50 years," Kemp tells Heritage, and he certainly has the stories and pictures to prove it.

    The big 1974 stadium tour, the last hurrah for the magical, decade-long combination of Dylan and The Hawks-turned-The Band, commenced on January 3 in Chicago and concluded February 14 in Los Angeles. The worldwide press went completely gaga over this trek because Dylan hadn't toured since his infamous 1966 motorcycle accident.

    As Kemp tells it in his book, Dylan invited Louie along but didn't inform tour promoter Bill Graham. On the airport's tarmac for the initial flight, Dylan introduces his pal and says, "This is my friend Louie. He'll be coming along on the tour." Graham and his #2 man Barry Imhoff were blindsided, but laughed it off and Kemp was part of the tour. And his favorite spot was sitting in this rocking chair every night, adjacent to Levon's drums.

    When the tour was over, Graham and Imhoff surprised Kemp by giving him the chair, with a plaque attached that read, "In Memory of Lou Kemp. Bill, Barry and the F.M. Gang." FM Productions was the name of Graham's concert-promotion firm in the post-Fillmore era. Graham and Imhoff went their separate ways the next year, 1975.

    Our last photo, while of shaky visual quality, shows Mr. Kemp off to the right, leaning back in this chair and enjoying one of the 1974 shows from his unique catbird's seat.

    The wooden rocker measures about 25" wide at its widest, 44" tall at its tallest and 33" in depth, and grades to Very Good to Excellent condition, with no structural issues that we could detect. This lot includes a personally signed and inscribed copy of Mr. Kemp's book, made out to the winner, including a Dylan-ephemera bookmark that Louie designed. COAs from Louie Kemp and Heritage Auctions.

    Here's the text of what Louie says in the video below:
    "Hi... I'm Louie Kemp.
    Originally from Duluth... St. Mary's Hospital
    Same place Bob was born
    About 11 months apart
    Holding my book, Dylan & Me
    Which talks about 50 years of adventures that Bobby & I spent together
    Starting when we met, at 11 years old, at Herzl Camp in northern Wisconsin
    (pause)
    This is the chair that I sat in for all of Tour '74
    I sat right behind Levon Helm, on stage, at every concert
    After the tour, Bill Graham sent me this chair with a plaque on it
    Immortalizing the events that this chair and I took in
    So whoever decides to buy this chair, I hope you have the same delightful experience that I had during those many concerts.
    In my book, in chapter seven - it's entitled 'Tour '74' - I go into a lot of detail about the tour and rocking chair, about the experiences I had while I was in the chair. Enjoy."

    To view Louie Kemp's biography, please click here.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    8th-9th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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