I am just back from jamming with Sheish Money in readiness for my 40th Birthday Bash at Confit Bistro next Wednesday night. The riffs and words were flowing and so was the conversation. I won’t give away what we will be performing, but it was a blast tearing into the words of some of my favourite singer/songwriters. The one thing I can tell you (and I guess it’s no surprise) is, we jammed some Dylan tonight.
There’s always plenty of ‘Bob talk’ when Sheish and I are together and tonight was no different. I was raving about Bob’s Theme Time Radio Hour Show on ‘Friends & Neighbours’ and how he drops in quotes by Nietszche and Wilde (‘Good friends will stab you in the front’), plays Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Little Walter, Hank Williams as Luke the Drifter and wants us all to be his friends. And speaking of friends, just this morning, my good friend Ben in the UK sent me through a link to the BBC’s in depth look at Dylan t 70.
And well, I just have to share this with you… for any Dylan fan, these shows are going to thrill you and for those who ain’t, well, they may just turn you on!
Episode 1 is presented by Kristofferson and features interviews with Dylan’s contemporaries Tom Paxton, Jim Kweskin and Dave Van Ronck, who remember his earliest songs and performances; John Hammond, the man who signed Bob to Columbia Records and Joan Baez, who gives a rare insight into her contribution to Dylan’s success.
Bob himself talks about the music that influenced him as a young man, first hearing Woody Guthrie, meeting Peter, Paul & Mary and walking out of the influential Ed Sullivan TV Show in 1963.
Episode 2 features an interview with Martin Carthy, who talks about the influence traditional British folk music had on Dylan’s work, and Peter Asher and Tom Robinson describe the importance of Dylan’s arrival in the British pop charts; John Lennon and Carly Simon realise Dylan’s lyrics mean so much more than anyone else’s; Bob Geldof remembers the first time he heard Like A Rolling Stone and Joe Boyd, stage manager at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival recalls Dylan’s controversial performance.
Episode 3 looks at the making of arguably Dylan’s most influential album, Blonde on Blonde. The episode is titled Nashville Cats and features newly sourced interviews with the key participants on these historic studio recording dates including musicians Al Kooper, Charlie McCoy, Hargus “Pig” Robbins, Wayne Moss, Henry Strzelecki and Joe South. The documentary also features the perspective of Producer Bob Johnston, the man responsible for convincing Dylan to record in Nashville, and reveals the real story behind the supposed symbolism of its famous cover shot care of Jerry Schatzberg, the man behind the lens.