Read more about Holden’s Bob Dylan-themed birthday bash here.
Via Super Punch
Read more about Holden’s Bob Dylan-themed birthday bash here.
Via Super Punch
Bob Dylan and the Band caught on b&w half-inch open reel videotape at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 31, 1969. Dylan had rejected an offer to play at Woodstock to headline the festival.
Allegedly this was shot by a friend of John Lennon and Ringo Starr (who can be seen in the audience here). This makes sense because a) only someone relatively wealthy would have had access to a half-inch open reel video-recorder at the time and b) whoever shot this was right up front.
“I Threw It All Away”
Beatle George Harrison died ten years ago on November 29, 2001.
Below, you can watch the entire historic Concert For Bangladesh performance featuring George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ravi Shankar, Leon Russell, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Badfinger, Jesse Ed Davis, Klaus Voorman and Mother of Invention Don Preston.
Harrison walks onstage at 22 minutes in—after a fiery opening set by Ravi Shankar—and the supergroup (led by bandleader Leon Russell) launch into his blistering anti-Macca number “Wah Wah,” one of the best songs on his sprawling All Things Must Pass album.
(You might not want to wait too long to watch this one, who knows how long this is going to last on YouTube…)
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Little Malcolm’: George Harrison’s lost film starring John Hurt and David Warner
George Harrison sings on Eric Idle’s ‘Rutland Weekend Television’
‘The Kid’: Paul McCartney talks about George Harrison
Raga: 1971 film featuring Ravi Shankar and George Harrison remastered
The Mad Ones: A Brief History Of The Beat Generation
This well-executed, smart, no-budget, D.I.Y. video was a school project created by Krystal Cannon who lives in Ithaca, New York. She portrays all of the characters in the film.
I particularly dig Cannon’s Bob Dylan and her Allen Ginsberg is a hoot.
Krystal, if you see this, how about posting a comment on the making of The Mad Ones.
In January 1964, Bob Dylan released his classic third album The Times They Are A Changin’. As part of the promotion for the record, Dylan was offered a half-hour slot on Canadian TV’s arts series Quest. The loose form of the show suited Dylan and allowed him to showcase 3 tracks from his new record and 3 from previous album, Freewheelin Bob Dylan.
“The Times They Are A-Changin’”
“Talkin’ World War III Blues”
“The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”
“Girl from the North Country”
“A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”
It was momentous piece of television, one that firmly established Dylan as “the voice of his generation”, as he sang his most radical folk songs, which, in light of Occupy Wall Street, are still as relevant and as important today.
Yesterday on NPR, there was a segment where Los Angeles Times music critic Ann Powers was asked if a “new Bob Dylan”—or at least a new “name” singer/songwriter—had stepped forward with a song that really crystalized what the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations are all about. Powers answered that, no, it hadn’t really happened because of the leaderless, un-amplified nature of the movement’s setting, and she was was right, but I’m guessing that she hasn’t heard the music of 23-year-old London-based soul singer Michael Kiwanuka... yet.
Why should we expect that the “Blowin’ In The Wind” of 2011 was actually going to come from Zuccotti Park, anyway? For me, Michael Kiwanuka’s new song, “I’m Getting Ready” could be the song that best sums up the historical moment we’re in. It’s not as if he’s addressing “revolution” or Occupy Wall Street or any other specific location or uprising around the globe with the song’s simple lyrics. There are no grievances aired, no complaints or demands made. But what he has done is compose and perform an “anthem” level song—it’s gorgeous and uplifting, almost a hymn—that makes the case for standing up for yourself. It’s beautifully of the moment.
I haven’t been this knocked out by a new talent since I got hip to Laura Marling. With “I’m Getting Ready,” Kiwanuka takes the whole Nick Drake/Nico’s Chelsea Girl thing and really makes it his own. His voice is strong—Bill Withers-level strong—and he’s a cool-looking motherfucker, too. Dig his Tappa Zukie fashion sense! I have a feeling Michael Kiwanuka is going to become a very big star in the coming months.
If anyone is organizing a benefit concert for Occupy Wall Street, Michael Kiwanuka would be an absolute must for that bill.
See what you think:
After the jump, “Tell Me A Tell,” which is a much different sounding song altogether than “I’m Getting Ready,” but equally gorgeous!
Above, “Opium” by Bob Dylan.
A new series of drawings and paintings by Bob Dylan that form a visual diary of his travels in Asia last spring will be on display at the Gagosian Gallery in New York beginning September 20. The gallery says that this will the first time ever that Dylan’s art will be exhibited in NYC:
The gallery said in a news release that Mr. Dylan’s works would offer “firsthand depictions of people, street scenes, architecture and landscape” with evocative titles like “Mae Ling,” “Cockfight,” “The Bridge” and “Hunan Province.” The release added: “Conversely, there are more cryptic paintings often of personalities and situations, such as ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Opium,’ or ‘LeBelle Cascade,’ which looks like a riff on Manet’s ‘Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe’ but which is, in fact, a scenographic tourist photo-opportunity in a Tokyo amusement arcade.” Mr. Dylan’s paintings have previously been shown in Chemnitz, Germany (where the exhibition “The Drawn Blank Series” opened in 2007), the Statens Museum in Copenhagen (where his “Brazil Series” was shown in 2008) and any rec room where the cover of his “Self Portrait” album has been prominently displayed.
Novelist and folk singer Richard Fariña is the missing link (or “Kevin Bacon” if you prefer) connecting author Thomas Pynchon (the best man at Fariña’s wedding to Mimi Baez) and Bob Dylan. Some have called Fariña an out-sized influence on the young Dylan, who allegedly aped the older man’s world-weary bohemian attitudes and persona. (It was also Fariña who allegedly suggested to Dylan that he hitch his horse to a then-rising star Joan Baez (his sister-in-law), ditch the folk thing, and start a new genre of music: poetry that people could dance to).
Richard and Mimi Fariña (along with Bruce Langhorne on tambourine), recorded this vaguely Near East-sounding dulcimer drone on their 1963 album Celebrations for a Grey Day, as a tribute to Pynchon’s first novel, V. Fariña said of the song, which seems like it was inspired by the Alexandria of V‘s chapter five, in the liner notes:
“Call it an East-West dreamsong in the Underground Mode for Tom Pynchon and Benny Profane. The literary listener will no doubt find clues to the geographical co-ordinates of Vheissu, the maternal antecedents of the younger Stencil, and a three-dimensional counter-part of Botticelli’s Venus on the half-shell. May they hang again on a western wall.”
Fariña, whose claim to fame was the “road” novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me, died tragically on April 30, 1966, in a motorcycle accident. It was his wife’s 21st birthday. Fariña was just 29. Thomas Pynchon later dedicated his classic 1973 novel, Gravity’s Rainbow, to Richard Fariña.
Thank you, Elixir Sue!
An interview with Bob Dylan dating back to when he was working on the Hollywood movie Hearts of Fire, in which Dylan played a retired rocker called Billy Parker. Hearts of Fire co-starred Rupert Everett, Ian Dury and Fiona, and was written by overblown Hollywood scriptwriter, Joe Eszterhas. The film bombed, and was sadly the last feature from director Richard Marquand (best known for Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Jagged Edge and Eye of the Needle), who died not long after completing the film.
This interview with Dylan formed the basis for a rarely seen BBC Omnibus documentary called Getting to Dylan (1987), directed by Christopher Sykes.
More from Dylan, after the jump…
I guess when you’ve reached 70-years-old, and certain things come out about your past, you can brush if off a lot easier when the events in question have a vintage of 40+ years. Yesterday, the BBC reported that a previously unheard interview with Bob Dylan reveals that he was once addicted to heroin.
After a concert late one Saturday night in March 1966 Bob Dylan, while on tour in the US, boarded his private plane in Lincoln, Nebraska bound for Denver with his friend Robert Shelton.
Over the next two hours Shelton taped an interview with Dylan which he later described as a “kaleidoscopic monologue”.
At one point, the singer, who turns 70 this week, admits he had been addicted to heroin in the early 1960s.
“I kicked a heroin habit in New York City,” he confesses. “I got very, very strung out for a while, I mean really, very strung out. And I kicked the habit. I had about a $25-a-day habit and I kicked it.”
There have been rumours that Dylan was involved with heroin. But Mick Brown, a writer on The Daily Telegraph who has interviewed Dylan, says he has never heard the singer confirm the speculation.
“It’s extraordinary that he should be talking about it quite so candidly,” he remarks.
Elsewhere on the tapes, Dylan reveals he contemplated suicide after people started calling him a genius.
“Death to me is nothing… death to me means nothing as long as I can die fast. Many times I’ve known I could have been able to die fast, and I could have easily gone over and done it.”
“I’ll admit to having this suicidal thing… but I came through this time,” he says.
Shelton describes Dylan as “twisting restlessly” during the interview - animated at times, despondent at others.
Dylan, who turns 70 today also says on the tapes, regarding his songwriting talents:
“I take it less seriously than anybody. “I know that it’s not going to help me into heaven one little bit, man. It’s not going to get me out of the fiery furnace. It’s certainly not going to extend my life any and it’s not going to make me happy. You can’t be happy by doing something groovy.”
Robert Shelton’s Dylan biography, No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan, first came out in 1986 and was the result of twenty years of work. The historic tapes were discovered during research for a new revised and updated edition.
Below, Dylan meets the press…
On a May 13 note to all his fans and followers, Bob Dylan concludes his blog with a clever idea :
Everybody knows by now that there’s a gazillion books on me either out or coming out in the near future. So I’m encouraging anybody who’s ever met me, heard me or even seen me, to get in on the action and scribble their own book. You never know, somebody might have a great book in them.
Mr. Dylan has certainly tapped an excellent source of publicity (as if he needed any more), while at the same time inspiring other’s to use their talents. Good idea. In the same spirit of enabling others, we at DM thought it would be fun to hear your tales of Bob or any other celebrated Musicians, Writers, Actors, Celebrities or, even (dare I say it?) members of the DM team, who you’ve met, heard or seen.
Bonus cartoon of Dylan meeting The Beatles, after the jump…
Since there is no such thing as a music “mainstream” anymore, and if there is, it’s one that I can easily ignore—I have never heard Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” that I am aware of—so I don’t really feel that out of it. Or care. Where do you find out about new music, though? It used to be you found out about new music because you’d see something in a record store and think “That looks interesting” but that hardly happens anymore. Radio sucks. For me, it’s not going to be Pitchfork, I just don’t relate to most of what I find there. Now it’s often a matter of happy accidents or friends’ recommendations.
Sometimes it’s good to consult with the experts. Of course, I realize that I’m more than a little late to the party on this one, but hey, better late than never. Last week I was reading something on the Guardian’s website and I found, by accident, a year-old blog post by Creation Records founder Alan McGee where he compares British singer-songwriter Laura Marling’s 2010 album, I Speak Because I Can to Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark. Huh? That’s a rather strong statement to make, I’m sure most of you reading this will agree. Court and Spark? There are precious few albums I revere like Joni Mitchell’s masterpiece. It stayed in my car stereo for about a year and a half, once, I kid you not. And there’s also a comparison to Bob Dylan’s, Blood on the Tracks, probably THE classic break-up album. Again, it’s another record I’ve played so much it’s a part of my DNA. Laura Marling is supposed to be that good? Court and Spark good? Oh, please. Nothing is that good these days…
Still, when it’s coming from the fellow who signed My Bloody Valentine, Jesus & Mary Chain and Oasis, it’s probably worth investigating.
So I did. And holy shit was McGee’s assessment right on the money. Laura Marling is a fucking genius. Marling, born in 1990 and just 21-years-old, is almost a child, but she doesn’t sound like one. Where does her incredible depth come from? I don’t know, but I don’t care, sometimes it’s better if rare and special talent like hers remains a mystery, like Antony Hegarty’s or a young Kate Bush (another particularly apt comparison given both her age and absolutely prodigious talents). She’s got a powerful, exceptional and uncommonly beautiful voice, perfectly suited to her compositions. Here’s what Alan McGee wrote that sent me out to find the album:
I Speak Because I Can could have gone wrong. It could have been a bleakly pale and introverted take on lost love. Yet it runs much like Bob Dylan’s Blood On the Tracks. Marling explores a broken relationship with blind rage and biting power, yet still manages to leave the listener with hope and salvation. In capturing a sense of love won and lost, and independence gained and fought for, Marling has scored an extraordinary songwriting achievement.
The album sees Marling developing a sound that is distinctly non-twee (listen to the Led Zeppelin-like title track or Devil’s Spoke). Her voice is deceptively huge – it gives the impression of unknowable, boundless territory without sounding loud or exerted. The sound can be unnerving and is not easily assimilated into a pop record. Marling is far from the Larkin-loving teen of her debut, Alas I Cannot Swim.
It’s pleasing to see a truly great British artist gaining popularity. I usually despise awards shows, but when Marling’s album, Alas I Cannot Swim, was nominated for the Mercury prize, I was glad that her genuine talent (in a sea of Lily Allen clones) was acknowledged.
It’s tempting to draw parallels between Marling and other figures of the alt-folk resurgence; Will Oldham, say, or Bon Iver. But if we’re honest, I Speak Because I Can plays more like a modern version of Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark. It has a classic feel. And Marling deserves comparison to the greats.
I Speak Because I Can sounds like an intimate conversation between performer and listener. When it’s finished, you’ll feel as though you’ve just come away from a deeply involving and curious encounter with a stranger. It’s an experience that will stay with you for a long time to come, and one that you’ll want to revisit frequently.
Fans of emotionally intense and “literary” performers like Neil Young, Nick Cave, Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen and yes, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell will find much to like with Laura Marling. I’m only now, with each successive play of I Speak Because I Can, beginning to appreciate the jaw-dropping talent this young woman possesses. If she’s this good at 21, her promise as a maturing artist is practically off the scale. This is the kind of talent that comes along once or twice in a generation and I think she must be aware of it.
Laura Marling is someone I plan to follow throughout her career.
Check out the reviews if you don’t believe me (or Alan McGee): How many albums rate a perfect “10” these days?
Below, a powerful live performance of I Speak Because I Can at the Mercury Prize awards ceremony, 2010.
Bob Dylan gets in touch with his inner Zimmerman, playing “Hava Nagila” with his son-in-law Peter Himmelman and Big Love patriarch, Harry Dean Stanton on a telethon.
Bob Dylan’s one-time muse and girlfriend Suze Rotolo has died after a long illness in New York at the age of 67. She was the subject of his song “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” (“I once loved a woman, a child I’m told. I gave her my heart, but she wanted my soul.”) and other classics. Dylan began dating Rotolo when she was just 17-years-old. The couple was photographed for the cover of The Freehweelin’ Bob Dylan. in 1963, but split later that year when he began seeing Joan Baez. Rotolo seldom spoke about Dylan, but was interviewed by Martin Scorsese for his Dylan doc No Direction Home in 2005. In 2009, Rotolo published her memoir, A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties.
Professionally, she was a teacher, a painter and a book illustrator.
From Rolling Stone:
In Bob Dylan’s 2004 memoir Chronicles Volume One, he describes meeting Rotolo backstage at a concert. “Right from the start I couldn’t take my eyes off her,” Dylan wrote. “She was the most erotic thing I’d ever seen. She was fair skinned and golden haired, full-blooded Italian. The air was suddenly filled with banana leaves. We started talking and my head started to spin. Cupid’s arrow had whistled past my ears before, but this time it hit me in the heart and the weight of it dragged me overboard.”
By early 1962, Dylan and Rotolo were living together in a tiny apartment on West 4th Street. Suze came from a staunchly left-wing New York family, and played a huge role in Dylan’s political awakening. When they began dating Dylan was largely apolitical and his set consisted mostly of decades-old folk songs. Rotolo took him to CORE (The Congress of Racial Equality) meetings and taught him much about the civil rights movement. “A lot of what I gave him was a look at how the other half lived—left wing things that he didn’t know,” Rotolo told writer David Hajdu in his book Positively 4th Street. “He knew about Woody [Guthrie] and Pete Seeger, but I was working for CORE and went on youth marches for civil rights, and all that was new to him.”
Rotolo told Dylan about the brutal 1955 murder of Emmett Till, inspiring Dylan to write his early protest classic “The Death of Emmett Till.” “I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written,” Dylan said at the time. “How many nights I stayed up and wrote songs and showed them to [Suze] and asked, ‘Is this right? Because I knew her mother was associated with unions, and she was into this equality-freedom thing long before I was. I checked the songs out with her. She would like all the songs.”
In the summer of 1962 Rotolo took a long trip to Italy, leaving Dylan alone and heartbroken in New York. During this period he penned “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” “Boots of Spanish Leather” and “Tomorrow Is A Long Time”—all bittersweet love songs about Rotolo. She returned in January of 1963, and weeks later Columbia records send photographer Don Hunstein to shoot the cover of The Freehweelin’ Bob Dylan. The young couple walked up and down Jones Street for a few minutes while Hunstein snapped shots. “Bob stuck his hands in the pockets of his jeans and leaned into me,” Rotolo wrote in her 2009 book A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties. “We walked the length of Jones Street facing West Fourth with Bleecker Street at our backs. In some outtakes it’s obvious that we were freezing; certainly Bob was, in that thin jacket. But image was all. As for me, I was never asked to sign a release or paid anything. It never dawned on me to ask.”
The Village Voice is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s arrival in New York City by digging up some articles from their archives. This one by Jack Newfield published on September 2, 1965 is so off-the-wall I had to share the whole thing with you. The notion of a mods and rockers confrontation in Flushing, Queens is more hysterical than historical. I don’t recall a single point in American pop culture where hip youth were separated by the mod/rocker divide. Newfield, in trying to equate American Dylan fans to the mods and rockers of Britain, is just plain full of shit. And the reference to Stalinists and Social Democrats is even more amusing in its absurdity. Did anyone buy this back in 1965?
Newfield had a reputation for being a bit of a sensationalist and he lives up to that rep with tabloidy lines like “It was during the third rock number that the first wave of Rockers erupted from the stands and sprinted for the stage. This ritual was repeated by co-ed guerilla bands after each succeeding song. The Mods, meanwhile, responded to the ultimate desecration of their idol by throwing fruit.” What was probably a relatively civilized event is depicted as some kind of rock and roll riot. Accurate? I don’t know. Funny? Yes. Newfield was a smart cat, but rock and roll was definitely not his beat.
At Forest Hills: Mods, Rockers Fight Over New Thing Called ‘Dylan’
Twenty-four year old Bob Dylan may have been the oldest person in the crowd of 15,000 that jammed Forest Hills Stadium Saturday night.
The teenage throng was bitterly divided between New York equivalents of Mods and Rockers. The Mods—folk purists, new leftists, and sensitive collegians—came to hear Dylan’s macabre surrealist poems like “Gates of Eden” and “A Hard Rain Is Gonna Fall.” But the Rockers—and East Village pothead—came to stomp their feet to Dylan’s more recent explorations of electronic “rock folk.”
The confrontation was riotous. The Mods booed their former culture hero savagely after each of his amplified rock melodies. They chanted We want Dylan and shouted insults at him. Meanwhile, the Rockers, in frenzied kamikaze squadrons of six and eight, leaped out of the stands after each rock song and raced for the stage. Some just wanted to touch their newfound, sunken-eyed idol, while others seemed to prefer playing Keystone cops with pudgy stadium police, running zig-zag on the grass until captured in scenes reminiscent of the first Beatle movie.
The factionalism within the teenage sub-culture seemed as fierce as that between Social Democrats and Stalinists, and it began even before Dylan set foot on the wind-swept stage. Folk disc jockey Jerry White introduced from the wings, “The Fifth Beatle, Murray the K.”
The leading symbol of commercialization and frenetic “Top 40” disc jockeying was greeted with a cascade of boos. “There’s a new swinging mood in the country,” Murray the K began, “and Bobby baby is definitely what’s happenin’, baby.”
The teenage argot drove the Mods to even greater fury. But when the K added, “It’s not rock, it’s not folk, it’s a new thing called Dylan,” a united front of cheers filled the night.
After three introductions, Dylan finally emerged from the wings like a timid bird with a lion’s mane. The first half of his concert was devoted exclusively to the image-filled, heavily symbolic absurdist songs he was identified with before he unveiled his “electricity” at Newport last month. The Mods listened enraptured as he sang the familiar images: “She is a hypnotist collector/You are a walking antique” and “She can take the dark out of the night and paint the daytime black.”
A few moments later, hunched over, his long hair rippling in the breeze, Dylan mesmerized the Mods, half singing, half chanting, “The Gates of Eden”:
“I try to harmonize with songs the lonesome sparrow sings . . . at dawn my lover comes to me and tells me of her dream/With no attempt to shovel the glimpse into the ditch of what each one means.”
Then Dylan sang a long, new dream called “Desolation Row” that contained these two verses:
“All except Cain and Abel and the Hunchback of Notre Dame/Everybody is either making love or waiting for rain/Ophelia, she’s beneath the window, for her I feel so afraid/On her 22nd birthday, she’s still an old maid.”
“The Titanic sails at dawn/Everyone is shouting ‘Which side are you on’/Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot are fighting in the captain’s tower/While calypso singers laugh at them below them . . . “
But Dylan is like Norman Mailer: He never repeats himself or exploits his past. Just as Mailer has moved inevitably from Trotskyism to hipsterism to mysticism, so has Dylan grown from political protest to rock folk.
A four-piece amplified band (electronic organ, electronic bass, electronic guitar, and drums) backed Dylan up the second half of the concert. After the first rock song, the Mods booed Dylan. After the second someone called him a “scum bag,” and he replied cooly, “Aw, come on now.” After the third the Mods chanted sardonically, “We Want Dylan.”
It was during the third rock number that the first wave of Rockers erupted from the stands and sprinted for the stage. This ritual was repeated by co-ed guerilla bands after each succeeding song. The Mods, meanwhile, responded to the ultimate desecration of their idol by throwing fruit. But they should have been listening to the lyrics—they were as poetic as ever.
Perhaps in an attempt to show the Mods he wasn’t “going commercial” or “selling out,” Dylan performed a few of his earlier hits like “It Ain’t Me, Babe,” with a muted rocking beat. The message seemed to get through, and much of the Mods’ wrath subsided. And the Mods joined the Rockers in wildly applauding Dylan’s second new song of the evening (no title announced), which he sang while playing the piano standing up.
America’s most influential poet since Allen Ginsberg then sang his top-selling “Like a Rolling Stone,” and the factions divided again. The Mods booed, and during the last chorus a dozen teenagers charged the stage, exhausted police in slow-footed pursuit. Keeping his cool, Dylan finished the song, mumbled, “Thank you, very much,” and walked off without doing an encore, while kids and cops cavorted on the grass.”
Keeping in the tabloid spirit of Newfield’s article, I’m sharing the notorious Dylan/Lennon limousine footage from May 27, 1966 in which both musicians were reputedly drunk and/or tripping. Dylan certainly seems out of it. Lennon seems bemused. While we’ve previously shared a portion of this on DM, this is the long version. There’s an additional four minutes of footage that wasn’t included in this clip because it’s silent and consists mostly of Dylan looking nauseous and Lennon looking bored.