Be a fly on the wall when Bob Dylan and Bette Midler went into the studio together, 1975
11:06 am


Bob Dylan
Bette Midler

Bob Dylan and Bette Midler recorded together in October 1975 duetting on a cover of “Buckets of Rain” for her Songs for the New Depression album. Dylan apparently also wanted Midler to be a part of his Rolling Thunder Revue. Six years ago, a 27-minute long fly on the wall recording from this session started making the rounds on bootleg sites as part of Bob Dylan New York Sessions 1974-1975.

The original bootlegger says:

“It opens with some upgrades of the original Blood On The Tracks sessions from September 1974, and progresses chronologically through some early Desire sessions, winding up to the main event: almost half an hour of never-heard October 1975 session outtakes of the recording of Bette Midler’s cover of “Buckets Of Rain” with Dylan, which would show up on her Songs For The New Depression album the following January.”

At one point Midler demures saying, “I can’t sing ‘I ain’t no monkey,’” but Dylan gently coaxes her into it.  Moogy Klingman backs them on piano and at one point Dylan sings a full-throated version of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles “You Really Got A Hold On Me” with and Midler. The Divine Miss M also dishes on Paul Simon, who she says refuses to speak to her.

“This’ll show him!”

Midler cattily refers to Patti Smith as well, saying “At least I can sing in tune!” What exactly she is referring to here is not spelled out, but in an interview with Barry Miles, Smith tells the story of Midler throwing a beer in her face at a Dylan-related private event in New York around this time. Maybe she saw Patti as competition for Dylan’s affections? (Midler later revealed that she got to “first base” with Dylan in his Cadillac, so perhaps that’s what the remark and the beer incident was all about?)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Bob Dylan turns 73 today (plus historic 1969 live footage at the Isle of Wight festival)
10:36 am


Bob Dylan
The Band

Bob Dylan turns 73 years old today. Long may he stay on the Never Ending Tour.

Below, historic footage of Dylan and The Band caught on B&W half-inch open reel videotape at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 31, 1969. Dylan had rejected an offer to play at Woodstock to headline the festival.

Allegedly this was shot by a friend of John Lennon and Ringo Starr (who can be seen in the audience here). This makes sense because a) only someone relatively wealthy would have had access to a half-inch open reel video-recorder at the time and b) whoever shot this was right up front. The sound drops out for several minutes, sadly.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Neil Young & The Band in ‘The Alternate Last Waltz’

Japanese cinema poster

I was looking for something else entirely when I stumbled across THIS buried treasure: The Band’s complete “Last Waltz” concert, as shot from what must have been the house cameras at Winterland. The audio and video sound quality is amazing and best of all, this is not only how it went down, in the order that it went down, and it’s actually how it sounded before Robbie Robertson went in and overdubbed everything. (It’s also not had that blob of cocaine hanging from Neil Young’s nose edited out through frame by frame rotoscoping….)

As much as you might love The Last Waltz, this is probably even better. I do hope that several of you download this for safekeeping, ‘cos it may not last that long…

1. Introduction / Up on Cripple Creek 0:00
2. Shape I’m In 5:55
3. It Makes No Difference 10:15
4. Life Is A Carnival 17:28
5. This Wheel’s On Fire 22:51
6. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show 27:26
7. Georgia On My Mind 31:20
8. Ophelia 35:05
9. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) 39:18
10. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down 43:26
11. Stage Fright 48:16
12. Rag Mama Rag 53:23
13. Introduction / Who Do You Love (with Ronnie Hawkins) 57:26
14. Such A Night (with Dr. John) 1:02:45
15. Down South in New Orleans (with Dr. John) 1:07:58
16. Mystery Train (with Paul Butterfield) 1:13:23
17. Caledonia (with Muddy Waters) 1:18:27
18. Mannish Boy (with Muddy Waters) 1:26:20

Part two begins with Eric Clapton coming onstage to join The Band, followed by Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Neil Diamond and Van Morrison and then poetry from Digger Emmett Grogan, Lenore Kandel, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure and others.

1. All Our Past Times (with Eric Clapton) 0:00
2. Further On Up The Road (with Eric Clapton) 5:39
3. Helpless (with Neil Young) 11:52
4. Four Strong Winds (with Neil Young) 18:01
5. Coyote (with Joni Mitchell) 23:52
6. Shadows And Light (with Joni Mitchell)
7. Furry Sings The Blues (with Joni Mitchell)
8. Dry Your Eyes (with Neil Diamond)
9. Tura Lura Lural (with Van Morrison) 44:10
10. Caravan (with Van Morrison) 48:15
11. Acadian Driftwood (with Joni Mitchell and Neil Young) 54:07
12. Poem (Emmett Grogan) 1:01:18
13. Poem (Hell’s Angel Sweet William) 1:02:41
14. JOY! (Lenore Kandel) 1:06:14
15. Prologue to The Canterbury Tales (Michael McClure) 1:07:36
16. Get Yer Cut Throat Off My Knife / Revolutionary Letter #4
17. Transgressing The Real (Robert Duncan) 1:10:26
18. Poem (Freewheelin Frank Reynolds)
19. The Lord’s Prayer (Lawrence Ferlinghetti)
20. Genetic Method 1:14:15
21. Chest Fever 1:20:25
22. The Last Waltz Suite: Evangeline 1:25:45

Bob Dylan and the big jam sessions after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Watch Bob Dylan in ‘Eat the Document’ (with John Lennon, Johnny Cash and The Band) while you can
10:34 am


Bob Dylan
Johnny Cash
The Band

Eat the Document was intended to be a TV documentary on Bob Dylan’s 1966 European tour, produced for ABC Stage 67, a prestigious showcase for musicals, documentaries, original teleplays and short films (everything from a rock musical scored by Burt Bacharach and Hal David to a doc on Masters and Johnson to “Skaterdater”), but the network rejected it for being “incomprehensible.” The film captures the madness of that tour and was shot by D. A. Pennebaker, who’d also made Don’t Look Back, the documentary of Dylan’s 1965 tour. Pennebaker’s version was called “Something Is Happening.” The retitled Eat the Document was cut by Dylan himself with Howard Alk, but the network still didn’t want it.

Eat the Document wasn’t seen at all until the early 70s when it was screened at New York’s Academy of Music and the Whitney Museum. Shitty bootleg copies have floated around for decades (I had one that was barely watchable) but in recent years a super clean digital copy has been seen on torrent trackers, and occasionally on YouTube. Dylan was, and is, alleged to hate it, which is why you should probably watch this sooner rather than later. There’s always a bit of Whac-A-Mole going on with Eat the Document there, I’ve noticed.

In the film we see Dylan tired, jamming with Johnny Cash, onstage with The Band (then still called The Hawks) writing songs with Robbie Robertson and wearily dealing with members of the media. Some of the infamous footage of Dylan riding around in a limo with John Lennon (Lennon claimed Dylan had gotten him high on heroin beforehand) is also seen in the film.

Thank you Glen E. Friedman of New York City!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Dylanologist’ AJ Weberman (supposedly) goes through Bob Dylan’s trash, 1969
01:31 pm


Bob Dylan
A.J. Weberman

What a bizarre piece of “history” this is…

“Dylanologist” AJ Weberman is infamous to Bob Dylan aficionados for being the obsessed stalker who Bob Dylan physically assaulted in 1971.

Here’s what Weberman told Rolling Stone about the time Dylan beat him up:

“I’d agreed not to hassle Dylan anymore, but I was a publicity-hungry motherfucker. . . . I went to MacDougal Street, and Dylan’s wife comes out and starts screaming about me going through the garbage. Dylan said if I ever fucked with his wife, he’d beat the shit out of me. A couple of days later, I’m on Elizabeth Street and someone jumps me, starts punching me.

“I turn around and it’s like—Dylan. I’m thinking, ‘Can you believe this? I’m getting the crap beat out of me by Bob Dylan!’ I said, ‘Hey, man, how you doin’?’ But he keeps knocking my head against the sidewalk. He’s little, but he’s strong. He works out. I wouldn’t fight back, you know, because I knew I was wrong. He gets up, rips off my ‘Free Bob Dylan’ button and walks away. Never says a word.

“The Bowery bums were coming over, asking, ‘How much he get?’ Like I got rolled. . . . I guess you got to hand it to Dylan, coming over himself, not sending some fucking lawyer. That was the last time I ever saw him, except once with one of his kids, maybe Jakob, and he said, ‘A.J. is so ashamed of his Jewishness, he got a nose job,’ which was true—at least in the fact that I got a nose job.

Weberman, a marginal figure in the Yippies, picked through the Dylan family’s trash (he calls his stinky style of sleuthing the science of “Garbology”) and staged demonstrations (with the “Dylan Liberation Front,” the students of his “Dylanology” classes) outside of their MacDougal Street brownstone.

I’ve posted here before on this character, at length, so I will refer you to “Tangled Up in Dylan: The twisted tale of AJ Weberman” from 2012.

In any case, this 1969 video of Weberman going through what he claims to be Dylan’s garbage is completely and utterly ridiculous.

At one point, AJ claims to have found a syringe. After a while, a Caribbean woman who lives in the building comes out and starts to berate him for this audacious invasion of privacy. She then informs him that Dylan has moved out.

He is genuinely surprised to hear this—you can tell from the look on his face—and doesn’t believe her. Later in the video she tells him that she knows that he brought his own prop garbage, as there was nothing in the trash cans earlier! She saw him bring three bags from the corner she tells him, and stash them in the bins. Weberman tries to deny this at first, but in the face of her relentless opposition, he finally opts to come clean and promptly blames the back-up garbage on the producer, John Reilly!

All this while videotape rolls… Oy vey!

He actually falsified Bob Dylan’s garbage—including the supposed discovery of a hypodermic needle—for the camera? How twisted is that? You can see how outraged Dylan’s former neighbor was by that in particular. She really lets this asshole have it. As she walks away from him, she reminds him once again that Dylan doesn’t even live there anymore and here he is bringing in bags of garbage and claiming they’re his!

Previously on Dangerous Minds
Tangled Up in Dylan: The twisted tale of AJ Weberman

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Studs Terkel interviews a very young Bob Dylan in 1963 and it’s incredible
07:30 am


Bob Dylan
Studs Terkel

Dylan and Terkel
If you’re a fan of Dylan’s early work, I implore you to spend an hour with this stellar interview that he did with Studs Terkel from the spring of 1963 . You won’t regret it.  It’s a very cool piece of history in my humble opinion.

Bob Dylan is a notoriously tough person to interview and that’s definitely the case here, even this early in his life as a public persona. On the other hand, Terkel is a veteran interviewer, one of the best ever, and he seems genuinely impressed with the young man who was just 21 at the time and had but one record of mainly covers under his belt. Terkel does a good job of keeping things on track as he expertly gets out of the way and listens while gleaning what he can from his subject. It’s an interesting match-up. 

Dylan seems at least fairly straightforward about his musical influences. He talks about seeing Woody Guthrie with his uncle when he was ten years old (Is this just mythology? Who knows?), and he mentions Big Joe Williams and Pete Seeger a few times.

Much of the rest is a little trickier. Terkel has to almost beg Dylan to play what turns out to be an earnest, driving version of “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall.”  Dylan tells Terkel that he’d rather the interviewer “take it off the disc,” but relents and does the tune anyways. 

In what will prove to be par for the course as his public exposure increases dramatically in the ensuing years, Dylan is an elusive, squirrely moving target who never quite agrees with Terkel’s interpretations of his music.  “No,” says Dylan, ““A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” is not about atomic rain.”  He laughs a lot to himself throughout the hour.  Maybe he’s gaming the interview, but you really wouldn’t call him arrogant. Maybe he just doesn’t want to be pinned down.  Maybe they way he speaks (mountain talk, as Terkel calls it) is a put on; maybe it’s not. If people want to think that he’s really a college educated fake, fine.  He calls his songwriting a gift just like someone who’s good at baking a cake or sawing down trees has a gift, but then he says that the word “gift” is just a word and he can’t really describe the thing that drives his song-writing talent. 

Dylan’s like this the whole way through as he bobs and weaves in and out of the questions and tries, perhaps, to let the songs speak for them selves. He does six:

“A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”
“Bob Dylan’s Dream”
“Boots of Spanish Leather”
“John Brown”
“Blowin’ in the Wind”

Towards the end of the discussion, Terkel asks Dylan if he and his contemporaries are looking for some kind of new road.  To that, Dylan replies:

Seems like there’s a board there, and all the nails are pounded in all over the place, you know? And every new person that comes around to pound in a nail finds that there’s one less space. I hope we haven’t got to the end of the space yet.

Dylan would obviously find a lot more space for nails in the future, but man does he sound young in this interview. Part of what’s fascinating about this piece is that, outside of New York and possibly some other folk hotbeds around the country, people would have barely known who Dylan was at the time. The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan would be released very shortly after this interview, changing that irrevocably.

This interview has been floating around as a bootleg for some time, and you can buy your own copy on vinyl here.

Via Open Culture

Posted by Jason Schafer | Leave a comment
Bob Dylan & The Band at Isle of Wight Festival, 1969
04:54 pm


Bob Dylan
The Band

Bob Dylan and the Band caught on b&w half-inch open reel videotape at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 31, 1969. Dylan had rejected an offer to play at Woodstock to headline the festival.

Allegedly this was shot by a friend of John Lennon and Ringo Starr (who can be seen in the audience here). This makes sense because a) only someone relatively wealthy would have had access to a half-inch open reel video-recorder at the time and b) whoever shot this was right up front.

“I Threw It All Away”

“The Weight”

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Bob Dylan, Giorgio Moroder, Rambo: Three names you’d never thought you’d see together

Not exactly buried in Alexis Petridis’ interview with Giorgio Moroder today at The Guardian—naturally he used all three names in his headline—is this amazing anecdote:

Alexis Petridis: There’s a story that you attempted to collaborate with Bob Dylan, which seems a bit unlikely.

Giorgio Moroder: That’s right. It was actually Sylvester Stallone who asked me to ask him to sing a song for a Rambo movie. So I composed a song. I wanted him to write the lyrics, of course. I went to see him in Malibu, where he had a beautiful house. He listened to it about four times. I’m not sure if he didn’t like the music that much, or if he wasn’t interested because of the nature of the movie, which was totally anti-Russian, anti-communist. I think he didn’t feel like being involved with a movie such as Rambo. It was nice to meet him, and it could have worked, but it didn’t work out.

Christ it’s a shame that never happened!

Read the entire thing at The Guardian.

Thank you Chris Campion of Berlin, Germany!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Watch Bob Dylan’s seldom-seen NBC TV special, ‘Hard Rain’ while you still can…
11:16 am


Bob Dylan

When Hard Rain, Bob Dylan’s much ballyhooed NBC TV special aired on September 14, 1976, I was nine years old. I’d “discovered” Dylan earlier that year and owned his Greatest Hits album and the single of “Tangled Up in Blue,” which I thought was the greatest song ever recorded. I eagerly anticipated the night that a Hard Rain was a-gonna be broadcast.

However, Hard Rain just perplexed me. I was expecting something more… professional, I suppose, and this was really loose and informal, the opposite of a slick rock show. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t do more of his hits or play his songs the way the audience wanted to hear them, the “right way.”

I’d also been reading about how the Rolling Thunder Revue tour was supposed to have all of this crackling, joyous onstage energy and musical camaraderie among the musicians (Joan Baez, T-Bone Burnett, David Mansfield, Gary Burke, Roger McGuinn, Bob Neuwirth, Scarlet Rivera, Luther Rix, Kinky Friedman, Mick Ronson, Steven Soles, Rob Stoner, Howie Wyeth), but as you can see, the energy is downright subdued, barely a smile is cracked. By the time this performance was shot—May 23, 1976 at Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado—the Revue seems to have run out of steam. Only four of the eleven performances actually heard in the broadcast (“Maggie’s Farm”, “One Too Many Mornings”, “Shelter from the Storm” and “Idiot Wind”) were included on the Hard Rain live album released ten days before the special aired. Rob Stoner would later remark that Dylan had been “hitting the bottle all weekend” and speculated that the album’s sloppy “punk” energy was a result of that bender. The fact that Dylan and his soon-to-be ex-wife, Sara, had been arguing for the entire Colorado stay may have also contributed to what went down onstage (Watch him spit out “Idiot Wind. It’s easy to interpret this performance as a “fuck you” to her.)

Although the program was highly touted in advance by NBC—Bob Dylan even made the cover of TV Guide, it doesn’t get anymore mainstream than that—it fared poorly in the ratings and has never been released on DVD. Below is Hard Rain as it was recorded off air in 1976, when it was presented by Craig Audio. Dylan thanks Arthur Rimbaud at the end and there’s a credit to poet Anne Waldman for the “headgear.”

Although this was posted a year ago, as often happens with videos we link to on this blog, I wouldn’t expect this one to last forever…

Thank you Michael Simmons!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dylan reselling everything at once, because, hey, let’s face it, people will buy it
12:33 pm


Bob Dylan

that bucket is full of cash
At age 72, with a career behind him spanning just a bit over 50 years, Bob Dylan is releasing this November a boxed set spanning his entire oeuvre, titled The Complete Album Collection Volume 1.

“Volume 1.”

At a cost of over $250, the massive set contains 35 studio albums, 6 live albums, and two discs of rarities, some remastered, some appearing on CD for the first time, posh book, blah blah blah, can we circle back to this “Volume 1” thing? It implies a presupposed Volume 2, kinda, a little, doesn’t it? But for such a volume to be comparably exhaustive, it would seem like it would have to wait until the durable (won’t get off the stage) and prolific (enraptured by the sound of his own voice) icon reaches about 120 years of age. Or so.
look at all that crap
Come to think of it, it’s not so doubtful that he could pull that off. Though haggard, he’s still decently preserved and he has more money than God. Might a Volume 2 comprise his groundbreaking head-kept-alive-in-a-jar years? Will submersion in formaldehyde affect the tone of his harmonica reeds?

Or, given that he’s hardly released a single note worth listening to since Desire, maybe this set is a bloated, hubristic exercise in wrenching one last big wad of cash out of nostalgia-obsessed baby boomers before they all go on Social Security?

Obviously early Dylan is worth being nostalgic for, and if someone is really itching for a box set, there’s already 2010’s The Original Mono Recordings, comprising his first eight LPs, and though it’s a few albums shy of completely collecting his best work, it doesn’t charge exorbitantly for three and a half decades worth of stuff that nobody wants.

For a taste of Dylan’s mastery at the height of his early, folkie phase, check out this stunning rendition of “North County Blues,” from 1963.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
The Band live at The Academy of Music, 1971: The ‘Rock of Ages’ concerts
04:00 pm


Bob Dylan
The Band

If I am to judge the product purely on the quality of the music and how much I enjoyed it, I would be obliged to give the new box set Live at the Academy Of Music 1971 by The Band a 5/5. It sounds really good. The performances are nothing short of incredible. It blew my doors off.

The four CDs and one DVD are encased in a nice glossy hardback cover with slick embossed lettering, short essays and color photos. It’s a nice thing to hold in your hands and it got me listening to The Band again. Box sets are good that way and I reacted in the expected Pavlovian slobbering fanboy manner.

Oh children, believe me when I tell you that I can rhapsodize about The Band and this is them at the height of their powers, playing their hearts out over the course of a four-night stint at the old Academy of Music on 14th Street in New York, the cavernous venue that would later become the Palladium nightclub, the set of Club MTV and is now… NYU dorms! They were accompanied by a crack horn section arranged by Allen Toussaint that gave their Civil War folk rock a Stax/Volt swing. Bob Dylan even showed up for the encore of their New Year’s Eve set and performed four numbers with them.

The recordings of these shows are what became the Rock of Ages album, a 2 LP release from the summer of 1972. That album went to #6 in the album charts and is considered by many to be one of the greatest live albums ever recorded.

I haven’t had a chance to listen to all of the box yet, but the 5.1 surround, mixed by Bob Clearmountain is quite good and discs 3 and 4 with the raw “you were there” soundboard mixes from New Year’s Eve are also pretty cool. But why anyone would require seven of the same songs from the first two discs to be repeated—well same performance, with a different, more immediate, less hi-fi mix—on discs 3 and 4 is beyond me. The 5.1 mix is the same songs (minus the Dylan numbers) from the first two discs. There are only seventeen unreleased tracks here. Most people who would want this already have Rock of Ages and in fact may have purchased it in multiple formats. There have already been several CD versions.

The problem with reviewing this box is that I like the music, I like it a lot, but it’s so repetitive that the idea of asking fans of The Band to plunk down $109 (Amazon discounts it to $73) and expecting that they’ll do it seems frankly insane to me.

What gives?

The initial Amazon reviews of Live at the Academy Of Music 1971 have been nothing short of brutal, slamming Robbie Robertson for ripping off his biggest fans and decrying the repetitive nature of the box set. They’ve got a point!

What I can’t believe is that the 5.1 mix is just a (lossy) Dolby file on a DVD and not an HD DTS version on a Blu-ray disc. There’s no high-res stereo file, either, just one encoded at 448 kbps/48kHz. For audiophiles, this is a massive turn-off and although this seems to be news to the major labels, they’re the ones who are still buying those round shiny silver things that you can hold in your hand. Don’t get me wrong, I like Bob Clearmountain’s mix, but I’d sure like it a lot more on a Blu-ray disc! It sounds great, but it could sound a lot better. Me, I’d rather have that superior version, especially at this price point.

It stands to reason that the majors would want to appeal to the people—cater to them, kiss their asses—who would *actually buy* what basically amounts to three versions of Rock of Ages by giving them some value for the money. Even those intelligence-insulting Pink Floyd box sets with the drink coasters and Pink Floyd marbles had the surround audio portion on Blu-ray discs. They overlap in the material here, too, is simply so shameless, that you just have to laugh. At either $109 or $73, it’s not a good value for the money.

By comparison, the upcoming Van Morrison Moondance box set has 4 CDs and a high-resolution 48K 24 bit PCM stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound mix on a Blu-ray and this will sell for $56. I reckon that this is still too high of a price to ask when everyone knows that each and every song on those 4 CDs would fit onto the Blu-ray. I think a $35 list price for an expanded catalog classic that’s been plundered for profits over and over again is where the multi-generational sweet spot is.

Fact is, if I was given the option of buying classic albums on Blu-ray, with either a 176/24 version of some album I love or a 5.1 surround mix (or preferably both) and the list was $35, I’d still be buying the same amount of music that I bought back in 2004. But I’m not offered that option or if I am, it’s not at that price point and I get stuck with a bunch of stuff I don’t want, like a “Dark Side of the Moon” scarf… Go much over $35 and you lose me as a customer.

But this is hypothetical, because seldom does what the accountants at the labels think will sell and what the fans want overlap, it’s just that obvious. Many people have excellent audio-visual equipment in their homes and a desire for quality software products to enjoy on their electronics, but the labels never even attempt to engage these consumers. It’s so completely ass-backwards that it’s… annoying.

There are some rays of hope. For instance Panegyric’s upcoming XTC and Yes reissues done by Porcupine Tree’s Steve Wilson—who has previously worked his magic on the King Crimson catalog—feature a CD and a Blu-ray disc combo with high-res audio, 5.1 surround mix and music videos. There’s also a CD/DVD version that will sell for about $25; the Blu-ray/CD pairing goes for around $30.

DING-DONG, this is the perfect formula. I can’t see why the big labels don’t get that. The majors need to look at what Steve Wilson is doing—and no one else but Steve Wilson—and get him to advise them so they stop falling on their faces so hard each and every time they put out these sorts of releases! DO WHAT HE DOES. HE GETS IT. COPY HIM. When they let bean counters and marketers make these decisions they make them based on faulty assumptions of what record buyers and fans want. Steve Wilson? He knows what I want!

In the case of The Band box, the blame for the list price should probably be laid at the feet (or the ego) of the producer, Robbie Robertson. As one Amazon wag put it, there’s only so much ore in that mine. I expect Robertson understands what he means by that. Anyone paying full retail for this box would. The Band’s vault has simply been plundered too many times. The high list price of Live at the Academy Of Music 1971 turns off the most ardent fans and insures that no new ones will be coming aboard. That’s a shame.

Don’t get me wrong, what’s on the discs, well, it’s fine. It’s magic. It’s like having gold poured into your ears. It’s The Band at their very best.

But it’s overpriced like crazy and I gotta call it like I see it. If this was a Blu-ray disc with the Clearmountain 5.1 mix in HD DTS and a high-res stereo mix, plus the soundboard mix as an extra, at a $35 or under price point, I’d be raving like a lunatic telling all of you to run out and buy it. Now.

Not to be a buzzkill(!) here are four songs (“Time to Kill,” “The Weight,” “This Wheel’s on Fire,” “Up on Cripple Creek”) from The Band performing live at The Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh on November 1st, 1970.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Who are these apocalyptic ‘Twelve Tribes’ Jesus freaks following Bob Dylan around?
12:25 pm


Bob Dylan

Have you heard about the Twelve Tribes group of “Amish-style” hippies—the men have beards, headbands, and ponytails and the women dress like Old West extras on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman—who have been following Bob Dylan’s tour around in a bus handing out a freaky 24-page ‘zine (“Dylan: What Are You Thinking?”) about how Dylan’s some kind of religious prophet?

The sect’s fascination with Dylan can be traced back to an incredibly strange interview he gave to SPIN magazine in 1985:

All that exists is spirit, before, now and forever more. The messianic thing has to do with this world, the flesh world, and you got to pass through this to get to that. The messianic thing has to do with the world of mankind, like it is. This world is scheduled to go for 7,000 years. Six thousand years of this, where man has his way, and 1,000 years when God has His way. Just like a week. Six days work, one day rest. The last thousand years is called the Messianic Age. Messiah will rule. He is, was, and will be about God, doing God’s business. Drought, famine, war, murder, theft, earthquake, and all other evil things will be no more. No more disease. That’s all of this world.

What’s gonna happen is this: you know when things change, people usually know, like in a revolution, people know before it happens who’s coming in and who’s going out. All the Somozas and Batistas will be on their way out, grabbing their stuff and whatever, but you can forget about them. They won’t be going anywhere. It’s the people who live under tyranny and oppression, the plain, simple people, that count, like the multitude of sheep. They’ll see that God is coming. Somebody representing Him will be on the scene. Not some crackpot lawyer or politician with the mark of the beast, but somebody who makes them feel holy. People don’t know how to feel holy. They don’t know what it’s about or what’s right. They don’t know what God wants of them. They’ll want to know what to do and how to act. Just like you want to know how to please any ruler. They don’t teach that stuff like they do math, medicine, and carpentry, but now there will be a tremendous calling for it. There will be a run on godliness, just like now there’s a run on refrigerators, headphones, and fishing gear. It’s going to be a matter of survival.

People are going to be running to find out about God, and who are they going to run to? They’re gonna run to the Jews, ‘cause the Jews wrote the book, and you know what? The Jews ain’t gonna know. They’re too busy in the fur business and in the pawnshops and in sending their kids to some atheist school. They’re too busy doing all that stuff to know. People who believe in the coming of the Messiah live their lives right now as if he was here. That’s my idea of it, anyway. I know people are going to say to themselves, “What the fuck is this guy talking about?” But it’s all there in black and white, the written and unwritten word. I don’t have to defend this. The scriptures back me up. I didn’t ask to know this stuff. It just came to me at different times from experiences throughout my life. Other than that, I’m just a rock ‘n’ roller, folk poet, gospel-blues-protestest guitar player. Did I say that right?

Uncle Bob’s yer prophet!

The New Yorker’s John Clarke noticed the Twelve Tribers (full name “The Twelve Tribes of the Commonwealth of Israel” ) at the Dylan show he attended and contacted the group. Clarke was told that joining the Twelve Tribes sect requires forsaking all material possessions, communal living, and working without monetary compensation in one of “the group’s cafés, stores, farms, or construction companies scattered across the United States.”

Writing about the “Dylan: What Are You Thinking?” publication, which alternately describes Dylan as a religious prophet before chiding him to make a return to the The Twelve Tribes/Commonwealth of Israel fold, Clarke says:

The most entertaining, and perhaps the most depressing, parts are the testimonials from members. “Bob” joined up because, as Dylan sings, “everybody has to serve somebody.” Another follower named “Thomas” discovered Dylan as a confused, pot-smoking teen-ager “going downhill fast.” He quotes from Dylan’s “My Life in a Stolen Moment” and “Masters of War,” and urges others to join: “You can come for a day or to stay. This is the answer that Dylan saw dimly. This is what he has wanted. Please come.”

Then there’s “Rose,” a lost teen who wandered around the country until she met and married a man who loved Dylan as much as she did. It was 1976, a year after “Blood on the Tracks” was released. “We clung to every word,” she writes. “The deep passion of our romance was radiated through every word Dylan uttered. It says in scripture that a cord of three strands is not easily broken. [Dylan] was our third strand.” At her first Dylan show, in Gainesville, Florida, she took LSD. “He had us in the palm of his hands,” she writes. “We were his.” Since that time, she has written to Dylan about the Twelve Tribes. At a show in Massachusetts, Rose managed to slip a note addressed to Dylan to someone in his entourage. That was in the late nineteen-eighties. She has yet to hear back. “We haven’t given up,” she writes.

The original mission of the Twelve Tribes dates back to 1987, when the group started following the Grateful Dead with a band of musicians, singers, and dancers, offering emergency medical care in venue parking lots. They also provided a place for lost friends to meet, and helped people coming down from bad acid trips. The author James McCallister ran into Twelve Tribes at a Grateful Dead show in 1990. “I viewed their seemingly predatory behavior as a vile cancer on the scene,” he said. “The operation seemed like a bear trap set in otherwise peaceful woods, a trap designed to ensnare those in vulnerable psychological states.”

In addition to following around Dylan’s endless tour, the Twelve Tribe “Peacemaker” bus has also dogged Phish, as well as Grateful Dead spin-off bands RatDog and Furthur.

Via Christian Nightmares

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
George Harrison and Bob Dylan enjoy a game of tennis, 1969
08:12 am


Bob Dylan
George Harrison

George Harrison playing tennis
Bob Dylan playing tennis
Here we find a couple of shaggy hippies playing a bit of tennis. They are not dressed for the occasion, to say the least. Dylan’s form on his serve (possibly a smash—he’s positioned in front of the baseline) looks quite all right, while Harrison’s forehand looks a bit desperate. Both men are playing right-handed.

In The Mammoth Book of Bob Dylan, edited by Sean Egan, we find the following remarks:

Rikki Farr (co-promoter): “One moment I shall treasure for the rest of my life was at the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival. We had been trying to convince The Beatles to get back together and play, but it never quite came together. What did happen, though, was a kind of spontaneous superstar jam session in the afternoon at a mock Tudor house where Bob Dylan was staying.

The Beatles came down to watch the show, but in the afternoon they all got together in the house and I saw on stage the most incredible supergroup you could imagine. Dylan, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Jackie Lomax, all just jamming. Ginger Baker would get off the drum stool and Ringo would step in. Eric Clapton would take a solo, and then George Harrison would take the next one. It was amazing.

Al Aronowitz (journalist in Dylan entourage): Dylan then invited The Beatles to a game of tennis on the Forelands Farm courts. “I’ll play on condition that nobody really knows how,” quipped John and, as Bob and John teamed up against Ringo and George, Pattie Harrison giggled, “This is the most exclusive game of doubles in the world.

And how!

Via Retronaut

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Famous People on Drugs: Bob Dylan and John Lennon high on heroin together?
12:56 pm


John Lennon
Bob Dylan
D.A. Pennebaker

If TMZ (and the Internet) had been around in the 1960s, you can bet that D.A. Pennebaker’s infamous film of John Lennon and Bob Dylan “both on fucking junk” (Lennon’s words) in the back of Dylan’s limo would have made it to their blog, Gawker and Huffington Post within a New York minute. But it wasn’t until the mid-1980s, when the VHS tape trading underground really took off, that copies of this insane, historically important for all the wrong reasons meeting started making their way into collectors eager hands (I had a copy). Now it’s easy to see, of course, on YouTube.

I’d always just assumed that Dylan and Lennon were both just extremely hungover, but maybe they were on something stronger. Lennon himself would know, right? It would certainly explain Dylan’s odd behavior and all that vomit talk, wouldn’t it?

This momentous event occurred on May 27, 1966 at the time of Dylan’s first “electric” tour of Great Britain, during a year that he admittedly had a $25 a day heroin addiction. The encounter was captured by filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker—it’s an outtake from Eat The Document—and shows how nervous these two rock gods were around each other. In his famous 1971 interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon remarked about the awkward limo ride:

“I just remember we were both in shades and both on fucking junk. ... I was nervous as shit. I was on his territory, that’s why I was so nervous.”

Whatever surreal flights of rock god verbal fantasy they had planned for this filming, the results were something rather less than coherent after Dylan shared his stash! Lennon told Jann Wenner that he was “frightened as hell” and “paranoid” that Dylan had just invited him to be in the film to put him down.

Without stating the obvious, (or perhaps he didn’t know) D.A. Pennebaker told Gadfly magazine:

It was not exactly a conversation by any means. Dylan was so beside himself and in such a terrible state that after a while I don’t think he knew what he was saying. He hauled him up the stairs of the hotel, and when he got to his room he was really sick.

Dylan is clearly out of his flipping mind on something and makes little, if any sense. From the way that he starts off fairly jovial in the first part to the slurred-voiced, nodding-off, face-scratching torpor and talk of vomiting that begins part three, Dylan’s behavior is consistent with a junk user and the viewer practically gets to witness the drug’s effect on him IN REAL TIME! The transformation is something to see. Lennon seems a little embarrassed, and yes, fucked up, but is still willing to play along until their failed attempts at witty wordplay dissolve into nonsense and Dylan seeming to wonder if they’ll make it all the way back to the hotel in time before he pukes his guts out. If John Lennon’s own word is to be trusted, they were both on junk in this footage. This is two of the world’s most famous people, ever, in the entire history of the world, and this is (most probably) them fucked up on heroin together!

How crazy, right?

This is history, baby. Not like great history or anything, but history nonetheless. It’s assumed by most people that they only spent a few minutes in the limo together because that’s what you see in the film and that’s normally what gets posted on YouTube, but they spent more than 20 minutes being shot in that limo. Although it’s fairly excruciating to watch, it is worth it to sit through all of it, once.

Dylan’s slow descent, after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Bob: Dylan serenades beatnik lumberjacks in 1964
12:00 am


Bob Dylan

In recognition of Bob Dylan’s 72nd year on this planet here’s some exceptionally cool vintage footage of the troubadour on Canadian TV show Quest. It aired in February 1964 and features the baby-faced singer sporting a rockabilly quiff and performing in front of what appears to be a hunting lodge filled with beatnik lumberjacks. The mood is whimsical and slightly surreal.

The songs:
1.The Times They Are A-Changin’
2.Talking World War III Blues
3.The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
4.Girl From The North Country
5.A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
6.Restless Farewell

Happy birthday Bob!

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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