JOTTING DOWN NOTES
Dylan's new drummer, George Recile, has played with.many artists from Keith Richard, James Brown, Dr. John, The Neville's to Joan Osborne. His first show in the backing band was 31 January 2002.George is a multi-instrumentalist, a writer and producer.
Bob scheduled some studio time in La Habana (Cuba) at Pablo Milanes' studio in February. The song he recorded was 'Dias de gloria' (Glory days). He sang both in Spanish and English. This contribution is due to be included on the new edition of 'Pablo querido' CD.
More Movie News
The soundtrack for the film 'Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood' is being produced by T Bone Burnett. Dylan has recorded a song for the project and the CD is available on 28 May. The tracklisting is not available yet but it is thought that Dylan was in the studio three days after the Grammys, and probably recorded a cover song for this movie at that time.
Dylan In The Movies
Dylan is in talks to engage in his first major film role in 15 years. The film by Intermedia Films, is a feature drama with Dylan in the role of Jack Fate, a wandering troubadour who is brought out of prison by his former manager for one last concert. The tentative title is "Masked and Anonymous", it will incorporate some Dylan music but it is not known if Dylan will write any new material. Shooting is expected to start in June and the aim is to premiere the film at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
On 25 February 2002 Bob Dylan performed at the rehearsals for the Grammys at Staples Center. Dylan and his four-piece band performed under a mesh awning and they were illuminated by a single white spotlight. Dylan's performance was, Cry A While, a track taken from his album, "Love And Theft". The album was nominated for Album Of The Year, Best Contemporay Folk Album and the song Honest With Me was nominated for the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance award. He performed the same song at the Grammys on 27 February 2002 where he received the award for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
Grog On The Tyne
Tyneside can boast one of the few bars in the world named after our hero. Dylan's, part of Newcastle Opera House, in Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, is a positive shrine to the world's greatest singer-songwriter. Originally the Victorian theatre's pit bar, the walls of the musical watering hole are adorned with Dylan album sleeves, photographs and even framed lyrics. There can be few bars in the world where regulars can down a whisky or beer while perusing the lyrics of Death Is Not The End or Father Of Night. Dylan's music is played almost continuously and it's wonderful to walk off the street and down the steps into Dylan's to the strains of Blonde On Blonde, John Wesley Harding or Nashville Skyline. Dylan's is just a few minutes' walk from Newcastle Central Station and is highly recommended.
We came across photos from 1966 on the web (see below). They were from when Dylan visited the USS Thomas J. Gary. The claim is that they were taken in Pago Pago, American Samoa, 1966. The story is that one day his limo pulled up at the Gary and he got out with a cameraman and a small entourage. The cameraman was there to document the tour which came out as Eat The Document, although the Gary shot was not included. The pictures don't look right for Samoa does anybody have any other information? This information is from this website: http://www.aspen-ridge.net/Shipmates/PT_Culhane/ PT_Culhane_Page_2/body_pt_culhane_page_2.html)
Down In The Groove
Finally, the long awaited project has been released and it features additional contributions from many of the artists. The whole Dylan set is now available. The full track list is: Baby, Let Me Follow You Down/Hazel/I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)/Forever Young/ Baby Let Me Follow You Down (Reprise)/I Shall Be Released (Finale),
TributesOn 28th May Columbia Records will release the album 'Kindred Spirits: A Tribute to the Songs of Johnny Cash'. Marty Stuart, Cash's former band member and son-in-law, is producing the album. The artists participating include Dylan doing Train Of Love which he performed on the TV tribute. on.
Is It Rolling Bob?
Sydney, 24th February 1986 Soundboard
A good deal of this show has surfaced in broadcast quality via the Hard To Handle and Westwood One Radio Shows but here we have the complete, unabridged show with a slight fade in on Rock 'n' Roll Star. These shows were a pretty interesting mix of old, new, borrowed and blue with a never less-than-perfect Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers doing the backing band duties. Dylan is extremely chatty throughout occasionally giving a bit of background information about the songs.
The track listing is:
Justine/Positively 4th Street/Clean Cut Kid/I'll Remember You/Trust Yourself/Lucky Old Sun/Masters Of War/ Johnny B. Goode/Straight Into Darkness/A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall/Girl Of The North Country/It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)/I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know About Her/Just Like A Woman/I'm Movin' On/Lenny Bruce/ When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky/ Lonesome Town/Ballad Of A Thin Man/Rock 'n' Roll Star/Refugee/Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35/Seeing The Real You At Last/Across the Borderline/I And I/Like A Rolling Stone/In The Garden/Blowin' In The Wind/ Uranium Rock/Knockin' On Heaven's Door
Hartford, CT 30 October 1965
Here we have a recently emerged audience recording which has never been circulated previously. The sound is quite good for a 1965 tape. There are at least a few seconds of every song, but the recording is stopped if it was a tune that wasn't particularly liked! The tape is 45 minutes long and there are eight complete songs with the rest as 'snippets'. One of the highlights is Maggie's Farm, which has an acappella opening with Dylan singing "I ain't gonna work on Maggie's Farm no more" twice over a lightly strummed guitar, and only on the second "more" does the band come crashing in behind him. There is also a "Judas!" like cry of "Folk music!" from a frustrated woman in the audience just before Bob starts playing Ballad Of A Thin Man. The tape appears to run out during Like A Rolling Stone.
Full track listing:
She Belongs To Me +/To Ramona +/Gates Of Eden + / It's All Over Now, Baby Blue + /Desolation Row +/ Love Minus Zero/No Limit + /Mr. Tambourine Man +/ Tombstone Blues /Baby, Let Me Follow You Down/ Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues/Maggie's Farm/ It Ain't Me, Babe/Ballad Of A Thin Man + / Positively 4th Street/Like A Rolling Stone
Dave Stewart and Dylan have been friends since 1985 and have done many experiments together. They recently recorded together on Dave's new project with Mudbone on which Dylan played piano on a track called Home and the instrumental section is now available.
On 21 July 2001 eleven journalists from all over Europe were invited to Rome for a comprehensive interview with Bob Dylan on his life and musical journey. This was published, either in part or complete, in many magazines. Now it is available on two CDs and it presents Dylan personally revealing much of what you always wanted to know. The morning session offered reporters the opportunity of listening to the just completed "Love And Theft" CD. The afternoon press conference took place in two sessions and after the break there was a distinct change of mood a new, more relaxed Dylan returns to the interview. Well worth searching out.
There are quite a few recent releases of covers to report on this time: the 'fashionable' label stamped on Dylan last year, what with the Golden Globe and the Academy Awards for Things Have Changed, all the sixtieth birthday celebrations, 'essential' compilations and sundry and various tributes, and climaxing with the unprecedented critical acclaim of "Love And Theft", may have something to do with this.
Jazzing Mr. D
'Every Grain of Sand: Barb Jungr Sings Bob Dylan' (Linn Records AKD 187) includes a highly unusual selection of Dylan tunes performed by British jazz and blues singer and ethnomusicologist Barb Jungr, formerly of the duo Jungr and Parker, and perhaps better known for her BBC2 radio programmes and the theme music she writes with composer James Tomalin. The album is quite interesting, and may be purchased on line at: www.linnrecords.com.
The songs included are:
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight/If Not For You/Things Have Changed/Ring Them Bells/Not Dark Yet/Don't Think Twice, It's All Right/Is Your Love In Vain?/It's All Over Now, Baby Blue/I Want You/Sugar Baby/Born In Time/What Good Am I?/Tangled Up In Blue/Forever Young/Every Grain Of Sand
Dylan Done Acoustically
Beth Scalet's latest album is 'The Songs of Bob Dylan' (Marais des Cygnes Recordings, MDC 2011). It features her on acoustic guitar and harmonica. In her liner notes to the CD, she claims to have chosen only those songs of which she felt she could "give a new interpretation, including some musical (and occasional lyrical) improvisation", but almost all of her versions follow Dylan's originals very closely. More information can be found on the artist's web site, at www.bethscalet.com.
Here is the track listing:
The Times They Are A-Changin'/Knockin' On Heaven's Door/Girl Of The North Country/Blind Willie McTell/ Corrina, Corrina + It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry (medley)/Down In The Flood/Like A Rolling Stone/Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues/I'll Be Your Baby Tonight/Boots Of Spanish Leather/All Along The Watchtower/Don't Think Twice, It's All Right + Just Like A Woman (medley)
The group 16 Horsepower on their third album, 'Secret House', included a stunning version of Nobody 'Cept You released on Glitterhouse Records. This is one you have to hear, and the band's original songs are pretty interesting, too.
Dylan Celtically Undone
US-based Irish band Solas have included a truly awful version of Dignity on their latest album, 'The Edge Of Silence' (Shanachie, 78406). The 'arrangement', which all but annihilates Dylan's melody, is credited to the band's members and to the album's engineer and co-producer, Neil Dorfsman. This peculiar version retains eleven of the sixteen stanzas of the original lyric (albeit a couple of them are out of sequence) and the recurring line "for dignity" has been omitted, to conflate two stanzas in only one, on three separate occasions. The resulting "new" lyric is printed in the CD-booklet and credited to Dylan! This one is best avoided unless you are madly in love with the sound of the penny whistle (after all, you can always hear it blow if you lean your head out far enough, etc.).
Jewels And Binoculars' (Ramboy Recordings, Ramboy #15) is a jazz CD released in the Netherlands (email@example.com) and featuring instrumental versions of Dylan or Dylan-related songs. It is credited to Michael Moore (alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet), Lindsey Horner (bass) and Michael Vatcher (percussion). Although heavily slanted towards Dylan's early work, it does feature two or three rather infrequent songs and fairly interesting arrangements. The songs included are: I Pity The Poor Immigrant/4th Time Around/Visions Of Johanna/Dark Eyes/Two Soldiers/Highway 61 Revisited /With God On Our Side/Dear Landlord/Sign On The Window/Percy's Song/Boots Of Spanish Leather Renowned American jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson's latest album, 'Belly Of The Sun' (Blue Note, 35072) features her own compositions and a few choice covers, including a version of Shelter From The Storm (and another one of The Band's 'The Weight'). From Sunny Spain
La Gran Esperanza Blanca, a Valencia-based country-rock band, have included a powerful Spanish version of Idiot Wind (as 'Viento Idiota') on their latest CD, 'Harry Dean' (Cúbic Records, CB-CD-003). This version, featuring some beautiful guitar work, is modelled on the 1976 Rolling Thunder live performances of the song. The Spanish lyrics are the work of Francisco García, the band's lead singer and songwriter, and producer, a few years ago, of the official Spanish Dylan tribute album 'Bob Dylan Revisitado: Un Tributo en la Lengua del Amor'. The album can be purchased directly from the band (contact address: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dylan According to the Saviours of Rock 'n' Roll
Dylan According to the Saviours of Rock and Roll. Many critics and fans have proclaimed Detroit brother and sister duo The White Stripes 'the greatest r'n'r band' of our day. Who knows? At any rate, they have now turned their attention to Dylan, and include a live version of Love Sick on CD2 of their latest double UK cd-sgl, 'Fell In Love With A Girl' (XL Recordings).
Boston folksinger Mary Lou Lord's 'Live City Sounds' (Rubric RUB30) was recorded live in the street by the artist herself, who had achieved quite a local celebrity before her 1998 major label release 'Got No Shadow'. Mary Lou Lord apparently decided to go back to performance basics by busking, prior to cutting a new studio album, and this live CD, which features a version of You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go, is the result. Pretty decent, but hardly thrilling.
Steve Earle's 'Sidetracks' (Artemis Records), a collection of unreleased songs, B-sides and soundtrack contributions by Bucky Baxter's old mentor includes a cover of My Back Pages, originally recorded as a demo for Joan Osborne and Jackson Browne to sing over, for inclusion in the soundtrack of 'Steal This Movie' (dir.: Robert Greenwald, 2000), a biopic on Abbie Hoffman. Earle has declared that this version is "the first-take track vocal and I just love the way it sounds, like my head was going to blow off". Another one strictly for collectors, unfortunately.
Ferrying Dylan Across
Bryan Ferry, best remembered for treating Dylan, who had to sit through it, to an unforgettable (and unforgivable) performance of A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall at the Polar Awards Ceremony in Stockholm, in May 2000, has now seen fit to offer to the world at large two more of his idiosyncratic versions of Dylan's songs on his new solo album, 'Frantic'. The chosen tracks are Don't Think Twice, It's All Right and It's All Over Now, Baby Blue. Strictly for Bryan Ferry fans.
The album 'Robyn Sings' (Editions PAF) is a 2-disc set by Robyn Hitchcock (of Soft Boys fame) performing only Dylan songs, both electric and acoustic. The CD includes a full color, 6-panel booklet and liner notes by the artist. Tracks featured are: Disc "stripes": Visions Of Johanna/Tangled Up In Blue/Not Dark Yet/ 4th Time Around/ Desolation Row/It's All Over Now, Baby Blue/Dignity/Visions Of Johanna/ Disc "dots": Tell Me Mama/I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)/Baby Let Me Follow You Down/Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues/ Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat/One Too Many Mornings/ Ballad Of A Thin Man/ Like A Rolling Stone Postcards
T he new Grateful Dead album 'Postcards of the Hanging', features ten Dylan covers. In the '60s, the Grateful Dead were heavily influenced by Dylan's work. He contributed to the Grateful Dead's catalogue almost from the very beginning, It's All Over Now, Baby Blue and She Belongs To Me entered the repetoire in 1966. Starting in the mid '80s, and accelerating after the Dylan-Dead tour of July 1987, the Dead included a Dylan song in almost every show. This CD gathers ten of the Grateful Dead's Dylan covers, recorded live over a span of nearly 20 years. There is no information yet available about the exact performance dates.
A special bonus track, Man Of Peace is included and is an excerpt featuring the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan from the rehearsals that preceded the 1987 Dylan-Dead tour. Bonus Track Special two track bonus disc included in the first run featuring Queen Jane Approximately and Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)."
The full track listing is:
All Along The Watchtower/Ballad Of A Thin Man/ Desolation Row/It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry/It's All Over Now, Baby Blue/Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues/Maggie's Farm/She Belongs To Me/Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again/When I Paint My Masterpiece/
Bob Hate had a full CD of Dylan covers available to download, and these were not available for sale anywhere. This was entitled 'Heart Like the Ocean the songs of Bob Dylan'. For a short period of time they were on the following link: http://wtp62.com/dylan.htm http://wtp62.com/dylan.htm
The full list was:
Like A Rolling Stone/Highway 61 Revisited/Slow Train/ One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below)/Oh Sister/Shot Of Love/Meet Me In The Morning/Masters Of War/Girl From The North Country/All Along The Watchtower From 'The Invisible Band' CD by Travis there was a second single released called 'Side' and it was released in two versions. CD2 includes a cover of Bob Dylan's You're A Big Girl Now.
Bob On The Net
Since the last issue there have been two new additions to the live tracks on bobdylan.com. They are both 2002 performances from Florida:
71 Lonesome Day Blues, Sunrise, Florida, 2/1/02
72 High Water (For Charley Patton), Sunrise, Florida, 2/1/02
French Dylan book: Sylvain Vanot, Bob Dylan
by Guido Bieri
There are only a few French books on Bob Dylan that have any depth or real merit. As to the innumerable works on this subject written in English, many of the more relevant ones, such as Paul Williams' 'Performing Artist' or Michael Gray's 'Song and Dance Man III', still have no French translation, so that French readers who do not read English easily do not have much to choose from. Alas, Vanot's book does not really alter this situation: it is a brief overview (only 82 pages long) of Dylan's life and career up to the present days, published in a cheap pocket book series, and very likely commissioned to tie in with Dylan's 60th birthday last year. The booklet, lightweight as it may be, is fairly knowledgeably written as was only to be expected from a man who, as a singer songwriter himself, knows very well what he is speaking about. This is the most rewarding aspect of the text. Vanot's musicianship can be easily perceived throughout the book, particularly when he appraises the quality and characteristics of Dylan's musical impact. This perceptivity of his is a virtue that I have often come to miss in harsh critiques written by people who have no idea of playing music themselves!
Of course, the author has but little to add to the well-known facts of Dylan's career, but the moments and events he focuses upon are extremely well chosen. On the other hand, Vanot sometimes cannot help but try to draw the reader's attention to some of the gossip recently brought to light by Howard Sounes, but that seems to be the way newspapers and books achieve better sales... Yet one must admit that even in these passages Vanot shows some taste in not choosing the very bad stories. What is more irritating is the way in which facts that are quite uncertain are taken for granted. For the average French reader who buys this little book and knows next to nothing about its subject, it may be precise enough to say that the Girl Of The North Country was Bonnie Beacher (sic!). These oversimplifications are the more regrettable because at other times Vanot seems to know more than many Dylan experts, as when he writes that Dylan was so stoned before his 1966 Paris concert that he first refused to perform or, later on, when he mentions that what Dylan wanted after the motorcycle accident was to compose and play music without financial restrictions. I can recommend this book to all those fans who read French easily and who are not too blasé (to keep it French) about this whole business to still enjoy reading, once again, a concise summary of the story of Dylan's life and works.
Silvain Vanot, Bob Dylan, , Librio Musique, E.J.L. 2001, ISBN 2-290-31438
"The Songs Are My Lexicon": An Examination of Dylan's Formative Years
by A. J. Iriarte
Much has been written about Bob Dylan's early years and the folk revival movement, but this is the first time an attempt has been made to examine from a musicologist's point of view Dylan's compositional development during that seminal period, when he was still trying to distill a distinct style from his many influences. Dylan's early repertoire ranged from traditional Appalachian songs through ballads and blues to topical-protest songs, but almost all of the 'original' songs he performed at the time had clear melodic or lyric precedents. Todd Harvey's The Formative Dylan is basically a detailed study of the musical and textual roots of seventy songs from Bob Dylan's early recorded output, from November 1961 to October 1963: namely his first three Columbia albums (including later officially released outtakes from those sessions) and several Broadside tracks issued on Folkways compilations. According to the author, if his study stops before Another Side Of Bob Dylan it is because from that album on most of Dylan's compositions are "wholly original" and therefore show his "stylistic roots less clearly than his first recordings" (Preface, page xii). Unfortunately, Harvey has also been forced to exclude from the scope of his study all of Dylan's pre-Columbia work and many 1961-1963 compositions because they are not commercially available.
This is the work of a musician and academic, and the result of painstaking and exhaustive research. The author holds a doctorate in music composition and is currently employed as a Folklife Specialist at the American Folklore Center of the Library of Congress, in Washington, D.C. This book was written during a postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and has greatly benefitted from unrestricted access to the Smithsonian's Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, among other archival resources, such as the Library of Congress. A few Dylan enthusiasts may perhaps be tempted to dismiss 'The Formative Dylan' precisely because of its academic (rather than narrative) approach to its subject, something the author is aware of ("I realize that some readers may initially resist the intellectualization of Dylan's music" is how he puts it on p. xvii), but it would be their loss: Harvey's book is truly excellent, and it is pleasant to read, too.
A short introduction first summarises Dylan's initial development as a songwriter, from learning traditional music from various sources (recordings, songbooks, performances), through transposing and recomposing elements of traditional literature to finally composing original melodic and literary material. The author then discusses the evolution of Dylan's technical approach to composition and interpretation: he considers almost exclusively Dylan's guitar playing (tuning, capos, flatpicking vs. fingerpicking, etc.) and only mentions in passing his use of harmonica and occasionally piano. Finally, Harvey turns his attention to the problem of communal vs. individual melodic ownership (and Dylan's stance) in the context of the folk revival movement.
As already mentioned, the bulk of the book, 'Songs and Their Sources', consists in the detailed analysis of seventy early songs recorded by Dylan, or to be precise, 69 songs and a poem, Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie. These are examined one by one in a series of short articles (ordered alphabetically, not chronologically) which deal with the history of each song, its entry into the folk revival milieu, and how Dylan may have learned it; the author then studies and compares as many contemporary performances of the song as were available to him. An additional article is dedicated to the origins and development of the talking blues, and Dylan's use of the form. These short articles are excellent: in spite of their concision they manage to cover a lot of ground, offering a summary of the findings and theories of previous researchers in the field but also new information and insights into Dylan's compositional development. Of course, some songs offer far more scope for discussion than others and it is only in this sense that certain articles may be held to be superior to others: if there is little to say about Talkin' Devil or Freight Train Blues, this is assuredly not the case with major or more complex songs such as Don't Think Twice, It's All Right, The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll or Percy's Song. Any reader interested in American traditional music and in Dylan's early years will find much to glean here: whether one is curious about the source of a specific melody or set of lyrics, or about the amount of Dylan original input in any given song, or about the exact (or most likely) circumstances of incorporation of a song to Dylan's repertoire, this is likely where he will find the answer. Thus, one may discover how in the author's opinion Let Me Die In My Footsteps, written circa February 1962, has no clear melodic or lyric precedents and may in fact be "the first song for which Dylan created an original melody" (page 61); or that Dylan uses the melody of a XIXth century hymn, 'Deliverance Will Come', which he had already adapted for Paths of Victory, as a melodical starting point for both One Too Many Mornings and The Times They Are A-Changin'.
It should be pointed out, however, that it is only readers with a relative knowledge of music (or those who can at least figure out chords on a guitar) who will be able to make the most of the author's exhaustive commentary on melodic phrase structures, meters, scale degrees, tunings, capos, etc. in the individual entries for each song. Untutored readers may rest assured that in spite of this, the book is easy to read and most of the musical explanations are understandable for a layman, otherwise you would not be reading this. All the strictly technical musical information is usefully tabulated in a 'Master Style List of Studied Material', included as Appendix II to the book. For each and every performance of a given song that the author has heard, this 'Master Style List' offers, when appropriate, the following information: phrase structure, number of verses, meter, tempo, tuning, capo, chord, key and picking style; mention is also made of the use of harp on the recording. This information may be of help not only to musicologists but also to those fans who try to figure out how to play the songs at home, I should imagine. But what is likely to be of far more interest to Dylan scholars, generally speaking, is Appendix I, titled 'Set and Session Lists', which includes complete recording sessions and concert set lists (as far as known) through 1963, and selected 1964 and 1965 set lists. Harvey has drawn this information from various sources, including the standard 'sessionographies' by Krogsgaard (which he generally follows), Dundas and Heylin, but he has also carried out his own research with extremely rewarding results. As far as possible, the author gives Columbia matrix numbers (and Columbia or Broadside release numbers wherever appropriate) and Library of Congress registration numbers for every song. This may sound tedious or irrelevant but is, on the contrary, extraordinarily important, for the author has had access to the manuscripts submitted for copyright registration to the Library of Congress and has been able to compare those texts with the circulating recordings, thereby verifying and completing to a considerable extent the information available on the songs recorded as Duchess/Leeds and Witmark demos. Additionally, as he was granted access to the Library of Congress' tapes of the entire 1963 Newport Folk Festival, recorded by Vanguard and uncirculated so far, Harvey has also been able to complete the set lists of Dylan's various interventions at that year's festival. In both cases, valuable new information has come to light.
Although Harvey contradicts some of the commonly accepted performance dates (but this might perhaps be a case of mislabeled tapes), he establishes exactly which songs Dylan performed at Newport '63. Thus, at the first workshop he attended (generally dated July 26th, July 27th according to Harvey), Dylan not only performed With God On Our Side with Joan Baez, but also North Country Blues on his own. His set on the main stage during the evening concerts of July 28 comprised five songs, not four as was believed until now: he performed Talking World War III Blues as opener, not Bob Dylan's Dream, and the song so far unreported was Only A Pawn In Their Game. In his second workshop appearance, on July 27th (July 28th according to Harvey), he performed Who Killed Davey Moore? and Masters Of War before being joined by Pete Seeger for the version of Ye Playboys And Playgirls eventually released by Vanguard in 1964. All this information is new, as far as I can tell, and it is good to know a line recording of these performances exists, even if it is not in circulation
Harvey's new input on the Witmark Demos is equally interesting, although it raises quite a few questions as well. He adds a dozen 'uncirculated' songs to those already known and widely bootlegged and attributes them to specific sessions, the dates and contents of which do not always exactly agree with the standard sessionographies. Heylin has established that it was usual at Witmark to discard demos once the songs had been officially released, even if this was not done systematically. Most of the 'uncirculated' songs listed by Harvey (but not all) were indeed released at the time, and that might account for their not being in general circulation like the rest: the tapes were perhaps erased. By referring to the copyright files at the Library of Congress, Harvey has assigned 'EU' (i.e., unpublished musical composition) registration numbers to all Witmark demos, both circulated and uncirculated; this information, which completes and corrects Heylin's 'The Recording Sessions', was already available in Dunn's priceless The Bob Dylan Copyright Files. However, since Harvey has been able to compare the registered lyrics with the available recordings, this means in theory (particularly when there are distinctive textual variants) that he has been able to identify a Witmark demo of a song as the version transcribed in effect for copyright purposes. So far, so good. But what of the 'uncirculated' Witmark demos? It is obvious that Harvey assigns songs to a given session when they share the same copyright date and bear (more or less) correlative 'EU' numbers in the records. Thus, for instance, according to him, uncirculated versions of With God On Our Side (EU 775847) and Walls Of Red Wing (EU 775848) were cut at the Witmark studio circa May, 1963 together with the circulated takes of Girl Of The North Country (EU 775845), Seven Curses (EU 775846) and Hero Blues (EU 77851). The first four songs were copyrighted on 10 June, 1963 and have correlative numbers; Hero Blues, usually attributed to a different session in May, was registered two days later. The problem is none of these details really prove that Dylan recorded all those songs at the same time and that Witmark later erased the tapes: the 'uncirculated' versions listed by Harvey could also be Columbia outtakes lodged with Witmark, a regular practice from mid 1963 on. If that were the case, these 'versions' still exist in Columbia's tape vaults. Alternatively, the version used for copyright purposes may perhaps have been the officially released one: Down The Highway (which incidentally "signals Dylan's arrival as a bluesman", see page 27) was cut in a single take, the one included on The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan; according to Harvey, an uncirculated Witmark version was recorded in April, 1963, together with four other circulated songs. This he deduces from its registration number, EU 773441 (I Shall Be Free is EU 773440 and Bob Dylan's Dream is EU 773442), and the copyright date, 22 May 1963. However, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan was released on May 27, 1963: perhaps Witmark simply transcribed the album take and copyrighted it in a batch with the other songs, three out of four of which were also included on that album. It is obvious that Harvey has not really proved the existence of those additional recordings, but he has certainly pointed the way for further research.
'The Formative Bob Dylan' includes a third Appendix, a 'Chronological List of Studied Songs', which orders the songs according to the month they entered Dylan's repertoire. The author has relied heavily on the usual sources (the major biographies and sessionographies) for these dates, and has no new information to offer here. However, his research has permitted him to date precisely at least one concert. Thanks to an advertisement published in 'The Philadelphia Inquirer' at the time, Harvey has established definitively that the Philadelphia Town Hall concert usually dated as "probably September 1964" actually took place on October 10, 1964. Most contributions to Dylan studies would be praised highly simply for unearthing a minor detail such as this and, as we have seen, in this case it is only one of many valuable discoveries. Equally valuable is the exhaustive list of written and recorded references consulted by the author. As to these recorded references, it should be stressed that in addition to the mentioned archival resources the author has also had access, with the assistance of a few Dylan enthusiasts and collectors, to most of the commonly circulating bootleg tapes. Although it is fairly obvious that he appreciates and understands Dylan's work, the author is not a fan: that may be yet another of the virtues of his approach, and it may also explain the only mistake I have noticed. When discussing Let Me Die in My Footsteps, he comments that the Finjan Club tape and the Broadside recording of the song include a verse not to be found on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 issue of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan outtake, and adds: "Curiously, though, the verse is extant on other issues of this recording" (page 62). Clearly, Harvey is unaware of the fact that the take originally slated for that album was edited, something every collector knows! But such a small slip is of no real importance when compared to the immense riches this book offers. Nice cover pic to boot! Get hold of a copy today.
Todd Harvey, The Formative Dylan. Transmission and Stylistic Influences, 1961-1963, "American Folk Music and Musician Series" No. 7, Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham MD and London, 2001 (hardback, xxvi + 214 pages, 26.00$, ISBN: 0-8108-415-0). The publisher's web site is at: www.scarecrowpress.com
Pop poet Roger McGough, formerly of The Scaffold, commemorates a meeting with Dylan in his latest collection, 'Everyday Eclipses' (Viking, £9.99). A poem called 'Bob Dylan and the Blue Angel' tells of a meeting between the Liverpool bard and Dylan after the latter's concert at the Liverpool Odeon on May 1, 1965. Unfortunately, McGough gets the poem off to a rocky start by wrongly placing the concert at the Liverpool Empire. During a rambling, artsy conversation, McGough advises Dylan to abandon folk music:
"Dump the acoustic. Forget the folksy stuff and go electric." McGough later points the way ahead to Blonde And Blonde and Blood On The Tracks for Dylan in the following tongue-firmly-in-cheek lines:
"Hit the booze, makes friends with cocaine to get that druggy feel. Divorce your wife, the pain will pay off in hard-won lyrics "
Dylan and McGough eventually part company on the steps of Liverpool's Adelphi Hotel, the poet pressing the singer to write, "But he never did. Never did." The collection also includes poems about Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix, both of whom McGough got to know during the 1960s.
"Love And Theft" Songbook
The words and music of Dylan's latest masterpiece have been published in songbook form by Amsco. Retailing at around £15 in the UK, the book nicely complements the album. While it doesn't feature any rare or previously unseen pictures not used in the gatefold version of the album, the cover photograph is the enlarged version of the "Love And Theft" picture used in some promotional shots, so we see more of Dylan's hair and ornately stitched jacket. All the songs, apart from Mississippi, are copyright 2001 Special Rider Music and apart from the odd word or two, the lyrics correspond to the sung versions. But the published extended verse forms for central tracks such as Floater (Too Much To Ask) may surprise some fans.
Judas! is the latest Dylan magazine on the block. Edited by Andrew Muir, the first 88-page issue contains essays by well-known Dylan scribes, including Peter Doggett, Glen Dundas and Nigel Hinton. The irrepressible Clinton Heylin contributes the transcript of an interview he conducted with Arthur ('Ratso') Rosato and Joel Bernstein for his Dylan biography, Behind the Shades: Take Two. Meanwhile, Mark Carter contributes one of his Sad Dylan Fans cartoons. The cover is a familiar shot of Dylan in white make-up from the Rolling Thunder Revue and the reverse a mid-80s photograph showing our big-booted hero playing acoustic guitar while sitting at a piano. The arrival of Judas! means there are now five print Dylan fanzines available, while the new Freewheelin' cyberspace magazine will soon join dozens of other internet sites devoted to the man from Minnesota. Whatever their relative merits, one thing's for sure: it's getting mighty crowded on the Dylan fanzine shelf! fanzimmer
This is the first magazine about Bob Dylan in the Spanish language. The first issue will be out about now. fanzimmer will be published four times a year, spring, summer, autumn and winter. All subscriptions expire at year end. If you have any questions you can email at email@example.com.
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