Thursday, November 30, 2006

Rare Tracks in The Collection, from Apple iTunes

The “Rare Tracks from the Vaults”, only available when you buy The Collection, the impressive 773 track Dylan compilation from Apple’s iTunes, are a mixture of real rarities – songs that only serious collectors will already possess - and semi-rarities that many more hardcore fans will know well.

The better-known tracks in the list below include those from Live At Carnegie Hall 1963, released as a promo freebie in 2005, the content of Live 1961-2000, widely available as a Japanese import in 2001, and the Masked & Anonymous recordings. Much of the other stuff is possible to source, but buying from Apple makes the job easy (and legal).

Rarities from The Collection:

I Was Young When I Left Home (1961)
Wade In the Water (1961 Minnesota Hotel Tape)
Handsome Molly (Live At the Gaslight 1962)
Baby Please Don't Go (1962 Freewheelin' Sessions)
The Times They Are A-Changin' (Live Carnegie Hall 1963)
Ballad of Hollis Brown (Live Carnegie Hall 1963)
Boots of Spanish Leather (Live Carnegie Hall 1963)
Lay Down Your Weary Tune (Live Carnegie Hall 1963)
North Country Blues (Live Carnegie Hall 1963)
With God On Our Side (Live Carnegie Hall 1963)
Mr. Tambourine Man (Newport Folk Festival 1964)
To Ramona (Live Sheffield England 1965)
Outlaw Blues (Acoustic Version 1965)
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (1966 B Side Version)
I Ain't Got No Home (Tribute to Woody Guthrie)
The Grand Coulee Dam (Tribute to Woody Guthrie)
Went to See the Gypsy (1970 New Morning Sessions)
George Jackson (Acoustic Version)
George Jackson (Big Band Version)
People Get Ready (1975 Promo EP)
Never Let Me Go (1975 Promo EP)
Rita May (1977 B Side Version)
Dead Man, Dead Man (Live New Orleans 1981)
I and I (Reggae Mix)
Night After Night (Hearts of Fire Soundtrack)
Pretty Boy Floyd (Folkways Soundtrack)
Cold Irons Bound (Live El Rey Theater 1997)
Born In Time (Live NJ 1998)
Somebody Touched Me (Live Portsmouth 2000)
Country Pie (Live Portsmouth 2000)
Things Have Changed (Live Portsmouth 2000)
Return to Me (The Sopranos Soundtrack)
Waitin' for You (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Soundtrack)
Man of Peace (With the Grateful Dead)
'Cross the Green Mountain (Gods and Generals Soundtrack)
Gonna Change My Way of Thinking (With Mavis Staples)
Down In the Flood (Masked and Anonymous Soundtrack)
Diamond Joe (Masked and Anonymous Soundtrack)
Dixie (Masked and Anonymous Soundtrack)
Went to See the Gypsy
Love Sick (2004 Remix)
Tell Ol' Bill (North Country Soundtrack)

The other bonus in the $200/£170 The Collection is the Digital Booklet. Tempting extras, I’d say.

Gerry Smith

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The (Dylan) Collection from iTunes: a suitable Xmas present?

Knowing of my involvement in The Dylan Daily, a squash-playing friend who’s also an iPod Missionary asked whether I thought The Collection, the Apple iTunes digital compilation of 774 Dylan songs – all the official albums, plus 42 “rare tracks”- was a suitable Xmas present for his brother, a Dylan fan who’s never bothered to collect many albums.

Switching into chin-stroking mode, I opined:


* a massive collection - the 774 songs have a playing time of 2 days, 8 hours, 29 minutes, and 19 seconds;

* it’s definitive, leaving nothing out;

* a real time-saver;

* the 42 “rarities” aren’t really rare, but would be to your brother;

* he’s never going to buy the albums on CD and, even if he did, it would take time to rip and organise the collection - and he’d probably never play the CDs again;

* buying the digital collection will enable him to play the complete Dylan jukebox on home or office PC, and his iPod, selectively, sequentially or in random order. Power!!

* he won’t get the album artwork, part of the pleasure of a music collection for many people;

* though the US price ($200) is a steal, the UK equivalent (£170, when the pound is at nearly two dollars) isn’t.

Conclusion? Great idea. Do it!

Gerry Smith

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

New de luxe version of Don’t Look Back due in February

Thanks to Lawrence Kirsch in Montreal for his news (from that Don’t Look Back, the classic fly-on-the-wall documentary, is to be reissued early next year.

The film tracks Dylan at his iconic, sneering, imperious peak (as well as his court of jesters) on the 1965 English tour. It has long been a must-have for aficionados.

According to, there’ll be two versions of Don’t Look Back – the original film, remastered, and a new 2DVD package, including a 60 minute documentary, a book and the theatrical trailer. It’s due for release in Canada (and, presumably, everywhere else) at the end of February.

Sounds like another must-buy to me.

Gerry Smith

Monday, November 27, 2006

Promising new study Of Highway 61 Revisited

Highway 61 Revisited, by Mark Polizzotti, is a new volume in 33 1/3, the dinky little series of album studies published by Continuum, in London and New York. (Continuum are also publishers of Michael Gray’s two major Dylan books.)

I’d been looking out for Polizzotti’s new volume in London bookshops for some months and finally came across a pile at Blackwell's, Charing Cross Rd at the weekend, discounted, like the rest of the series, to £6.

At first glance, it looks like a serious, well-written little volume – one which will demand a few hours’ serious reading. Pleasure in store… review to follow.

Highway 61 Revisited is number 35 in the beautifully designed series which includes monographs on Boomer Icon albums ranging from Neil Young’s Harvest to Led Zep 4, Electric Ladyland to Exile On Main Street.

Gerry Smith

Friday, November 24, 2006

Programme themes and setlists for the Dylan-as-DJ series on BBC radio

Details of the themes of the 30-odd Dylan-DJ’d radio programmes to be re-broadcast on BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, plus setlists for each episode, are available on the excellent specialist website, Not Dark Yet. So you can savour the riches even before the broadcasts start in late December.

Gerry Smith

Thursday, November 23, 2006

BBC to broadcast Dylan’s US radio series

BBC Radio has bought the XM Satellite Theme Time Radio Hour series, for broadcast on both Radio 2 and 6Music (digital channel, on DAB and Freeview).

Radio 2 leads off, with six of the shows over Christmas - starting Saturday 23 December 2006 and running to Thursday 28 December at 1900 (except 1700 on Xmas Eve), and then weekly from 21 March. BBC 6 Music broadcasts the whole series first, starting on 31 December at 2100 and then Friday nights from 12 January.

Theme Time Radio Hour With Your Host Bob Dylan features an eclectic mix of music, interviews and commentary. Themes include weather, including an challenging range of classics, from The Wind Cries Mary by Jimi Hendrix to Keep On The Sunny Side by The Carter Family. It's essential listening for those keen to understand the roots of Dylan's muse. And a coup for the BBC: in particular, it will raise 6 Music's low profile.

The good news for listeners outside the UK is that Radio 2 streams its output over the web, and then leaves programmes up for seven days after broadcast.

The Dylan juggernaut shows no sign of slowing down. None whatsoever. Yippee!

Gerry Smith

Trager v Gray: a tale of two encyclopedias

Writing and editing copy for The Dylan Daily is an enjoyable diversion from real life, but, like any writing task taken seriously, it always involves checking – facts, names, titles, and, especially, spellings: is it Scarlett or Scarlet? The Times They Are A-Changin’, or is there another “g” in there? And surely that tiresome little Ulster DJ on BBC Radio 1 was wrong tonight in playing and discussing a Dylan song he called Everybody Must Get Stoned?

You go for years without a Dylan fact-checker, and then two come along at the same time. Oliver Trager beat Michael Gray into print by some margin, so I’d been using his Definitive Encyclopedia well before this autumn’s launch of Gray’s competitor tome. But I’ve been consulting both books frequently since then.

So, Trager or Gray? Which is more useful? More authoritative?

In a nutshell, I find both encyclopedias invaluable. They have different strengths – I use Trager more on albums and song detail, but turn to Gray for his focus on people and places. Luckily, the two are complementary. And I couldn’t do without either.

If you don’t yet own the new(ish) Dylan encyclopedias by Oliver Trager and Michael Gray, I suggest you print out this article, scrawl “Vital – buy both” in red in the margin and leave it lying around at home, where some significant other is likely to see it before s/he does her/his Xmas shopping.

Gerry Smith

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

New issue of the free DYLAN DAILY newsletter - November 2006

Below is a copy of the latest issue of the free DYLAN DAILY newsletter, mailed to subscribers today. To ensure you receive your own copy of future issues, please register as a subscriber, by typing your email address in the box in the left column of

It’s 100% Dylan! It's free! And you can easily unsub at any time!

THE DYLAN DAILY - celebrating the art of Bob Dylan

Welcome to the November issue of the Dylan Daily newsletter. It lists articles recently published on The Dylan Daily web site (, helping you catch up on any articles you might have missed.

The Dylan Daily web site is one year old this week. In its first year it has carried over 300 original articles and has been viewed nearly a quarter of a million times.

Many thanks to: everyone who has contributed content; Karl Erik Andersen, of Expecting Rain, for his support; Rik Hammond, who designed the site, and keeps it running; Bob Dylan; and all readers, without whom The Dylan Daily would be, er, pointless.

In its second twelve months, The Dylan Daily will: publish more content; focus more on Dylan gigs and archive video footage; post each day’s contribution before the start of the European working day, so you can log on for new copy from first thing in the morning; send this free Dylan Daily newsletter to subscribers more frequently.

You’re always welcome to share your info and insights and air your views on matters Dylan - I’m particularly keen to publish your gig reviews.

The “Dylan industry” shows no sign of slowing down: make sure you log on to The Dylan Daily every day in the working week.

Thanks for your support.

Gerry Smith, Editor


* Dylan Daily – first anniversary
* First the Encyclopedia… now, the T shirt
* No Dylan in Top 100 albums
* Back Pages gig coming soon
* Top 20 albums: comment

* Dylan – The Musical
* The ideal Dylan backing band: encore
* Your 3 second guide to the latest gig: Toronto, 7 Nov 2006
* Your ideal Dylan backing band?
* Dylan on Dylan - at 50% discount

* Dylan Top 20 albums: an alternative view
* Modern Times – Album Of The Year in new issue of Uncut
* Roger McGuinn does Dylan in mesmerising London gig
* Bob Dylan Convention/6th Annual John Green Day: a third view
* Bob Dylan Convention/6th Annual John Green Day: another view

* Spanish boots?
* Saturday’s Bob Dylan Convention/John Green Day
* Bob Dylan - the Musical
* Dylan’s literary borrowing: the 1960s?
* Lyrics 1962-2001 – new, paperback edition

* More on: Ovid, and on The Top 20 albums poll
* Modern Times and Ovid
* The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia – reprint, with updates and corrections
* The Top 20 Dylan albums – new expert ranking
* Rough Guide: competition winners

* Modern Times Is Rubbish
* High praise for Modern Times songs on new N American tour
* Spanish books of…
* Rough Guide winners - and more copies to win in new competition
* Boots of Spanish plastic?

* Last call: win a free copy of the new Rough Guide to Bob Dylan
* Rare acetate being auctioned: to you, $2,000
* Free copy of the new Rough Guide to Bob Dylan
* Win a free copy of the new Rough Guide to Bob Dylan
* Modern Times's influences analysed in new issue of Uncut

* Free from The Dylan Daily – the new Rough Guide to Bob Dylan
* Bob Dylan Album File & Complete Discography: encore
* Free! New! The Rough Guide to Bob Dylan - from The Dylan Daily
* New - Bob Dylan Album File & Complete Discography
* Dylan’s literary influences

* Al Kooper – the overlooked
* Modern Times blooper
* Michael Gray’s Bob Dylan Encyclopedia at 33% discount
* Series of D...ylan films at New York’s Morgan Museum
* Must-hear Dylan lecture series at New York’s Morgan Museum

* Must-see Dylan programme at New York’s Morgan Museum
* Modern Times and Henry Timrod again
* The new Rough Guide – encore
* Modern Times lyric fragments from Civil War-era poet?
* High praise for the new Rough Guide to Bob Dylan

* Rolling Stone Dylan cover, and the new edition of The Rough Guide
* New: Dylan on Dylan - The Essential Interviews
* A sad ol’ lonesome day
* Blonde On Blonde does the trick
* Slate’s review of Modern Times – encore

* Modern Times DVD – yet another missed opportunity
* Honest With Me: Musical Stories on Bob Dylan


* Al Kooper on Michael Gray's new Dylan Encyclopedia
* Modern Times reviews: Slate the pick of the bunch
* Modern Times Limited Edition - Asda for best High St price
* Your ten second summary of the London press reviews of Modern Times
* Raving about Modern Times: looking on in awe…

* Raving about Modern Times #4: The (London) Times
* Raving about Modern Times: encore…
* Guardian's Modern Times review slammed
* Raving about Modern Times: encore
* Raving about Modern Times # 3: The Independent

* Raving about Modern Times # 2: Daily Telegraph
* Superlative new Rolling Stone interview
* The Rough Guide to Bob Dylan - new edition just out
* Modern Times - faint praise in New York Times
* Modern Times - XM Radio tie-ins, bonus CD and special preview

* Early Dylan - photo collection - at discount
* Filming the Dylan story in Quebec
* Dylan Live In Canada - encore
* Andy Muir, Editor, on the closure of Judas!
* Judas! to cease publication after next issue

* Modern Times Listening Parties
* Lowest prices for new Bob Dylan album, Modern Times
* Collectable Dylan - new issue of photography mag
* Modern Times Jokerman bonus DVD - encore
* The Complete Dylan from iTunes - Apple to release momentous 800 track collection

* Modern Times: Jokerman bonus DVD track from iTunes
* North American promo tour for Michael Gray's new Encylopedia
* Five star review for Modern Times
* New issue of MOJO - a must-have for collectors
* Dylan in Cardiff – encore

* Scarlet Rivera and Rob Stoner, sometime Dylan sidekicks, booked for London
* Dylan’s Music and Life - very attractive new book
* I’ve got the live show blues
* More XM playlists: 12 - Cars
* More XM playlists: 11 - Flowers

Please "Forward" this issue of the newsletter to a few like-minded friends. Then, if they like what they see, they can register via the web site to receive their own free copy.

And why not bookmark - to make it easy to re-visit the site? New reviews and commentaries are added to the Daily Update page on the web site early in the European working day.

The newsletter is delivered free, by email, once a month. You can access the full content of this newsletter much earlier - as it is published - in DAILY UPDATE on the web site:

The newsletter is sent to you because you have subscribed via the web site. To unsubscribe your email address, please go to the web site (; you'll enter the site at the Daily Update page; in the Subscribe area at the top of the left column, please enter your subscribed address in the "Your Email" box; select "Unsubscribe"; and then click "Go"; you'll be automatically unsubscribed.

(c) Music for Grown-Ups Ltd 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dylan Daily web site – first anniversary

The Dylan Daily web site ( is one year old this week.

In its first year it has carried over 300 original articles and has been viewed nearly a quarter of a million times.

Many thanks to:

* everyone who has contributed content

* Karl Erik Andersen, of Expecting Rain, for his support

* Rik Hammond, who designed the site, and keeps it running (contact details below)

* Bob Dylan, and

* all readers, without whom The Dylan Daily web site would be, er, pointless.

In its second twelve months, The Dylan Daily will:

* publish more content

* focus more on Dylan gigs and

* archive video footage

* post each day’s contribution before the start of the European working day, so you can log on for new copy from first thing in the morning

* send the associated free Dylan Daily newsletter to subscribers more frequently.

(If you don’t yet receive the free newsletter, you can subscribe now, from the web home page – simply complete the subs box and you’ll receive the newsletter from the next issue.)

You’re always welcome to share your info and insights and air your views on matters Dylan - I’m particularly keen to publish your gig reviews.

The “Dylan industry” shows no sign of slowing down: make sure you log on to The Dylan Daily every day in the working week.

Thanks for your support.

Gerry Smith

Monday, November 20, 2006

First the Encyclopedia… now, the T shirt

Thanks to Michael Gray for news of a very collectable T shirt promoting his Bob Dylan Encyclopedia:

"For sale online exclusively here now! The T-Shirt... Subtle and beautiful - no writing: just the front-cover design from the hardback 1st edition of The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia - it comes in Large Size only, in black high-quality heavy cotton, made specially for us in a limited edition of 100 only. Price: £12.99 + £2 p&p to anywhere in the world."


Gerry Smith

Thursday, November 16, 2006

No Dylan in Top 100 albums

There’s absolutely nothing by Dylan in the latest Top 100, a ranking of poprock albums by UK sales, compiled by the Official UK Charts Company for broadcast on VH1 this weekend.

Nothing. Nowt. Nada. Rien.

It’s a struggle to find a single album for grown-ups – nothing by the Rolling Stones, either… or Neil Young… Van the Man… Joni Mitchell… Laughing Lennie…, or the Smiths… Joy Division… Roxy Music… the Fall… you could go on listing the worthy missing for ages.

So, what makes the Hot 100? You really wouldn’t want to know - suffice to say it’s wall-to-wall crap. Further proof, if it were needed, that there really is no accounting for popular taste. Or, to put it more bluntly, most music buyers have infantile taste.

The new ranking is a salutary reminder that, in the wider music market, Dylan is a minority taste.

Gerry Smith

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Back Pages gig soon

Tribute bands don’t normally ring my bell, but I’ve travelled 200 miles round trip to see Norfolk Dylan tribute band Back Pages before now, and I will again.

Highly recommended!

Thanks to lead singer/guitarist Gerald Bamford for his note that:

“Back Pages will once again pick and choose from the Bob Dylan songbook on Saturday November 25th at The Ostrich Public House, Castle Acre, Norfolk. Forewarned is forearmed.”

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Top 20 albums: editorial comment

Regular readers will recall that the recent Dylan Daily poll to ascertain album preferences of the readership resulted in the ranked Top 20 list, below.

I promised editorial comment, so here goes:

* The survey was big enough to provide an accurate fan consensus, though no single fan will rank the albums in the same order,

* the dominance of the mid-1960s trio comes as no surprise at all,

* I was mildly surprised that BOTT was “only” second,

* "Love And Theft" seems artificially high; I’d bet it’ll drop over time; I think Modern Times will overtake it,

* surprisingly low rankings: Another Side Of Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A'-Changin’, and Planet Waves,

* surprising no-show: Down In The Groove (weak joke inserted to check you’re still awake).

The Top 20 Dylan Albums

1. Blonde On Blonde (1966) 100 (index)
2. Blood On the Tracks (1975) 84
3. Highway 61 Revisited (1965) 74
4. Bringing It All Back Home (‘65) 43
5. Time Out Of Mind (1997) 21

6. "Love And Theft" (2001) 18
7. The Freewheelin’ (1963) 17
8. John Wesley Harding (1967) 14
9. Desire (1976) 12
10. Another Side Of Bob Dylan (‘64) 11

11. Oh Mercy (1989) 10
12. Modern Times (2006)
13. Street-Legal (1978)
14. Slow Train Coming (1979)
15. Infidels (1983)

16. Live 1966 (1998) 2
17. No Direction Home (2005)
18. Planet Waves (1974)
19. New Morning (1970)
20. The Times They Are A'-Changin’(‘64) 1

(The index figure at the end of each line has been calculated to indicate popularity relative to Blonde On Blonde.)

Gerry Smith

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dylan – The Musical

Reaction to the recent opening of the Dylan musical on Broadway was pretty negative (me, too - see below) but I’m saddened by the announcement of the show’s early demise: all those people working their socks off, all that money invested… a great pity, even though I, for one, would never have gone to see it.

Gerry Smith

Original article:

Bob Dylan - the Musical

Short version: no, absolutely not!

Longer version: I wouldn’t got to see the new Broadway musical featuring Dylan songs if the producer arranged a door-to-door return flight by Concorde (RIP) and helicopter, seated me in a premium view box, and arranged a private 30-minute post-show meeting with Dylan himself. (OK, forget the last bit – I might be persuaded).

My musical tastes are reasonably wide, and encompass the fabulous Broadway shows of the great composers, such as Cole Porter. But musicals since the South Pacific era leave me absolutely stone cold: I’ve tried, but I can’t think of modern musicals as anything other than meretricious, middlebrow trash.

The Times… on Broadway? No thanks, keep it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The ideal Dylan backing band: encore

Thanks to Matthew Zuckerman and to Martin Cowan for their suggestions on the ideal Dylan backing band:

“Answer 1:
gtr: Robbie Robertson
bs: Rick Danko
ds: Levon Helm
kbds: Garth Hudson
pno: Richard Manuel

“Answer 2:
Gtr: Larry Campbell
bs: Tony Garnier
ds: Jim Keltner
kbds: Al Kooper
pno: Bob Dylan”.

“My personal favourites would have to be members of the Rolling Thunder Band, so take a bow - the late great Howie Wyeth, Rob Stoner, T Bone Burnett and Scarlet Rivera.”

Which musicians would YOU choose for the ideal band to back Dylan – chosen from all the musos who have backed Bob over the years? Your opinions will be welcomed:

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Your 3 second guide to the latest gig: Toronto, 7 Nov

Thanks to Dave McLean for his 3 second guide to the latest gig, Toronto, 7 Nov 2006:

1. Maggie's Farm
2. She Belongs To Me
3. Lonesome Day Blues
4. Positively 4th Street
5. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
6. When The Deal Goes Down
7. Highway 61 Revisited
8. Masters Of War
9. Rollin' And Tumblin'
10. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
11. Tangled Up In Blue
12. Nettie Moore
13. Summer Days
14. Thunder On The Mountain
15. Like A Rolling Stone
16. All Along The Watchtower

* New album songs
* Nice mixture of new and classic 60s repertoire

Low points:
* Summer Days

* Bob: magisterial
* Band: silky

Score (%): 85%

In a nutshell: a very fine gig

If you’ve just seen a Dylan gig, please send your 3 second report, in the same format as above, to

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The ideal Dylan backing band?

Gerald Bamford, of Norfolk-based tribute band Back Pages, has thrown out the following challenge to fellow readers of The Dylan Daily:

“Which musicians would you choose for the ideal band to back Dylan – chosen from all the musos who have backed Bob over the years?”

Your opinions will be welcomed:

Gerry Smith

Monday, November 06, 2006

Dylan on Dylan discounted by 50%

Dylan On Dylan: The Essential Interviews, by Jonathan Cott, the English version of Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews, is on sale as a striking hardback, alongside Rio, Alan Titchmarsh and the rest of the celeb hardback biogs at Asda supermarkets, at a whopping 50% discount - £9.96, down from £18.99.

If I didn’t already have the US edition, I’d have slipped it in my trolley tonight, alongside the nutrient-free cream cake, dead dog sausages and tinned steak and kidney pudding.

Fabulous book, fabulous price. I reviewed it here a couple of months ago:

New: Dylan on Dylan - The Essential Interviews

Dylan on Dylan: The Essential Interviews, edited by Jonathan Cott (Hodder & Stoughton, £18.99), has just gone on sale in Borders in England.

Published in the USA in May this year under a slightly different title - Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews (Wenner Books, $23.95) - it’s the definitive collection, with a mighty 31 interviews, from the much bootlegged Cynthia Gooding radio interview in 1962 to Robert Hilburn in the LA Times in 2004, including four major interviews from Rolling Stone, the 1966 Playboy interview and a transcript of Studs Terkel’s famed Chicago radio interview from 1963.

Recommended: if you’re a Dylan collector, you need this book, whether in its US or English edition.

Gerry Smith

Friday, November 03, 2006

Dylan Top 20 albums: an alternative view

Thanks to Matthew Caley:

“I’m utterly astonished that The Basement Tapes [never mind Good As I Been to You or World Gone Wrong] didn't make the Top 20! I would have thought it would be vying for single greatest album with Blood On The Tracks and Blonde On Blonde...[ and there needs to be an official release of an expanded Basement Tapes with Sign Of The Cross and I'm Not There and much more besides... then it'd have to be vying for No 1.]

“Just as there needs to be a full concert from the Hard Rain LP/film - just for the version of Idiot Wind alone that'd have to be in any Top 20.

“Just as there needs to be a proper {double at least] live album from the first Gospel Concerts [one was rumoured, then withdrawn] featuring Slow Train Coming and Saved material done in inflammatory style plus 'raps'...

“Good As I Been To You/World Gone Wrong may be made up of covers but we all know that Dylan brilliantly blurs the line between covers and originals. These albums are two of his most significant, not least because they opened up the way to the current renaissance.

“Purely because lists are there to generate debate - and because the already listed 'greats' are played to death by any self-respecting Dylan appreciator – my alternative Top Six albums would be:

1] The Basement Tapes
2] Hard Rain
3] Good As I Been To You
4] Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid
5] Live Gospel period album
6] Bob Dylan
6] World Gone Wrong.”

(All other alternative lists welcomed – Gerry Smith).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Modern Times – Album Of The Year in new issue of Uncut

Thanks to Martin Cowan, Dylan Daily’s Man in the High Street:

“Dylan is on the front cover of the new issue of Uncut, plus tour diary, and Modern Times is their Album of the Year.


Roger McGuinn does Dylan in mesmerising London gig

Thanks to James Ketchell:

“Legendary front man and lead guitarist of the Byrds, Roger McGuinn came to London on Tuesday night. Playing solo for the whole gig, he came on to the familiar strains of the Byrds’ version of Mr Tambourine Man, and the 500-strong crowd at the intimate University College London Bloomsbury Theatre cheered ecstatically.

“He then put the electric guitar to one side and played his custom-made seven string Martin acoustic guitar. Playing songs from throughout his career he prefaced them with little stories.

“McGuinn told us about meeting Dylan, his work with Peter Fonda and Dylan on ‘Ballad of Easy Rider’, his love of the Beatles and how they, in his mind, invented folk rock, and some jokes about banjos. (What’s the difference between a Harley Davidson and a banjo? You can tune a Harley). His immense heart, humour and warmth came through and, coupled with his excellent guitar work, could not have left anyone in the theatre unmoved.

“Highlights were an amazing ‘Eight Miles High’, where his guitar work was simply mesmerising. Mixing flamenco licks, Ravi Shankar-esque work and folk guitar picking, it was a musician’s tour de force and reminded everyone in attendance what a talented guitarist he really is.

“Other songs of note included ‘You Ain’t Going Nowhere’, originally by Dylan but played on their country record, Sweetheart of the Rodeo, a cover of Woody Guthrie’s ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’ and an intense ‘St James Infirmary Blues’.

“He returned for the encore to much applause; picking up the electric guitar, he blitzed his way through ‘Chimes of Freedom’ and ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’, encouraging the crowd to sing along and participate. The “A time for war, a time for peace” line in ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ got a loud cheer from the ageing ‘hippy’ crowd.

“It was a wonderful way to spend a cold Hallowe’en night in London. Next time he visits these shores, be sure to get yourself a ticket. You will not be disappointed.”

Bob Dylan Convention/6th Annual John Green Day: a third view

Readers of this web site were out in force at Saturday’s Bob Dylan Convention/6th Annual John Green Day. Thanks to Ged Guild for his report, the third on The Dylan Daily:

“This year’s Bob Dylan Convention at the Park Inn, Northampton, was the sixth annual event to commemorate the passing of massive Dylan collector, the 43 year old John Green. In fact, the whole event is named after a man who, by all accounts, had the proverbial heart of gold.

“The day was an absolute success. Talks were given by BBC man Duncan Bartlett, who is obviously passionate and sincere in his intellectual fondness of Bob Dylan. Michael Gray is, love him or loathe him, the world authority on Zimmy. He communicates loud and clear that you cannot categorise Dylan – ‘Pop/Folk/Rock/Poet/Writer’ - to use his words, ‘the word talent just doesn't do it’.

“The evening’s entertainment got under way with a fantastic acoustic set from the evergreen Dylanesque; during their opener, Man of Constant Sorrow, you could literally hear a pin drop. Cold Overture, ever present at these events, went out of their way to say that they were not copiers of Dylan, as there is only one Bob Dylan. With the world’s only Bob Dylan tribute about to take the stage, maybe this was not really a grand welcome! Overture were good, though, I have to tell you.

“Highway 61 Revisited were the perfect end to a perfect day. The band featured Rob Stoner and Scarlet Rivera from Dylan's 1975/76 Rolling Thunder Revue, and with Dylan's NET drummer Winston Watson behind the skins, you could hardly doubt the authenticity of Joel Gilbert's band. They were great, in fact! The sound was a little muddy, but you can’t have absolutely everything.

“Fantastic day. Fantastic event. Please put your hands together for all the tremendous artists, speakers and, above all, don't forget the organisers - Chris Cooper, Keith Agars and John Noakes.”

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Bob Dylan Convention/6th Annual John Green Day: another view

Thanks to Gerald Bamford for his report:

“The Bob Dylan Convention/6th Annual John Green Day, which took place at The Park Inn, Northampton on Saturday, was organised as always by the lovely people who run the Cambridge Bob Dylan Appreciation Society and who put an immense amount of time, effort and probably a lot of their own hard-earned cash into a day not only to celebrate the words and music of Bob Dylan but also to remember one of the originators of the Society - the late John Green - who tragically passed away at the end of 1999.

“So .... a hotel ground floor filled with Bob Dylan T-Shirts and memorabilia from most of Bob's years as a song and dance man extraordinaire. The main emphasis was on the Rolling Thunder years in the mid-‘70s, since leading covers band Highway 61 Revisited, led by would-be Bob look/soundalike (well maybe not) Joel Gilbert, were augmented by actual former sidespersons, violinist Scarlet Rivera and bassist Rob Stoner, together with drummer Winston Watson from the early ‘90s touring band.

“Scarlet and Rob were part of the afternoon Q & A session, remembering scenes from inside the goldmine when Bob and the Rolling Thunder Revue were on great form revisiting the USA, trying out the new songs from Desire and putting together a film for posterity.

“A very interesting but generally gentle session. I should have asked what Bob himself would think of their involvement and what he thinks in general of tribute bands and their place in Modern Times (seeing as I play in a Bob covers band myself around the Norfolk area - Back Pages if you're interested).

“But I got scared. Trust me - no great revelations, but thank the Lord for that. Following this was a autographing session for which someone (Joel Gilbert?) had the bright idea of charging a fiver a scribble. Cue much mumblin' and grumblin' among the delegates.

“Preceding the Q & A were a couple of presentations, from Duncan Bartlett (whom I missed through no fault of his; so unfortunately no comment) and Michael Gray, the renowned author, who presented very well in respect of the history of rock music and his and Bob's place within that chequered history. Good fun. We now know that Spanish is the Loving Tongue!

“H61Revisited were preceded by a duo - Dylanesque - and a trio - Cold Overture - who sang and played Bob Dylan songs to gee up the audience for the main attraction.

“H61Revisited started by looking as if they weren't all that happy to be there, but slowly warmed to their task and just got better and better, so that the larger part of us aficionados were up a'dancin' and a'wobblin' to a whole series of great Bob songs, generally well performed, especially when Scarlet was allowed to be heard, on songs associated with the RTR tour. However, the endings need to be worked on - so see to it, band…!

“Everybody seemed to have a great time and the feeling of being in the presence of actual Bob bandspersons was a real treat, even at £5 a signature. So, onto next year.

“Perhaps we can play a game of selecting a favourite band of ex-band members for the next event - I'd certainly demand Larry Campbell and Charlie Sexton on guitars etc, with Elana Fremerman on the fiddle and any old bass player, with yes - Winston Watson - on drums. Or, perhaps, GE Smith on guitar, with David Mansfield doing the rest. Then, again, Back Pages would do just as well, especially if I asked my sax-playing friend to help us out on a reconstruction of the Blackbushe Aerodrome show - now that was a gig!

“Actually, the talk from the wonderful organiser persons was of calling this event the last, due to the stress involved in putting the show on the road. Well, from my point of view, I’d like to thank the guys at the CBDAS for putting so much effort into setting up the event. I just wonder why I hadn't been to any of the previous events.

“Thanks, then, to John Stokes, Chris Cooper and Keith Agar, and no doubt others, for a wonderful event.”