Tag Archives: bob Dylan

Melbourne Round Up

The weekend in Melbourne was huge!

Musically, I discovered a Bob Dylan CD that I had not heard of called Folksinger’s Choice, which captures a 20 year old Bob live in the studio with Cynthia Gooding on March 11, 1962, prior to the release of his debut album. The performances are crackling, with Bob sounding like a blues singer, three (or more) times his age. His covers of blues standards, Fixin’ to Die (Bukka White) and Smokestack Lightning (Howling Wolf) have a wildness to them; the sound of a young genius, bursting his lungs. It is also the first ever known performance of his early classic, The Death of Emmett Till, which blows Cynthia away… and it’s the banter between songs that really makes this all the more special, Dylan already creating his own myth, spinning a yarn about 6-years spent with the circus and sounding completely believable. The other Dylan originals on this CD are Standing on the Highway (which riffs off the Robert Johnson classic, Crossroad Blues) and Hard Times in New York Town. I think this one is going to be on very high rotation in the coming weeks…

And to add to our Beat Collection, I picked up a copy of Poets on the Peak – Gary Snyder, Phillip Whalen & Jack Kerouac in The Cascades, which charts each mans time as a Fire Lookout and a lesser known gem, The Lowell Connector – lines & shots from Kerouac’s hometown, featuring poems by Clark Coolidge, Michael Gizzi & John Yau and photographs by Bill Barrette. I’m already dipping into Poets on the Peaks and loving it…

And to top all this off, the reading as part of the The Castlemaine Poetry Series, was up there with the very best interstate readings I have ever participated in. In fact, the day felt like a session at a Poetry Festival, featuring some of Australia’s finest voices including Jane Williams, Robyn Rowlands, Matt Hetherington, Maurice McNamara, Anna Fern, Ray Liversidge, Ross Gillette, Nathan Curnow, Gillian Pattinson, my lovely wife, Julie Beveridge and MC extraordinnaire, Ross Donlon. With all of these poets performing alongside esteemed translator, Richard Perry, who gave a stunning reading from the work of Ryokan & Ikkyu and another launch of Famous Reporter  (including readings from, BN Oakman, Lucy Williams & Lorraine McGuigan), needless to say, I was in seriously good company. I closed the day with a reading and believe me, you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face at the end of it. A large, warm, attentive crowd… it was blissful! Julie took some video footage of my reading so keep watching the site, as I plan to post that sometime this week.

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Short & Sexy: The New Penguin Box-set

Seems like 2011 is a great year for big birthdays… SpeedPoets turns 10, this Lost Shark turns 40, Dylan turns 70 and the Penguin Modern Classic clocks up a neat half century. And they are doing it in style by releasing a box set of 50 literary hits from the likes of Saki, Chandler, Nabokov, Camus, Kafka, Woolf & Beckett. Looks like this is due to hit stores in April.

Rubbing my hands together already…

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Bob Dylan signs six book deal

Just this week, the Dylan rumour mill went into overdrive with the news that Bob has signed a six book deal with Simon & Schuster, two of which are rumoured to be the much anticipated follow ups to the stunning, Chronicles vol. 1. There is also talk that one of the books will collate material from Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour, which clocked up 100 shows over its three year stint. So that leaves three spaces… in reading recent articles I have come across comments such as, ‘let’s hope there’s nothing like the unreadable Tarantula.’ Well, I have to differ strongly in opinion to that… I can’t imagine Bob would be interested in repeating what he did with Tarantula, but I would love to read some revolutionary prose from the great man. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what materialises…

In the meantime, if you are after a Bob fix, here’s a link to a killer show from 1965: Bob Dylan, Live at The Hollywood Bowl, 1965.

How does it feel…

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Bob Dylan Exclusive: The Witmark Demos

For many, the release of the legendary Witmark Demos is something of a goldmine… 47 tracks from a fledgling Dylan (1962 – 1964) that until now, have been the stuff of scrappy sounding bootlegs or legend.

To celebrate the release, Rolling Stone are featuring a track from the album, with an accompanying video. Watch Bob singing, Guess I’m Doing Fine

This is Bob in full ‘mono’ glory.

For more information on the release (and it looks like it’s going to be a cracker), head to the Bob Dylan Website.

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The Question of Culture – responses welcome!

Workshop #1 with Emily XYZ hit the mark, with each of the participants selecting a poem that they believed worked well to read to the group. The voices were diverse in style, content and experience which made for some really interesting discussion and Emily brought the group together superbly, creating an atmosphere for honest critique to be given and received.

As part of the group, it was a real pleasure to have three uninterrupted hours to just talk poetry, the purpose it fulfills and how our aesthetic choices can advance this purpose or hinder it. I am now looking forward to tomorrow night’s class where we discuss the question of culture. Some of the questions Emily has raised include:

Where do you fit in as an artist?
What historical precedents do you recognise in your own work?
Who do you most admire/relate to?
What influences, if any, can you see in your work?
What are you obsessed with, what are the recurring themes in your work?

Would love to hear your thoughts on any or all of these…

 

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Teenage Dylan Poem Up for Auction

Christies Auction House has got its hands on a poem written in 1957 by a young Bobby Zimmerman for his summer camp newspaper.

The poem, about the death of a dog at the hands of drunken man who beat him beacuse he barked in joy, captures the fledgling voice of the man who would go on to become one of the most important voices in modern song and literature.

Here’s the poem in its entirety:

Little Buddy
     by Bobby Zimmerman

Broken hearted and so sad
Big blue eyes all covered with tears
Was a picture of sorrow to see

Kneeling close to the side
Of his pal and only pride
A little lad, these words he told me

He was such a lovely doggy
Story continues below
And to me he was such fun

But today as we played by the way
A drunken man got mad at him
Because he barked in joy

He beat him and he’s dying here today
Will you call the doctor please
And tell him if he comes right now

He’ll save my precious doggy here he lay
Then he left the fluffy head
But his little dog was dead

Just a shiver and he slowly passed away
He didn’t know his dog had died
So I told him as he cried

Come with me son we’ll get that doctor right away
But when I returned
He had his little pal upon his knee

And the teardrops, they were blinding
his big blue eyes
Your too late sir my doggy’s dead

And no one can save him now
But I’ll meet my precious buddy up in the sky
By a tiny narrow grave

Where the willows sadly wave
Are the words so clear you’re sure to find
Little Buddy Rest In Peace

God Will Watch You Thru The Years
Cause I Told You In My Dreams That You
Were Mine

 

The poem will go up for auction this month.

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Bob Dylan – 69 years young

I believe we all have artistic beacons… those shining lights that guide us through the years and soundtrack the highs and lows of our lives. For me, Dylan has always shone brightly. His words have circled me for my entire 39 years and I have to say, I cannot imagine life without Dylan. Sharing a birthday with him, well that’s just icing on the cake!

In 1985 I saw my first ever concert, it wasn’t Bob, but it was a man inspired by him – Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band. I still remember the sheer exhilaration of that show, the incredible feeling of having music flood over me in the live arena. The following year, I had my second concert experience… this time it was Bob, backed by the legendary Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

When I look back on this, I cannot help but thinking I was spoiled. It’s an almost unbeatable one, two punch (three including Petty!). I have since seen Bob five times and live in hope that I have not had my last live Dylan experience. Each time, Bob has shifted shape and delivered set lists that have left audiences guessing. I never would have imagined Cat’s in the Well from Under the Red Sky being the opening number when I saw him last in 2007 (here’s the full set list from the show). But that’s part of the magic…

So to celebrate my 39th and Bob’s 69th, I have dug up a link where you can download a concert from Bob’s ‘Together and Alone’ 1986 tour with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. My memory of this show includes Bob adorned with big bauble earrings and leather vest, Tom smoking one of the biggest joints I have ever seen, Mike Campbell’s shredding solo in So You Want To Be A Rock’n’Roll Star and rousing versions of Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, When the Night Comes Falling, Ballad of a Thin Man and Positively 4th Street.

This concert recorded live in New York on the 4th of July, 1986 features many of those songs… and has stripped back the years and filled me with the same sense of wonder and awe. So here it is in its entirety:

Bob Dylan w/ Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers live in New York

And as a thank you to everyone who posted their favourite tracks on my recent Dylan post, here’s a treat for you… I have rummaged around to come up with clips of ten of the songs as a way of saying thank you.

Enjoy,

Ballad of a Thin Man
Tangled Up In Blue
Series of Dreams

Things Have Changed
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
Subterranean Homesick Blues
 (w/ Neil Young)
Highway 61 Revisited
Romance in Durango

Brownsville Girl
Lonesome Day Blues

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Bobfest – 69 Dylan Songs

It’s just twelve days until Bob celebrates his 69th birthday, but the Coowonga Folk Club in Rockhampton (Central QLD, Australia for those who may not have heard of it) is starting the party early with a concert this Saturday night, featuring 69 of their favourite Dylan songs. 69 songs in one concert… I know, I gasped when I read it, but Bob is an artist that inspires such devotion (or fanatacism or whatever else you care to call the love of Bob). Two members of the group were recently interviewed on 612 ABC Radio to talk a bit about the event, their favourite Dylan songs and to play a version of Just Like A Woman from Dylan’s 1966 classic album, Blonde on Blonde.

But if like me, you are not able to make it along to Bobfest, never fear… you can have Bobfest in your own home. And what better way to do that than to get a taste of what Bob’s recent shows have been like and the good folk at webinfront have made that all possible. You can download two of Bob’s 2009 shows in their entirety and the setlists are crackers… drawing heavily from his recent albums:

Together Through Life

Beyond Here Lies Nothin’
Jolene
My Wife’s Hometown

Modern Times

Nettie Moore
Thunder on the Mountain
Rollin’ and Tumblin’

Love and Theft

Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
High Water (for Charley Patton)
Po’ Boy

As well as playing a good selection from his back catalog:

Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat
Highway 61 Revisted
All Along the Watchtower
I Don’t Believe You (She acts like we never met)
Tangled Up In Blue
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

So, here’s the links to your very own Bobfest:

Bob Dylan live at the Hollywood Palladium 13.10.09; and
Bob Dylan live at the Roundhouse, London 26.4.09

And while you are at it, why not send me your favourite Dylan songs… we can make our own list of 69 songs in celebration of his upcoming birthday!

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What have you done this Easter?

Jules and I have been working hard all day, merging our libraries into one ‘super-library’ located in our newly renovated Reading Room… We now have our complete library mapped out in the followwing sections:

Penguin Modern Poets
Gargoyle Poets Series
Australian Poets
(incl. Adamson, Tranter, Dransfield)
New Zealand Poets (incl. Hunt, Baker, Bornholdt)
Asian Poets (incl. Po, Un, Basho)
Russian Poets (incl. Yevtushenko, Voznesensky, Mayakovsky)
European Poets (incl. Neruda, Lorca, Ritsos)
American Poets (the Charles Bukowski & Diane Wakoski collections are mightily impressive)
Poetry Journals (incl. Island, Overland, Blue Dog, Versal, Rattapallax)
Beat Literature (everyone from Burroughs to Whalen)
Bob Dylan (yes he gets his own section!); and
Writing by Musicians (incl. Nick Cave, Willy Vlautin, Steve Kilbey)

Here’s a few pics to show the fruits of our days work!

So what did you do this Easter?

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Bob Dylan: Jokerman

A while back I made a post: A Poet Is… What Bob Dylan Has to Say and there was some interesting debate about Dylan being a poet. Well a good friend of mine recently turned me on to Bob performing a killer version of Jokerman back in 1984 on the Letterman show, which for mine has to be one of the greatest example of song lyrics working as poetry. If you need any convincing, read this:

It’s a shadowy world, skies are slippery gray
A woman just gave birth to a prince today and dressed him in scarlet
He’ll put the priest in his pocket, put the blade to the heat
Take the motherless children off the street
And place them at the feet of a harlot

(read the full lyrics here)

And I also recently came across this poem published in The New Yorker, which is taken from a book titled Hollywood Foto Rhetoric: The Lost Manuscript, which collects previously unpublished poetry by Dylan and photographs by Barry Feinstein.

 

                                                after crashin the sportscar
                                                into the chandelier
                                                i ran out t the phone booth
                                                made a call t my wife. she wasnt home.
                                                i panicked. i called up my best friend
                                                but the line was busy
                                                then i went t a party but couldnt find a chair
                                                somebody wiped their feet on me
                                                so i decided t leave
                                                i felt awful. my mouth was puckered.
                                                arms were stickin thru my neck
                                                my stomach was stuffed an bloated
                                               dogs licked my face
                                               people stared at me an said
                                               “what’s wrong with you?”
                                               passin two successful friends of mine
                                               i stopped t talk.
                                               they knew i was feelin bad
                                               an gave me some pills
                                               i went home an began writin
                                              a suicide note
                                              it was then that i saw
                                              that crowd comin down
                                              the street
                                              i really have nothing
                                              against
                                              marlon brando

Is Dylan a poet? Let the debate roll on, but I know what side of the fence I am sitting.

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