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. Claudio Dirani

    Claudio Dirani Forum's hostage

    Location:
    São Paulo, Brazil
    Could it be amazing if we had a book written on every Dylan album. I mean, I'm talking about well-researched stuff such as yours, Daryl, and Clinton Heylin's. Having said that, we already have the Gospel Trilogy,the Electric Dylan live, Blonde on Blonde and Blood On the Tracks. How about a book covering the first four LPs?
     
  2. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    I surprised myself by not writing any notes in the margins of the Prologue or Chapter 1. However, after his terrific post about the rollicking "Moldy Goldies" LP, I'm sure @HominyRhodes will entertain us further regarding the antics of Bob Johnston. I'd be willing to make a small bet that Hominy has every record featuring The Nashville Cats that has ever been released... :)

    While I don't want to get too "Dylanology" about it all, here are a few comments and illustrations resulting from the pencil notes I've made in the margins of Chapter 2, "Airborne With The Hawks".

    Chapter 2: Part One

    P27:-

    "The Stones I Throw" by Levon & The Hawks



    Both sides of this single are featured on the sumptuous, expensive "A Musical History" anthology by The Band, released a dozen years ago.


    P29:-

    I believe the short film clip contained in the following link was shot by Victor Maymudes in 1965. Is this the actual Lockheed Lodestar aircraft, "The Volkswagen of the Sky", hired by Albert, I wonder?


    http://vt.tumblr.com/tumblr_luypfdMkHc1qcxxuw.mp4


    P30:-

    Advertisement for the Austin show, promoted by Angus Wynne.


    [​IMG]

    According to Wiki, his partner, Jack Calmes was something of a shaker and mover in the business too, forming "Showco" with Angus in 1965. Earlier, at school, he had formed The Jades, a group in competition with those of fellow classmates Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs.

    Jack Calmes - Wikipedia
     
  3. Felonious Friend

    Felonious Friend Well-Known Member

    Location:
    38301
    He taught at Belmont College during that time. Used to see him at Tower Records frequently.
     
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  4. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    I absolutely love the flip side of "The Stones I Throw," "He Don't Love You (And He'll Break Your Heart)" featuring Richard Manuel on lead vocals.
     
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  5. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    "...infectious...."

     
  6. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    I haven't been able to find the RS Music Now show available online, but I did listen to the "Roots Now" program with you and Barry Mazor this morning, and I can highly recommend it. It's always great to hear two people who really know their stuff conversing and playing specific tracks that further illuminate the subject matter. (Hope you don't mind me plugging another author here, but I recently bought a copy of Barry's book about Ralph Peer, which Bob Dylan himself endorses on the jacket blurb -- I haven't read his book yet, though, it got bumped by yours. :D )

    In one segment of the interview, you talk about how the departure of Levon Helm from the Hawks in late '65 altered the dynamic of the group to some extent, especially in the recording studio, and may have been partially responsible for Dylan deciding to try his luck in Nashville instead of NY -- very interesting point, among many that you offered up in your talk with Barry. It's been 50+ years since Blonde on Blonde was released, and we're still finding new angles to it all the time.
     
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  7. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    The Rolling Stone Music Now will be available soon for free in the iTunes store. I'll let you know when it is.
     
  8. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    That single should have gone somewhere, those were such great tracks. I'd still like know if they're ever going to put out that From Bacon Fat To Judgement Day collection with all of those Levon & The Hawks recordings -- it's been rumored for several years now, but so far, nothing.
    [​IMG]

     
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  9. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
  10. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    Percy's Notes, continued:

    Chapter 2: Part Two

    P31:-

    The Christie's auction entitled "Dylan Goes Electric" was the one at which Bob's 1964 Fender Stratocaster used at Newport in 1965 was sold for $965,000. Five lots of lyrics found in the case were also offered but only one sold - a handwritten draft of "I Wanna Be Your Lover." which sold for $20,000! I assume the "Medicine Sunday / Midnight Train" lyric sheet went back to the seller.






    [​IMG]
    Auction catalogue cover


    P32:-

    Daryl mentions the "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window" from the 30 July Highway 61 Revisited sessions that escaped onto a single that was meant to be "Positively 4th Street." All this was discussed earlier in the thread. Here, though, is an image of the Tape Identification Data sheet for the session. As we know from the studio banter on Big Blue, "Lunatic Princess #3" is "From A Buick 6" and "CYPCOYW" is, according to Bob, called "Look At Barry Run":-


    [​IMG]



    #
     
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  11. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

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  12. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    Funny that you should mention the "Newport Guitar" -- guess what's coming to Chicago next month??
    [​IMG]
    Coming November 2018/ Bob Dylan: Electric
     
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  13. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    One of the strongest rhythmic forces on Blonde on Blonde was bassist Henry Strzelecki -- that bottom end on "Absolutely Sweet Marie" is as solid as it gets. He played with all of the Nashville greats during the '60s and stayed involved in the music business for many years. (I recently found a copy of a nice C&W album he produced for Johnny Dunn in 1980). His death came under tragic circumstances four years ago, but he'll always be a rock-solid Hall of Famer in my book.

    Here's Henry playing and singing harmony with Jim Reeves in 1964 -- catchy little number.

    Jim Reeves - Bimbo (live in Norway)

     
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  14. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    You all probably know this already, but in case you don't, I should point out that the liner notes and musician credits for Big Blue contain quite a few errors. I am aware the credits say McCoy overdubbed his part, but in multiple interviews Charlie has said he didn't overdub the part, that he played along with Dylan and the bassist. A couple of weekends ago, Charlie told Dave Marsh, Daniel Wolff and me that they did two takes, the first being a run-through and the second being the keeper. That's when I learned Bill Lee was the bassist.
     
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  15. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    But there are two attempts at the guitar overdub on Cutting Edge, is there not? Plus the undubbed take (with no additional guitar).

    That seems to prove it was definitely an overdub.
     
  16. psychtrailmix

    psychtrailmix Forum Resident

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Curious about this myself, would love to have this definitively cleared up.
     
  17. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    Hey, man, fyi, there is only one take marked as a guitar overdub on The Cutting Edge, but even that doesn't mean there was an overdub. As I mentioned earlier, the Columbia notes are not entirely accurate. For example, they have Robbie Robertson playing the lead guitar fills on "Visions of Johanna," but he wasn't in Nashville when those fills were recorded. So I have to weigh the fact Columbia has some things horribly wrong as well as Charlie McCoy having a distinct recollection of that session for numerous reasons, not the least of which was Bob Dylan had invited him to sit in on the song he was about to record. How could he forget that? He would surely know whether he recorded with Dylan and Bill Lee or whether he overdubbed a part. If he overdubbed, Dylan and Lee wouldn't have been in the studio with him and he remembers them all being in the studio playing together. Also, Bob Johnston told me that Dylan and Charlie played together that day. As far as the track on The Cutting Edge without Charlie's guitar part is concerned, that could have been an alternate mix that simply didn't include his part. They were recording to four-track so the engineer easily could have assigned his part to a track unto itself. According to Krogsgaard's session info for that day (August 4, 1965), there were seven takes of "Desolation Row" recorded that day and the last two were combined in an edit, which is the recording released on Highway 61 Revisited.
     
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  18. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    As Daryl explains in the book, Blonde was released on June 20, 1966. Back on the first page of this thread, I posted a full page ad for the album from the June 25th issue of Billboard, which would seem to confirm that the album had already come out. According to Daryl's book, and all of the online sources I've found, Freak Out was released on June 27, 1966, one week after Blonde.

    So, basically, they came out pretty close together, but the Dylan album seems to have been first. Is anyone overly excited or bitterly disappointed by that? Sure hope not. :cool:
     
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  19. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    I agree that the Cutting Edge liner notes are not to be trusted.

    Here are the takes of "Desolation Row" from August 4, 1965, as listed in those Cutting Edge liner notes, and also the takes listed by Michael Krogsgaard.

    Listening to the CD, the first two takes of the song are incomplete rehearsals, with Dylan at the piano.

    The real "Take 1" has Dylan on guitar and harmonica, with only bass accompaniment, is complete, and quite similar to the Highway 61 version; takes "5" and "6" seem to be the exact same recording, the one eventually released on the album -- Charlie McCoy's lead acoustic guitar can't be heard at all on "5" but it's there on "6."

    "Take 7" on the Cutting Edge disc is just a snippet, the opening line of verse 4 of the song ("Ophelia, she's 'neath the window...") which quickly fades out after only 11 seconds; McCoy's guitar is present, and it sounds like it could come from the eventual master version -- not sure what this 'take' or 'guitar overdub' was intended for. Was it part of the 'Composite' version listed by Krogsgaard?

    I guess the big question is what happened to Takes "2," "3," and "4" from this session. Krogsgaard doesn't list them, and neither does the Cutting Edge. Maybe they were on a reel that's now missing, which contained the other take of the song that McCoy recalled doing with Dylan and Bill Lee.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man


    I'm going to disagree with you on this one @HominyRhodes ...

    As we are pretty certain there was a session held on 16 June for Kenny Buttrey to record a new drum track so that Al Kooper's organ could be removed from "4th Time Around" (the organ and drums on the original session were welded together on the same tape track), we'd have to conclude that it wouldn't be feasible to release the LP just four days later. My best guess, and it is a guess, is that it was released a week later than planned / advertised, so 27 June. Our friend PSB remembers receiving it on his birthday but seeing it new in store a week earlier. This would also point to a 27 June release.

    Over here, its exact release date is also a little vague but I'm certain that "Blonde on Blonde" was released in UK in late July / early August. That would make sense - "Highway 61 Revisited" was released a month behind the U.S. too. For me, its release is synonymous with England winning the football (soccer) World Cup on 30 July.
    If you twisted my arm hard enough, I'd say that Geoff Hurst's second goal didn't cross the line so good fortune played a part in the victory claimed by our (p)lucky lads on that sunny day. But that's another story ...:))

    "Freak Out", by the way, wasn't released in the UK until 1967, and even then it was edited to a single LP initially. Obviously, we were not yet ready to fully freak out!

    #
     
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  21. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Thanks for the reply Daryl.

    However, besides the complete guitar 'overdub' track on CE, there is also the 11 second fragment of a second 'overdub' attempt. When I line up both of these tracks together (panned L&R), Dylan's voice (and the other instruments) are perfectly centered but the lead acoustic is different on both sides. If McCoy only played one live part, what could account for the two different guitar parts?

    At least one has to be an overdub, IMO.
     
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  22. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    You may be entirely correct.

    But the fact that Bob Johnston, with or without the guidance of Dylan, was able to edit the single versions of both "Rainy Day Women" and "Pledging My Time," and get that 45 released on Thursday, March 17th, just one week after it was recorded, indicates to me that it may have been possible for Columbia to incorporate the changes supposedly made to "4th Time Around" on June 16th into the version of Blonde that was supposedly released just four days later. It would have entailed remastering an entire side of the album, but I suppose it conceivably could have been done. Factoring in Bob Johnston's fast n' loose operating procedures, I guess we might never know.

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Senior Member

    Location:
    New York, NY
    Thanks for the reply, Daryl.
     
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  24. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    What I said was The Cutting Edge had only one take marked as a guitar overdub. As I explained, Charlie said they did two takes of the song. He described the first one as being a run-through, but Johnston recorded everything, so it must have been recorded. I don't know anything about an eleven-second fragment. There's no eleven-second take on The Cutting Edge.
     
  25. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    One complete take (Take 6), but that is followed by...

    Take 7 (Disc 8, Track 13). It's a fragment of the same basic track (the master), but with a different lead acoustic part playing over it.
     

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