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. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    If the gorts have a problem with this, please delete this post, but here is the fragment being discussed -- "Take 7" from 8/04/65
    Vocaroo | Voice message
     
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  2. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

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    Nashville
    Oh wait, I see I failed to move that take into iTunes. Sorry about that, man. I'm on my way out the door, but I'll check it when I get back. Thanks.
     
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  3. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

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    Nashville
    For anyone interested, you can hear my conversation with Rolling Stone senior writer and guitarist Wayne Moss last week on the Sirius XM at the link below. Wayne makes a couple of comments that will raise eyebrows, not to mention questions, but I'll let you guys the questions after you listen.

    Making of Bob Dylan’s ‘Blonde on Blonde’ – Rolling Stone
     
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  4. vanhooserd

    vanhooserd Forum Resident

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    Nashville,TN
    When I read about green booze I immediately thought of Ireland's, which was on 21st near Music Row. In 1970 I was a student at Vanderbilt, right across the street from Ireland's. The mother of a high-school friend who was working on a graduate degree wanted me to find some pot for her & I delivered it to her under the table during a lunch at the restaurant. Things had changed since 1966. One more personal note: I saw Mac Gayden play at a "pub" in the basement of a Vanderbilt dorm. Fantastic slide work.
     
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  5. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    That should have been Rolling Stone senior writer Brian Hiatt and guitarist Wayne Moss ... .
     
  6. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    After listening to the interview (another nice job there, Daryl) all I can say is, hat's off to the great Wayne Moss. :tiphat:

    If that's the way he remembers things from back in '66, then so be it, but as you noted earlier, the procurement of Leprechauns for that recording session probably couldn't have happened, since the sale of 'liquor-by-the-drink' wasn't legal until 1967:

    [​IMG]

    ...and the players didn't sound sloppy drunk at all on the other tracks they cut later on during that session.

    During the interview, Wayne also mentions a tuba on "Rainy Day Women" (played by Charlie McCoy, according to Wayne's comments elsewhere) but I don't believe there is any tuba heard on that track, only Wayne playing bass, and Henry Strzelecki working the organ pedals to produce some additional bottom-end rhythmic pulses. Wayne also claims that some of the tracks on Blonde on Blonde were overdubbed, but as you note in the book, others who were there firmly dispute that notion.

    In the words of Kris K., the story of Blonde on Blonde is still sort of "partly truth, and partly fiction," but we'll keep trying to sort it all out.

    Thanks again for posting the interview link. Hope to hear more like that.:righton:
     
  7. Roger Ford

    Roger Ford Forum Resident

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    Bristol, England
    Hominy, I think the date 3-17-66 on that 'release card' for the single is just the date the card was prepared; the 'ship date' would have been shown on the other side of the card, for the A-side of the single, which unfortunately wasn't reproduced in the CECE book. If you look at Dylan's Contract Card p.31, shown in the book for the 6-CD edition , you'll see against "Rainy Day Women" all the record releases the song appeared on, up to 1972; these include 4-43592 (the catalogue number of the single), and the date 3/22/66. This is also the release date given for the single in the book for The Original Mono Recordings. That gives a much more realistic interval between recording and the ship date for the single, from March 10 to March 22.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    Percy's Notes, continued:

    Chapter 3:

    Levon Helm takes his leave and Bobby Gregg comes back to the fold just in time to start recording the masterpiece that is "Visions of Johanna" on 30 November '65.

    P39: Sean Wilentz, in his book "Bob Dylan in America", quotes Dylan announcing at the session, "This is called "Freeze Out"" indicating that this spoken introduction is on tape. It's astonishing, nay, reprehensible, that the announcement wasn't included on Big Blue.

    P41-42: Good to see an interview with Jeff Gold. I subscribe to the points he makes.

    P45: There is another story, which may not have happened of course, about Bob Dylan, Bob Johnston, a drummer and a cowbell from the "Nashville Skyline" sessions. Something like this: Kenny Buttrey asks for some feedback from the two Bobs regarding his drumming on "Lay Lady Lay.", expecting a discussion to ensue. Allegedly he receives one word answers:-

    "Cowbell,"
    says Bob One
    "Bongos," says Bob Two

    So Kenny says to himself, "OK, if that's what they want, that's what they'll get." And that's what he gave them.



    P47: Bob and his band completed "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window" for release as a single. This image is in Big Blue where CD 15 is housed.

    [​IMG]



    Bob attended a televised press conference in San Francisco on 03 December ahead of playing the first of two shows at the Berkeley Community Theatre. He talked about "Freeze Out" being recorded "the other day" and how he had considered releasing it as a single but then decided against it because it was so long it would have to be cut. Maybe he was speaking with his tongue in his cheek....:) Instead, he says, he will put it on the next album.





    It is reported by reliable witnesses that he included "Visions of Johanna" in his solo sets at the Berkeley shows, although no recordings have emerged. The first known live recording of "Visions of Johanna" is from the 11 December show at San Francisco's Masonic Memorial Auditorium, taped by Allen Ginsberg with his new $500 portable tape recorder (probably a Uher 4000 Report S model). Ginsberg recorded the whole show as well as a backstage conversation between himself and Bob. He also recorded the show at San Jose the next evening, but "Visions of Johanna" was not played there. It could be that Bob needed to figure out how best to present it. On the 11th there had been a pretty long, but not clearly recorded, spoken introduction to the song followed by a long instrumental opening. You can tell from the recording that the audience is enthralled by this new acoustic song.

    "Visions of Johanna" was and is, like the Uher 4000 Report S, independent of time and place.....



    [​IMG]



    #
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  9. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

    51 mins into the press conference, Bob knows something is happening here....and he know what it is
     
  10. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    I've been hoping that someone who does a good Dylan imitation would record themselves reciting that line -- "This is called 'Freeze Out'" -- and then post it online so I could insert it as an intro to the first take.

    Great post. You raise other issues that still need to be hashed out, of course. :D
     
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  11. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    Hominy, my thoughts on what Wayne said are as follows: First, regarding the Leprechauns, I don't think that happened at that session for multiple reasons, most notably the fact Ireland's was not an establishment that dealt in the illegal sale of distilled spirits. In addition, Charlie McCoy says it happened at a session a year or so later for some other artist, and Kooper also says it didn't happen at that session. On the other hand, Wayne, Henry Stzelecki, and Pig Robbins all told me it happened. I think the truth is somewhere in between. They wouldn't have been able to get Leprechauns, but they could have had some kind of alcohol; whisky or beer could have purchased legally in stores before midnight. As for the marijuana, Henry said he smoked a joint that night or part of one. I have recorded interviews with Pig and Wayne in which they confirmed that marijuana was being smoked, but both have backed off that in subsequent interviews, possibly because it is still illegal in Tennessee. It's hard to imagine that happening without Johnston or Kooper knowing about it, but it's possible. Charlie was busy writing the horn parts for "Rainy Day Women" in the control room according to Chris Gantry, so it could have happened without Charlie knowing. As for Charlie playing tuba, he said that didn't happen. What Strzelecki is playing on the foot pedals of the organ sounds a little like a tuba, maybe that's the source of any confusion. Regarding overdubs by Joe South, Wayne doesn't remember Joe being on the sessions, so I think he assumes his parts must have been overdubbed. But Charlie remembers Joe South being on the sessions, and you can hear Joe talking on the outtakes. I'm pretty certain Joe South didn't do any overdubs.
     
  12. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    That's another little anecdote that helps paint the picture of the final Blonde on Blonde sessions. Chris Gantry turned out to be a great source of information for you, didn't he? Until your book, I was never aware of him being there.

    Did you ever get to talk to Joe South about his involvement in the Blonde sessions? I know he was a virtual recluse for many years, although I did hear that radio interview he gave in 2010, which I think you reference in the book:

    Includes an interview with Joe South!: Michael Shelley's show
     
  13. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    Terrific post, Daryl, thanks! That Rolling Stone interview with you and Wayne Moss was enlightening and entertaining.
     
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  14. owsley

    owsley Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston
    This book looks like a must read. Does it cover the different mono and stereo mix variations of Blonde On Blonde that were issued haphazardly to the US, UK, Canada, France in 1966? Or why the US stereo lp was partially remixed a year or two later?
    Some songs like 4th Time around and Obviously Five Believers have five different stereo and mono mixes that were issued worldwide. Would love to know how so many different lacquers and mixes were sent out to various countries upon initial release
     
  15. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    Daryl is too modest to advise you that it is essential reading, so I will.

    It is essential reading if you have even the slightest interest in Bob Dylan and/or "Blonde on Blonde". It has been a labour of love for the author these last seven years and it is really well written. To quote the original post by @HominyRhodes :-

    "Sanders applies his top-notch journalistic fact-finding skills, utilizes material from dozens of interviews with the key figures in the story, and offers some illuminating new insights into Dylan's musical explorations and lyrical achievements, but he stays entirely out of the way himself, and allows the narrative to unfold without any intrusive self-references, derisive or caustic commentary, or an overabundance of 'deep thoughts' about where Dylan's 'head was at' in early 1966..."

    The fact that Daryl is engaging with us here is the cream on the icing of a delicious cake. You will not be disappointed if you buy the book. Buy two and you can make notes in the margins of one of them!

    But to answer your question: no, Daryl's book is a narrative of the history of the making of the record, there is no discussion about all the different mixes. I would like to have seen an appendix covering that part of the history and, who knows, Daryl may choose to include that in a future edition, but obviously it is covered in great detail on a number of websites, most notably Roger's Electric Dylan, as you'll know.

    [​IMG]
    Canada mono LP contains the first mono mixes. It is the only place you will find the vocal flub in "Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands" as recorded.

    #
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  16. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    Hominy, I uncovered two eyewitnesses to multiple days of the Blonde on Blonde sessions in Nashville who had never been interviewed about the sessions: Chris Gantry and Billy Swan. They both gave me invaluable information. As for interviewing Joe South, I attempted to schedule an interview with Joe through a woman at Lowery Music, the Atlanta-based publishing company Joe was long associated with, but Joe declined. Off the record, I learned he was suffering to some degree from dementia and simply couldn't remember anything about the sessions. He didn't want to embarrass himself, and I totally understood that. Not being able to remember may have had something to do with why Wayne Butler declined to be interviewed for my book, but that's just a guess on my part. Wayne had been ill and could no longer play his instruments when I approached him through one of his daughters. She told me he was bitter about being left off the credits.
     
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  17. owsley

    owsley Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston
    Ok thanks, the book sounds still sounds like a must have even if it doesn't talk about the mix chaos. . I have contributed to Roger Ford's Blonde On Blonde website, it is probably the best site out there that covers mixes and different releases. Thanks for posting that BOB Canadian lp. I have a copy too. I agree that disc is the only place to find the vocal flub on Sad Eyed Lady. The Cutting Edge Vol. 12 box set attempted to tidy up the flub a little bit with some editing, which is unfortunate. So the Canadian lp remains the only true source of that particular anomaly.
     
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  18. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    Thank you. Roger. I bought Big Blue, but I didn't get the 6-CD version of the Cutting Edge, so I'd never seen that particular Artist Contract Card until today. So much information on there, wow-wee, thanks for posting that. Wish we had all of those cards available to us.

    Regarding the U.S. release date of the "Rainy Day Women"/"Pledging My Time" single, I'm now convinced that you're right, and that it came out a week later than I thought it did, possibly on Tuesday, March 22nd, as the card states. I can't remember exactly where I read it, but someone who seemed well-versed in the subject mentioned that Columbia usually released their singles on Thursday, so perhaps the physical Dylan single emerged a few days later, possibly on Thursday, March 24th.

    Using the 45cat website, and a batch of Columbia 45s sequenced by catalog number, I went deep into the weeds :crazy: and tried to determine the release dates of most of the company's singles issued in March and early April of 1966.

    catalog no./artist/song titles/release date
    4 43560 RAY PRICE: I'M NOT CRAZY YET / WAY TO SURVIVE 1966 MARCH 14th [BOTH RECORDED IN NASHVILLE Feb. 16th]
    4 43561 GOOD TIME SINGERS: I CARE BABE / SO GLAD 1966 unknown
    4 43562 ROBERT HORTON: KING OF THE ROAD / JULIE 1966 MARCH 14th
    4 43563 TIM ROSE: I'M BRINGING IT HOME / MOTHER, FATHER, WHERE ARE YOU 1966 MARCH 14th
    4 43564 JAMIE AND THE JURY: MY KIND / FOOLING AROUND 1966 MARCH 14th
    4 43565 BOB MORRISON: I FALL TO YOU / THEN SUDDENLY 1966 MARCH 14th
    4 43566 RANNY SINCLAIR: WITH ANY OTHER GIRL / BYE BYE 1966 MARCH 14th
    4 43567 JOANIE SOMMERS: YOU'VE GOT POSSIBILITIES / NEVER THROW YOUR DREAMS AWAY 1966 MARCH 8th per Billboard March 19th
    4 43568 ? ? ? 1966
    4 43569 ? ? ? 1966
    4 43570 THE NED ODUM BOYS: IT'S SUPERMAN / ALL THE CLOCKS IN THE WORLD ARE SLOW 1966 MARCH 14th
    4 43571 RICK SHORTER: CITY WOMEN / LAST THOUGHTS OF A YOUNG MAN 1966 MARCH 21st
    4 43572 KIRK HANSARD: LITTLE BROTHER / ONE OF THE TEN MOST WANTED WOMEN 1966 MARCH 21st
    4 43573 SKEETS MCDONALD: MOLLY BROWN MEMBER OF THE BLUES 1966
    4 43574 GERRIE LYNN: FORGET ME (THE NEXT TIME AROUND) / MY LIPS WILL NEVER TELL 1966 MARCH 28th
    4 43575 MICHELE LEE: LAUGH, CLOWN, LAUGH / I'LL NEVER GO THERE ANYMORE 1966 unknown
    4 43576 THE ROY MERIWETHER TRIO: NEVER ON SUNDAY / ZIP-A-DEE-DOO-DAH 1966 unknown
    4 43577 THE DUPREES: LET THEM TALK / THE EXODUS SONG 1966 MARCH 21st

    4 43578 THE BYRDS EIGHT MILES HIGH / WHY 1966 MARCH 17th [BOTH RECORDED AT RCA? or COLUMBIA?, HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 24-25, 1966] **
    4 43579 THE CARTER FAMILY I WALK THE LINE / FOR LOVIN' ME 1966 unknown
    4 43580 THE CREATURES: TURN OUT THE LIGHT / IT MUST BE LOVE 1966 MARCH 7th per Billboard March 19th
    4 43581 THE RIVINGSTONS: A ROSE GROWING IN THE RUINS / TEND TO BUSINESS 1966 APRIL 25th
    4 43582 BRUCE AND TERRY: DON'T RUN AWAY GIRL IT'S ALRIGHT NOW 1966 MARCH 28th
    4 43583 CAROLYN BINKLEY: HERE COMES THE EASTER BUNNY / EASTER BUNNY (THAT'S WHO!) 1966 MARCH 21st
    4 43584 BARRY YOUNG: A HEART WITHOUT A HOME / HE'LL HAVE TO GO 1966 MARCH 28th
    4 43585 ? ? ? 1966
    4 43586 SCOTT & SHELLEY: MOCKIN' BIRD HILL / COOLIN' IT 1966 MARCH 28th
    4 43587 THE PUSSYCATS: DRESSED IN BLACK / YOU CAN'T STOP LOVING ME 1966 MARCH 28th
    4 43588 PEARL BAILEY: MAME / IF MY FRIENDS COULD SEE ME NOW 1966 APRIL 18th
    4 43589 THE CYRKLE: RED RUBBER BALL / HOW CAN I LEAVE HER 1966 APRIL 4th
    4 43590 LEFTY FRIZZELL: MAMA / WRITING ON THE WALL 1966 APRIL 4th
    4 43591 DEBBIE LORI KAYE: EVERY SONG YOU SING / YOU'RE NOT THERE 1966 APRIL 4th

    4 43592 BOB DYLAN: RAINY DAY WOMEN #12 & 35 / PLEDGING MY TIME 1966 MARCH 24th [A-side RECORDED IN NASHVILLE March 10th]
    4 43593 BILL PURSELL: SOUL SHALL IT BE / LOVE THEME FROM SUPERMAN 1966 APRIL 4th [BOTH RECORDED IN NASHVILLE March 7th]
    4 43594 KENNY & YVONNE: COME ON AND BE MY LOVE / LOOKING FOR LOVE 1966 APRIL 11th
    4 43595 SUSAN CHRISTIE: I LOVE ONIONS / TAKE ME AS YOU FIND ME 1966 APRIL 11th
    4 43596 FRANKIE YANKOVIC & HIS YANKS: CHEERS, BEERS AND TEARS / SAIGON SALLY 1966 APRIL 4th
    4 43597 THE WEEKENDS: CANADIAN SUNSET / YOU'RE NUMBER ONE WITH ME 1966 APRIL 4th
    4 43598 ? ? ? 1966

    4 43599 CARL SMITH: (IS MY) RING ON YOUR FINGER / SWEET TEMPTATIONS 1966 APRIL 11th [A-side RECORDED IN NASHVILLE Feb. 7th]

    ** Byrds info from:
    Byrds Discography

    Just wanted to start with that little data dump-- I have a lot of other info on the Dylan singles released 1965-67 that I want to double-check before adding it here.
    TO BE CONTINUED...
     
  19. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    What a beautiful photo. Thank you.
     
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  20. owsley

    owsley Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston
    Great scan! I didn't know there was printed material in the 6 CD package that was not included in 'Big Blue'. Now if they could find the paperwork sending the Blonde On Blonde mono 1A lacquer parts to Canada, that would be interesting :)
     
  21. Roger Ford

    Roger Ford Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, England
    You're welcome. Sony evidently wanted the serious Dylan obsessive to buy all three editions of The Cutting Edge; even the 2-CD version has at least one exclusive little snippet of documentation - the release card for the remade "Crawl Out" single explaining how the title was to be set out on the record label (it's reproduced in this article).
     
  22. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    Yes, if you're serious about "The Cutting Edge" you have to have Big Blue, Medium Blue and Baby Blue. Same thing with "Tell Tale Signs". There is unique "paperwork" in the original slipcase version of the 2CD set that isn't in the 3CD version or the reissue 2CD jewel case version. I can't recall if the single CD had unique artwork but it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest. Buy every version of these things and you can't go wrong... :)
     
  23. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
  24. spinyn

    spinyn Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Just finished the book and really enjoyed it. The main takeaway for me was the skill of the musicians. It amazes me they sat around for hours and were then called in early in the AM, shown a song they had never heard before, worked up an arrangement with tape running and the red light on until they got a complete take of songs from 4 to 12 minutes long. There were no "demos" to work with beforehand, it was all done in one batch of takes right then and there. Amazing.

    Anyone who has recorded knows you have to not let the red light get to you, you have to be relaxed to produce good music, and it can be a battle. Obviously pros at that level have learned to deal with that but they still are only human. Keeping up the energy doing multiple takes not getting frustrated having to start over is also not easy, particularly after having waited around for hours. True, they were young men, which is another amazing aspect of the story, to be that good at that age. Much respect!

    And thanks for your work, Daryl!
     
  25. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    Percy's notes continued.

    Chapter 4 - "It Was The Band"..... (Part One)

    pp 51-54: Daryl leads us expertly through one of the highlights (for me) of "The Cutting Edge Collector's Edition", the session for "She's Your Lover Now", a masterpiece left on the cutting room floor. You can't help feeling that the Nashville players would have cracked it and it's a shame it was never tried there. Was it the grand failure of this particular session that convinced Bob to head down to Tennessee? I'd say so. Rick Danko is struggling on this one. On the other hand, Bob's management-by-telepathy style doesn't exactly make things easy for anyone.

    The song is slated "Just A Little Glass of Water". Robbie(?) offers up another title, "You Can Have Her". Have they been rehearsing in the studio before the tape rolls or has Bob given one or more of the musicians a preview elsewhere?

    [​IMG]



    pp 55:

    On 25 January Bob tries "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" with an altered line-up of musicians***

    It has been said that this song, like the one before, is about Edie Sedgwick. Seems feasible but I don't suppose we'll ever know for sure. Bob himself says about "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" that, "I think that's something I mighta taken out of a newspaper. Might have seen a picture of one in a department store window." Could be:-


    [​IMG]





    On the other hand, Edie was well-known for her love of the leopard-skin:-


    [​IMG]




    **** It's accepted that the Cutting Edge liner notes are inaccurate. Mike Bloomfield was otherwise engaged, playing dates with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band in Los Angeles throughout the dates of these January sessions in New York. Others here are welcome to expand on the likely players at these sessions but I think @Roger Ford probably has it about right over at http://www.electricdylan.net/Cutting Edge/Part 4 ISIS 187.pdf

    We still don't know, however, who the "Mike" is that Bob refers to during the "She's Your Lover Now" session. And who is saying, "Hey, man, it's not our fault. It's not untogether, man, it's just different every time..."?



     

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