Bob Dylan Live 1965 (USA tour)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by BlueJay, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    My feeling is that there is no Berkeley tape (at least not in the Ginsberg archive) and that faulty memories may be at work.

    There are three tapes in the archives, and all are accounted for - San Francisco concert, San Jose concert, and San Jose "fan interviews". Assuming these reels are the original tapes and Ginsberg didn't copy them or compile them in some fashion (why would he?), and that the reels were likely 1200 feet in length, there would be space for just over 2 hours (128 minutes to be exact) of content if the machine were set for 1 and 7/8 ips. That speed setting would help explain why these tapes don't sound better than they do. The concerts, with the backstage material, both run close to two hours. There's nowhere for the fan interviews to go, except on to a third reel. And I'd wager that Ginsberg took off the "fan" reel, recorded the San Jose show on a fresh reel, and then went back to the "fan" reel for more recording after the show.

    So did Ginsberg tape Berkeley, as Pickering remembers? If he did, he apparently didn't tell Dylan, who is clearly seeing the new tape recorder for the first time backstage before the San Francisco show. Again, if he HAD taped it, even without telling Dylan, wouldn't he THEN tell Dylan before the San Francisco show? Why wouldn't Ginsberg play Dylan part of the Berkeley tape when Dylan wants to hear how the recorder captures music, and mentions how he'd like to hear how HIS band sounds on the recorder (hence Ginsberg taping SF)?

    That's my figuring anyway, for what it's worth.
     
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  2. Crush87

    Crush87 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Do a good amount of people actually think the Carnegie Hall sbd tape exists or is that just a total pipe dream?
     
  3. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    I feel confidence in my belief that Dylan's people don't have, or they would have included it in the copyright protection set (as they did with Festival Hall '64 and the '64 Von Schmidt tape - both "uncirculated" but both cases where copies could have been "out there").

    As far as its existence, it seems quite plausible, but (as always) I'll believe it when I hear it.
     
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  4. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    The Stones played the San J0se Civic Auditorium (two shows) on December 4th while Dylan was playing in Berkeley.

    [​IMG]

    A number of the fans that Ginsberg interviews at the December 12th Dylan San Jose show were also at the Stones show.
     
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  5. Crush87

    Crush87 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Interesting. Those two instances escaped me - I thought it was just strictly recordings that were known to circulate.
     
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  6. Tom Schreck

    Tom Schreck Forum Resident

    As a rule, I don't trust Pickering's research. He is stubborn beyond all reason but has been proven wrong many times before.
     
  7. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    Definitely plausible, and I'll certainly bow to your superior knowledge about tape lengths and speeds, etc. (It's not too difficult to have knowledge that is superior to mine in these matters, by the way, but I recognise and celebrate your particular expertise every time I open up your brilliant Fab Four book, "Get Back: The Beatles Let It Be Disaster".....)

    According to the Stanford web page he San Jose "fan interviews" are on the same reel as the San Jose concert; the reel in question apparently being M0733_s11_ssB_b119_07. The total time on this reel, by my calculation, is 3 hours 16 minutes (or 196 minutes). The photo on the web page would appear to be Ginsberg's notes for the San Jose expedition. If they are accurate, then different sections of the tape were recorded at different speeds.


    [​IMG]

    If the acoustic set and the backstage conversation were recorded at a miserly 15/16ths ips, as indicated, then that would be about 290 feet of tape. The electric set at 3 1/3 ips would run for about 810 feet. So the concert and conversation is, give or take a gnat's crotchet, 1100 feet of tape. Then the fan interviews amount to 50 minutes at 3 3/4 ips and 35 minutes at 1 3/4 ips (approximately 1200 feet of tape). I can't say I recognise the 3 1/3 and 1 3/4 speeds as standard settings.

    So it would seem that the San Jose expedition was recorded on two 1200 foot reels, as you suggested. Maybe they were transferred to a bigger single reel? Then again, what does Ginsberg mean by "Side 1" and "Side 2" on his notes? Is this like a cassette...?


    Bay Area Bob Dylan concerts in Allen Ginsberg Papers


    The San Francisco tape, M0733_s11_ssB_b134_05, runs for a total of 3 hours and 45 minutes (225 minutes). Only half of that time is taken up by the concert and backstage conversation; the rest has no Bob-content. The rest is unrelated to our subject. Unfortunately, the Stanford website indicates that this is the Berkeley show. The contents of the backstage conversation does not support this, but is an understandable error if Ginsberg himself stated that San Francisco is Berkeley.

    I wonder if Ginsberg did record the Berkeley electric set, as Stephan recalls, but did it surreptitiously and with a different (inferior, perhaps) machine. Then, at San Francisco, he shows Bob his sprauncy new recorder, only to go and record the concert at a tape-speed of 15/16ths i.p.s.

    I'm open to ridicule, but be gentle....I'm fundamentally a decent person :laugh:
     
  8. Walking Antique

    Walking Antique Forum Resident

    Location:
    usa
    The origin of that news was a listing by Michael Krogsgaard, who always claimed that he only listed recordings that he had actually heard himself.

    I think Sony was lazy about sourcing tapes. There was an article many years ago about Albert Grossman in which Steven Forbert said he had seen a soundboard tape of the 1965 Forest Hills show at Grossman's house. Instead of that, Sony used the easily available and horrible sounding audience tape.
     
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  9. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    There is also some discussion about the merits of Herman's Hermits in the interviews! It's difficult to comprehend now how big this group was back then. Reminded me of the first concert I ever attended: Saturday, 21 November 1964 at the Kingston Granada:-

    [​IMG]

    Screaming was heard coming from the stalls when Herman took to the stage.

    #
     
  10. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    We have quickly moved beyond my incredibly limited knowledge of reel-to-reel recording. :) I tried and failed to determine what brand and model Ginsberg was using - surely this information must be out there somewhere? There were a handful of machines that had the capability to run at 15/16 ips. Recording Dylan's performance at the worst speed humanly possible, then going 4 times as fast when recording interviews with random fans seems like an odd choice, but apparently one that AG chose to make. I can't find ANY machines that ran at 3 and 1/3 ips or 1 and 3/4 ips - I can only assume AG was a bit confused and meant 3&3/4 and 1&7/8.

    As to "Side 1" and "Side 2"? Again, it would help immensely if we knew what brand/model AG was using. While reel-to-reel tape is one-sided, it is conceivable that AG was using only one track on a two track machine, then running the tape in the other direction, again only using one track (thus creating "Side 2"). This is a rather convoluted, not-quality-conscious choice to make in order to be stingy with blank tape, but it's the best explanation I can offer up.

    Looks like AG recorded Denver 1-23-80 as well. His tentative song titles are entertaining ("Pine Box", for example).
     
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  11. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    Percy Song wrote:

    Box 119, Reel 7. "Bob Dylan, San José, CA, Civic Auditorium, 12 December 1965"


    Box 134, Reel 5. "San Francisco, CA, Dylan undated" [AG had identified this tape as Berkeley 4 December 1965 after it was catalogued as 'San Francisco, Dylan undated.']

    Box 120, Reel 1: "[Untitled] 1965 Dec 12"

    Seeing as you've gracefully proven that the San Jose concert AND fan interviews derive from "Box 119, Reel 7", it does leave the mystery of what is on "Box 120, Reel 1". But assuming the date was written on the box contemporaneously, there's not much to support the notion that this could be Berkeley. I'd venture this reel contains whatever Allen did that morning/afternoon before arriving outside the venue to interview fans.
     
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  12. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    To follow up a bit (too late to edit), it appears that some mid-60s machines were designed to allow for using half the tape surface and running it in the opposite direction to double the space (vaguely creating "side 1" and side 2").
     
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  13. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    I think you've cracked it, Ray!

    The original recordings are single-track mono so, sure enough, AG spends a wallet-emptying sum on a reel-to-reel recorder, goes all stingy on the tape speeds, and runs it in the opposite direction to create the "sides". I would have thought there might be instructions on the most sensible speed to use for recording music; I'd say it isn't intuitive that a faster speed gives better quality. But as my wife often reminds me, the reading of instruction booklets is not something that many men think they need to do whenever they acquire a new toy...

    On the Allen Ginsberg Project website, this photo appears, but without a caption to indicate when or where it might have been used, although text further down the page does mention 1965:-

    [​IMG]


    Spiritual Poetics 9 (Milarepa Didn't Have A Tape-Recorder) - The Allen Ginsberg Project



    It looks like a Uher 4000 Report S, like this:-

    [​IMG]



    I'm not going to worry too much about the contents, or even the existence of, Box 120, Reel 1, but I think for the time being I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt to Stephan that he witnessed AG recording the Berkeley electric set (though probably not with his new "$500" machine). I agree that the backstage conversation at San Francisco probably should have revealed that this did happen, and it doesn't reveal anything of the sort. In fact the conversation, by omission, indicates that AG had not taped any of Bob's previous performances. It's a pity that Bob, who as we know from the KQED-TV Press Conference and later on when Richard Alderson came on board was very concerned about sound quality, didn't look at the Uher closer and advise AG to alter his speed selector switch...

    #
     
  14. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    It's clear from the long list of contents in the Ginsberg archive that he was carrying around a portable tape recorder before he upgraded in late 1965. But based on the San Francisco backstage conversation though, I'd be surprised to discover that he did in fact tape Berkeley.

    If Mr. Pickering were still with us on this forum, he would most certainly call me a gossipolator. :)
     
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  15. asdf35

    asdf35 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin TX
    Just curious, where is this "backstage conversation?" Was it quoted by RandPink from his visit?

    I read that post in one of these threads, whew too much to keep track of!
     
  16. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    :D Let's be kind and say that it's definitely clear from the backstage conversation that AG attended one or both of the Berkeley shows, unless Bob is referring to the KQED-TV Press Conference when he is talking about "last week". I am rapidly backsliding here but, yes, I would raise an eyebrow and waggle one ear simultaneously if we were to discover that Berkeley was taped by Ginsberg. It's true; the evidence is not there to ascertain that he did.
     
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  17. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    The San Francisco tape begins with 17 minutes of backstage conversation between Dylan and Ginsberg from before the show, in which they discuss, among other things, Ginsberg's new tape recorder, and how Dylan thinks that Ginsberg should tape the show that evening so Dylan can hear some of it. Conversely, the backstage conversation on the San Jose tape comes from between sets.
     
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  18. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    Rereading the relevant portions of Heylin's "Judas!" leaves me perplexed as to what Heylin had heard (and not heard) before writing his book. He makes reference to three tapes (Berkeley, SF, San Jose). He accurately attributes some of Dylan's backstage comments to Ginsberg to San Francisco, but attributes further comments (regarding Marlon Brando and Phil Spector) incorrectly to San Jose.

    Heylin quotes Dylan in SF as saying to Ginsberg "we can't take a chance with a new drummer", a reasonable approximation of what he actually says - "Hey, we got a new drummer tonight". This leads to further potential complexity. Since by all accounts Levon Helm quit after Washington (on 11-28), Bobby Gregg would have already played at least the two Berkeley shows, and Ginsberg would have attended at least one of those shows, if not both (would he have attended the 12/3 press conference then skipped the show? could even his presence at the 12/4 show have been apocryphal?) So why would it be news for Dylan to report to Ginsberg that "we got a new drummer TONIGHT" if Ginsberg had already seen said drummer? So could the SF backstage chat actually be a 12/3 Berkeley backstage chat? Nope, because Dylan clearly states that "We go to San Jose" next (Ginsberg thinks Santa Cruz - even though he's going there as well).

    A review of Berkeley 12/3 mentions that there is a 12/4 concert also scheduled, but that it is to be followed by a San Francisco show on 12/5 (at the same venue as the 12/11 show). Heylin calls 12/11 the "second San Francisco show", so he's either utilizing the information in the review or has further information. It seems unlikely that this show would be left off of promotional materials (unless it was added at the last minute).

    [​IMG]

    Bobdylan.com runs with the 12/5 San Francisco date as well, but provides a string of incorrect/phantom dates - Long Beach 12/7 (actual date 12/17), Santa Monica 12/8 (actual date 12/19), Pasadena 12/9 (actual date 12/18), bringing their reporting seriously into question (unless Bob was so popular that he was haphazardly doubling up at these 4 venues).

    [​IMG]

    Heylin also, oddly, quotes from the San Jose performance of "Long Distance Operator" and gets it wrong ("waiting for it to collide" vs. "ready to collide"), suggesting that the quote is second-hand and not the result of his having heard the tape before writing his book.

    Poster images "courtesy" Olof's site (Still On The Road 1965 )
     
  19. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    I did the same thing, Ray, and I’m running the risk of repeating everything you’ve said but with the words in a different order…!

    Between them, bobdylan.com and Clinton certainly add murk to some already fairly muddy waters. As you say, there seems to be phantom tour dates on bobdylan.com, and Clinton has certainly muddled up his notes regarding the two backstage conversations, although he is correct about the “can’t take a chance with a new drummer” quote. Bob mentions the “new drummer” twice, so it seems to be a big deal to him, this “new drummer” situation. The first listen to the San Francisco pre-show backstage conversation had me thinking, “Berkeley! San Francisco Undated is Berkeley! The live premier of “Visions of Johanna”!”

    But, no, it’s not so clear cut. One day I’ll do a complete transcription but initially, to determine a location, I’ll stick to a few relevant excerpts:-

    On entering the dressing room Ginsberg shows his new reel-to-reel recorder to Bob for the first time. AG says, “...you can run it in any (either?) direction...”, confirming that the resulting tapes do have an “A” side and a “B” side, and that for its size it’s “very good”.


    (I’m not convinced now that a Uher 4000 Report S cost as much as $5000 in 1965 and I’m not sure that it accepted 7” reels anyway so the brand of recorder is still something of a mystery. Could it have been a Nagra, I wonder?)


    BD: “Hey, why don’t you tape some of the concert tonight?” AG states that his machine could do a good job of that and offers to present the resulting tape to Bob who declines, “Well, no, I’d just like to hear what we sound like. Hey, we got a new drummer tonight.” AG, frustratingly for us, does not ask who the new drummer is, but rather carries on giving Bob the lowdown on his sprauncy new rig. Frankly, Bob doesn’t show much interest and starts talking to someone he names as Dick.

    A little later Bob indicates that he talked to AG “last week” and that he “spent a lot of time with Marlon Brando” in Hollywood. Around this time (5 minutes in) we hear the band, or at least initially Robbie, starting a soundcheck or rehearsing in the auditorium.


    (Now I’m beginning to think this can’t be Berkeley because, if it was Berkeley, Bob was in Chicago, Washington and New York “last week”, not Hollywood.)


    At 9 minutes, Bob turns his attention back to AG’s recorder. AG briefly plays back a recording of a West-Coast-sounding band. A bit like Jefferson Airplane chords but probably not them. It’s possible here that there is a break in the recording of the backstage conversation. The rehearsal/soundcheck in the auditorium is suddenly more prominent, Garth is giving it big licks on his organ and the new drummer is audible.

    AG says, “Are you going to do anything different tonight?”. Bob replies, “No, same show, we can’t take a chance with a new drummer.” Then AG says, indicating something he perhaps wasn't expecting, “There’s more Oakland than Frisco Hell’s Angels out there tonight.” We learn that Bob has given AG a few tickets to hand around. The show is sold out.


    (This suggested strongly to me that the location is San Francisco. If it were Berkeley, one might expect “more Oakland than Frisco Hell’s Angels out there tonight.” Also, AG’s question indicates that he had attended a recent show – so probably one of the Berkeley shows “last week”.)


    At 13:45 AG asks, “Are you going to Santa Cruz tomorrow?” Bob: “No, we go to San Jose. I felt kind of close last time I was here - to the concerts - because of you and it was very groovy, you know. That seldom happens. Like when I played here last weekend…”


    So, now I’m convinced that this backstage conversation must be at San Francisco, 11 December. If it was Berkeley then “last weekend” Bob was playing concerts in Chicago so he certainly wasn’t “here” then (“here” presumably meaning the West Coast as opposed specifically San Francisco). It also seems clear that AG had attended at least one show “last time I was here”, again suggesting Berkeley; and San Jose was definitely scheduled for 12 December.

    We know from the contemporary newspaper cuttings that additional shows were added to the itinerary at the last minute in November “due to public demand” so it is possible that there were two shows in San Francisco, one hastily arranged immediately after the Berkeley shows, and that the 11 December performance was Heylin’s “second” show.

    Nonetheless, I still find it curious that Bob mentions the “new drummer”, and twice in the same conversation. I've opined before, on the 1966 Live Recordings Box thread when all this '65 stuff came up, that:- "I'd posit that Bobby Gregg, given his recent experience with Bob in the studio, and having had several concerts and soundchecks already under his belt with The Band, was hardly new by 11 December, but I'm open to being ridiculed for this strictly amateur observation."

    Also, as you say, Ray, why even mention a new drummer (and twice!) to AG if AG had already seen a show last week with that drummer? Is it possible that Bobby Gregg did play Berkeley but didn’t play San Francisco a week later for some reason?

    In conclusion, it is only this "new drummer" issue which suggests this might be Berkeley. Everything else points to it being San Francisco.

    (It's possible there are further clues in the introduction to "Alcatraz...." but I can't make out much of what Bob is mumbling and a chronic hearing impediment precludes me wearing headphones, which may be the only way to get close to those spoken words.)

    A lesson is learned:- if you are recording a conversation for posterity, start the tape off by announcing the date, time and location. And if someone says to you, "Hey, we got a new drummer tonight", ask the question, "Oh, really? Who is it this week....?" :)

    And, if you are the performer, speak clearly and make otherwise vacuous announcements throughout the set like, "Hey, San Francisco, how are you all doing tonight!" That kind of thing. It makes it so much easier for the historians among us...;)

    #
     
  20. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    Many good points raised (and thank you for catching my oversight regarding the second "new drummer" comment).

    I agree with you that there is little doubt that this conversation is from San Francisco 12-11-65. (Ginsberg asking "You got anything new tonight?" and Dylan saying "No, same show" certainly suggests that Ginsberg has already seen a show, or shows, I might add).

    I think there is a possibility that one drummer played the two Berkeley shows (12-3 and 12-4) and the San Diego (12-10) show, and a different drummer played the remaining 1965 dates, starting with San Francisco (12-11). One of these drummers is surely Bobby Gregg. It's otherwise difficult to explain Bob's use of "new drummer" in this context (speaking to a person who had already seen whoever the post-Levon drummer was the week before). Or Levon played the first three West Coast dates and then quit, and history has the story wrong.

    Here's a mystery (to me anyway): How does Ginsberg manage to play Dylan a sample of music recorded by this machine while apparently recording that playback at the same time???

    Ginsberg says the machine cost $500, not $5000. Perhaps one of the veterans of the recording industry here could shed some light on the brand one might get for $500 in 1965. I did notice the same discrepancy that you did - that these are reported to be 7 inch reels, and the Uher portable could only accommodate 5 inch reels. A few possibilities there - the person who cataloged the collection was mistaken, or Ginsberg recorded the material on 5 inch reels but at some point played them back on his home machine (assuming he had one), transferring them to 7 inch reels in the process.
     
  21. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man


    Yes, the simultaneous recording and playback thing seems odd...

    Ooops! Thanks for pointing out my typo error on the cost of the machine; an unintended zero crept in there...

    I also goofed on my assumption regarding the $500 (five hundred dollar) cost. A quick internet trawl had revealed that in 1965 a new Uher 6000 retailed at $160. Then I found this ad for a 4000-L, which was more or less equivalent to the 4000 Report S. Seems that you paid a premium for true portability, so $500 for a 4000 Report S with mic and other accessories was about right.

    :hide:

    [​IMG]
    #
     
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  22. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
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  23. JMGuerr

    JMGuerr Forum Resident

    Location:
    new mexico
    "I tried and failed to determine what brand and model Ginsberg was using - surely this information must be out there somewhere?"


    Sean Wilentz:
    "Dylan had given Ginsberg a gift of six hundred dollars, enough to purchase a state-of-the art, portable Uher tape recorder"
     
  24. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
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  25. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    Could "Dick" be Richard Farina, Dylan's old pal (and Joan Baez' brother in law)? He lived in Carmel, south of the Bay Area.
    Richard Fariña - Wikipedia

    Also: I did a quick check of Robbie Robertson's Testimony, and he mentions Bobby Gregg twice, once by name, and once as their "fill-in" drummer during that part of the tour, after Levon left. If Dylan and The Hawks used another drummer for some of those Dec. '65 gigs, I'd really like to know who it was.
     

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