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Comrades From The North

Hello everyone and welcome to this special edition of The Bridge. Special because itís the 50th edition. It seems like a life-time ago since we started this venture Ė it was back in 1998 Ė but we hope you feel that itís been worthwhile. Without you, our subscribers, there would simply be no magazine and we thank you sincerely for your continued support. We are also immensely grateful to our many contributors over the years. Some have contributed regularly, others only the once, but these writings have all been gratefully received and have lent the journal its characteristic variety Ė academic discussion, well-researched informative pieces, critical appraisal, spiky and opinionated personal pennings, humourous affairs and everything in between.

Keeping The Bridge going is not without its travails. Deadlines loom large, getting the right content and balance can be challenging and the seemingly continual rise in postal charges is a severe problem. But itís worth the effort and we are glad that you seem to think so too.

Notwithstanding the above, The Bridge only exists due to the work of our late friend John Bauldie who set the standards for such ventures with The Telegraph for which we were proud to contribute. John was, and remains, a huge inspiration to us and it was in his honour that we took the decision to produce a publication that adopted the production values and editorial approach of The Telegraph. Not to mimic or attempt to surpass that fine tome Ė The Telegraph is simply the best, now and then. As was John himself. And he is still sorely missed.

To mark this milestone for The Bridge and to honour John, you will find elsewhere in this edition a transcript of an Australian radio show in which John participated in 1991. There you will find shining through everything else all of his eloquence, knowledge, self-effacement and humour. Good on you, John

The most recent edition of The Bootleg Series is now with us presenting the world with the complete (?) set of so-called Basement Tapes. Itís a wonderful collection and the deluxe edition features a great booklet including excellent contributions from Sid Griffin and Clinton Heylin amongst others.

Additionally, we now have the 50th Anniversary Copyright Collection 1964 which is a significant improvement over the 1963 version as it features recordings which have not previously circulated. Amongst the highlights are, Eric Von Schmidt Home Tape free at last now the world can hear the first known Mr. Tambourine Man, Royal Festival Hall, Columbia Studios 9th June session here we have alternates takes and long false starts not previously circulating. Newport Folk Festival (24th July afternoon workshop) Ė here we get the companion track to Dylanís matinee of Mr. Tambourine Man.

As if that were not enough we now know that Dylanís 10 track covers album, Shadows In The Night, will be released by Columbia/Sony in February 2015. Track is as follows:

I'm A Fool To Want You / The Night We Called It A Day / Stay With Me / Autumn Leaves / Why Try to Change Me Now / Some Enchanted Evening / Full Moon And Empty Arms / Where Are You? / Whatíll I Do / That Lucky Old Sun

In Dylan's words - I don't see myself as covering these songs in any way. They've been covered enough. Buried, as a matter a fact. What me and my band are basically doing is uncovering them. Lifting them out of the grave and bringing them into the light of day.Ē

Open the following pages and you will find a lot more about these ventures. So thatís it for now and we move on to Issue 51. Wherever you are, in the words of John Bauldie, stay warm.

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

Mike & John

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