JOTTING DOWN NOTES
In Seattle recently Daniel Kramer was among those involved in a panel discussion on their current exhibits of early rock photography. Two others were Alfred Wertheimer, (Elvis, 1956), and Max Scheler (The Beatles,1965). It coincided with the Dylan/Hendrix exhibition they currently have on display (with Kramer's photographs included). The discussion was interesting with 'behind-the-scenes' information and personal perspectives from the artists who captured it all in the beginning. Kramer described photographing Dylan as a "dance"... One funny story was of Kramer's first encounter with Dylan. Bob asked him what kind of a picture he wanted to take, and Kramer replied, "Oh, just whatever you are doing"...(he called it his "first mistake")...so Dylan proceeded to take him to the dark theatre where he and the band were going to look over some recent footage. The dark theatre of course rendered his camera completely useless. It brings back memories of Bob's "taking notes" scenario during the initial screening of Don't Look Back. Another interesting tidbit was his recollection of the Bringing It All Back Home sessions that he was present for. He said ("there are no recorders here, right?") that the first set of musicians were fired because they simply couldn't keep up. Then the current line-up was brought in. There were some great photos of Newport, the infamous 1964 "Halloween" show, which they used the "Bob Dylan mask" bootleg to enhance... but of course he is best known for the covers of Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited. The cover of "61" was very plain in its conception...they had taken hundreds of pictures that day, and back at Bob's New York apartment, they just sat on the stoop (Bob had a new t-shirt he wanted to wear), Bobby Neuwirth stood behind him to fill up empty room and they added Kramer's camera to offset the balance. That was it. They even had the actual camera right there, which was cool. From all the photos taken that day, Bob picked that one himself. They also had the alternate Highway 61 Revisited cover, the exact same except Bob is squinching his face a bit more.Never won no.........
There were only two standing ovations all night ...from a crowd that doesn't do them. First for his Bobness ... second for Al Pacino. They were the two heroes of the evening. Bob's speech was generic. He's not good at that stuff. ..but at least it didn't look like he was on speed. Rumpled suit. Bad hair day. Can't tell if it is a moustache or just a little of today's growth that was missed yesterday. But his moustache sure doesn't look as bad as Tom Hanks'. Besides Things Have Changed being one of the all time great songs.....day, and the future, in an article in the magazine is a list of various Dylan websites.Oscars
Another award came Bob's way on 25th March 2001, an Oscar for the Best Original Song in a Film. He performed Things Have Changed, a little slower and slightly rearranged, via a satellite link from Australia. The camera work was very close up for the most part focused on Bob's face. His acceptance speech was one of his best, starting "Oh, good God, this is amazing!" and going on to thank people associated with the film, particularly Curtis Hanson for "encouraging me to do this song", and people at Columbia, "My record company who supports me through all these years". He went on to the Academy members for being "bold enough to give me this award for this song, which, obviously, is a song that doesn't pussyfoot around or turn a blind eye to human nature". He ended with greetings to watching friends and family and, for the audience in general, "God bless you all with peace, tranquillity and goodwill."A&E Biography
"Bob Dylan, Man of Mystery" with different narrator and slightly different beginning was broadcast on the U.K. Biography Channel during March.Official Releases
Friend Of The Devil on the Grateful Dead tribute album Stolen Roses is not, as reported by some, one of the two that appeared on bobdylan.com. It's now been positively identified, by several people looking for it independently, as being from Club Rio, Rio Suites Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1st March 1999 - a performance available officially only on this album.
Bob Dylan 'Returns' On Soundtrack
Dylan has recorded a version of Dean Martin's 1962 hit Return To Me for the 'Sopranos 2' soundtrack. However, it looks as if the song won't appear on the official release.Vinyl Revisited
Next month, Sundazed takes another huge step forward as they release Bob Dylan's classic 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home' on 180-gram vinyl, the Rolls Royce of turntable product. The reissue, "is the original mono mix that's been out of print for 30 years, and it's all cut directly from the original analogue tapes - just like they used to do in the good old days''. Irwin said, "There's no digital anything-at-all in the signal path, because Dylan and his staff are purists, and so are we. It's a good marriage.'' With the approval of Dylan's management, Sundazed recently secured the exclusive worldwide licence from Sony Music to press Dylan's album catalogue on vinyl; a batch of five Dylan albums is in the pipeline for release later this summer.
The grass is always greener, I suppose. Present your average Dylan fanatic with a cedar wood, gold embossed 50-CD box set of Bob working his way through the complete works of Hank Williams, Robert Johnson and Charley Patton in his Malibu eyrie and I think you know what the ultimate response will be: "Yes, fine - but what about the piano demos for Street Legal?" Serious Dylan fans endure lives of quiet desperation, locked inside a continuum of aesthetic and consumer dissatisfaction. No matter what emerges from the vaults, fans will always harbour dreams of a glorious Shangri-La of undiscovered Dylan treasures. (But as so often with Dylan, anticipation can often be a richer experience than the anti-climax of eventually hearing certain tracks for the first time - for example, Silent Weekend, Yesterday or In The Summertime). In journalistic terms, it's easier to come across as critically incisive by performing a hatchet job on a new book, play, show - or a Bob Dylan album (some people make careers out of it). Conversely, we have the writer Paul Williams, a Dylan zealot, who burnishes, highlights and retrieves from the shadows good, bad and indifferent Dylan performances, directing us to works which he believes deserve close attention. We may often disagree with Williams' positive spin, but at least we have paid that debt of closer scrutiny. I think we should welcome all new Dylan albums with open arms and minds, before the onset of fashionable negativity and the old ennui.If Sony had again demonstrated the same bold, imaginative sweep which produced the Bootleg Series initiative, this album could have contained wonderful moments of raging glory. Taking its cue from the rare, atmospheric photographs of Dylan in rehearsals for his ultimately junked 1964 In Concert album featured in the attractive accompanying booklet, the company could have shown some faith in the fans and just released the whole lost artefact. Sadly, the watchwords for this eccentric release seem to have been M for missed and O for opportunity.
The full tracklisting is:
1. Somebody Touched Me (24 September 2000 Portsmouth)
2. Wade In The Water (22 December 1961 Bonnie Beacher's, Apartment, Minneapolis)
3. Handsome Molly (October 1962 Gaslight, New York City)
4. To Ramona (30 April 1965 Sheffield Don't Look Back)
5. I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met) (17 May 1966 Manchester Live 1966)
6. Grand Coulee Dam (20 January 1968 Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert)
7. Knockin' On Heaven's Door (30 January 1974 Madison Square Garden Before The Flood)
8. It Ain't Me, Babe (20 November 1975 Cambridge, MA Renaldo & Clara promo)
9. Shelter From The Storm (23 May 1976 Fort Collins, CO Hard Rain)
10. Dead Man, Dead Man (11 November 1981 New Orleans)
11. Slow Train (4 July 1987 Foxboro Dylan & The Dead)
12. Dignity (18 November 1994 Unplugged)
13. Cold Irons Bound (16 December 1997 El Rey)
14. Born In Time (1 February 1998 Newark, New Jersey)
15. Country Pie (24 September 2000 Portsmouth)
16. Things Have Changed (24 September 2000 Portsmouth)
2 was released on a Swedish CD, Bakhålls Litterära Röster, in 1994.
2 was released on a Swedish CD, Bakhålls Litterära Röster, in 1994. 7 is on the Tribute To Woody Guthrie CD on Warner Bros.
13 & 14 were released on the Love Sick CD singles in 1998.
15 was released on the Not Dark Yet CD singles in 1999..
Rare Dylan Track On New Album
Rare previously unreleased duets between Rambling Jack Elliott and Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and Johnny Cash are featured on a new album released by Ace next month. The album is The Ballad Of Ramblin' Jack, the soundtrack to the new documentary movie of the life and times of one of American folk music's greatest legends.
Included in the 20 cuts on the album are a live radio recording of Elliott playing with the then unknown, unsigned Dylan on a rock 'n' roll parody song Acne.
There are also performances from Johnny Cash's TV show in the late sixties and early seventies, and a 1953 studio recording of Rambling Jack singing with Woody Guthrie with Sonny Terry on harmonica. The album also includes early performances by Odetta and Derroll Adams.
The movie, directed by Ramblin' Jack's daughter Aiyana, tells the story of a Jewish doctor's son from Brooklyn who ran away to join the rodeo at 15, travelled with Woody Guthrie and became a mentor to Bob Dylan. He continues to perform at the age of 68.
More Rare Bob
Capitol Records will complete the reissue of The Band's entire eight-album catalogue with the release of the remaining four titles on 8 May 2001. 'Islands,' 'Moondog Matinee,' 'Northern Lights-Southern Cross' and the most interesting, 'Rock Of Ages,' have all been remastered and repackaged under the supervision of the three surviving members: Levon Helm, Garth Hudson and Robbie Robertson. The recordings have been expanded to include never-before-released bonus tracks and alternate takes, and all four albums are from the original, first-generation master tapes. The releases all feature expanded booklets with rare photos and liner notes by Grammy award-winner Rob Bowman, who also wrote the liner notes for the first four reissues and 'The Band-Greatest Hits'. Highlighting the 'Rock Of Ages' reissue are several previously unreleased live recordings, specially mixed by Robbie Robertson, which will be included on the 10-song bonus disc. Bonus tracks include the Dylan performances of Down In The Flood, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Don't Ya Tell Henry and Like A Rolling Stone.
While perusing the booklet to the new box set by Dion, 'King of the New York Streets,' The following piece is included and was written by Bob Dylan. Also the box set includes two Dylan songs, Baby, I'm In The Mood For You and Spanish Harlem Incident.
This is what Bob wrote about Dion:
"The voice of Dion came exploding out of what Allen Ginsberg called the "hydrogen jukebox" in the fifties, the hush hush age. Torn right from the start, he had it magically together in the mythic sense, level-headed and trustworthy, rhythmically there's no mayhem, just a sense of wonder, in his voice he tells the untold story in the seemingly secret language. How else do you explain the soulfulness of 'Teenager In Love'? An unknowing ear would say it's a song about youthful claptrap but it's not, not any more than Tampa Red's 'Let Me Play With Your Poodle' is not about dogs. You can hear it in his haunted voice, street corner hokum sure, but also barrelhouse blues, the honky-tonk world. Even the most sophisticated crooner in the most articulate way, it's all there to put a spell on you.
I saw Dion way back there when he followed Ritchie Valens and preceded Link Wray and the Wraymen. Ritchie could pitch you over the fence and Link made you feel like you wanted to take a grotesque despotic world and hang it with barbed wire, but Dion was no less brilliant, his level was cool-headed, made you feel longing, excited and entranced. 'Ruby Baby' is severe, round the clock, listen you'll see. Satire, cunning, fidelity, it's all there in spades. Great singers pass us by like a parade of nobility. There's just something about them that rises above superficial culture. Dion comes from a time when so-so singers couldn't cut it, they either never got heard or got exposed quick and got out of the way. To have it you really had to have it, no smoke and mirrors then, not a minute to spare - rough and ready, glorious and grand, grieving with heartache and feeling too much but still with the always 'better not try it' attitude. If you want to hear a great singer, listen to Dion. His voice take its color from all pallets, he's never lost it, his genius has never deserted him."
Duluth Does Dylan
TThis project attempts to shed light on the tremendous music scene that exists in this cold port town while paying homage to the area's native son, Bob Dylan. It's hoped that the listener may gain some insight into the roots of one of the world's greatest songwriters.
Maybe it's Duluth's long winters and mountains of snow, the decaying of industry or the steep hill that flows to Lake Superior that inspires this motivated music community. Holed up in old downtown buildings, basements and warehouses, these artists speak with honesty and humility.
The bands on 'Duluth Does Dylan' all create original music in their own way. They each fit a niche that represents the fans that crowd into the small clubs in old downtown Duluth, Minnesota and the bars of Superior, Wisconsin. The music is from a variety of artists and the CD is available from Spinout Records. for more information visit the web site at:
Blowin' In The Wind/A-Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall/Quit Your Low Down Ways/One Too Many Mornings/Knockin' On Heaven's Door/It Ain't Me, Babe/Don't Think Twice, It's All Right/All Along The Watchtower/Tombstone Blues/ Country Pie/Girl From The North Country/If You Gotta Go, Go Now/Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35/Father Of Night/ When I Paint My MasterpieceDanko
'The late and much lamented Rick Danko's posthumous album, Times Like These (Breeze Hill Records, 2000), contains a stunning version of This Wheel's On Fire, the song he co-wrote with Dylan during the heady days down in the basement at Big Pink. The Band's bass player musically deconstructs the song, which also features Garth Hudson on accordion, soprano sax and synthesizer. With a trademark cracked vocal from Danko, the song is one of several highlights on a fine album, which his widow, Elizabeth Danko, rightly says would have made her late husband proud.More Tributes
There is another new Bob Dylan tribute album, 'A Nod To Bob,' An Artists' Tribute To Bob Dylan On His Sixtieth Birthday. This is to be released on Red House a label that specialises and prides itself in celebrating great songwriters and the troubador tradition. This label based in Dylan's home state of Minnesota and being the type of label they are they felt it was time to pay tribute to him. Artists on the label were asked to record a song of his that they loved or had a special emotional attachment to. Everyone of the artists had a special history with Dylan. Norman Blake played on Nashville Skyline and Self Portrait and Peter Ostroushko's first recording job ever was Blood On The Tracks. Spider John Koerner was in a duo with Dylan in his University of Minnesota days. Ramblin' Jack Elliott was a huge influence on the young Bob Dylan meeting each other at Woody Guthrie's bedside while he was in the hospital. Guy Davis recorded his song with Levon Helm from The Band, Rosalie Sorrels knew Dylan as a mutual fan and many of the other artists had interesting stories about their first hearing Dylan.
The CD will be available from the Red House label orders will be taken now and copies sent out the third week of April. The album will be out on 8th May and further details can be obtained from their web site at:
Here is a list of the songs and artists:
Eliza Gilkyson - Love Minus Zero/No Limit/Guy Davis - Sweetheart Like You/Suzzy & Maggie Roche - Clothesline Saga/John Gorka - Girl Of The North County/Spider John Koerner - Delia/Cliff Eberhardt - I Want You/The Paperboys - All Along The Watchtower/Hart-Rouge - With God On Our Side/ Martin Simpson - Boots Of Spanish Leather/Norman Blake and Peter Ostroushko - Restless Farewell/Lucy Kaplansky - It Ain't Me, Babe/Greg Brown - Pledging My Time/Rosalie Sorrels - Tomorrow Is A Long Time/Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
Vash Gon' is the strange name of an even stranger duo from Valencia (Spain), formed by poet Fernando Garcín on vocals and Carlos Carrasco on guitar, harp and backing vocals. It is also the title of their first record, a privately-produced CD (Hall of Fame Records, VG-001-CD), which includes a not too exciting cover of Tomorrow Is A Long Time, all in all quite faithful to the original. The rest of the tunes are self-penned, and rather undefinable (the texts are clearly inspired in Beat poetry). This is only recommendable for completist collectors, really. The CD costs $15 and may be ordered directly from the artists: Fernando Garcín, C./ Sagunto 178, 46009 Valencia (Spain).
It is seldom, or never, we have had the chance to report on Greek versions of Dylan's songs. Although none of the following recordings are exactly new releases, they are still currently available and deserve to be mentioned. The 1997 CD Paralili Discografia, by brothers Haris and Panos Katsimihas (Akti-Sony Music AKT 489308-2), includes their version of All Along the Watchtower, which becomes Paliakos ki o listis (i.e., 'The joker and the thief'). The Greek adaptation is the work of Dionisis Savopulos and the song, performed in the Jimi Hendrix arrangement, was originally released in 1992 in a compilation album entitled Iparhi Logos (i.e. 'There Are Reasons'). Far more interesting, in that it doesn't stick slavishly to the original, is Pyx-Lax's very mediterranean-sounding version of Señor (Tales of Yankee Power). Adapted by Filipos Pliakikas, and originally recorded for the soundtrack of Monexia mu ola, a film by Dimitris Panayotatos, the track can be found on Pyx-Lax's 1998 album Stilvi (Minos-EMI 7243449463-622).
Gratful Dead Records are planning two previously unreleased Jerry Garcia Band live CDs. First is 'Don't Let Go', a 2CD set from 21 May 1976 at San Francisco's Orpheum theatre. It features a cover of Knockin' On Heaven's Door. and the other is 'Shining Star', featuring a cover of Positively 4th Street.
Real Emotional Girl
Which is Patricia O'Callaghan's new CD and it features a version of Like A Rolling Stone. Dylan And The Dead Again
This previously uncirculating rarity came from a member of the Grateful Dead community. It is a 1987 rehearsal with Grateful Dead, which is 27 minutes and in excellent sound. It features Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Micky Hart and a bass guitar which could be Phil Lesh plus Steve Parish ( Garcia's roadie) helping to set up. There is somebody playing a violin but there are no details available. This could be the first part of rehearsals as this includes equipment setup, tuning, talking which is hard to hear, with a little music mainly song fragments. On most of these Dylan does not stand out on vocals or they are shared harmony vocals. The music is very rough and unpractised, this is a fly on the wall view. The most interesting inclusion is John Hardy.
The full track listing is:
The French Girl/Blues Stay Away From Me/equipment change and warm up/John Hardy/discussion/jam/I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (cut)
Ringo Starr and Bob
This is a song from a session on 14th April 1987 at Chips Mowman's Three Alarm Studio in Memphis. This track which is called, Wish I Knew Now (What I Knew Then) appeared on a CD which featured an unreleased Ringo Starr album and it is quite clear why it stayed in the can. Dylan appears on this track playing harmonica and singing one verse which is, by a long way, the high point of the song.
More Sides Of Bob Dylan By Terry Kelly
" These fragments I have shored against my ruins" TS Eliot - The Waste Land
Slowly but surely, the biographical strands of Bob Dylan's life are beginning to unravel. The inexorable passage of time teases more stories and verifiable facts from the opaque myth-kitty that has often passed for the Dylan story.
Details of legal depositions, real estate documents, marriage certificates, divorce settlements, and all the untidy financial and personal baggage of a long, highly complicated life and problematic career will eventually complement or even supplant many of those stories and quintessentially Dylanesque hip anecdotes all serious fans carry round in their heads like cherished mantras. But pulling back the veil from a life which has often been almost statutorily shrouded in mystery - more a carefully constructed and self-sustaining fiction than a chronological reality - can be a dangerous business. The gaining of knowledge necessarily means the loss of innocence; the substitution of the rich, dazzlingly various iconography of the Dylan myth for the often mundane detritus of a ragged, undeniably human life. Of course, Bob Dylan has himself accelerated the pace of this demystification, by replacing the reclusive icon with the performing artisan of the Never Ending Tour. However, there are problems with this strategy. From the fans' viewpoint, constant touring in soulless venues with the atmosphere of inhospitable airport hangars and burger cuisine to match has not helped preserve the finer aesthetic aspects of the Dylan myth - a myth which is an integral aspect of being a serious fan. Who really cares - the argument goes - if Dylan has been married several times and conducted a complicated series of relationships over many years? Whose life isn't complex, messy and downright shapeless at times? Only Dylan's fame and cultural status affords this material any interest in the first place, the argument goes. There is much truth in this, but Sounes rarely makes heavy weather of the facts he unearths, nor does he burden such fresh information with supposition, commentary or far-fetched links between Dylan's life and work. Usually, the facts simply facilitate the narrative. But biographical details CAN shed light on an artist's methods and means. The Letters of TS Eliot - Volume 1 1898 - 1922 (1988), clearly indicate that the poet's unhappy first marriage and a contemporaneous mental breakdown influenced the composition of The Waste Land (1922), arguably the 20th century
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