Friday, November 28, 2008

Dylan in London, 1962/63

If you missed Bob’s Big Freeze, Tuesday’s one-hour Radio 2 documentary on Dylan in London in 1962/63, you can still catch it online - until next Tuesday, 2 Dec (2230 GMT).

It’s a richly detailed account of Dylan’s first trip outside North America. Martin Carthy claims the trip was vital in Dylan’s development as a writer, exposing him to sources which inspired some of the big early anthems like Spanish Boots, Girl From The North Country and Bob Dylan’s Dream. The first masterpiece LP, Freewheelin’, followed in mid-1963.

Strengths? Apart from the evocative music clips, it’s a well-researched feature - as you’d expect from a co-production by long-time Dylan scribe Patrick Humphries. The number and variety of eye witness accounts is impressive.

And don’t be put off by the extraneous noises in the first few minutes of the playback – Nigel Ogden on the organ, and a trail for another Radio 2 show.

Bob’s Big Freeze: recommended.

Gerry Smith