Dylan/Harrison 1970 studio session

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by toptentwist, Feb 19, 2014.

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  1. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Houston, TX
    It's well known that Bob Dylan and George Harrison went into a studio in NYC in May of 1970.

    It was supposed to be a secret, but apparently Rolling Stone printed a report about the session almost
    immediately after it happened.

    I've been going through the Dylan "Bootleg Series" compact discs, trying to figure out what tracks
    came from this session. Apparently it was one session and most sources I'm finding are listing
    the date as May 1, 1970.

    I found one web site that listed a huge amount of chronological information about every Dylan recording
    and it listed a fairly long list of tracks that were done that day. Some of them false starts, and re-takes.
    I'm fuzzy on the exact number, but this site listed like 30+ tracks... many of them just jams on old

    At the bottom of the list, it gave pointers to the places where some of the songs were officially released. And it also provided some pointers to what are clearly bootlegs.

    Basically, the official sources are "New Morning" album, the new Bootleg Series release (Vol 10?) that just came out
    (Another Self Portrait), the first Bootleg Series release, and maybe one other place that I'm forgetting

    But the one that stunned me is they were listing a fairly large chunk of the days' output as having
    come out on something they were calling the "Columbia Recording Studios Reference Recordings"
    (which seems to be listed elsewhere as the "CBS Studio Reference Recording Archives".)

    I know those specific tracks have been bootlegged - but the notion that they were also OFFICIALLY
    released is news to me.

    Is that just a code word for a test pressing or acetate ?

    I wouldn't go so far as to call that an "official release".... unless they are just assuming "official"
    means legal (for that specific acetate or test pressing)... but I would argue that "release" means
    it was released to the PUBLIC - not just a copy or two intended for a limited audience.

    I'd like to think there is an on-line "archive" that is accessible to the public - but I don't think that's
    what they were talking about.

    I'm hoping there's some 10 CD box set called "Columbia Recording Studios Reference Recordings" but
    I'm extremely skeptical that something of that nature slipped out without me noticing.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
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  2. JimmieP

    JimmieP Forum Resident

    Hampshire, UK
    Don't think there is any such release as "Columbia Recording Studios Reference Recordings", however Sony might issue such a set in 2020 just like they did with the The 50th Anniversary Collection: The Copyright Extension Collection, Volume 1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_50th_Anniversary_Collection) here's hoping...

    As for official releases of the material, there's a version of 'If Not For You' on Bootleg Series Vol.1, and 'Working On A Guru' from Bootleg Series Vol.10, nothing on Biograph. I believe these are he only two official releases from this session, nothing on New Morning actually has George on I don't think.

    There's 20-25 ish tracks available on bootlegs from this session, pretty decent quality recordings, not the most inspiring material though. There's also two home recordings of George and Bob at Bob's house in 1968 doing 'I'll Have You Anytime" and a song called "Everytime Somebody Comes To Town" that are circulating.
    linclink and subtr like this.
  3. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    George is also on one of the versions of "Time Passes Slowly" from the Another Self-Portrait set:


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  4. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Houston, TX
    This website - which seemed VERY detailed claimed one song from "New Morning"

    I believe they said it was "Sign on the Window".

    I immediately went to my Itunes library and listened to the track to see if I thought George was on it.

    I'd estimate maybe the first 70 to 75% of the song is just Bob Dylan and piano - so I was getting ready
    to write off the reference as wrong - but then the band comes in and there is a guitar.

    It's not overtly George - no slide playing or anything... but I wasn't able to say "yes" or "no" with my

    The site was SO detailed, however, that I was willing to believe that they were positive that
    track on that album came from that session. I'd have to look at the musician list again to see if it's possible maybe
    someone else played guitar while Harrison sat that one out. It didn't really talk about George much
    except to list him as being there.

    They also listed one other track on "Another Self Portrait" as having been recorded that day... I think a
    version of "Time Passes Slowly" (but I need to go home and check - I found this web site just as I was running
    out the door)...
    theMess and linclink like this.
  5. Jackstar74

    Jackstar74 Forum Resident

    Also George is not really vocally audible. Bob does the leads on these sessions
  6. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Houston, TX

    This is the information I found


    Columbia Studio B

    New York City, New York

    1 May 1970

    1st New Morning recording session, produced by Bob Johnston.


    Sign On The Window


    Sign On The Window


    Sign On The Window


    Sign On The Window


    Sign On The Window


    If Not For You


    If Not For You


    Time Passes Slowly


    Time Passes Slowly


    Time Passes Slowly


    Time Passes Slowly


    Working On A Guru


    Went To See The Gypsy


    If Not For You


    If Not For You


    If Not For You


    Song To Woody


    Mama, You Been On My Mind


    Don't Think Twice, It's All Right


    Yesterday (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)


    Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues


    Met Him On A Sunday (Shirley Owens, Beverly Lee, Addie "Micki"Harris, Doris Coley)


    One Too Many Mornings


    One Too Many Mornings


    Ghost Riders In The Sky (Jones)


    Cupid (Sam Cooke)


    All I Have To Do Is Dream (Boudleaux Bryant)


    Gates Of Eden


    I Threw It All Away


    I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)


    Matchbox (Carl Perkins)


    Your True Love (Carl Perkins)


    Telephone Wire


    Fishin' Blues (Henry Thomas)


    Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance (Henry Thomas)


    Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35


    It Ain't Me, Babe

    Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal), George Harrison (guitar), Charlie Daniels (bass), Russ Kunkel (drums).

    15, 17, 21, 22 Bob Dylan harmonica.

    18, 20-24, 25, 27, 30 Charlie Daniels backup vocal.

    32 George Harrison shared vocal.

    12, 18-24 Bob Johnston (piano).

    19 instrumental.


    · 3, 6, 8 are false starts.

    · 1-4, 6-11, 13, 14, 16, 37 are not in circulation.

    · 1-5 Sign On The Window on recording sheet.

    · 12 Working On The Guhry on recording sheet.

    · 17 Song For Woody on recording sheet.

    · 18 Mama, You’ve Been On My Mind on recording sheet.

    · 22 Do Ron Ron on recording sheet.

    · For 24-36 neither the 16 track master nor the recording sheets are available.

    · 26 Cupid let Your Arrow Fly Stright To My Love & Me on tape box sheet.

    · 28 Gates Of Eaden on tape box sheet.

    · 29 I Through It All Away on tape box sheet.

    · 30 She Acts Like We Never Have Met on tape box sheet.

    · 32 True Love Baby That You Give Me on tape box sheet.

    · 33 Wonder When My Swamp’s Gonna Catch On Fire? on tape box sheet.

    · 34 Tack on tape box sheet.

    · 35 One More Chance on tape box sheet.

    · 36 Everybody Must Get Stoned on tape box sheet.

    · Recorded 2:30-5:30 pm, 6:30-9:30 pm, 10:30 pm - 1:30 am.

    · Heylin uses the title When’s My Swamp Gonna Catch Fire? for 33 Krogsgaard calls it Las Vegas Blues!


    CO107086 Sign On The Window

    CO107087 If Not For You

    CO107088 Time Passes Slowly

    CO107089 Working On A Guru

    CO107090 Went To See The Gypsy

    None of the other songs have CO-numbers.

    Official releases

    Probably 5 released on NEW MORNING, Columbia KC-30 290, 21 October 1970 and Columbia CK 30290 (CD), 25 July 1989.

    Probably 5 released in remastered versions on NEW MORNING, Columbia 88691924312-12as part of the CD box THE COMPLETE ALBUM COLLECTION, VOL. ONE, 5 November 2013,

    Probably 9 released on Disc 1 of ANOTHER SELF PORTRAIT - The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 (1969-1971), Columbia CKA 373488, 26 August 2013.

    12 released on Disc 2 of ANOTHER SELF PORTRAIT - The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 (1969-1971), Columbia CKB 373488, 26 August 2013.4 September 2013.


    15 released on THE BOOTLEG SERIES (RARE & UNRELEASED) 1961-1991, Volume 2, Columbia 468 086 2, 26 March 1991.


    Michael Krogsgaard: Bob Dylan: The Recording Sessions (Part 2). The Telegraph #53, Winter 1995, pp. 97-100.

    Clinton Heylin: Bob Dylan. The Recording Sessions [1960 – 1994]. St. Martin’s Press December 1995, pp. 83–90.


    Stereo studio recordings.

    Session info updated 14 November 2013.
    theMess, MerseyBeatle and etcetera like this.
  7. brainwashed

    brainwashed Forum Hall Of Fame

    Boston, MA
    Much of this session reminds me of the Get Back sessions from January 1969. Lots of half-remembered busks of oldies and various attempts at some new material. George is typically quiet when he sings along. Mama, You've Been On My Mind is pretty good, with a neat little solo by George. Here's a youtube video/audio which is not as good quality as some of the boots out there. Ron

  8. My guess is that these are acetates as "Columbia Recording Studios Reference Recordings" is the wording used on Columbia acetate labels of this era. Here's an example:

    theMess likes this.
  9. TeddyB

    TeddyB Forum Resident

    Wasn't I Threw it All Away released someplace, like on an iTunes exclusive or something?
  10. Lord Hawthorne

    Lord Hawthorne Currently Untitled

    Portland, Oregon
    At the end of "Yesterday" you can hear George say "let's put a cello on that".
  11. rcdupre

    rcdupre Flying is Trying is Dying

    I have this bootleg (Almost Went to see Elvis), it's great!
  12. revolution_vanderbilt

    revolution_vanderbilt Forum Resident

    New York
    Close...it was the custom mix website. And it was mislabeled as a Nashville Skyline outtake to boot.
    TeddyB likes this.
  13. revolution_vanderbilt

    revolution_vanderbilt Forum Resident

    New York
    It Ain't Me Babe was cut from the tape, possibly to be used somewhere? It hasn't turned up since, on any unofficial areas or acetates.
  14. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Houston, TX
    When I was googling about this session I found a very funny story about George and his admiration for Dylan - as told by Tom Petty.

    According to Petty, every time Bob sat down at a piano or start playing around with a guitar, George would grab a video camera and record him - unobtrusively - from afar... like from a balcony. Petty then claims George would get lost
    with the tape "for hours"... apparently studying what he recorded - maybe playing along with it.

    The interviewer than said to Petty... "Like his own private Dylan bootleg?" and Petty said "Yeah..."

    But the funny thing is Petty claimed there was a time when George hid inside of a bush with his camera and something
    happened - like the lawn crew showed up - and George had to all of a sudden come out from behind the bush with his
    camera... Petty's comment was "George really freaked Bob out !!!"

    I'm guessing he said it with a smile - and Bob wasn't angry - or terminated the friendship... but I suspect he
    would have been happier without the camera.

    I often feel bad for Dylan, because obsessive behavior seems to follow him around - and it must be difficult for him
    to find places where he can feel normal.
    AGimS likes this.
  15. No Bull

    No Bull Forum Resident

    Orlando Florida
    George was such a Dylan fanboy. :righton:
  16. revolution_vanderbilt

    revolution_vanderbilt Forum Resident

    New York
    George may not have been wrong to try and capture Dylan working and writing. Given his track record, he probably throws away some ideas that are better than the ones he keeps!
  17. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    When was Wallflower recorded?
  18. JPartyka

    JPartyka I Got a Home on High

    Nov. 1971, at the "George Jackson" session.
  19. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

  20. JPartyka

    JPartyka I Got a Home on High

    You're welcome... Apparently "Wallflower" was a potential B-side for "George Jackson," until someone suggested to Dylan that DJs would just flip the single and play "Wallflower" in order to avoid a politically charged track such as "George Jackson"... hence the idea to just put another version of the same song on the B-side. Not that the single ended up being much of a success anyway.
    revolution_vanderbilt likes this.
  21. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Houston, TX
    Did we get two versions of "Wallflower" ?

    One on the 1991 Bootleg series (Volume 1-3) and another on the new Bootleg series release ?

    It should be fairly easy to compare track times - or spot obvious difference - but I thought it might be useful to
    point out that the song has been released twice.

    I really like the new Bootleg Series release.

    In fact ALL of the bootleg series releases have been welcome additions to my library, partly because they've pushed me to look at Dylan albums I skipped previously.

    I almost have EVERY album now (regular, and bootleg series). Just a few more to go.

    I even bought the Christmas album a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised to finding Dylan covering
    "Must Be Santa".

    That's a Christmas tune that doesn't get played in my part of the world - but it's one I became familiar with when
    I bought all of the "British Hit Parade" releases from the late 50s and early 60s. I think several different artists
    charted with "Must Be Santa" in the UK.

    I was happy to realize yesterday I could purchase the 3rd disc from "Tell Tale Signs" as a download.
  22. JPartyka

    JPartyka I Got a Home on High

    Yes, the one on "Another Self Portrait" is an alternate version.
  23. Lord Hawthorne

    Lord Hawthorne Currently Untitled

    Portland, Oregon
    They were frightened of his "love".
    JPartyka likes this.
  24. Yeap - a lot like the Get Back sessions in feel - a bunch of busking around occasionally coalescing into something semi-coherent. For me, the version of "Song For Woody" they do here is the keeper - nice update on one of Dylan's early classics...
  25. markbrow

    markbrow Forum President

    You gotta wonder if it gave him flashbacks.
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