October 14, 2012 11:42 PM   Subscribe


And a hat tip to the excellent Great White Wonder: Bob Dylan and the birth of Rock Bootlegs and Album Leaks, the existence of which I missed until the preview of this....

I was indoors at a desk *cough cough* and surfing the 'Tube for Dylan rarities is how this came to be...
posted by y2karl at 11:47 PM on October 14, 2012

Oh, lordy. I take just one more look at metafilter before I shut down and go to bed, and looky what y2karl done dropped on the sidewalk.

Thanks! But you're causing me to lose sleep...
posted by drhydro at 12:01 AM on October 15, 2012

And... Bob Dylan & the Crackers - I Ain't Got No Home          
The Crackers was what they were called for the concert....
posted by y2karl at 12:12 AM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm thinking I'll never live long enough to hear all the songs Dylan wrote. Just in the 60s.
posted by Twang at 2:51 AM on October 15, 2012

Nice mouseovers.
posted by MtDewd at 6:20 AM on October 15, 2012

It makes me very happy that I am lucky enough to inhabit the planet at the same time as Bob Dylan.
posted by Optamystic at 6:34 AM on October 15, 2012

Excellent! There may be a specific performance here that greatly influenced my choice of username. No, as good as it is, it's not Joshua Gone Barbados.
posted by OmieWise at 7:03 AM on October 15, 2012

I hear ya Optamystic ... and for my part, I am pretty happy to inhabit mefi at the same time as y2karl and his superb posts.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:37 AM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yeah, well, the same goes for me in regards to you, Ms. Jive.

One mystery solved for me is how the last verse of She's Your Lover ended. I had never heard that version before. Now there is a rather ambitious song, addressed as it is to two people by turns.

Nor had I seen any video footage of Dylan at the Isle of Wight nor his appearance at the Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert in 1968.

I would recommend the Al Kooper interview -- it's chock full of informative Blonde on Blonde anecdotage and funny, to boot. I like the part where Wayne Buttrey gets a call at 4 AM and asked to bring his trombone down for Rainy Day Women session and shows up 45 minutes later clean shaven in suit and tie, rarin' to go. And Robbie Robertson on the Blonde on Blonde sessions, short in time and thin in detail as he is in comparison, still makes for a nice compare and contrast on the same set of musicians.

And how baby faced Dylan looks in the Warhol Screen Test. I have often thought that had he died in his famous mythical motorcycle accident, he would be forever young ala James Dean, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain and there would be such a cult as to see brick and mortar churches built to him by now. But, instead, he has lived long enough to resemble the shamefully electrified corpse of Vincent Price. (And yet managed not to be quite the laughing stock that Jim Morrison would be, were he still around...)

And we got to hear Blood on Tracks, and he is writing songs of merit still. So, there is that as well.
posted by y2karl at 10:09 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

See also:

Dylan rocking out with Dharma & Greg

You gotta keep current with the guy. He's still a groundbreaker---no Judas.
posted by shushufindi at 10:38 AM on October 15, 2012

Pardon the self-link to my humble Youtube account, but here's a playlist of the entire Radio Unnameable bootleg. (The good one--there's a second appearance floating around with more music and lower sound quality, but it's far less entertaining.)

It's hard to index all the highlights but a few of them include Bob justifying his choice to go electric, arguing about the lyrics to Desolation Row (included in clips above,) and advising a fan claiming to be on a psychedelic trip to "try not to get robbed!"
posted by Lorin at 11:38 AM on October 15, 2012

Apart from the whole don't tell Grampa how to suck eggs on the keeping up part, but Bob Dylan on Dharma and Greg is current ? And, groundbreaking ? I remember reading how he was a fan of Mayim Bialik in Blossom back in the day.
posted by y2karl at 11:40 AM on October 15, 2012

Jeez, didn't feel as grouchy or intend to be snarky as the above could easily be read, so my apologies if it came across as such.
posted by y2karl at 1:44 PM on October 15, 2012

...and advising a fan claiming to be on a psychedelic trip to "try not to get robbed!"

That whole exchange was a high point in more ways than one.
posted by y2karl at 1:49 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Further proof from Bob Fass that Dylan was not someone to lend records to: "Hey, how 'bout giving me back that Lenny Bruce record I lent you three years ago? Have you got it with you?"
posted by Lorin at 2:15 PM on October 15, 2012

...The closest I ever got to the sound I hear in my mind was on individual bands in the Blonde on Blonde album. It’s that thin, that wild mercury sound. It’s metallic and bright gold with whatever that conjures up. That’s my particular sound. I haven’t been able to succeed in getting it all the time. Mostly I’ve been driving at a combination of guitar, harmonica and organ, but now I find myself going into territory that has more percussion in it and [pause] rhythms of the soul...

The sound he’s “always heard”: It suggests a kind of visionary experience (well, auditory vision, if you will)–a Muse-like musical visitation , almost, that came to him as sound rather than song.

What I’d forgotten, what I rediscovered rereading the interview, was that Mr. Dylan goes on to elaborate upon that sound, to give it a local habitation and a name. And to describe it with the kind of synesthesia characteristic of visionary experiences. Synesthesia because he begins by defining that sound he was searching for as a kind of light :

“It was the sound of the streets,” he said. “That ethereal twilight light, you know. It’s the sound of the street with the sunrays, the light shining down at a particular time, on a particular type of building. A particular type of people on a particular type of street. It’s an outdoor sound that drifts even into open windows …. The sound of bells and distant railroad trains and arguments in apartments and the clinking of silverware and knives and forks … usually it’s the crack of dawn. Music filters out to me in the crack of dawn.”

“The jingle-jangle morning?” I ventured...

“Right,” he said.

‘That Wild Mercury Sound’: Tangled Up in Bob Again
In the interview linked next to last in the first group at the top, Al Kooper remarks that Blonde on Blonde captures the sound of 4 in the morning like no other music. Then he allows that, well, it was mostly recorded at that time.

And, boy, Michael Gray is not his favorite writer.
posted by y2karl at 5:14 PM on October 15, 2012

That "wild mercury sound" quote has always stuck with me, but I had forgotten all about the second bit. I've heard people dismiss it as one of the throwaway tracks on Blonde on Blonde but "Obviously Five Believers" seems like a perfect example of that sound. Robbie Robertson's guitar on that track blows me away every time. . ...And that's how I spent the last couple hours pulling out various Dylan records.

The fact that Al Kooper produced the Tubes' debut is news to me. "White Punks On Dope" is one of those songs that I can never quite turn up loud enough. And he's right, the best part of the famous Newport concert was when Dylan came back to play "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue". Maybe I'm imagining it, or buying into the myth, but I swear you can see a few tears roll down Bob's cheek.

I've been digging around for which might be the good books on Dylan, aside from his memoir. I guess I can cross Michael Gray off the list.
posted by Lorin at 7:56 PM on October 15, 2012

The Andy Warhol screen test for Dylan isn't very good.

It's kind of hard now to imagine now how big a king-maker or celebrity-sycophant or butt-licking cock-sucker Warhol was at that time, but those screen tests were kind of interesting.

Look at the list of notable subjects of those screen tests. Lots of famous people there. Nobody would ever sit still for that kind of shit today.

This video has some scenes from the Bowie-Warhol meetup.
Put a peephole in my brain
Two new pence to have a go
I'd like to be a gallery
Put you all inside my show

Warhol was kind of a prick.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:04 AM on October 16, 2012

So, no one found the Easter eggs.
posted by y2karl at 1:40 PM on October 18, 2012

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