Comrades From The North
Welcome to everyone to our first edition of 2016. You find us somewhat subdued at The Bridge this time around. It is with great sadness that we write this piece. Saying goodbye is never easy but when it happens unexpectedly and to a close friend it is doubly difficult. We have had to do this all too regularly in the recent past and this time it is for Terry Kelly. He was an integral member of the Bridge Team making valuable contacts, writing incisive articles and reviews and, in addition, he was an assiduous proofreader as well as discoverer of photographs. He never tired of helping and even through his recent long illness he continued to be actively involved. Terry was a very respected North-East journalist who worked for the Shields Gazette for over 30 years. Not only did Terry have a passion for all things Dylan he was also a much-respected contributor to the Larkin Society - which promotes the life and works of the poet Philip Larkin – as well as being an accomplished published poet in his own right.
One of his favourite Dylan albums was Planet Waves and some years ago thought of starting a Dylan magazine called Planet News. This came to nought but, when The Bridge appeared following another tragedy, he was one of the first to volunteer his services. He died following a long battle with illness which we all believed he was winning. He will be sadly missed by all.
There has been a good deal of activity in the Dylansphere lately, both real and imagined. The final official ‘release’ of 2015 was a set of mp3 files made available for download to all those who bought the 18-CD set of The Cutting Edge. These files were in the annual Copyright Collection series and contained all of the 1965 live recordings that Columbia say that they hold. News began filtering through that Columbia were to record a live album during Dylan’s upcoming Japanese Tour but it transpired that this was merely a rumour. However, a limited issue 5-CD Box Set is being released in Japan entitled Dylan Revisited All Time Best. Also Dylan has been back in the studio reportedly to record more songs from the American Songbook to add to the twenty-something recorded at the sessions for Shadows In The Night. Some combination of these cuts will form his next release on 20th May to be called Fallen Angels. A four-track vinyl single outtakes from the Shadows sessions is to be made available for Record Store Day (16th April). Dylan will be touring North America in support of the new album release and fans who buy tickets for these shows will receive a redemption code to receive the new album. Dylan has also contributed to a US TV documentary on Mavis Staples – appearing as a talking head – which ties in nicely with the fact that she will be supporting him on these US dates. The most astonishing news of all is Dylan’s sale of his extensive personal archive to the University of Tulsa and the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The 6000-item collection is reported as containing a huge number of gems and will keep scholars occupied for years to come. All of these stories are covered more fully in this issue’s Jotting Down Notes.
"I'm closin' the book on the pages and the text"
This year sees the twentieth anniversary of the sudden death of our friend John Bauldie. John’s work on The Telegraph has never been surpassed and our work together with him on that magazine was the spur to create and continue with The Bridge. One of John’s seminal works was The Ghost Of Electricity and, given that this year is also the fiftieth anniversary of the 1966 world tour which that book documents, we have teamed up with John’s very good friend Bill Allison to produce a reprint of that book. It is more than a reprint as it will contain a whole set of unseen photographs from the tour and an updated chronology. More details on this publication can be found later in this issue.
May you climb on every rung ..........
Mike & John
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