Dylan / Blonde on Blonde: 'That Thin Wild Mercury Sound' (Daryl Sanders book, Oct. 2018)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by HominyRhodes, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    I don't claim to know what any of the revisions will be but I suppose it depends what you class as "moderately substantial or significant".

    As we have seen from comments made by Daryl in this thread, he has been making "corrections" to the text since the first post here in October 2018 by @HominyRhodes reported minor factual errors. For example:-

    The author's open-minded engagement with the information and evidence provided by others on this thread indicates strongly that amendments will be made to the existing narrative to include minor corrections like this, several more of which were presented by different contributors, notably @Roger Ford.

    Indeed, @Daryl Sanders has generously added a lot of background information regarding his extensive research throughout this thread which significantly enhances the content of the book. For example:-

    It's doubtful these additional background research notes (so to speak) will be added to the paperback edition - indeed, including them even as footnotes would probably adversely affect the pacey presentation of the book, and the comprehensive Source Notes Appendix makes it clear where and from whom information was obtained - but these freely-given additional snippets of information are exciting for hopeless and helpless "Blonde on Blonde" addicts.

    @HominyRhodes, also in his first post, wrote briefly about the 16 June overdub session for "4th Time Around" in which Al Kooper's organ was removed and Kenneth Buttrey's new drum track was recorded. Others have followed up on this here, too. The first edition of the book concluded that this "alleged" session probably didn't happen, but, as Daryl suggested in the WOWD radio interview two days ago (linked above), "new" evidence is compelling enough for him to now concede that the overdub session did take place. So it is likely that the relevant paragraph in Chapter 12 will be re-shaped to reflect this new conclusion.

    This would most likely lead on to the question about the release date of the album, mentioned by Daryl in his WOWD interview and also discussed in this thread several times. Sony and other authors have most recently settled on a 20 June release date having previously and variously listed 16 May and "mid-July" as release dates. It would be nigh on impossible to release an album on the Monday following a Thursday overdub session, so the improbability of an "official" 20 June release date will likely be addressed in the new edition.

    I think @HominyRhodes (perhaps others) also raised concerns or questions about some concert dates that may have been noted in the book but which didn't happen. Or vice versa. I believe somewhere in the earlier pages of this thread further evidence was found to support or refute these concerns, so I imagine there'll be minor tweaks to the paperback edition to incorporate this evidence.

    Without wanting to sound facetious I suspect the hardback edition and the paperback edition will be very much like, say, two variant editions of "Blonde on Blonde" itself: small variations in the mixes with neither edition giving cause for anything but great joy!

    Obviously, if the issues mentioned above are dealt with in the paperback then it could be described as "more accurate" because it will have been updated using the additional research carried out by the author since the first edition was published, much like Roger has been updating his "Cutting Edge" essays over on Electric Dylan these last five years as new evidence and information emerges.
  2. ducktrapper

    ducktrapper Active Member

    Massachusetts USA
    Just want to say how much I've enjoyed this thread, and how great it is to hear from Daryl and Roger especially. Thanks, @HominyRhodes for getting the ball rolling.
  3. CBackley

    CBackley Chairman of the Bored

    Thanks! These aren’t huge additions, but probably enough where I’ll want to pick up the paperback. Or possibly the Kindle edition. Either way, looking forward to reading it!
    HominyRhodes and Percy Song like this.
  4. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Maranatha5585, Archtop, Dflow and 4 others like this.
  5. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    VOJ -- alternate lyric transcription found on Taiwanese LP listed on Th'Bay.

    Two favorites: "My Diano" = Madonna, and "Everything's Been Returned Which Was Old" :laugh:
  6. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    :laugh: :wave: :love:
    HominyRhodes likes this.
  7. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    On this date, St. Valentine's Day, 54 years ago, an alien walked into Music Row in Nashville and fell in love with The Nashville Cats. Before the sun rose again "Visions of Johanna" was in the can.

  8. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    Chris M and HominyRhodes like this.
  9. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    How great is this YT clip posted recently by The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum? Super-great, is the answer. The first 10 minutes is devoted (more or less) to the "Blonde on Blonde" Nashville sessions.

    Henry Strzelecki: "We were a little bit...tipsy"

  10. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    When it was announced last year that the updated version of this book was to be published in May, 2020 I thought, "Yep, plenty of time to finish up my sort-of review of the hardback edition. In any case, much like the album itself, it'll probably be delayed by a couple of months for minor tweaks, remixing, etc."

    Then you-know-what descended on the world and it seemed inevitable that there would be a delay. Plenty of time to finish up, I thought. In my head only, it seems....

    The paperback is being published tomorrow, 05 May. I can't think of a better way of spending isolation / lock down / call it what you will, reading "That Thin Wild Mercury Sound - Dylan, Nashville, And The Making of Blonde on Blonde" by @Daryl Sanders and dusting off the relevant discs in Big Blue one more time. *****

    I've ordered mine, and for those in UK / Europe I can tell you there is a bargain to be had right now at The Book Depository on the new version:-

    That Thin, Wild Mercury Sound : Daryl Sanders : 9781641602730


    ***** By the way, no, I'm not Daryl's agent, or anything like that....
  11. Claudio Dirani

    Claudio Dirani Forum's hostage

    São Paulo, Brazil
    I've ordered mine, and for those in UK / Europe I can tell you there is a bargain to be had right now at The Book Depository on the new version:-

    That Thin, Wild Mercury Sound : Daryl Sanders : 978164160273

    ***** By the way, no, I'm not Daryl's agent, or anything like that....[/QUOTE]

    I need that one, too!
    Daryl Sanders and Percy Song like this.
  12. asdf35

    asdf35 Forum Resident

    Austin TX
    For more Nashville Cats background info, here are a couple easy-going interview (podcasts) from Otis Gibbs. His archive of "podcasts" are essential on long drives. It's very casual, like kitchen table with a beer casual.

    Episode 95: Bob Dylan’s Nashville Recordings – otis gibbs
    Jay McDowell is the Multimedia/Assistant Museum Exhibit Curator at the Musician’s Hall Of Fame And Museum and he’s sharing stories about Bob Dylan and the musicians who played on his Nashville sessions. He shares stories about Charlie McCoy, Hargus “Pig” Robbins, Kenny Buttrey, Charlie Daniels, Pete Drake, Joe South, etc.

    Episode 128: Dylan, Cash and The Nashville Cats – otis gibbs
    Pete Finney is the co-curator of the Dylan, Cash and The Nashville Cats exhibit at The Country Music Hall Of Fame and he shares a ton of great stories about Dylan’s friendship with Cash and how it changed how we think of Nashville.
    Percy Song and subtr like this.
  13. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    So, here it is:-



    I think I'm right in saying this is the first time that the 16 June overdub session, in which a new drum track was laid down for "4th Time Around", has been acknowledged in a mainstream book.

    I haven't taken a look at all the revisions yet - I'll be reading @Daryl Sanders 's book from cover to cover again shortly - but it is great to see our thread-starter, @HominyRhodes, and @Roger Ford (and his fabulous Electric Dylan site) receiving a shout-out in the Acknowledgements (and Sources) sections.

    With the publication of this excellent book, we can start this thread all over again...!!! :D
  14. CBackley

    CBackley Chairman of the Bored

    Is there a list of all the revisions?
  15. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I missed this...must rectify!
  16. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    In the book itself, you mean? No.
  17. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

  18. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Non-essential

    Ok, you've had 24 hours. Did you find all the revisions yet?
    SteveFff likes this.
  19. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

  20. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    No, not even after 48 hours have I found them all. I'm reading the hardback with my left eye and the paperback with my right, and I'm getting a bit dizzy.... :)

    However, here is a general description of the revisions from Daryl on publication day:-

    "This is an exciting day. After a very successful run of sales in hard cover that resulted in a second printing, Chicago Review Press is releasing "That Thin, Wild Mercury Sound: Dylan, Nashville, and the Making of Blonde on Blonde" in paperback as of today, May 5. The paperback edition includes some new information that author Daryl Sanders uncovered after the book was first published, most notably about the mixing and release of the album, and an overdub session that happened a month after the album's original release date."

    That Thin, Wild Mercury Sound

  21. brianvargo

    brianvargo Senior Member

    San Diego, CA
    My copy of the book arrived in the mail yesterday, and I finished it earlier this evening. It is truly an exceptional work, easily one of the most absorbing and satisfying music books I have ever read. It delivers exactly what I look for in such a book but actually find all too seldom: substantive, detailed information about the recording of an album, with few editorial digressions and little speculation. My only disappointment arose from the fact that I finished it as quickly as I did.

    As impressed as I was with the actual substance of the book, I was equally impressed with the writing, itself. I very much like Mr. Sanders’ style; it is lively and vigorous, but never strains to be so. He paints vivid pictures, allowing the reader to inhabit the sessions, trusting that the details are sufficiently interesting not to require any superfluous linguistic or rhetorical decoration. Reflecting Bob Johnston’s style of production, he serves the material by staying out of its way, refusing to insert himself into the stories being told as so many authors would be tempted to do. That’s a neat trick, really - and a lot more difficult to pull off than one might think.

    I learned a lot from this book. Very little space is wasted on repeating the information that has been available for more than five decades. Yes, he provides historical context for the sessions, but he doesn’t devote half the book to Dylan’s evolution as a writer and performer, again as many authors would. The book is about the making of Blonde on Blonde, and Mr. Sanders’ focus remains true throughout.

    I admit that I would have liked more space to be devoted to the various mixes of the album that have emerged over the years, but that’s a minor quibble. If you have any interest in Blonde on Blonde and you have yet to invest in this book, I recommend that you do so right away.

    As for me, although it’s late and I’m incredibly tired, I’m going to put on the mono version of Blonde on Blonde and lose myself in some of the most sublime music ever recorded.
  22. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    I wish I had said all that...

    But which mono version did you listen to...? :)
  23. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Brian, thank you so much for the kind words. I am really glad you enjoyed the book. You've described my approach to writing accurately. In any story, I try to stay out of the way as much as possible, and let the people involved tell what happened. Regarding the various mixes, I confess I didn't really learn about that until after the book was first published in hard cover. Once it was published, I met three gentlemen through this forum, Percy being one, who shared information with me about the mixes. Because of space limitations, I was only able to add to the paperback edition the most pertinent info about the mixing that impacted the release date. Hopefully in a future edition, I will have the opportunity to expound on the mixes further.

    All my best,
    goer, GetHappy!!, Percy Song and 7 others like this.
  24. roombythelake

    roombythelake Forum Resident

    Wonderful review – thanks for taking the time. I really must order this book.
    Percy Song, SteveFff and brianvargo like this.
  25. Catbirdman

    Catbirdman Forum Resident

    Ok, that does it, I'm ordering this book.

    I had been on the fence for the past year or so, thinking, yeah, I'm interested in the subject, but not sure I want to dive into a rabbit hole when there are so many other music-related joys waiting to be discovered...so it was the opportunity cost that has prevented me from taking the plunge. Yet this thread has long tempted me (especially when the author drops by!), and now your review is the straw that broke the camel's back. Thank you.

Share This Page