If you have information, or a rare recording, email me at:

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Some Royal Festival Hall 1964 images

Research on the 'Royal Festival Hall 1964' show..and the Isle Of Wight 1969

...a bit of information has come to light regarding firstly the 1964 'Royal Festival Hall' show and the Isle Of Wight recording.

 This was apprently recorded on 4 quarter inch reels, I'm told that it was very likely recorded by Pye by their main engineer Ray Prickett who had joined Pye in 1963. (Ray would be best known to most as the engineer on Petula Clark's hit "Downtown") Pye were somewhat/somehow involved in the recording of the 1969 Isle Of Wight festival as well, with involvement from Bob Auger, who was employed by Pye at the time. However, my source the Pye mobile truck was not used, contrary to what Elliot Mazer has said previosuly, as the regular mobile crew were certainly not involved. In this case it seems that Bob Auger was requested specifically by the artist/management. Mazer says "At the Isle Of Wight, we used the Pye mobile and the engineer was Bob Auger. Glyn Johns and I were in the truck with Bob." Either Mazer's recollection is wrong, or the truck was rented out (or something similar) for the specific purpose of recording Bob Dylan. My source states - " I did work on the Pye Mobile unit throughout 1969, but we did not record the 1969 I.O.W festival. My diary shows we did no work on those dates.." This has been further varified by a second source - "I agree...the 1969 IOW was not recorded by Pye." Bob Auger sadly passed away some years ago.

The 1970 IOW festival master tapes are in the hands of a particular individual, who says he neither recorded nor handled any material from the 1969 festival. Ray Prickett, I believe is still alive and has worked in recent years with another former Pye engineer, Jed Kearse. I have unfortunately been unsucessful in finding contact details for either of these individuals.

 The Pye building near Marble Arch, London changed hands in 1989 after the company liquidated and has since been demolished. Some of the reels of tapes are in the hands of former employees, the location of the rest is unknown but they I'm told they could've gone to Universal or Sony in a batch aquisition.
 I'm still convinced that a line recording of the complete Royal Festival Hall 1964 show is in the private collection of a former engineer somewhere in the u.k...If anyone has further details or can assist in any way drop me an email at

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Isle Of Wight 1969 line recording?

One of the first official releases of any Bob Dylan concert came in the form of the Isle Of Wight tracks included on 'Self Portrait' in 1969. Nothing else has ever surfaced from this recording - that's 42 years and counting!

Does this exist in Columbia's vaults? Or in some private collection somewhere...?

There is absolutely no recording information about this show available. We've all seen the photos of Bob Dylan surrounded by a multitude of microphones (recording from the soundboard)...obviously there was more than one recording going on there, but apart from the audience recordings nothing has ever surfaced.

Presumably, Glyn Johns was involved in the recording since he's creditied with engineering on Self Portrait, and is obviously the only Englishmman credited on the album.

More information needed!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Request for help!

Much as I try sometimes you come up to a dead end, so here's a request for help!

If anyone knows any stories about recordings, has tapes, knows of tapes, has photos, recordings, session details, technical details, photos of tape boxes, cassettes etc...about any aspect of the stuff covered in this blog, please get in touch!

Any information or assistance is gratefully received and discretion assured and/or credit given when requested!

I've been lucky enough to have some lovely, generous people respond to email requests for information and take the time to answer questions. Much of this will be put out when I get to finally compile the information in chronological order, so please if anyone can assist in any way drop me an email -


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Love Is Just A Four Letter Word

I have been extemely privilaged to speak breifly with an individual close to the whirlwind of Bob Dylan in the mid 1960s and 1970s. I was both honoured and humbled by this, since this individual has not spoken about Bob Dylan since around 1980.

I had hoped to put this up on the blog some time ago but real life got in the way as it so often does...

I will not reprint the entire conversation out of respect for the individual I spoke to, but here are are couple of quotes -

"Bob DID record 'Love is Just a Four-Letter Word' -- one take from early 1965. Unless I'm mistaken -- I'm relying upon memory in 2010 -- it was recorded earlier on the same day he did a studio recording of 'Farewell, Angelina'"

"The recording I had sounded like a home recording. He sang the entire song, talked a little with friends, tried it again, then stopped."

Part of this brief conversation regards the recording of 'Love Is Just A Four Letter Word'.

It turns out that Bob Dylan did indeed - apprently - record this, on or around January 13, 1965 (my assumption). I believe that Clinton Heylin might have inadvertently listed it in his recording sessions book in 1994:

Columbia Studio A, New York

January 13, 1965

CO 85281 unknown

Although there is a slight discrepancy, since the source believes it may have been recorded before 'Farewell Angelina'. Cross referencing with Krogsgaard reveals CO 85281 to apprently be 'Outlaw Blues' , although he points "This CO number is not listed in the contract cards"...there is an issue with this, however, since the January 14th session lists Outlaw Blues as CO85282-3, meaning that CO85281 was indeed something else other than Outlaw according to Korgsgaard there were two takes of CO85281, as per the description of 'Love Is Just A Four Letter Word', and four takes of CO 85282 (Outlaw Blues) the first two being incomplete and the third, complete take being the released one, which ties in with Heylin - CO85282-3. This does leave the issue of the acoustic 'Outlaw Blues' which surfaced some time ago...hmmm.....confused? Me too....anyway, there's a least enough confusion going on here to suggest that, just maybe, it was recorded somewhere in these sessions.

There were two takes, with Dylan talking in between takes. It is said that Dylan 'then stopped' so I gather the second take was incomplete, but the first take was, quote 'the whole song'.

Unfortunately the tape has been in posession of Bob Dylan / Jeff Rosen since around 1980, having been passed onto them, and is now inaccessable unless it sees an official release in the future.

I would very much like to thank the individual who shared this information with me, I am honoured to get information like this, and obviously by posting this on the message board I hope I haven't upset anyone. I will not repost the entire conversation word for word since it was a private discussion, but since this information has been unknown/speculative until now, it's good to get a bit more.


This is mostly guesswork on my part. If we assume this -

COLUMBIA STUDIO A, New York, January 13th 1965

CO 85270 Love Minus Zero / No Limit
CO 85271 I'll Keep It With Mine
CO 85872 It's All Over Now Baby Blue
CO 85273 Bob Dylan's 115th Dream
CO 85274 She Belongs To Me
CO 85275 Subterranean Homesick Blues
CO 85276 California
CO 85277 On The Road Again <- should be here???
CO 85278 Farewell Angelina
CO 85279 IF You Gotta Go, Go Now
CO 85280 You Don't Have To Do That
CO 85281 ???? - might actually be here???)
CO 85282 Outlaw Blues

Then it would seem that CO 85281 is the best candidate...but..and it was an oversight on my part, some of the numbers AREN'T carry-overs but continuations....unless the Jan 13th session was EVEN LOGER and included additional versions of 852282 through to 285, but that would be a bit too speculative....what I DO think is clear is that there's some weird, inaccurate numbering going on with these sessions as it currently stands, so plenty of room for additional recordings to be missing somewhere in there.

I believe it could well have been BEFORE 'Farewell Angelina' based on the sketchy tape logs.

Some comments from the ever helpful Bob Stacey -

Columbia sometimes did strange things (or at least apparently so) with the CO-numbers associated with songs performed at more than a single session. There may have been carry-over guidelines, but at times, they seem to have been applied arbitrarily. I’m not sure if I follow what you mean about “Outlaw Blues” being the only case for the same CO *not* carried over from one day to the next.

She Belongs To Me – CO 85274 (Jan 13) > CO 85283 (Jan 14 aft.) > CO 85274 (Jan 14 eve.)
On The Road – CO 85277 (Jan 13) > CO 85285 (Jan 14, Jan 15)
Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream – CO85273 (Jan 13) > CO 85284 (Jan 14 aft.) > CO 85273 (Jan 14 eve.)
If You Gotta Go, Go Now – CO 85279 (Jan 13) > CO85291 (Jan 15)

Based on all the business with CO carry-overs, I’d be hesitant to assume too much about “Outlaw Blues”. Even with all the varying information on recording sheets, contract cards, and tape boxes, apparently something had previously indicated that the final takes of Jan 13 should be titled “Outlaw Blues” with CO 85281 as the designation. Until more is known to directly contradict, I’m of the opinion somebody along the way at Columbia or since then might’ve actually verified that to be the case.

As early as January 1965, it’s doubtful “Love Is Just A Four-Letter Word” in Dylan’s mind was in a satisfactory state for serious consideration as an album take. That doesn’t mean he didn’t sing it at the sessions, but whatever he sang likely was not a “whole song” at least as we know it today. Apparently (according to Joan Baez), it seemed to have had multiple endings.

(Dylan in Dont Look Back): “I didn’t finish that song, did I, huh? … I never finished it … That’s a good song … Yeah, I could finish that.”

Since the source remembers “Love Is Just A Four-Letter Word” as possibly being sung before “Farewell Angelina”, maybe it wasn’t even assigned a “CO-take” designation. Such might’ve been the case, if Dylan didn’t consider the song to be finished but simply wanted to try it out.

Approximate “Love Is Just A Four-Letter Word” timeline:

1/65 – Supposedly sung at the BIABH recording sessions.
5/65 – Joan Baez sang one verse in DLB.
9/67 – Witmark copyright registered.
(67 or 68) – Witmark’s DLB songbook printed only two verses.
(68 and 69) – Warner Bros. – Seven Arts copyrights are registered.
(68) – Baez album “Any Day Now” : Five verse version.
(73) – “Writings and Drawings”: Four verse version.

It is assumed that the final “forever fleet” verse of the song on “Any Day Now” is truly a Dylan creation and not Joan’s own signature conclusion that she based on one of Bob’s early version endings. Does anyone know for sure?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Missing Basement Reels

There are apprently an additional NINE (at least) basement tape reels that have never been accessed.

Are these in the hands of private individuals or safely locked away in the vaults at Iron Mountain?


As we know, several reels came out in the mid 1980s via an ex-roadie, and yet more were access via Scorpio's 'Genuine Basement Tapes' cds in 1992.

But nothing since then.

If anyone knows of/has more basement material or information, drp me a message at

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Skipping Reels Of Rhyme - An introduction

Here's the rough draft of my introduction to the book. When I say 'rough' I mean 'rough' so go easy on me, there are spelling & grammar mistakes etc...


In 1970, Jimi Hendrix recorded a suite of songs on a portable tape machine for a possible future album entitled "Black Gold". These recordings were mentioned by Hendrix briefly in several interviews at the time. After Hendrix's death in 1970, rumours spread that several tapes were 'liberated' from his appartment to cover his various debts. 'Black Gold' was missing presumed lost until a chance interview in 1992 between Hendrix biographer and Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell revealed that Mitchell had there tapes in his posession the whole time. For 22 years, a lost album of Jimi Hendrix material was not in the hands of his record company or his family, carefully locked away in a temprature-controlled vault, but stored in a cardboard box in Sussex, with Mitchell totally unaware of their significance.
Hendrix recording career spanned less than 5 years. Despite this, new recordings continue to spring up in unlikely places - a reel in a private collection, some film footage sitting in a tv studio. I am always fascinated by this concept. Similarly, the BBC have a remarkable track record for apprently 'lost' episodes of broadcasts turning up in some engineer's back shed where thay have been left, undisturbed, for 30 years. How does this happen?

Bob Dylan's carrer has spanned over 50 years, with recordings of his performances existing from his earliest coffee house gigs to the present day, some professionally recorded, many from amateur 'microphone-in-audience' sources. Hundreds of hours of reels of studio recordings, making up Bob Dylan's studio albums have spawned numerous outtakes and alternate versions of familiar songs. Collector's have dutifully recorded Bob Dylan's many television and radio performances over the years and serious collectors have gathered a huge archive of 'unofficial' material.

This book is not about bootlegs. It is however, about the stuff you might never hear. It's also about the stuff that, with a bit of luck and a twist of fate, you just might. Do we have a right to hear everything? Even if the artist choses not to release it? That's another debate. To understand this book you have to see things a bit differently. When I started out with the initial idea, I was fortunate to have a brief chat with Jeff Rosen, who has overseen archival releases of Bob Dylan recordings as part of 'The Bootleg Series' since 1991 -

"I have to say that Sony actually recorded very little of Bob live. All
that was done during the 60's and all of it is known by collectors. We
have recorded stuff on and off over the years. Some were sound board
tapes, some were more complicated - all in storage..."

So, discounting the 1964 Royal Albert Hall recording (more on that later) we can assume the vast majority of Dylan's offically recorded live performances have been officially released.

There is a flip side to this coin. What about the stuff that Sony doesn't have in storage? In 1998, a reel of Bob Dylan at the Hollywood Bowl from an 'in-line' source turned up amounst collectors. Indeed, in the course of my brief conversation with Jeff Rosen, I was able to point out a piece of 1965 film footage that he was totally unaware existed.

This is where this book comes in. This isn't about the stuff that isn't tucked away in Sony's vaults. It isn't about the studio alternates that Bob Dylan doesn't want escaping. This is about the stuff that's already out there but, like the Hendrix tapes, is sitting in someone's cardbord box. It's about the acetate that Bob Dylan gave to a friend in 1963 and has been sitting on a shelf ever since. It's about that reel to reel tape in a loft, it's about that live recording in 1966 that was sitting in a biographer's house in South London until his death. Most of all, it's about how these thing continue to turn up, out of the blue, turning myth into fact and re-writing the story decades after the event. This isn't about bootlegs, it's about archeology.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

More on the Dylan/Baez 1963 acetate...

I was going to reprint some of the track information that appeared in ISIS magazine, but since Bob Stacy posted it on, I just copied & pasted it intead ;-) Thanks Bob! -


Begins with a 2:50 min. interview with Joan Baez.

Introduction: “Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with pleasure, that we present the young lady that Look magazine recently adjusted [?] the greatest Folksinger: Miss Joan Baez.”

Baez: [‘Oh Freedom’, ‘Tomorrow Is A Long Time’, ‘She’s A Trouble Maker’, ‘In The Pines’, ‘We Shall Overcome’, ‘What Have They Done With The Rain’, ‘Pilgrim Of Sorrow’.] ………. [ ] indicates songs played.


Baez: “I’m gonna sing you another song, that Bobby Dylan wrote, and the only thing this is protesting is a love affair, that went on too long. It’s called [‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’].”

Baez: “For some of you, who don’t … (inaudible) … For those of you, who don’t know anything or much about Bobby Dylan. He is sort of, what I would call, a phenomenal young man, who’s been writing songs, beautiful songs, beautiful poems, beautiful stories, anyhow he wrote that one and it just so happens that he came here with me tonight and he’s gonna come and sing a couple of … (applause)”.

(Inaudible conversation between Baez and Dylan)

Dylan: “This is a song called [‘Only A Pawn In Their Game’] and that’s what it’s about.”
(Applause after this song is either not recorded or edited out).

Dylan talks during the start of [‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’] (inaudible …”last time”). Baez joins in the last line of each verse. Beautiful powerful performance.

Baez: [‘All My Trials’].

Couple of reels....

From my collection...7 inch reels at 15ips...I presume the Pouporri recording is mis-identified....although I've never actually played this reel ;-)