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Bob Dylan’s little-known songs about Vincent Van Gogh
11.03.2016
09:50 am

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:
Bob Dylan
Vincent Van Gogh


“Side Tracks - 17 October 1964 - Detroit, Michigan” by Bob Dylan (via Halcyon Gallery)
 
Seeing both Bob Dylan and Vincent Van Gogh in the news this week reminded me of the last place I saw these guys together: in the wonderful world of song.

First there’s Robert Friemark’s “Vincent Van Gogh,” a ragged ballad about the painter’s life that Dylan and Bob Neuwirth sang in close harmony at some Rolling Thunder Revue dates. The song has a punchline that calls the seriousness of everything preceding it into question; I believe this is what you call a “shaggy-dog story.” Don McLean’s “Vincent” is scared of meeting Friemark’s number in a dark alley. I’ve cued up the Bobs singing “Vincent Van Gogh” midway through a three-and-a-half-hour recording of the May ‘76 stop in New Orleans here.

But more mysteriously, there’s the spectral Blonde on Blonde-era song known variously as “Spuriously Seventeen Windows,” “The Painting by Van Gogh,” “Definitely Van Gogh” and “Positively Van Gogh.” Under the latter title, it finally came out on last year’s massive 18-CD version of The Cutting Edge 1965-1966. According to Clinton Heylin’s sessionography, Dylan’s biographer Robert Shelton taped the only known rendition of this song in a hotel room in Denver just three days after Dylan finished recording Blonde on Blonde. Heylin sets the scene:

The only evidence we have of a possible direction, post-Blonde on Blonde, pre-accident, derives from two hotel room sessions with Robbie Robertson. That Dylan and Robertson were at this point blowtorching the candle at both ends—staying up late into the night, smoking a little (okay, a lot of) hash, and working on songs with a couple of acoustic guitars—is well-documented. Melbourne’s answer to Allen Ginsberg, Adrian Rawlins, wrote at the time of Dylan playing him “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” at six-thirty in the morning after a night of smoking hash, while actress Rosemary Garrett witnessed an even more extensive all-nighter just five days later:

I was able to listen to a composing session. Countless cups of tea . . . Things happened, and six new songs were born. The poetry seemed already to have been written. Dylan says “Picture one of these cats with a horn, coming over the hill at daybreak. Very Elizabethan, you dig? Wearing garters.” And out of the imagery, he and [Robbie] work on a tune and Dylan’s leg beats time with the rhythm, continuously, even when the rhythm is in his own mind.

Robert Shelton had already taped such a session in a Denver hotel room, three days after Dylan completed Blonde on Blonde (though he lacked the foresight to have enough blank tape, and ended up having to record all but one song of the thirty-five-minute session at 1⅞ ips—hence the poor quality). Though Dylan was anxious to play Shelton a couple of the songs he had just recorded—“Just Like a Woman” and “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands,” the latter of which he seemed particularly proud of—Shelton also witnessed Dylan and Robertson working on some newer ideas.

The opening song, the lyrics of which revolve around a painting by Van Gogh, is the most listenable track because Shelton has not as yet knocked the speed of his reel-to-reel down to 1⅞ ips (from 3¾).

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Bob Dylan raps on a Kurtis Blow album, 1986
08.26.2016
09:34 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Bob Dylan
Kurtis Blow


 
It’s a cliché by now that Bob Dylan’s singular 1965 track “Subterranean Homesick Blues” qualifies as one of the building blocks of hip-hop. What is possibly not quite as well known is that Dylan himself made a brief appearance on a track by one of the founding fathers of rap, Kurtis Blow.

Between the magisterial high points of, say, Blood on the Tracks and Time Out of Mind lie the yawning 1980s and most of the 1990s, a period marked by Dylan’s Christian period, the Traveling Wilburys, and “We Are the World.” As Dylan himself conceded later, it was a time when he was feeling out step with the world, with Reagan in the White House, MTV on cable television, and his Boomer cohort veering into suspect activities like junk bonds and jazzercise.

In 1986 Kurtis Blow released his 8th album Kingdom Blow—the album’s opening track, “Street Rock,” is a nearly nine-minute composition that features a single quatrain in Dylan’s voice that is used multiple times on the track, first as the intro and later as a full verse on its own on the track’s 7th minute. The album also featured vocals by George Clinton on a track called “Magilla Gorilla.”
 

Dylan in 1986
 
According to The Rough Guide to Bob Dylan 2, “In late March [1986], Dylan was back in America [after some gigs in Australia], oddly rapping a verse on Kurtis Blow’s release Street Rock. ‘He raps, he really raps,’ an excited Blow was quoted as saying.”

Blow was right, the tentative verse on “Street Rock” certainly does qualify as rap of some variety. Dylan has always had a distinctive singing style—understatement of the year—but in “Subterranean Homesick Blues” he indulged in a form of Sprechgesang. Here Dylan raps—one must use the verb—that he’s “indulged in high knowledge,” including an “encyclopedia” as well as “reports in news media,” and is in despair because there are “kids starving in Ethiopia and we are getting greedier, the rich are getting richer.” It’s not terrible by any stretch but it is surely slight; the tracks true virtues all flow from Blow.

In Chronicles, Volume 1, Dylan refers to the mid-1980s as a time when he had lost “power and dominion over the spirits,” stating that he “had done it once, and once was enough.” In the very next paragraph Dylan signals that it is the masters of the new form of rap music who have taken on that dominion:
 

Danny [Lanois] asked me who I’d been listening to recently, and I told him Ice-T. He was surprised, but he shouldn’t have been. A few years earlier, Kurtis Blow, a rapper from Brooklyn who had a hit out called “The Breaks,” had asked me to be on one of his records and he familiarized me with that stuff, Ice-T, Public Enemy, N.W.A., Run-D.M.C. These guys definitely weren’t standing around bullshitting. They were beating drums, tearing it up, hurling horses over cliffs. They were all poets and they knew what was going on.

 
Hear Bob Dylan rap, after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Blues legend Victoria Spivey’s got the ‘Dope Head Blues’
04.25.2016
02:57 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Bob Dylan
The Blues
Victoria Spivey


 
The great American blues singer and pianist Victoria Spivey’s long and influential career began as part of her family’s string band which was led by her father, who would die when she was just seven. After this, Victoria would perform by herself at parties and various events around Houston, and later accompanying silent movies on the organ at the Lincoln Theater in Dallas.

Although she was mostly a solo act in her early years, on occasion she would perform with accompaniment from Blind Lemon Jefferson on guitar. Spivey took her cue from “dirty” blues belter Ida Cox penning and performing bawdy songs about drugs and sex in various dives, speakeasies, houses of ill repute, gambling parlours and gay bars.
 

 
King Vidor cast Spivey as the good girl Missy in his 1929 classic Hallelujah, one of the first Hollywood films with sound. Queen Vee was a star of Broadway’s famous Hellzapoppin’ Revue in the 1930s and logged many miles of road time with Louis Armstrong as a featured singer in various incarnations of his touring groups. Spivey retired from showbiz in 1951, but when the folk craze of the early 1960s hit, she found herself in demand again.
 

 
She and her boyfriend, jazz scholar Len Kunstadt, formed the Spivey Records label in 1962. Her first release on her own label featured a young Bob Dylan as a backing vocalist and harmonica player and the label would release albums by Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, Big Joe Williams, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Lonnie Johnson, Memphis Slim, and Louis Armstrong. Victoria Spivey died in 1976 and the label was kept going until Kunstadt’s passing in 1996.

She recorded her first song, “Black Snake Blues” for the famed OKeh label in 1926. Here she is performing it in 1963 during the American Folk Blues Festival European Tour with Lonnie Johnson on guitar and Sonny Boy Williamson on harmonica.
 

 
More Victoria Spivey after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Incredible auction featuring handwritten Bowie lyrics, Dylan paintings, signed Stones posters, more

 

Brixton Pound, A3 print of B£10 “David Bowie” note
Estimate: $1,000-$1,500

 
The Paddle8 auction website has an incredible auction right now featuring a huge amount of remarkable memorabilia from the greatest musical acts of the 20th century, including David Bowie, the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, and the Notorious B.I.G., just to name a few.

Unfortunately, the auction, going by the title “Legendary,” ends at 1 p.m. today Eastern time, right around when this post is set to appear live on our website. Presumably DM readers are more interested in viewing the auctions than they are in actually buying the (very expensive) stuff.
 

David Bowie, “Fashions” Mobile Display
Estimate: $400-$600

 
Some of the bigger-ticket items include signed items from the Beatles and the Stones, original handwritten lyric sheets from Bob Dylan and David Bowie, original painted canvases by Bob Dylan, rejected cover art for David Bowie’s album Station to Station, and a jacket worn by the Notorious B.I.G. The auction casts a wide net, including items from the Clash, the Cramps, the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix,
Motörhead, the Sex Pistols, the Slits, X-Ray Spex, and Led Zeppelin.

As always, the details of the items only increases one’s interest in them. The paintings by Dylan are known as the “Drawn Blank Series,” watercolors and gouaches depicting “hotel room and apartment interiors, land- and cityscapes, views of sidewalk cafes, train tracks, and wandering rivers.” Dylan’s handwritten lyric sheet for “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” actually dates from 2013, with “the 31 lines written out by Bob Dylan in black ink on a page of Holmenkollen Park Hotel Rica, Oslo stationary.” The full-color proof of the Station to Station album art was rejected by Bowie because he “felt that the sky looked artificial.”

Biggie’s jacket “features an embroidered logo reading ‘Flip Squad’ on its front and an applique ‘Funkmaster Flex’ logo on its back,” while the large Decca poster of the Stones was signed by Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, and Charlie Watts on Monday, October 19, 1964 “at the Locomotive nightclub in Paris during a press event in advance of their concert at the Olympia theatre the following day.”

Excuse me, I have to see my bank representative about a loan…..

Here are some images of the items to be auctioned; click on any image for a larger view.
 

The Beatles, Autographed “Meet The Beatles” Album
Estimate: $100,000-$150,000

 
More incredible items to be auctioned after the jump…..
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
NYC’s Beatnik ‘riot’: How singing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ kicked off the 60s revolution

04folkizzyriot.jpg
 
The protestors were peaceful. They didn’t look like revolutionaries. They were dressed in suits and ties. They were singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

But the cops still attacked them with billy clubs.

In the spring of 1961, Israel (“Izzy”) Young taped a sign to the window of his shop in Greenwich Village, New York. The handwritten sign announced a protest rally at the fountain in Washington Square Park at 2pm on Sunday April 9th .

Izzy was the proprietor of the Folklore Center at 110 MacDougal Street, a shop that sold books, records and everything else relating to folk music. Since it opened in 1957, the Folklore Center had been the focal point for young folk singers, beatniks and assorted musicians to gather together, hang out, talk, play and listen to music.

After the Second World War, Greenwich Village was the gathering point for all the disaffected youth who wanted to escape the conformity and boredom of suburbia. They were brought by the district’s association with the Beats and jazz musicians who had lived and played there during the 1940s and early 1950s. Often their first point of call was Izzy’s shop. Among the many youngsters who visited there was a young Bob Dylan. Izzy arranged Dylan’s first concert at Carnegie Hall. He “broke [his] ass to get people to come.” Tickets were two bucks apiece. Only 52 people turned up—though later hundreds would tell Izzy they were there.
 
03izzyshop3.jpg
Izzy Young in the Folklore Center circa 1960.
 
Since the late 1940s, folk musicians had gathered at the fountain in Washington Square Park. They brought their guitars and autoharps to play and sing songs. It was peaceable enough but some residents thought the Sunday gatherings brought “undesirables” to the neighborhood—by undesirables they meant African-Americans.

In April 1961, the new Commissioner of Parks Newbold Morris decided to take action. He banned singing in Washington Square Park. As Ted White later reported the events of that fateful day in the park in Rogue magazine, August 1961:

For seventeen years folksingers had been congregating on warm Sunday afternoons at the fountain in the center of the small park, unslinging their guitars and banjos and quietly singing songs. There would be a varied number of groups—perhaps ten or more—rimming the fountain, each singing a particular variety of folk music, from Negro work songs and blues to Kentucky hillbilly bluegrass, with perhaps an Elizabethan ballad from the West Virginia hills thrown in occasionally. As the years passed, the city government began showing an increasing hostility to the use of public facilities by the public, and for the last fourteen years, permits have been required before “public performances” could be given in any park. What this means is that a group of kids singing to each other on a weekday evening would be forcibly silenced by the ever-patrolling police for failing to possess a “permit,” or a young man playing a harmonica to himself quietly while sitting on a park bench might be suddenly ordered, “Move on, you!” and find himself run out of the park.

...

And now the new Parks Commissioner has refused a permit to the folksingers for their Sunday afternoon gatherings. Why? The same old story: “The folksingers have been bringing too many undesirable elements into the park.”

“Undesirable elements?” Yes, healthy young kids, racially mixed and unprejudiced enough not to care, concerned only with having the chance to assemble in the open sun and air and to be able to enjoy themselves harmlessly and happily. Sam Schwartz, a Brooklyn father, told me “Sure I let my kid—he’s a teenager—come and sing here. Why not? It’s a good, healthy activity. What’s wrong with folksongs?”

Ron Archer, a young jazz critic who lives in the West Village (an apparently less troubled area), said “Why shouldn’t people sing in the Square? If Morris is so concerned about the safety of the parks, why doesn’t he clean out the muggers and rapists in Central Park, where it isn’t safe to walk at night? Why doesn’t he go after the local punks who prowl the edges of this park at night? Why take after a group which is as harmless as the old men who play chess here, and who are just about as ’undesirable’?”

“You know what ’undesirable’ means, don’t you?” a name jazz musician told me. “It means ’Negro’. A few of the folksingers are Negroes.”

“I came up here from Mississippi,” says Bob Stewart, a Realist cartoonist who lives in the Village, “to get away from the prejudice, and now I get complaints from my landlord whenever I have a Negro friend up in my apartment.”

“The racial bias is definitely behind the whole thing,” Izzy summed it up. “It’s part of the big squeeze on the Italians.”

In response to the ban, Izzy applied for a permit to sing in the park. It was rejected. He therefore organized a protest rally.
 
06izzypksun6.jpg
Izzy Young talks to a cop at the start of the demonstration.
 
On Sunday April 9th at 2pm, around 500 men and women—smartly dressed, some in suits and ties and carrying placards—peaceably approached the fountain at Washington Square Park. They were stopped by a cop. He wanted to know who was in charge. Izzy Young made his way to the front of the crowd and talked to the officer. He explained they were allowed to protest peaceably. It was within their constitutional rights to do so. The cop told Izzy they couldn’t sing, that singing was banned. They would be arrested if they broke the ban. Izzy countered by saying singing was a form of speech and they had a right to freedom of speech. He added:

It’s not up to Commissioner Morris to tell the people what kind of music is good or bad. He’s telling people folk music brings degenerates, but it’s not so.

The cops were not impressed. They began to move menacingly towards the demonstrators. Izzy thought if they started singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” the police would not hit them “on the head.” He was wrong. As the demonstrators sang the national anthem the cops started laying into them.
 
05sunbobpak5.jpg
 
Ten demonstrators were arrested. Dozens were injured. The press hyped the story up as a ‘Beatnik riot’ where some 3000 people attacked the cops. This story was quickly dropped as it was widely known not to be true.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Pistol shots ring out in a barroom night’: Bob Dylan’s riveting performance of ‘Hurricane,’ 1975
02.02.2016
03:28 pm

Topics:
Crime
Music
Race

Tags:
Bob Dylan
Rubin Carter


 
Yesterday, right after I’d finished reading an article on The Daily Beast about it being the 40th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s 1976 album, Desire, I clicked over to YouTube where I dialed up “Hurricane,” Dylan’s powerful narration of the story of middleweight boxing contender Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, which was the lead single from it. Carter was imprisoned for almost 20 years on flimsy evidence (a random bullet and a shotgun shell found in his car) and sketchy testimony (that the perpetrators had been black, pretty much) for a triple homicide “race killing” in a Paterson, NJ bar in 1966. I still had the Wikipedia page on Carter open on my browser when I saw, in another tab that New York attorney Myron Beldock, who worked for over a decade to free Carter, had died at 86.

Throughout his long career Beldock, who described himself as “a creature of my time, liberal, progressive and idealistic” had a reputation for taking on legal lost causes. One such case was representing George Whitmore Jr., a black teenager who was arrested in Brooklyn in 1964 for the rape and knife-killing of several women. Whitmore claimed he was beaten by NYPD officers until he signed a falsified confession. The outcome of this case would become highly influential in the Supreme Court’s 1966 Miranda decision, which required police to advise suspects of their right to remain silent and be represented by an attorney, and in overturning capital punishment in New York State. But Beldock’s most famous client was Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.

Carter’s case had been boosted by copies of his 1974 autobiography The 16th Round, which proclaimed his innocence, being sent around to notable lefty-types who might want to lend their celebrity to his cause. Esquire magazine’s art director George Lois organized a campaign to support Carter and Muhammad Ali was vocal in proclaiming that Carter was innocent. (Joni Mitchell, however, who was also one of the books’ recipients, passed thinking “This is a bad person. He’s fakin’ it.”)

Her friend Bob Dylan felt differently. Dylan read Carter’s book during a 1975 trip to France, and visited the boxer—who was then incarcerated in a New Jersey penitentiary—in May. The two met for several hours and Dylan agreed to help him.

Having difficulty cracking the lyrics, Dylan enlisted Jacques Levy, a New York-based theatrical director who had worked with Sam Shepard (and who’d staged the nude comedy review Oh! Calcutta! off Broadway) to help. Levy said of the song:

“The first step was putting the song in a total storyteller mode, the beginning of the song is like stage directions, like what you would read in a script: ‘Pistol shots ring out in a barroom night… Here comes the story of the Hurricane.’ Boom! Titles. You now, Bob loves movies, and he can write these movies that take place in eight to ten minutes, yet seem as full or fuller than regular movies.”

 

 
“Hurricane” was premiered to an audience of about 100 people in Chicago on September 10th, 1975 during the taping of Bob Dylan’s performance on the PBS TV series Soundstage. This particular episode was titled “The World of John Hammond,” being a tribute to the retiring Columbia Records executive and civil rights activist who’d signed Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin and Leonard Cohen (among many, many others) during his fabled 45-year-long career in the music industry. The show, broadcast in December would be Dylan’s very first TV appearance since his duet with Johnny Cash in 1969. The 8:33 single was recorded on October 24 and released in November.

Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue was used by the artist as a platform to campaign for Rubin Carter’s release and the first leg of the tour ended at Madison Square Garden on December 8th with a benefit concert dubbed the “Night of The Hurricane.” Roberta Flack and Muhammad Ali, who called Carter in his jail cell from the stage, also participated. A second event, Night of the Hurricane II, took place on January 25th at the Houston Astrodome and featured Stevie Wonder and Stephen Stills.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Bob Dylan plays ‘Hava Nagila’ with Harry Dean Stanton
07.14.2015
01:58 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Bob Dylan
Harry Dean Stanton


 
Bob Dylan gets in touch with his inner Zimmerman, playing “Hava Nagila” on harmonica with his son-in-law Peter Himmelman and Big Love patriarch, Harry Dean Stanton on the 25th annual Chabad telethon.

And speaking of Harry Dean Stanton, the actor—who got his start during the Eisenhower-era—turns 89 today. The man can still be seen, indefatigably tying one on most nights of the week somewhere out and about in Los Angeles.

There’s a longer clip of this at Facebook.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
50 years ago today Bob Dylan totally blew our minds with ‘Like a Rolling Stone’
06.16.2015
02:23 pm

Topics:
History
Music

Tags:
Bob Dylan


 
It was 50 years ago today that one of the truly momentous events in rock history took place when Bob Dylan recorded “Like A Rolling Stone” in New York City at Columbia Records’ Studio A. Within weeks of its release on July 15, 1965, the song became a massive hit, where it nestled on the Billboard charts for several months.

“Like Rolling Stone” was a game changer. It opened the doors for a new kind of music that fused folk with electric rock and brought a kind of sophisticated lyricism to top 40 radio that hadn’t really been heard up until then. The only comparable rock and roll word-slinger was Chuck Berry. To my ears, Berry was Walt Whitman to Dylan’s William Blake. You’re free to pick your own bards.


Dylan in Studio A.

I remember hearing “Like A Rolling Stone” for the first time in the kitchen of my childhood home when I was 14 years old. The memory is as vivid as most of the life-changing moments of my life, which generally revolve around sex, drugs and rock and roll. When the song came on the cheesy plastic radio in our kitchen, time stopped and I was swept up inside some sort of mystical swoon that was mind-expanding and emotionally transformative. I didn’t realize it at the time but this was one of those moments that sent me down Blake’s road of excess where “you never know what is enough until you know what is more than enough.” I have yet to to find, on a spiritual or intellectual level, “what is more than enough.”  And I hope I don’t. It was Dylan, among a handful of other visionaries, that got me searching.

Here’s Dylan performing “Like A Rolling Stone” at the Newport Folk Festival on July 25, 1965. He’s roundly booed by a vocal majority of folk music squares. Others in the crowd, were quite aware, however, that they were watching the future of rock and roll.
 


Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan’s song for the gay liberation movement
04.10.2015
09:26 am

Topics:
Literature
Music

Tags:
Bob Dylan
Allen Ginsberg


 
The first three songs on Allen Ginsberg’s First Blues album come from a November 1971 session for a planned release on the Beatles’ Apple Records. Ginsberg asked Bob Dylan to lead the band, which included Ginsberg’s lover Peter Orlovsky, Greenwich Village folkies Happy and Artie Traum, composer David Amram, and guitarist Jon Sholle. Dylan himself played guitar, piano and organ.

Vomit Express,” credited to Ginsberg and Dylan, might be the best-known product of the session, but the pair also co-wrote a song for the gay liberation movement, which was about five minutes old at the time: “Jimmy Berman (Gay Lib Rag).” I believe Ginsberg is improvising the lyrics, which concern his efforts to get an eighteen-year-old newsboy in the sack. I’ve transcribed the lyrics (as I hear them, of course) below, so you can sing along with Allen and discourage any homophobic and heteronormative attitudes within earshot.
 

Dylan and Ginsberg at Kerouac’s grave, 1975
 

Who’s that Jimmy Berman? I heard you drop his name
What has he got to say? What papers is he sellin’?
I don’t know if he’s the guy I met or ain’t the same
Well, that Jimmy Berman was a boy that is worth tellin’

Jimmy Berman on the corner sold the New York Times
Jimmy Berman in New York he had a long, long climb
Started as a shoeshine boy, ended on Times Square
Jimmy Berman, what’s that rose you got settin’ in your hair?

Jimmy Berman what’s your sex, why you hang ‘round here all day?
Jimmy Berman what’s up next, oh what do you play?
Who you wanna sleep with night, Jimmy boy? Would you like come with me?
Jimmy Berman, O my love, O what misery

Jimmy Berman, do you feel the same as what I do?
Jimmy Berman, won’t you come home and make love with me too?
Jimmy Berman, I’ll take my clothes off, lay me down in bed
Jimmy Berman, drop your pants, I’ll give you some good head

Eighteen-year-old Jimmy, the boy is my delight
Eighteen-year-old Jimmy, I love him day and night
Now I know I’m getting kinda old to chase poor Jimmy’s tail
But I won’t tell you other, love, it’d be too long a tale

Jimmy Berman, please love me, I throw myself at your feet
Jimmy Berman, I’ll give you money, oh, won’t that be neat?
Jimmy Berman, just give me your heart and yeah! your soul
Jimmy Berman, please come home with me, I would be whole

Jimmy Berman on the street, waiting for his god
Jimmy Berman as I pass gives me a holy nod
Jimmy Berman he has watched and seen the strangers pass
Jimmy Berman he gave up, he wants no more, alas

Jimmy Berman does yoga, he smokes a little grass
Jimmy Berman’s back is straight, he knows what to bypass
Jimmy Berman don’t take junk, he don’t shoot speed in his eye
Jimmy Berman’s got a healthy mind and Jimmy Berman is ours

Jimmy Berman, Jimmy Berman, I will say goodbye
Jimmy Berman, Jimmy Berman, love you till I die
Jimmy Berman, Jimmy Berman, wave to me as well
Jimmy Berman, Jimmy Berman, please abolish Hell

 

 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Advanced Genius Theory: David Lee Roth, Val Kilmer, 80s Lou Reed were just too advanced for mankind


 
During my stretch as a student at the University of South Carolina (Go Cocks!), I attended classes with six individuals who would, for better or worse, go on to have a profound influence on the way we as a culture experience music. 
 

 
Four of those dudes formed Hootie and the Blowfish:
 
 
The other two were the think tank behind Advanced Genius Theory.
 

 
Wikipedia explains this theory:

The theory, developed by Jason Hartley and Britt Bergman, maintains that seemingly bad and confusing artists are actually still producing excellent works today, despite critic and fan belief. The hypothesis is based around a few key musicians (only individuals), namely Bob Dylan, Sting, David Bowie and (most-critically) Lou Reed. At one time, these musicians wore sunglasses, leather jackets and mullets when it was un-ironic to do so. Musical artists must at least have a self-portrait on one of their album covers, displaying their sunglasses or hairstyle (e.g. Street Hassle, Infidels, Aladdin Sane). The basic tenets are:

You must have done great work for more than 15 years.
You must have alienated your original fans.
You must be completely unironic.
You must be unpredictable.
You must “lose it.” Spectacularly.

Advanced Genius Theory essentially boils down to the notion that truly cutting edge work by great artists is typically misunderstood at the origin of creation, and that when those artists eventually attain public acceptance and later produce seemingly terrible material it is not so much that the new material is in actuality bad - but that the artist has advanced to the next level and it’s the audience who has yet to catch up.


 
Advanced Genius Theory was adopted and exposed to a wider audience by celebrated author Chuck Klosterman where it has since remained a hotly debated premise in music crit circles.

Sadly, this week Advanced Genius Theory founder Britt Bergman himself advanced from this mortal coil at the age of 43.

I had a chance to speak with Jason Hartley, the theory’s co-founder and author of The Advanced Genius Theory: Are They Out of Their Minds or Ahead of Their Time?

Britt was more than a contributor to the Advanced Genius Theory, he was the reason it exists. He and I had known each other as children through a basketball league, but we went to different schools. In tenth grade, we reconnected in French class because he listened to Bauhaus and I listened to Black Flag. One day I went over to his house to listen to music, and he played The Velvet Underground & Nico. I knew Lou Reed a bit, but I didn’t know anything about VU because I had grown up on classic rock. After that day with Britt, The Doors just didn’t seem so mysterious anymore, though I still liked them and didn’t see why I shouldn’t just because another band was better. So while he exposed me to music most people had never heard, I made it a little easier for him to admit that he liked classic rock (including The Doors). Our high school years were a mix of Sisters of Mercy and Foghat, Captain Beefheart and Steely Dan, the Circle Jerks and Lynyrd Skynyrd. We were cool with all of it.

But one thing we could not understand: how did Lou Reed get so terrible in the 1980s? In particular, where did the slick, drum-machine powered, antiseptic Mistrial come from? One day in college at a Pizza Hut, we figured it out. If Lou Reed was ahead of his time when he was in the Velvet Underground, he must be still ahead of his time now and we were just like all the people who didn’t understand VU. Everything clicked into place. He didn’t suddenly start sucking, he was just beyond our comprehension. One of us said, “it seems like he has lost it, but really he has advanced.” We started listening to his solo stuff, including Mistrial, and loving it. Jokingly at first, but then completely sincerely. This opened up a whole world of music we had rejected before without truly listening to it. Who were we not to give Bob Dylan the benefit of the doubt? If David Bowie wants to do a duet with Mick Jagger, isn’t it possible that he knows a bit more about what is good than we do?

Over the years we developed what became the Advanced Theory, and so when I started freelancing at Spin Magazine, I brought it up one night. Everyone dismissed it, but then over the next few days, someone would come up to me and say, “is Prince Advanced? What about Elvis Costello?” I would patiently explain to them why or why not, but they were usually unsatisfied with the explanation because they didn’t understand the rules. At the time Chuck Klosterman was a contributor to Spin, and someone told him about the Advanced Theory (I wasn’t working there anymore). A bit later, he was talking to his editor at Esquire about possible column ideas, when Sting came on. I believe Chuck said, “oh, he’s Advanced,” then explained what that was. The editor thought it would make a great column, so Chuck called me up to ask if it was okay, then interviewed me. His article mentioned Val Kilmer as the most Advanced actor, which earned Chuck an invitation to visit Val in New Mexico. I’m told David Lee Roth wanted to know if he was Advanced.  Eventually I wrote The Advanced Genius Theory, which expanded the theory to include actors, scientists, writers, and anyone else who was great for a while, then (seemingly) embarrassingly bad. All of this is thanks to Britt Bergman, who as I wrote in the book’s dedication, invented Lou Reed for me.

Read more about Advanced Genius Theory here. And in the meantime enjoy some “Advanced” Lou Reed in memory of Britt Bergman…

“The Original Wrapper”:

 
“My Red Joystick”:

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Lou Reed and Metallica mutilate ‘White Light/White Heat’ on British TV November 8

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ was recorded 50 years ago today
01.14.2015
02:45 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Bob Dylan


 
Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” one of the young folk bard’s first “electric” numbers, was recorded on January 14, 1965. The personnel at the session were Dylan on acoustic guitar, harmonica and lead vocals; Al Gorgoni, Kenny Rankin and Bruce Langhorne on guitars; Joseph Macho Jr. and William E. Lee on bass; and Bobby Gregg on drums. (I guess it would have taken that many musicians to achieve such a perfectly ramshackle sound.)

“Subterranean Homesick Blues” was put out as a single by Columbia Records on March 8, 1965 two weeks before the song would appear on the Bringing It All Back Home album. It was Bob Dylan’s first top 40 hit, although it only made it to #39.

In part “Subterranean Homesick Blues” is an homage to the Beats with Jack Kerouac’s novel The Subterraneans referenced in the title. There’s also an echo of the Woody Guthrie/Pete Seeger song “Taking It Easy” (“Mom was in the kitchen preparing to eat/Sis was in the pantry looking for some yeast”). Dylan would later say the number was influenced by Chuck Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business” and scat songs from the 1940s.
 

 
John Lennon was reportedly so in love with the song’s surrealistic wordplay that he told friends he didn’t know how he’d ever be able to write something better (high praise indeed) and Rolling Stone magazine listed “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” as the 332nd “Greatest Song of All Time” (whatever that’s worth.) An acoustic version of the song, recorded the day before the single, was later released on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991.
 

 
D. A. Pennebaker’s Dont Look Back includes what is now seen as one of the earliest examples of a music video—it was intended to be a Scopitone—the famous one-take cue-cards “performance” of the song. The iconic and much-imitated sequence provides the energetic opening of the classic documentary on Dylan’s 1965 tour of England and it also served as the “coming attraction” trailer before the film was released.
 

Pennebaker and Neuwirth discuss the shoot.
 
The cue cards were Dylan’s idea and the handwriting on the cards are that of Donovan, Joan Baez, Bob Neuwirth and Dylan himself. Neuwirth and poet Allen Ginsberg—who would both later take part in Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue—are seen in the clip, which was shot behind the Savoy Hotel in London. There were two alternate versions shot at the nearby Embankment Gardens and on the hotel’s roof, where the trio was joined by Dylan, Zappa and Velvet Underground producer Tom Wilson (bits from these additional takes were seen in Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home doc).

In 1994, The Day Today claimed that Dylan’s song plagiarized a song written by WWII-era ukulele player George Formby. The BBC program aired a clip of what was claimed to be the newly discovered original, showing Formby performing to British troops in newsreel footage:
 

 
Thank you Whiz Kid of Los Angeles, CA!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Tangled Up in Dylan’: Insane documentary about Bob Dylan’s most obsessive fan
01.07.2015
11:19 am

Topics:
Kooks
Movies

Tags:
Bob Dylan
A.J. Weberman

image
 

I noticed that the (excellent) Bob Dylan fansite, Expecting Rain, was sending a lot of traffic this morning to a post from 2012 about the fascinatingly strange film Tangled Up in Dylan: The Ballad of AJ Weberman. This unique documentary—which I quite enjoyed—has now been posted in its entirety on YouTube (see below). Here’s a link to a related post from the archives: ‘Dylanologist’ AJ Weberman (supposedly) goes through Bob Dylan’s trash, 1969.

If you appreciate whimsical documentaries about eccentric or marginal types—much of Louis Theroux’s work, the Wild Man Fischer doc dErailRoaDed and Keith Allen’s deliriously insane Little Lady Fauntleroy would fall into this category—or if you are a Bob Dylan completest, then you might be interested in Tangled Up in Dylan: The Ballad of AJ Weberman directed by James Bluemel and Oliver Ralfe.

AJ Weberman is infamous, if he is known at all, among Dylan aficionados for being the obsessed stalker who Bob Dylan physically assaulted in 1971 because he had been harassing his family. Weberman picked through their 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 Dylan’s MacDougal Street brownstone, apparently with the aim of convincing Dylan to, uh, join the revolution, man… but having the result of really pissing him off.

Bob Dylan vs. A.J. Weberman is the title of a much-sought after Dylan curio, a bootleg LP made from recordings of Weberman and Dylan talking on the telephone. It’s a fascinating conversation—indeed it’s what got the filmmakers interested in such an odd character in the first place—but it’s baffling why a superstar like Bob Dylan would have given such a freak his phone number in the first place (Weberman taught a class in “Dylanology” and had interviewed Dylan for the underground press before he got weird on him).

Here’s what Weberman told Rolling Stone’s Marc Jacobson, years later, 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. . . .”

 
image
 
Weberman has written several books about Dylan (RightWing Bob: What the Liberal Media Doesn’t Want You To Know About Bob Dylan being one of them) and other subjects (such as HOMOTHUG: The Secret Life of Rudy Guiliani) and maintains to this day that Dylan sends him secret messages in song lyrics.

I’ve had my own (one-sided) run-ins with the notoriously prickly Weberman: In April of 1997, only a matter of a few months after Disinformation was launched on the Internet, I posted an innocuous enough item there about Aron Kay AKA “Pie Man,” another aging Yippie holdover like Weberman who was known for his habit of “pieing” people he thought deserved ridiculing like Anita Bryant, William F. Buckley, Phyllis Schlafly, G. Gordon Liddy, E. Howard Hunt and Andy Warhol.

Kay and Weberman are old cronies and I guess what happened is that he told Weberman about this counterculture website that had written about him and Weberman took a look, noticed a collection of links to various JFK assassination sites that I’d prepared, saw that his JFK assassination site wasn’t listed there and promptly started leaving long, hateful, spiteful messages (three in all) on my answering machine. Someone I’d never met was fucking furious at me, over something that I didn’t do. My sin was one of omission—I didn’t know about his website—but it seemed to leave the guy utterly unhinged.

I didn’t hear from him again for ten years until my wife signed me up for Facebook. One day soon afterwards she asked me: “Do you know some dude named AJ Weberman? He’s saying shitty things about you and trolling you on your Facebook wall.”

“Oh that guy. No, I don’t know him, but he’s done this before to me, just ban him, will you?”

That’s the end of my AJ Weberman story, although I suspect he’ll read this post and have something to say in the comments.
 
image
 
Via email, I asked the filmmakers, James Bluemel and Oliver Ralfeabout getting tangled up with Weberman:

I know that both of you are big Dylan fans. How did you stumble across AJ Weberman and decide to make a film about him?

We first came across Weberman in various biographies of Dylan. He was and probably always will be portrayed as a persistent nuisance in the extreme. The way people wrote about him was purely hateful which stuck out. We then heard the bootlegged phone call him made to Dylan which made for fascinating listening and we thought, ‘I wonder what this guy is doing now?’

What do you make of his “Dylanology”?

Weberman has an incredible analytical brain. His conclusions maybe off kilter but the ride is entertaining and sometimes illuminating. While many scholars interpret Dylan’s work within the vernacular of the blues or folk music traditions, it’s interesting to read Dylan from a street slang, streetwise level, which is where Weberman places him. And some of his insights, the way he sees those songs are fascinating. However, I feel Weberman has an agenda which often shapes his interpretations and distorts them. Some of his conclusions I disagree with, some anger me, some amuse me. It’s important to note for those that haven’t seen the film, that it’s not just a mouth piece for Weberman’s insights and wild fantasies about Dylan – there’s plenty of that you can read for yourselves on the web if you want to.

In the infamous recording of his phone conversation with Dylan, I couldn’t for the life of me understand Dylan’s own motivation in bothering to accommodate an asshole like Weberman. Most people, let alone someone as famous as Bob Dylan, would have told Weberman to go fuck himself or let the police deal with him, but Dylan, even after insulting him, continues to speak with him—albeit warily—and even agrees to a future call. Do you think Dylan was thinking “Well this guys a kook, but he’s a fan, so I owe him politeness” and just trying to deal with him on that level or WHAT? (My wife remarked during that part of your film “Why does Bob Dylan stay on the phone with this creep?” as well. It bothered her!)

I think perhaps Dylan was trying to work out how much of a nut Weberman was. This is a good few years before Lennon was shot but I bet part of Dylan’s receptiveness to Weberman was to try to work out if he was dangerous. By the time of the phone call however, Dylan had met Weberman a number of times and probably worked out that he wasn’t a psycho, so I think there was something else going on. I think in some way Dylan enjoyed the banter. Weberman does not kowtow to Dylan, he doesn’t let him get away with anything on that call, he challenges Dylan and when Dylan counter attacks these challenges, Weberman comes back at him with more. Perhaps Dylan found this refreshing to the hordes of people that fell over themselves to agree with him and praise him.

I’ve never had any personal interaction with Weberman, but he’s called my apartment in NYC and left abusive messages for me and some nasty posts on my Facebook wall. However, I must say, he doesn’t seem nearly as crazy in your film as I imagined he’d be in real life. Do you reckon he was on his best behavior because there was a camera on him?

Not really. Weberman has a nasty streak in him which I think you see in our film but it’s not the only aspect of his personality.

Near the start of the film he admits to getting physical with his wife resulting in a retraining order and also of spending some time in jail. How long was he actually incarcerated for dealing pot?

I forget now – I think the sentence was two years.

How does Weberman make a living these days?

It’s a good question. I believe he does a bit of work gathering information for the Jewish Defense League. He also writes books – the Dylan to English dictionary, his book on who really killed JFK and Homo Thug which was about Giuliani. I don’t know how much money he makes from these however.

How did he react to your film? Did he throw a tantrum and call your voice mail repeatedly? Nasty emails?

He never really commented on the film. In fact, he has never really asked us any personal questions about our lives at all. When we meet up with him these days, it’s just straight into whatever is on his mind. So no, he’s never let on what he thought about it. He probably would have preferred it if we used more of his Dylanology rants and kept in some of the more outrageous conclusions he comes up with. There was one point while shooting he said he would prefer it if we stopped filming, then he immediately changed his mind and said fuck it, lets keep it in the style of cinéma vérité. I liked that.

Have you ever heard if Bob Dylan saw your doc? I’d imagine that he’d get a real kick out of it.

I really hope he has seen it. I gave a copy to the producer of No Direction Home who promised he’d pass it on to Dylan. Who knows if that happened? If he has seen it, I hope he liked it.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Bob Dylan records with members of the Sex Pistols and Clash, 1987
12.03.2014
10:10 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Bob Dylan
Paul Simonon
Steve Jones


 
Bob Dylan played with just about everybody on his 1988 album Down in the Groove: Sly and Robbie, Eric Clapton, Ron Wood, Mark Knopfler, most of the Grateful Dead, and, yes, Kip Winger all appear on this record. Why, your dear old dad probably blew a little harp on it, too. The album is not one of Dylan’s best, but its cover of Arthur Alexander’s first single, “Sally Sue Brown,” is notable because it features Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols on guitar and Paul Simonon of the Clash on bass.

If you’re expecting rebel rock on the order of “God Save the Queen” or “The Guns of Brixton,” you will certainly be disappointed—let’s call this version of “Sally Sue Brown” a historical curiosity. Jones described the session to Dylan biographer Howard Sounes in Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan:

Why Bob chose to contact Steve Jones remains a mystery to everybody, including Jones himself, who had never met or even spoken to Bob before. “He called me up and said can I put a band together to do some sessions in the studio? I said, Yeah. Paul Simonon was in town at the time, from The Clash. So was the guitar player I was working with [and] a drummer from Pat Benatar’s band.” They met at Sunset Sound in Hollywood. “It was a strange, fucking surreal day.” Bob had a long list of songs and, without preamble, began working through them. The band had to keep up as best they could, but were unable to get a very satisfactory take on anything because Bob would move so rapidly on to the next number. “It was like that all night, basically just fucking about,” says Jones. The only track to make the album was “Sally Sue Brown.”

According to the exhaustive Dylan “session chronology” at punkhart.com, the band recorded six songs on that night in March of ‘87: in addition to “Sally Sue Brown,” they played “Wood In Steel,” “Heaven,” “Shake Your Money,” “Chain Gang” and “If You Need Me.” So far as I know, none of the five unreleased songs has yet surfaced on any medium, bootleg or legit.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Bob Dylan, slapstick comedy hero? It almost happened.


 
Larry Charles is a force in contemporary comedy, but to most people he’s little more than a name. Odds are pretty decent that he’s been involved in the creation of something you love—he was a staff writer for Seinfeld for five years; he directed three Sacha Baron Cohen movies, including the immortal 2006 release Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan; he was executive producer on The Tick; he has directed more than a dozen episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Clearly, if you look at that resume, Charles can count Jerry Seinfeld, Baron Cohen, and Larry David as some of his most fertile collaborators. But he has a significant collaborator that hasn’t garnered as much notice—that being Bob Dylan. In 2003 Charles released his first directorial feature, a star-studded “comedy-drama” (per Wikipedia) called Masked and Anonymous, with Bob Dylan as number 1 on the call sheet, as they say in Hollywood (i.e., the top-billed actor). Charles directed the movie, and Dylan and Charles co-wrote it, using the pseudonyms Sergei Petrov and Rene Fontaine, respectively.
 

Larry Charles and Bob Dylan
 
But that (likely somewhat mixed-up) feature started its existence as an HBO pitch for a “slapstick comedy” TV series with Bob Dylan in the lead role—a pitch that was green-lighted after a bizarre meeting with the head of the premium cable network. Charles was on Pete Holmes’ podcast You Made It Weird recently and told the entire story. (In the podcast the story starts around an hour and 26 minutes in, but someone has helpfully created a YouTube video of that section, which we’ve embedded below.)

I’ve transcribed a couple of sections from the story, but it’s rather long (10 minutes) and suitably aimless, being a podcast. Dylan lovers should really listen to the whole thing. The story starts out as follows:
 

I got a call that he was interested in doing, he’d been on the road, he does this endless tour, he’s on this tour all the time, he’s on this bus, most of the time. And he’s got a TV, this was back in the ‘90s, he’s got a TV in the bus and he watches movies and he gets into certain genres of movies, and he gets like addicted to them and just watches every single one of them. And he had been watching Jerry Lewis movies. And he’d gotten deeply into Jerry Lewis, and he wanted to make a slapstick comedy. ... He wants to do it as a TV series for HBO, so I’m called in to meet with him. He wanted to star in it, almost like a Buster Keaton or something.

 
There’s a great section where Charles and Dylan meet in the back of a boxing gym that Dylan owns, that’s also connected to a coffee shop, and Dylan is playing mind games with Charles, whom he’s meeting for the first time, by drinking out of his guest’s ice coffee glass just to see how he’ll react. There’s also a lengthy bit about Dylan’s writing process, at least at that date—suffice it to say that it involves writing snatches of text on whatever scraps of paper are at hand and cobbling something together later on. Very “oblique strategies.” Says Charles, “We wrote like a very elaborate treatment for this slapstick comedy, which is filled with surrealism and all kinds of things from his songs and stuff.”

Eventually they go to meet with the president of HBO, Chris Albrecht. At the meeting, Charles is wearing pajamas, which was his habit for a couple of years around then, and Dylan is dressed like a cowboy, all in black. Albrecht attempts to break the ice by bringing up Woodstock, to which Dylan says (pretty reasonably), “I didn’t play Woodstock.” After that Dylan spends the entire meeting standing with his back to the group staring out the window. At this point Charles’ agent Gavin Polone leans over to Charles and whispers, referring to Dylan, “Retarded child.”

However, despite all of that, they do in fact come to an agreement on a deal to do a slapstick TV series starring, of all people, Dylan. As they’re walking out to the elevator, Charles and Polone and Dylan’s agent, Jeff Kramer, are of one mind about the project to come, but Dylan’s head is elsewhere. As Charles tells it: “The three of us are elated, we actually sold the project, and Bob says, ‘I don’t want to do it anymore. It’s too slapstick-y.’ He’s, like, not into it. That’s over. The slapstick phase is officially ended.”

So instead they worked for another year or so on Masked and Anonymous.
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Be a fly on the wall when Bob Dylan and Bette Midler went into the studio together, 1975
07.21.2014
02:06 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
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
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