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Down In The Groove

     Ángel Álvarez is a famous Spanish DJ whose radio show 'Vuelo 605' first aired in 1962 and still goes on strong. Álvarez was arguably the first DJ to play a Dylan song on the Spanish radio, in late 1962, and has remained a fan of Dylan's work throughout the years. In December 2000, EMI-Odeon Spain released 'Vuelo 605 Vol. 2' (7243 5 26355 28), a double CD compilation of his favourite songs which includes the original album version of Bob Dylan's Hurricane (and in case you are wondering, no, there were no Dylan tracks on Vuelo 605 Vol. 1). The CD booklet includes a brief text of presentation for each song, mentioning authors, original release date and so forth, but little else of interest. Dylan is described as "the most famous minstrel of the XXth century, the voice of a generation of changing times", and the Carter case is briefly mentioned, as well as The Rolling Thunder Review, and Ronee Blakley and Scarlet Rivera's participation.

     The Songs of Bob Dylan Vol. 2, May Your Song Always Be Sung Again is a compilation of Dylan cover versions. This was released to celebrated Dylan's 60th birthday. There are 19 tracks from such varied artists as Elvis Presley, Patti Smith and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The most interesting inclusion which is why the CD is in this section and not with the other cover versions, is an outtake of Midnight Special by Harry Belafonte. Dylan is featured on harmonica but on this version he plays much more making this an excellent addition to any collection.


     Also in time for the past Christmas season, the Spanish branch of Sony Music Media released yet another 'various artists' compilation inspired by a different radio show, M-80 Radio's 'La Gramola'. This double CD is titled 'Tú decides. El disco de La Gramola' (SMM 499931 2) and includes the original album version of Knockin' On Heaven's Door.


     Also in time for the past Christmas season, the Spanish branch of Sony Music Media released yet another 'various artists' compilation inspired by a different radio show, M-80 Radio's 'La Gramola'. This double CD is titled 'Tú decides. El disco de La Gramola' (SMM 499931 2) and includes the original album version of Knockin' On Heaven's Door.

There Is No Eye: Music for Photographs

     On 6 November, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings released 'There Is No Eye: Music for Photographs' (SFW 40091) this was compiled and produced by photographer, film maker, folklorist, and musician John Cohen. This album, which includes a 34 page booklet of photographs has 23 tracks with Cohen's photographs, introduction, and personal notes on each recording.

     The CD together with the book of Cohen photographs titled 'There Is No Eye' released by Powerhouse Books in mid-November is a powerful historical document of Cohen's folk scene - from the mid-century. The title of both the book and CD, echoes a line from Dylan's notes to his 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited. With scantly punctuated prose, Dylan wrote, "you are right john cohen ... I cannot say the word eye anymore ... there is no eye". " - Quasimodo was right...There is no eye - there is only a series of mouths - long live the mouths - your rooftop - if you don't already know - has been demolished..." Bob Dylan's Roll On John, recorded in 1962 and unreleased until now, serves as the centerpiece of this collection, which also includes previously unreleased music from Bill Monroe ('John Henry') and Reverend Gary Davis ('If I Had My Way') and classic material from Roscoe Holcomb, Elizabeth Cotten, Alan Lomax, Cohen's New Lost City Ramblers, and many others. Several of these tracks were recorded by Cohen himself.

     On their own, these songs are authentic and captivating. Yet, they are half of a conceptual whole: Cohen's new book of photographs - with an introduction written by Greil Marcus - showcases the artists and thinkers who populated Cohen's world: the Beat writers in the 1960s NYC Greenwich Village scene, Reverend Gary Davis in 1953 Harlem, a village band from Sacsamarca, near Huancavalica, Peru. John Cohen has produced and directed 15 documentaries about traditional music and folk culture. His first test roll of movie film captured the antics of a young Dylan on Cohen's rooftop in New York City. The silent three-minute sequence which is the first known footage of the singer will be included in another filmmaker's documentary due out next year.

     He has recorded 15 albums with The New Lost City Ramblers and made 11 albums of field recordings for Folkways, Arhoolie, and Rounder Records.

     'There Is No Eye: Music For Photographs' Track Listing:
(* previously unreleased)

1. Thank You Lord - Gospel Church, Harlem
2. If I Had My Way - Reverend Gary Davis *
3. Have You Ever Been Mistreated - Yvonne Hunter *
4. I Can't Be Satisfied - Muddy Waters
5. Roll On John - Bob Dylan * 6. Man of Constant Sorrow - Roscoe Holcomb
7. Hicks Farewell - Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton
8. Come All You Tenderhearted - Carter Stanley
9. Young But Growing - Mary Townsley *
10. TB Blues - Alice Gerrard and Hazel Dickens
11. John Henry - Bill Monroe *
12. Sally Goodin - Eck Robertson *
13. Twin Sisters - Sidna Myers
14. Sally Johnson - Charlie Higgins, Wade Ward, Dale Poe *
15. Pull My Daisy - David Amram Quartet
16. So Long: Go - Rufus Cohen and Wade Patterson *
17. Who'll Water My Flowers - Last Forever
18. Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie - Elizabeth Cotten
19. Ramblin' Round Your City - Woody Guthrie
20. Love My Darling-O - Alan Lomax
21. Buck Creek Girls - New Lost City Ramblers
22. Paloma Blanca - Huayno Stringband, Sacsamarca
23. Kitchen Girl - Sweets Mill Band *

God Bless America

     In the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks, Columbia Records rushed out a compilation of patriotic and inspirational songs. The title song is a new version by Celine Dion similar to the performance she gave on the 'Tribute to Heroes' telethon, while John Mellencamp's 'Peaceful World' is included in an alternate, acoustic treatment. The selection also includes Bruce Springsteen's 'Land Of Hope And Dreams', Simon & Garfunkel's 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', renderings of 'America The Beautiful', 'This Land Is Your Land', and 'Amazing Grace' by, respectively, Frank Sinatra, Pete Seeger, and Tramaine Hawkins. Bill Withers's 'Lean on Me' closes the disc. The contribution from Bob Dylan is Blowin' In The Wind. A substantial portion of the proceeds received by Sony Music from sales of this album will be donated to the Twin Towers Fund.


     The Lost Highway label has assembled an illustrious cast to sing the praises of the artist who inspired its name. This is a collection of songs produced as a tribute to Hank Williams's short and troubled career. Artists include Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow, Hank Williams III, Beck, Mark Knopfler, and Keb' Mo'. Keith Richards's reedy vocal makes 'You Win Again' all his own, and Bob Dylan leads his touring band through a blues shuffle on I Can't Get You Off Of My Mind.

Good Rockin' Tonight:
The Legacy of Sun Records

     This tribute to Sam Phillips's legendary Memphis label features a great range of artists from the late Carl Perkins who joins Van Morrison for Howlin' Wolf's 'Sittin' On Top Of The World'. Also appearing are Paul McCartney, Jeff Beck, Chrissie Hynde, Tom Petty, Bryan Ferry, Elton John, Mandy Barrett, Sheryl Crow, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant. Bob Dylan's subtle take on Warren Smith's Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache is much slower than his performances in 1986.

Not For Beginners

     Ronnie Wood's new solo album 'Not For Beginners' features Dylan on two tracks. There are no vocals featured just acoustic guitar. One track is Interfere, the same tune that was released a couple of years ago on the bonus CD for Ronnie's book 'Every Picture Tells A Story'. The old version is just 3:37 with Ronnie and Bob on acoustic guitars, Ian McLagan on piano, Willie Weeks on bass. The new version has overdubbed electric guitar from Scotty Moore, drums by DJ Fontana, upright bass from Ian Jenning and is 4:39 long. The other track is King Of Kings, which is written by Dylan, is an instrumental and has just Ronnie and Bob playing the acoustic guitars. In the press release there is an interview with Ronnie and he says about Interfere, "First, recorded with Bob in Dublin, and then, I asked Scotty and others to come to Dublin for overdubbing. About King Of Kings, "..recorded during the session with Dylan about a couple of years ago". Not very revealing!

Forms Of Psychic Explosion

     On the Band web site Garth Hudson recently said that, despite the commercial release of The Basement Tapes, in the mid Seventies, and the readily available bootlegs of a number of the songs Dylan and The Band worked on in Woodstock in the late Sixties, there may still be some works that have never seen the light of day.

     "There may still be some things in there, I just have to find them," Hudson said, with a laugh."There's one by Bob, called 'Can I Get a Racehorse,' he thought I had it (on tape) and I thought he had it. It's there somewhere. We just need to see if we can find it."


     For archivists only! Some information which has recently emerged is that Joe Henry was a member of Bob's band for the 'Dharma & Greg' episode


     Dylan band stalwart Tony Garnier plays bass guitar - including 'bowed bass - on 'Original Fin' (Gravity/BMG), the new album by Ohio-born country singer-songwriter Jeff Finlin.

Cover Versions
     Pascal Comelade is a French artist whose instrumental recordings characteristically employ all sorts of slightly out of tune, homemade or toy instruments, resulting in a very peculiar sound. This new CD, titled 'September Song' (Les Disques du Soleil et de l'Acier / Delabel 7243 8496562 4) was released last year in France and it includes an amusing instrumental version of Knockin' On Heaven's Door). Comelade plays all instruments (electric organ, guitars, bongos) on this tune and on most of the others, and guest star Robert Wyatt sings lead on the only vocal track on the album, a cover of Kurt Weill's 'September Song'. This strange disc, not altogether without charm, purports to be a collection of Comelade's favourite songs.

     The CD insert includes the following brief note: "This record is dedicated to Robert & Alfie, Tony Dallara, Fats Domino, Adriano Celentano, Bob Dylan, Toto Cotugno". It would be hard to be more eclectic in taste than this. As it is distributed by Virgin France, interested collectors should not have too much trouble getting hold of a copy. Comelade appears to be a long time Dylan fan, and he has recorded at least another cover a few years back, an instrumental version of It's All Over Now, Baby Blue, included in his 1993 CD 'Danses et Chants de Syldavie' (also released by Les Disques du Soleil et de l'Acier). Another far-fetched Dylan connection may perhaps be mentioned: P J Harvey, a confessed Dylan admirer who famously covered Highway 61 Revisited on her 'Rid Of Me' album) has guested on a couple of Comelade albums.

     Elliott Murphy, who had already released a cover of Blind Willie McTell on his duets album with Iain Matthews earlier this year has now included a live version of the song in his latest album, a double live CD, 'Elliott Murphy And The Rainy Season Band: Last Of The Rock Stars… And Me And You' (Dusty Roses Records DR005). This album can only be purchased by mail from the record company, at:


     Forever Young (A British Folk Tribute To Bob Dylan) is a collection of Dylan covers released by Delta Music, Orpington , Kent BR5 3PZ with copyright owned by HTD a cost of £5.99 is very good value but the casing and cover could be improved! So here's what you get:

1. Show of Hands - Is Your Love In Vain?
2. Albion Band - Lay Down Your Weary Tune
3. Fairport Convention - Dear Landlord
4. Moses Wiggins - Sweetheart Like You
5. Jibbering Rex - Outlaw Blues
6. Vikki Clayton - Tomorrow Is A Long Time
7. Keith Thompson - Lay, Lady, Lay
8. 2 Dogs - Boots of Spanish Leather
9. Sam Piskering Pick - I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have met)
10. Show of Hands - Farewell Angelina
11. Magna Carta - Make You Feel My Love
12. Moses Wiggins - Like A Rolling Stone
13. G.P.s - Going, Going, Gone
14. Fairport Convention - Forever Young


     USA country singer-songwriter Trish Murphy covers Dylan's She Belongs To Me on her latest live album, 'Captured' on Southbound Records.

Bob On The Net

     The latest songs on are the first new ones for some time and they come from a variety of sources. We have songs from the new album played live; some songs recently played in concert this time by the original artists; other songs fron the early '60s; and a song from the Hank Williams tribute album, 'Timeless'. Here is the full list:

70 I Can't Get You Off Of My Mind, from Timeless 2001

69 Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, UCSB Events Center, Santa Barbara, California, 14/10/01

68 Standing In The Doorway, Osaka Koseinenkin Kaikan, Japan, 6/3/01 67 Dusty Old Fairgrounds, Town Hall, New York, NY, 12/4/63

66 This World Can't Stand Long, performed by Johnnie & Jack, recorded 1947, composed by Johnnie Wright, Jim Anglin and Jack Anglin

Humming Bird, performed by Johnnie & Jack, recorded 1951, composed by Johnnie Wright, Jim Anglin and Jack Anglin

65 Ring Them Bells, The Supper Club, New York, NY, 16/11/93 (early show)

High Water Everywhere, part 1, Charley Patton A recording from 1929 or 1930

64 Poor Lazarus, 'Minneapolis Hotel Tape', Minneapolis, MN, 22/12/61

63 Dink's Song, 'Minneapolis Hotel Tape', Minneapolis, MN, 22/12

Is It Rolling Bob?

     As we have said many times previously we don't catalogue audience recordings, however, when something emerges from some time ago we do like to give it a mention as another gap is filled! This is such an example, here we have a missing show from Lang Park, Brisbane, Queensland and this is from the evening of 1 March 1986! The set is quite standard for that part of 1986 and the quality is quite listenable. Parts of the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers sets are included but not all of the songs are complete.

Educated Rap

Dylan And The USA's Musical Times
by Terry Kelly

     Running to more than 970 pages, Richard Crawford's America's Musical Life (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc, 2001) is an exploration of the USA's rich musical heritage, stretching from native American music to the black soul and rock sounds of today. More than a dozen pages are devoted to Dylan, as the author traces the singer's transition from folk to rock music. Crawford, whose previous books include studies of Civil War music and early American psalms, sees early Dylan as a songwriting link to the political heritage of 1930s and as the natural successor to Woody Guthrie. Putting The Times They Are A-Changin' under the musicological microscope, Crawford writes: "Set in strophic form and ¾ time, the words declare that parents cannot really know daughters and sons who have already joined other young comrades in rejecting other values, in language that blends poetic economy with colloquial diction. Dylan accompanies himself on acoustic guitar. Wearing a harmonica supported by a shoulder brace, he fills out the ends of the stanza with its edgy timbre. His voice - nasal, a bit thin, uncultivated in sound but with clear declamation of the words - conjures up the spirit of Woody Guthrie."

     words - conjures up the spirit of Woody Guthrie." However, Crawford is perceptive enough to note that "Dylan did not fit comfortably into the revival movement" and that the young singer-songwriter's imagination ranged beyond politically charged subjects. Leading on from this, the author - in a perceptive allusion to Dylan's performance at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival - recognises that songs such as It Ain't Me, Babe and Mr.Tambourine Man "could have been topical only to him." Crawford believes that Dylan's ultimate rejection of the musical boundaries imposed by the left-wing folk revival movement was at least partly rooted in his original incarnation as a rock 'n' roller - not a folkie. In a neat phrase, Crawford encapsulates the restrictive nature of Dylan's folk music peer group: "In the political climate of the early 1960s, protest songs fostered categorical thinking." Influenced not only by Woody Guthrie, but also the poetry of French symbolist Arthur Rimbaud and beat poets such as Allen Ginsberg, Crawford sees Dylan in 1965 as ready to deepen "his engagement with the grotesque and the absurd in art, with existentialism, and with dreams and hallucinations," adding: "In an earlier day, such mental terrain would never have inspired popular songs. But never before had the popular music audience included so many educated young people who were avidly searching for messages." Crawford concludes his analysis of Dylan's swift move from folk to rock music by an examination of Like A Rolling Stone. After dissecting the song's musicological nuts and bolts, to see how its component parts add up to a cohesive whole, the author neatly sums up both the song's cultural significance and essential texture: "The song taunts middle-class American youth with images showing that it takes a tough, resilient spirit to give up the props of middle-class life. But even as his song lays out a scenario of existential loneliness, Dylan offers a counter-narrative in sound: the undisguised camaraderie of musicians who are having a wonderful time playing together." Illustrated with black and white pictures of Dylan at the final concert of the 1963 Newport Folk Festival and a studio shot from the Highway 61 Revisited sessions, America's Musical Life is not the kind of hefty academic tome which is likely to appear on the shelves of your local bookshop. But I'm sure it will be available through inter-library loan.

Who's gonna throw those minstrel boys a coin?
by A. J. Iriarte

     In his interesting and nicely produced 'American Troubadours', British writer and musician Mark Brend examines the life and career of nine groundbreaking American singer songwriters of the sixties whose work, in the author's own words, "expanded the standard pop blueprint of the day and made a significant contribution to rock music's coming of age". These troubadours are David Ackles, David Blue, Tim Buckley, Tim Hardin, Fred Neil, Phil Ochs, Tom Rapp, Tim Rose and Tom Rush. What they have in common is that their careers mostly started during or shortly after the folk revival of the early sixties, that they wrote songs which were not only personal or confessional but also dealt with broader social or political issues, and that they later tried, in varying degrees, to experiment with their music and move beyond the accepted confines of popular song. Most of them went through a period of considerable critical (if not always commercial) success, yet by the second half of the seventies, their careers were in decline or had come to an end. Tim Buckley and Phil Ochs were both dead before the decade was over; others abandoned music for a long time. Only in recent years have these artists seen their work widely vindicated and rereleased, although with the exception of Tim Buckley they are still known only to relatively small groups of enthusiasts.

     The book consists of an excellent introduction, which sets the historical scene (from the decline of rock and roll through the folk revival and its mutation into 'folk-rock' and beyond) and tries to define what a 'singer songwriter' is, followed by a 32-page colour section with rare photos and memorabilia of the featured musicians (there is a b/w photo of Dylan with Melanie, Van Ronk, Phil Ochs and Arlo Guthrie at the 'Friends of Chile Benefit Concert'). The main part of the book then comprises nine biographical essays, which, although brief (from 6 to 12 pages long), are very detailed and documented, including material drawn from exclusive interviews with the surviving artists. These give place to an excellent illustrated discography (full colour reproduction of all the official album sleeves) and an annotated discography which includes albums and selected singles, posthumous releases and compilations featuring otherwise unavailable material, with track listings, complete musician and production credits, and a rating system. A detailed index and list of 'key figures' conclude this carefully produced and rewarding book. Unless I am mistaken, with the exceptions of Tim Buckley and Phil Ochs, this is the first time a book is dedicated to these artists, several of which have only been the subject of articles in specialized fanzines, not even in the mainstream musical press. This is the book's main interest, and it is a pity the author did not go for a dozen sketches instead of nine: it would have been nice to see the likes of Eric Andersen, Tom Paxton or Eric Von Schmidt, for instance, get the same treatment. Although it would of course be hard to maintain that the featured nine musicians are all in the same league, or that their work is all of consistently great merit, it is true they have all recorded at least one or two memorable albums or, in the lesser cases, songs, and that their back catalogue, fortunately now readily available on CD, deserves some attention. Besides, there is much of interest here for the Dylan enthusiast. In the first place, of course, David Blue and Phil Ochs were close friends of Dylan's (musically, Blue started out almost as a Dylan clone and Ochs' ambiguous love-hate relationship with Dylan is a well-known story, here retold in detail), and he appears quite frequently in the corresponding chapters. If Ochs' career has been covered elsewhere, information on David Blue is hard to come by, he remains largely forgotten, although Elektra has just rereleased his first album, and it is quite useful to have it collected here. Also, many of the other songwriters studied here crossed Dylan's path at some point (like Fred Neil or Tom Rush in the folk revival heydays), or somehow came under his influence, directly (Tom Rapp decided to become a folk singer and started writing songs after hearing The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan) or indirectly (Al Kooper produced Tom Rush's 1965 album 'Take A Little Walk With Me'and a 1968 single for Tim Rose, and made an abortive attempt to produce David Ackle's second album). In other instances, Dylan has clearly manifested his interest for some of these artists' work (e.g., he recorded Tim Hardin's Lady Came From Baltimore during the unreleased June 1992 Chicago sessions produced by David Bromberg and performed it live in concert in 1994). Finally, many familiar names (musicians such as Bruce Langhorne, Harvey Brooks or the Area Code 615 band members; producers such as Bob Johnston or Paul Rothchild) also turn up in the text.

     The book's foreword is by Tom Rapp, of Pearls Before Swine fame, certainly one of the more bizarre musicians here studied, and it reveals an unkown (minor) detail of Dylan historical interest: when Bob Dylan joined Ramblin' Jack Elliott on stage at 'The Other End' on July 3, 1975, the evening he premiered Abandoned Love, it was Tom Rapp's guitar he played. For all those who will not bother to buy the book, and it is a most recommended and worthwhile purchase, here's the relevant paragraph:

     "One of my great memories from the period this book covers is of a time I played with Ramblin' Jack Elliott at The Bitter End club in Greenwich Village, New York. Dylan had been hanging around all week. "Don't talk to Dylan!" was the firm instruction from the club's managers. After the last show, Jack asked Dylan to come up and play, which he did (using my guitar - I still have the strings). Tim Buckley had just died, and that was mentioned. Dave Van Ronk was asked up and he sang. Phil Ochs was there and Dylan and Jack asked him to come up and sing, but he gestured that he couldn't sing, pointing to his throat. A few weeks later, Phil was dead. But for the time that he and we were all enjoying the glow of the club and people in it, a kind of grace surrounded everything. Some of that survives in the music that didn't die and will always be there to listen to, if we want it."

Mark Brend, 'American Troubadours. Groundbreaking Singer Songwriters of the 60s', foreword by Tom Rapp, Backbeat Books, San Francisco, 2001 (176 pages, $19.95, ISBN: 0-87930-641-6).

Written In The Book(s)

     Poet laureate and Dylan fan Andrew Motion includes the lyrics to I And I, from the Infidels album, in a new poetry anthology he has edited, called 'Here To Eternity' (Faber and Faber, £16.99). Meanwhile, the Beat goes on with the latest posthumous book by Allen Ginsberg. Spontaneous Mind - Selected Interviews 1958-1996 (Penguin Classics, £12.99) includes several references to the famous Beat poet's involvement with the Rolling Thunder Revue and his various poetry and music studio collaborations with Dylan. At one point, Ginsberg refers to Robert Johnson as "Bob Dylan's stylistic guru." Clocking in at more than 600 pages, the book is a rich harvest for students of Ginsberg, the Beat movement and contemporary poetry.

A Vinyl Headstone Almost In Place
by Ray Stavro

     The first LP that I ever bought was 'Colyer Plays Standards' on the Decca label. A great record featuring Ken Colyer's Jazzmen on top form in 1958. I still have it. I still love everything about it; the actual record with its unique label, the cover, and the sleeve notes, the other records listed and, of course, the music itself. It is an artifact (a product of human art and workmanship). It has a unique physical identity, which can bring back memories and evoke anticipation of pleasure to come. As far as I was concerned this was the way to collect music that had to be kept and listened to again and again. As a collector there was also a need to know what other records were available. This need was partially filled by discographies Gerard Bielderman published some excellent biographies of British Jazz Bands. Some of the later editions even had black and white pictures of some of the albums mentioned. Armed with these little booklets the collector could visit specialist record shops or record fairs, mull over mail order catalogues and fill in the gaps.

     As my own musical interests developed to include an appreciation of the music of Bob Dylan I collected as many records, both official and unofficial, as I could. On vinyl of course. The documentation of Bob Dylan bootleg vinyl was good. There were several discographies but 'Great White Answers' and 'Raging Glory' were the accepted reference books. Later, 'To Live Outside The Law' provided a more up to date listing and Mr. Smith's notes in Isis gave regular updates as new bootlegs appeared.But, for all this work, I personally, still wanted a complete listing of every bootleg with every variation and with illustrations. It seemed that this work was in progress in the '90s. Jean Louis Dreau and Mr. Smith were compiling the definitive work on Bob Dylan bootlegs; 'Nobody Has Any Respect'.

     But, as time passed, this book did not materialise, at least not for general distribution. It later transpired that limitations of the software available at the time had prevented more than a few numbers of proof copies from being produced. My own collection was building quite nicely and, by 1991 bootleg vinyl was being replaced by CDs. There was a need for an updated listing, or discography, with coloured images. If nobody else was producing a suitable document I would have to do it myself. It had to be done! So, I started to list all of the vinyl bootlegs that I knew of. I marked those that I had and sought out those that I wanted.

     It was necessary to have photographs of the sleeves and labels to go with the details of each record. The first year or so was used to document and photograph my own collection and to list the other records that were known to exist. How could I document and authenticate all of the other rare records that had been listed in the old reference books? I had to get help from other collectors.

     The world of Dylan enthusiasts is a nice place to be. Most of the collectors that I talked to were very happy to help. Armed with my camera and scanner I would visit these great people and collect images of records. It was a real thrill to see covers and labels that I didn't even know existed. As I collected more and more images the project gained more credibility and I gradually got to see and record some of the world's finest collections. These images have been incorporated into what has become the book that has been kindly reviewed in this magazine: 'A Vinyl Headstone Almost In Place'.

     This book does contain full details of almost all vinyl bootlegs but I know that there are still some rare variations that have not been confirmed and/or illustrated. This is why the book is presented in its present form. The only way that a really definitive listing can be produced is to get input from as many collectors as possible.

     I am personally printing a limited edition of the book in ring binder form. Each book contains over 500 pages of coloured illustrations with full details of track listing, sources, descriptions of covers and labels, vinyl references and notes on each record. There are also over 100 pages of indexes that cross reference album titles, song titles, sources and vinyl references.

     The idea is that other collectors look through this first edition and give details (and images) of other additions and variations. In this way it should be possible to build an almost complete document, which covers all known information of the entire output of this format. As significant updates are received they can be sent to first edition owners so that their book can be updated.

     Printing started in August of this year and many of the limited edition of 200 are now in the hands of collectors. Responses have been encouraging and many pages have been updated. The 200 copies of the first edition will probably mean that most collectors will have a chance to participate in what has become a 'living book'.

     At this stage I don't know if there will be a second edition, it will depend upon the amount of interest that there is from other sources. But, I do feel that the objective, which was to provide a comprehensive listing of all of Bob Dylan's vinyl bootlegs, has at last been achieved.
Thanks to everybody who has helped to make this a reality

     So what did our reviewer think of this work? Read on ….. A Vinyl Headstone Almost In Place Ray Stavrou

     Collectors of Bob Dylan bootleg vinyl have not exactly been inundated with reference books over the 30-odd years since the Great White Wonder albums first appeared in the late Sixties. Those that have appeared have all been of a high standard compiled by collectors themselves with a love of their subject, but this latest effort is the best there has ever been. The work put in to produce this book cannot be over-stated. The detail is incredible and the fruit of literally years of work. There are more than 2000 colour illustrations of sleeves and labels, beautifully reproduced, some of which are way beyond rare.

     The advantage Ray has had over other authors is that the medium died almost ten years ago so there should be no more new editions produced. Previously unknown editions or variants do however surface from time to time and this book is being added to constantly. Ray is self-publishing and calls it a living book as he is updating it all of the time. The format of the book is loose-leafed A4 size so these updates can simply be substituted for original pages with the new information added. The additions will be the outcome of feedback from anyone purchasing a first edition of the book. Ray can supply these additional pages as the information arrives.

     But don't get carried away with the idea that this tome is something which only a small coterie of devoted vinyl junkies might wish to own. It is far more than that. It has considerable appeal to a wider Dylan audience due to its usability, accuracy and lavishness. It helps if you have the collecting instinct, of course, whatever aspect of Dylanania most appeals to you, because this work is a really lovely artefact. One cannot help but appreciate the quality that oozes from the pages. This truly is a super work of (he)art.

The book is available direct from the author and is priced at £60.
(Contact: Ray Stavrou by telephone 01480 464132 or e-mail at

Lyrics 1962-1998 - Bob Dylan

     It has was recently announced that the new edition of this book would be available in paperback, with 544 pages, from 31 December 2001 and it will be published by Jonathan Cape; ISBN: 0224051164. Although there seems to be some confusion, as it is advertised as above but the cover photo shows 1962 - 1999! However, a spokesperson for the publishers told The Bridge that the 'Lyrics' book will not be published until 31 december 2004!

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