Friday, September 28, 2007

An American poet from the Twentieth Century - in Italy

On a weekend pass to Palermo, capital of Sicily and the most exciting city I’ve experienced for many years, I picked up a copy of Paolo Vites’ beautifully designed book, Bob Dylan 1962-2002: 40 anni di canzoni (Editori Reuniti, 2003, 382pp, pbk). At the very least, it’ll encourage me to persevere with trying to learn Italian (again).

I also bought the Bob Dylan volume, also published by Editori Reuniti, in its Legends/Songwriters collection (2005, 127pp, pbk). It’s another fine production, in a splendid pocket-sized collection.

My third treasured buy was the Italian version of the first Dylan lyrics book - Bob Dylan: Blues, ballate e canzoni (Newton Compton, 2005, 304pp, pbk). It’ll be a handy language learning aid, as it reproduces the English lyrics opposite the Italian translations.

The readily available Dylan product and knowledgeable staff in Palermo’s fine bookshops weren’t matched among the shady signori flogging dodgy pirate CDs on the lively backstreet market stalls – none had any Bob product and a couple of chaps who looked as if they might have been bussed in for the day from Corleone hadn’t even heard of “Bob Dylan”, offering me Bob Marley product instead!

Gerry Smith

Thursday, September 27, 2007

News catch-up

* Dylan in Nashville

Thanks to Steven Pearce for alerting The Dylan Daily to the excitement generated by Dylan’s appearance at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium last week (19 September).

Rave reviews on Bob Links mark the show, maybe energised by the ghost of Hank Williams and the support of Jack White and Elvis Costello, as a masterpiece of performance art - appropriate for such a historic venue.

* The Other Side Of The Mirror – TV transmission date

Thanks to Andy Vanfan for confirmation of the transmission date for The Other Side Of The Mirror on BBC TV – it’s scheduled for 14 October on BBC Four’s Arena series.

* BOBMANIA # 9 – new Back Pages dates

Thanks to Gerald Bamford for new dates for Back Pages, his recommended Norfolk tribute band:

“As if to celebrate all the Bob activity, Back Pages will be pickin' 'n' choosin' from the Dylan songbook in Norfolk (it's always Norfolk unless anybody has other ideas) at the Stuart House Hotel, King’s Lynn on Friday Oct 12; then at the Fox 'n' Hounds, Heacham nr Hunstanton on Tuesday Oct 23; and 'Tracks', The Railway Freehouse, North Elmham nr East Dereham on Fri Nov 23.”

* Video of Most Likely You Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine – another view

Thanks to Ian Woodward:

“I'm afraid that I disagree entirely with your (and your fellow Bobcats') assessment of the recent "Most Likely" video.

“To describe it as "silly" is facile in itself and to describe it as "sh*te" is just unbelievable.

“Whilst I would not pretend that it is my favourite Dylan video, it displays a wit and intelligence that I am surprised that your combined energies fail to recognise. The video has a theme that relates both to the song in question and to Dylan's most recent album; it has a host of Dylan references (look out, for example, for the man with 20lbs of headlines stapled to his chest followed, soon after, by a newspaper with a Dylan headline); and it even uses the aspect ratio of the screen itself to emphasise its theme.

“What seems obvious to me must be too subtle for some Dylan-watchers. Seek and ye shall find.”

* Dylan Daily Best of Bob v3 1978-81

Thanks to all who voted for their favourite Dylan tracks recorded for the albums released 1978-1981 (Street-Legal to Shot Of Love, and out-takes later released on Biograph and Bootleg Series v1-3).

No fewer than 35 songs attracted votes – not bad for a “weak” period. Ranking the songs by popularity, and discounting those attracting only a single vote, here’s the new Dylan Daily Best of Bob v3 1978-81:

Every Grain of Sand
Caribbean Wind
In the Summertime
Changing Of The Guards
Slow Train
Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar
Gotta Serve Somebody
When He Returns

The second disc of the 2CD Deluxe version contains:

Heart of Mine
I Believe In You
Is Your Love in Vain
No Time To Think
Pressing On
Solid Rock
True Love Tends To Forget
Where Are You Tonight
Ye Shall Be Changed
You Changed My Life

It’s already on my iTunes and it’s wonderful. Weak period? You kidding?

* All the new Dylan stuff – an aide-memoire

Losing track of the mountain of new Dylan activity/stuff? Me too! Here’s an aide-memoire – if something’s missing, or you have more info, please let me know and I’ll update it:

16 September: Dylan on the road in the USA for six weeks

19 September: the wonderful Theme Time Radio Hour - series 2, 50 more programmes – started in the USA on XM satellite radio. It airs on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. ET on XM's Deep Tracks (XM 40), and all day every Wednesday on XMX (XM 2).

Meanwhile in England, BBC 6 Music continues with the first series, at 9pm on Fridays. There are about 7 or 8 programmes to go.

24 September: 3 versions of the remix of Most Likely You Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine: 7" vinyl (remix plus original); CD single (same); and - the one to buy - CD single (same plus a live version of Down Along the Cove).

1 (UK)/ 2 (US) October: the new 3CD album, Dylan, aimed at new fans, and with no new content, will be a non-event for many Dylan Daily readers. The De Luxe version looks like a desirable collectable.

6 October, 8pm: BBC Radio 2, The Dream Dylan Concert - a compilation of 11 Dylan performances played 1962-2001, including: Like A Rolling Stone from 1974, and Things Have Changed from 2000.

28 October: Chemnitz, Germany: opening of Drawn Blank Series, an exhibition of Dylan’s artwork.

30 October (US): The Other Side Of The Mirror, an 80 minute DVD of Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival 1963-1965 - by far the most interesting new release of the season.

? October: The Other Side Of The Mirror will also be shown on BBC Four, rumour has it.

30 October (US): soundtrack of I'm Not There, with Dylan singing the title track.

21 November: opening in NYC/LA then a small number of other US cities of I'm Not There, the Todd Haynes-directed biopic-and-more feature film praised at the Venice Film Festival - includes a performance of Dylan singing the title track. Expect a rapid roll-out to more theatres.

So, it looks like a busy autumn for Dylan aficionados!

Gerry Smith

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Dream Dylan Concert - on radio

Thanks to Martin Cowan for the tip that BBC Radio 2 is to broadcast a compilation of 11 Dylan performances played 1962-2001, including Like A Rolling Stone from 1974 and The Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar from 1980.

The Dream Dylan Concert is on BBC Radio 2 at 8pm on 6 October. Many Radio 2 shows are available via the web for seven days after broadcast, though some, including Theme Time Radio Hour, are only available in the UK, for copyright reasons.

The Dream Dylan Concert looks well worth hearing/taping – and it's not, as I first suspected, the Japanese CD, Bob Dylan Live 1961-2000.

Gerry Smith

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

BOBMANIA # 8: new Dyl-Time Theme Radio Hour

Thanks to Mel Prussack:

“Volume 12 of my podcast "Dyl-Time Theme Radio Hour" has just been
posted. The theme this month is "Leftovers". It consists of songs that did not make the final cut (but should have!) from my regular show:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Dylan book - in the loving tongue

Fellow collectors of Dylan books will be grateful to JB Heinink - who runs the excellent zimmingpoint site – for news of a Spanish book due next month:

Thanks also to the book’s author, Antonio Curado, who sent this:

“Hi Gerry, this is Antonio Curado. I had written a book about Bob, '20/20 VISION: Notes About Bob Dylan's Work'. It'll be in the spanish bookshops about the 18th October (Ed. Covarrubias).

“Press Note:
Bob Dylan, in spite of indisputable periods of spiritual blindness, had overcame usually his clumsy physical vision with the poetic lucidity that is just property of a chosen few. The '20/20 Vision' pages try to approach to his work through the analysis of several aspects that, all together, become part of a revealing jigsaw: the bibliography published, in Spain and out of it; the big amount of interviews that, against the usual opinion, had made; the controversial concert in the Bolonia Eucaristical Congress, in 1997,
understood right here in the book just like another concert of the Never Ending Tour; the awesome "Like a Rolling Stone" in the MTV Unplugged; the fundamental and driving force for his artistic recovering since 1987 of the song "Joey" and, finally, his sensational radio show 'Theme Time Radio Hour', basic clue to
understand his development these last years.”


Monday, September 17, 2007

New US shows - continuation of 2007 European/Australasian tour

As expected, Dylan’s opening US shows, in Austin, Texas, over the weekend, were a continuation of the European and Australasian tours earlier this year. The tour lasts for six weeks, closing with three nights in Chicago at the end of October.

US readers attending the shows are urged to send setlists/reviews to The Dylan Daily – especially if you happen to catch a show as good as the Auckland Civic show -

Gerry Smith

Thumbs down for Most Likely You Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine

The video of Most Likely You Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine, which just debuted on English TV (Channel 4), got the thumbs down in my household.

I appreciate that the remix single and the accompanying video will probably achieve their commercial purpose – help promote Dylan, the new 3CD compilation, in the youth market. But, creatively, they add very little to the Dylan catalogue. I find both the remix and the video inconsequential. But then I’m not the target market.

Some of the Bobcat guests who attended my small video launch party were less even-handed: “silly” and “sh*te” were among the politer reactions.

Gerry Smith

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Other Side of the Mirror - tracklist for new DVD

The tracklist for The Other Side of the Mirror, the DVD of Dylan at Newport 1963-65, due to be released on 30 October, suggests it’s a must-buy. If the DVD lives up to the billing, it will be one of the most important Dylan releases of all, despite the inconvenient inclusion of unwanted non-Dylan tracks:

All I Really Want To Do (1965)

North Country Blues
With God on Our Side (with Joan Baez)
Talkin' World War III Blues
Who Killed Davey Moore?
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Blowin' in the Wind (with the Freedom Singers, Joan Baez and Peter, Paul and Mary)

Mr. Tambourine Man
Johnny Cash, Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
Joan Baez, Mary Hamilton
It Ain't Me, Babe (with Joan Baez)
Joan Baez interview
With God on Our Side
Chimes of Freedom

If You Gotta Go, Go Now
Love Minus Zero/No Limit
Rehearsal (with electric band)
Maggie's Farm (with electric band)
Like a Rolling Stone (with electric band)
Mr. Tambourine Man
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue


Previously on The Dylan Daily:

The Other Side Of The Mirror – the new DVD of Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival 1963-65

The Other Side Of The Mirror, the 80 minute DVD of Dylan at the Newport Folk Festivals of 1963-1965, is the most interesting of the slew of new Zim product about to hit the streets. It’s set for release on 30 October.

Fellow Anglo cheapskates will be cheered to learn that they can at least postpone purchase of the DVD, pending the broadcast of the film on BBC Four, the Freeview digital terrestrial TV channel. If the BBC transmission follows the usual pattern, though, they’ll screen a slightly shorter version of the film, thus promoting the new DVD.

Gerry Smith

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ronson remix video now on YouTube

Thanks to Martin Cowan:

“No need to wait until Sunday’s C4 broadcast for the new video of the Ronson remix of Most Likely You Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine. Here it is now, on YouTube:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Most Likely You Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine on TV on Sunday night

Thanks to Martin Cowan:

“This video is airing on Channel 4 on Sunday night: I just gave the audio track another listen - I think the basic problem is that the backing track (Ronson's added stuff) is not in sync with the vocal (Bob in 1966). The fact that the music doesn't match the vocals means the whole thing sounds wrong. Dear oh dear!”


Here’s the official listing:

“4 Music: Video Exclusive: Bob Dylan Remixed by Mark Ronson, Monday 17 September 12:05am - 12:10am, Channel 4

“Exclusive first play of the new video of Bob Dylan's Most Likely Go Your Way (and I'll Go Mine), remixed by Mark Ronson.

“VIDEO Plus+: 9539185. Subtitled.”

Finger on the VHS button… then judge for yourself… .

Gerry Smith

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rare early Dylan cameo on new release of Fariña/von Schmidt album

Thanks to producer Tom Costner for details of rare early Dylan (aka Blind Boy Grunt), on the new 2CD release of recordings by Dick Fariña & Eric von Schmidt.

“Producer's Notes (extracts):

“Dylan appeared only on four of the fourteen tracks, all recorded on January 15, 1963 in the basement of Folklore Records in London. The four tracks are: Glory, Glory; Overseas Stomp; Xmas Island and Cocaine.

“Fans of Dylan are advised that his contributions are somewhat minimal, and his presence on these four cuts does not add greatly to the final mix. Serious Dylan followers have nevertheless been drawn to the record for more than forty years.

“Dylan's first LP had just appeared in the US, but not yet in the UK. He was a total unknown, so much so that on the session notes he is identified as ‘Bob Diglan’.

“The recording features the first recorded appearance by Richard Fariña, who later married Mimi Baez, Joan's sister, and became a successful novelist and recording artist. Also featured is Eric von Schmidt, who died recently, and who was a leader in the glory days of 1960s folk music.

“The cult has grown around Fariña's early and tragic death, and the cameo appearance on the album of Bob Dylan, disguised as Blind Boy Grunt, a pseudonym he used four or five times, as a way to appear on fun projects without violating his Columbia Records contract.”

-Tom Costner, Producer


1 Johnny Cuckoo
2 Jumping Judy
3 Glory, Glory
4 Old Joe's Dulcimer
5 Wobble Bird
6 Wildwood Flower
7 Overseas Stomp
8 Lonzo 'n Howard
9 You Can Always Tell
10 Xmas Island
11 Stick With Me Baby
12 Riddle Song
13 Cocaine
14 London Waltz


Monday, September 10, 2007

Theme Time Radio Hour - second series starts next week

After the triumph of the first 50 Theme Time Radio Hour shows, the second series starts on the XM satellite station in the USA next Wednesday, 19 September.

Reprising the successful format of an eclectic themed mix of pre-rock ‘n’ roll songs, inter-cut with Dylan’s droll wit and wisdom, the new series will also have guests such as Jack White and John

Episode one is on the theme "Hello," followed by "Young & Old," "California," the 2nd Annual Countdown Show, "Dreams," "Fruit," "Something," "Nothing," "Streets," "Parties," and "Mail."

It airs on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. ET on XM's Deep Tracks (XM 40), and all day every Wednesday on XMX (XM 2).

Meanwhile, English listeners are still marvelling as the first series unfolds on BBC 6 Music at 9pm on Fridays. Let’s hope the BBC also buys series two. Theme Time, like Chronicles, has converted many who, for some inexplicable reason, were resistant to Dylan’s music.

Gerry Smith

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Other Side Of The Mirror – the new DVD of Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival 1963-65

The Other Side Of The Mirror, the 80 minute DVD of Dylan at the Newport Folk Festivals of 1963-1965, is the most compelling of the slew of new Zim product about to hit the streets. It’s set for release on 30 October.

Fellow Anglo cheapskates will be cheered to learn that they can at least postpone purchase of the DVD, pending the broadcast of the film on BBC Four, the Freeview digital terrestrial TV channel. If the BBC transmission follows the usual pattern, though, they’ll screen a slightly shorter version of the film, thus promoting the new DVD.

Gerry Smith

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I’m Not There unveiled to acclaim at Venice film festival

I’m Not There, Todd Haynes’s new arthouse Dylan film, was unveiled to critical acclaim at Venice film festival this week.

Thanks to Lawrence Kirsch for this link to AFP’s report of the Haynes interview:

The Daily Telegraph’s critic David Gritten called it “a wild, joyous exhilarating roller-coaster ride…”:

Rachel Williams in The Guardian reports critics raving and tipping Cate Blanchett, who plays Dylan in his mid-‘60s peak, for an Oscar.

The film will have very limited distribution – initially screening in only four US cinemas. The Dylan Daily would be very surprised if much wider distribution wasn’t being planned at this very moment.

Gerry Smith

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Australian concerts reviewed in radio station podcast

Thanks to Allyson Moore:

“DIG Digital Radio (part of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) has posted on its site a podcast review of his two Melbourne concerts from one of Australia's respected reviewers Brian Wise”

Gerry Smith

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Visions Of Dylan – a missable photographic exhibition

Visions Of Dylan, an exhibition of photographs inspired by Dylan songs, runs in London’s Covent Garden in October. And it’ll be helping a children’s charity. So far, so good.

Problem is – it’s an exhibition of pics taken by celebrities.

So I won’t be wasting my time (or yours) by covering it on The Dylan Daily.

Gerry Smith

Monday, September 03, 2007

Dylan’s poetry to be taught in English schools

While a few university courses have been scrutinising Dylan’s work for years, not many school pupils have studied his songs as part of the official curriculum.

That’s about to change with the news (in yesterday’s Independent On Sunday) that lyrics from a range of songs, including I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine, are to be included on the national curriculum for English schools, thus ensuring the widest possible exposure for Dylan’s art among the iPod generation.

Some English teachers, of course, have been slipping Dylan into lessons for decades – Anne Ritchie, a good friend of The Dylan Daily, was exposing her 12-16 year old North London classes to Zim, alongside the Romantic poets and the Beats, 35 years ago. She wasn’t alone.

The welcome news of Dylan’s elevation is likely to resurrect the spurious media “debate” of a decade ago which attempted to belittle Dylan by comparing his poetry with that of Keats. It’s a wrong-headed exercise - if you’re going to compare Dylan with heritage poets, why bother with minor talents like Keats? The only worthwhile comparison is with Shakespeare.

Gerry Smith