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Comrades From The North

Welcome friends to the show that never starts. Well that is what it is like in the world right now. Little did any of us think that, a year on from those first lockdowns, quite a bit of the world would again be in such a state. The four nations of the UK each have their own pathways out of these neccesary strictures and all are being cautious. As citizens we support them in their desire to make this the last time. Of course that means that normal concert-going activity, particularly indoor shows, may be postponed for some time yet. It seems that those in charge are happier to sanction outdoor festivals but your editors are probably past the point of enduring long days in fields, muddy or otherwise. At any rate, as we write, there are no touring plans emerging from Dylan’s office, in fields, arenas, stadia, theatres or anywhere else so the ‘pleasure’ of aching legs, obscured views and beery arguments in grassy havens is unlikely to happen. As ever, throughout all of these unprecedented days and months we do hope that you are safe and well.

At the end of last year Columbia Legacy made available the remaining unreleased 1970 studio recordings as part of their occasional Copyright Collection. As has happened with other such releases, the 3-CD set was made available in miniscule quantities in only a few European outlets. Why do they do this? The issue sold out instantly and, within days, could be found for sale on Ebay at hugely inflated prices. Why deprive so many fans of the chance to own such a valued product? Once the music is released then it is out and available to a much wider audience albeit as digital transfer only. This happens and Columbia must know that it does. So why not produce a bigger run, satisfy more punters and make some money? Well, it seems like they have latched on to this not-so-novel idea and have released the set more widely and in professional packaging. A victory for common-sense. Thank you Columbia. Reviewed in the April issue, Uncut had this to say:

"The more perspective we gain on the long arc of Dylan’s career, the more clearly we understand his lifelong habit of trying things out, discarding some discoveries, metabolising others. This is his own process, beholden to no-one, enabling him not just to converse with the spirits of all those who went before but to commune with himself, reshaping his gleanings into 60 years’ worth of self-expression."

We are delighted to report the publication of John Bauldie’s The Chameleon Poet. This was realised through the sterling efforts of John’s lifelong friend and Telegraph and Bridge contributor Bill Allison who has also written a superb introduction to the book. Good wine needs no bush but, as a taster, elsewhere in this issue you will find a chapter from the book. Enjoy it.

As we shake off the slough of despondency that Covid-19 and wintertime has induced, we look ahead to a brighter time when being able to meet family and friends will seem like the best gift there is. Please keep on keeping on, do the right things and, above all, stay safe.

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

Mike & John

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