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Comrades From The North

Hello to you all and welcome back to the show that never ends. Well that's how it feels anyway with Dylan being just as busy as ever. Those radio DJ spots just keep on coming like he's making a second career out of it and let us never forget the touring. Yet another year of treading the boards has just ended and once again our subject has been to some of those places that others may not have been before him as he seeks to leave a mark behind in every town in the USA! Not to mention a few in Europe too. This year has seen Dylan perform 101 shows with no sign of slowing down

At the time of penning the last Comrades, the release of Modern Times was imminent. By now we have all now had it for some time and with it the opportunity to assess and re-assess its place within the Dylan canon. Our contributors in this issue take time out to share some trenchant views on the album. You may, or may not, agree with their views. Let us know! To our ears, this is an album that only partly delivers but what it does deliver is tremendous. There is some great writing on the album but also some which feels formulaic, even predictable. Regardless of our views or anyone else's for that matter, the album has been a commercial and critical success which has done much to maintain and enhance Dylan's profile with the general public. Put simply, it is almost impossible these days to pick up a magazine/newspaper without there being some Dylan link, reference or feature in any given week. Best of all, Dylan has started spicing up the stage show by including a few songs from Modern Times, something which has been as welcome as it has been invigorating. For the last gig of the year in New York City he actually included no fewer than seven cuts from the album, almost half of the show!

Last issue we trailed the fact that we wanted to use this issue of The Bridge to mark the 25th anniversary of the publication of The Telegraph and the very sad death of John Bauldie ten years ago. We are pleased to report that our call for reminiscences/stories from subscribers about their involvement with John and The Telegraph has yielded quite a response. It is a measure of the John's reputation and the considerable warm memories wich a lot of people have of their time spent with John that some of those who were significantly involved in John's journey have contributed their recollections to this issue. We thank all of you who have helped us in this way. We are also printing the first part of a talk which John gave at the Dylan conventin in 1992 concerning his involvement in The Bootleg Series which we hope that you will enjoy.

To John......

We wish you all a restful and peaceful festive season and all the very best wishes for the New Year

May you climb on every rung ..........

Mike & John

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