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The Band: Live at the Academy of Music 1971

Levon Helm: Ramble at the Ryman

The Band: Three of a Kind

Robbie Robertson: How to Become Clairvoyant

Garth Hudson Presents a Canadian Celebration of The Band

Levon Helm: Electric Dirt

Garth and Maud Hudson: Live at the Wolf

Pulse

Dirt Farmer

Elliot Landy's Woodstock Vision

The Band Guestbook, April '99

Below are the entries in The Band guestbook from April 1999.


Fri Apr 30 22:49:20 CEST 1999

Peter Viney

Apologies if we've been getting too silly. I guess it's exuberance at having the site back again. It's made us light-headed. Ms Sinatra has a point about Tom Jones as a soul singer - I spent about 6 weeks one summer lying behind a stage curtain paying out his microphone cable for a summer variety (cf vaudeville) season, and the guy could kick ass. His "Detroit City" was magical. Even so, I never liked the most of the material he had hits with that much.But he communicated his genuine enjoyment at performing. Um, nothing really to do with the Band, except they still do, but I guess we chat away keeping this small community in existence until something really interesting happens.


Fri Apr 30 22:39:44 CEST 1999

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking that one of the nicest things about this site is that it's a little piece of all our lives that doesn't have to be taken too seriously. The fact that we're all Band fans brings us together, but I don't think that means that we can't be entertained as well as informed. With all the horrible things going on in the outside world these days, it's rather nice to come in here and read not only the logic, but the lunacy as well. I too, very much appreciate what Jan has given us here, and I'm pretty sure he'll agree with me when I say that a little silliness (such as _bad Band covers_) is good for the soul. It doesn't take anything away from the music or the men who made it...it only adds a little imaginative color to it.


Fri Apr 30 22:10:08 CEST 1999

can

I haven't visited this guestbook in quite some time. This may have been covered but has anybody seen Levon sing LATELY? Is he singing these days or just playing. Any word on his voice now (compared to last fall, or last year when "Jubilation" came out?) thanks.


Fri Apr 30 21:53:41 CEST 1999

Just Wonderin'

Maybe Robbie had the right idea 23 years ago.


Fri Apr 30 21:50:16 CEST 1999

John Donabie

Thank you Bill Munson for bringing the topic back to The Band. I love what Jan began here; but I feel like I'm watching a sport where the players are just not up to playing anymore. Wayne Gretzky skated off the ice on an up. When we start getting into conversations about "bad cover" versions I do believe it's time to skate off the ice. It appears there's nothing left to say. Sad really.


Fri Apr 30 21:42:56 CEST 1999

Nancy Sinatra

From: This site is meant for walking

So we've sunk to finding artists that would do bad cover versions of The Band. I do believe we're in serious trouble on this site. I guess we've really talked out "The Band." Tracy for the record, Tom Jones may be one of the best white soul singers around. Look beyond the marketing. The man can sing. As he said on 60 Minutes II the other evening.. "I wish people would listen to the voice and not the hype."


Fri Apr 30 20:36:48 CEST 1999

Bill Munson

From: Toronto

Paul Godfrey had asked about Hawkins/Hawks CHUM chart placings just before the site went AWOL. Here goes: Forty Days got to #4 in July '59; Mary Lou to 6 in Sept 59; Southern Love to 7 in Jan 60; Caryl Chessman to 32 in Mar 60; Cold Cold Heart to 9 (9!!) in Mar 61; Bo Diddley to 8 in May 63. The first three on Apex, the next three on Roulette. Helm in group throughout. For the record, Hawkins continued to chart locally post-Levon&Hawks: Got My Mojo Working to 32 in Sept 64; Bluebirds Over The Mountain to 5 in Mar 65; Home From the Forest to 13 in Dec 67; Down In The Alley to 21 in Mar 70 and Lodi to 22 in July 81.


Fri Apr 30 20:05:30 CEST 1999

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Star Trek does The Band? Now I've just about heard everything. Beam me up Viney :-)

Another really bad Band tribute tune? How bout Donny and Marie doing Holy Cow. Yikes!


Fri Apr 30 19:45:40 CEST 1999

Tracy

From: Band-ville

A "Bad Band" tribute album. How about Mr. panty-catcher, Tom Jones crooning to "Ophelia." Yanni completely destroying Chest Fever with such a grandiose chiming of keyboads. Even worse yet Pat Boone doing "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" complete with background vocalists and Vegas style show-girls in Civil War regalia, singing the chorus with all of their splendor! Shatner would be great on anything or should I say awful on everything. Also Wayne Newton doing the "W.S. Wolcott Medicine Show."

Tracy


Fri Apr 30 19:20:50 CEST 1999

mattk

From: maryland

ooh ooh. "Actors Who Should Never Have Sung Salute the Band Vol. I" In addition to the Trekkies previously noted:

Lee Marvin's (Paint Your Wagon) bass voice mumbling out Rag Mama Rag

Clint Eastwood rasping out "The Rumor"

Marlon Brando (Guys and Dolls) "Long Black Veil"

Jack Nicholson (Tommy) "Daniel & the Sacred Harp"

Les Thierolf: The Abomination - The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down - John Denver


Fri Apr 30 18:19:14 CEST 1999

Peter Viney

From: The Gamma Quadrant

I don’t mind the idea of the Four Seasons having a go at "Whispering Pines". It surely wouldn’t be soulful, but the melody is good enough to stand up to a reasonably "sensible" rendition – not like "Don’t think twice" in other words.In the bad stakes, surely William Shatner (and Leonard Nimoy) are unfair competition? I think Captain Kirk would be best on something that sounds portentous. He’d recite "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" spectacularly. "And ALL … yes, ALL, the BELLS … were ringing!!! (stage whisper) they went … (enter choir of heavenly angels accompanied by a slow, tolling bell) …" I can hear him sniffing back the tears on "… but a YANKEE … laid him in … his GRAVE." If you haven’t heard the Rhino compilations of "Golden Throats Vol 1 & 2" you won’t know what I’m talking about. Matt obviously has heard them, hence his choice of "The shape I’m In." Seek out Shatner’s "Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds" on Volume 1. The worst cover version of all time. And he was serious. But this is so bad that it’s good (for a laugh). Scottie could follow with Jemimah Surrender as a recitation, "I’ll bring over my Fender. It’s a 1956 Telecaster. And play all night for you. But I can’t wind this old Telecaster up any higher, Captain. It’s going to blow us all to kingdom come …" Cue "To Kingdom Come" by Leonard Nimoy. Sung. And there’d be two Canadians on this "Star Trek Salutes The Music of The Band." (Kirk & Scottie).


Fri Apr 30 17:51:40 CEST 1999

David Powell

Postscript to my earlier post: As y'all know, The Band recorded a cover of Antoine "Fats" Domino's 1959 hit "I'm Ready" on MOONDOG MATINEE. Domino's original version reached #7 in the charts on 5/17/59. Bobby Charles Guidry co-wrote "Walking To New Orleans" with Fats & Dave Bartholomew. Charles later performed the song at the Last Waltz. The Charles/Domino/Bartholomew team also wrote "Before I Grow Too Old", which Charles included on his Bearsville album.


Fri Apr 30 17:38:26 CEST 1999

Les Thierolf

From: Kansas City, Missouri

The Band covers -

The Good - Acadia Driftwood - Kate & Anna McGarrigle

The Bad - The Weight - Bee Gees + Barbra Streisand

The Ugly - Dixie - Joan Baez

Les.


Fri Apr 30 16:29:01 CEST 1999

Pete Rivard

From: Hastings, MN

I agree with the camp that weighs in on Rick as being the Holy Cow vocalist, certainly working in some "Manuelisms". Apropos to his penchant for mimicry, he does a respectable Dylan take in the first verse of "Forever Young" on HIOH.


Fri Apr 30 15:44:17 CEST 1999

David Powell

From: Georgia

Thanks again Jan for all your hard work. Peter, I haven't checked out the Big Pink vinyl reissue yet. With the LP box set of the Live 1966 available from Classic Records, I haven't solved the dilemma of which of these pricey choices to purchase.

On the subject of vinyl--a month ago after receiving an advance promo CD copy of the new Tom Waits album "Mule Variations", I sang its praises here. The album was officially released last Tuesday and I was delighted to find that his new label Epitaph has also released a 2 LP vinyl version. Best of all it's All-Analog, from recording to mixing to mastering! This is a wonderful sounding alternative for those who don't enjoy the shortcomings of digital sampling & quantizing. The large size gatefold LP cover also allows the artwork & lyrics to be properly presented.

In honor of the New Orleans Jazzfest, it was nice to read that 71 year old Fats Domino was performing there. The legendary Fats and his producer Dave Bartholomew began recording in 1949, and during the 1950s, only Elvis sold more records than the Fats & Bartholomew. During that time, twenty nine of their singles reached the hit charts (source: Jeff Hannusch's "I Hear You Knockin'"). Their first hit was the appropriately titled "The Fat Man", charting at #6 on 3/24/50. Robbie Robertson recorded a cover of this song for his "Carny" soundtrack album. Fats had his first #1 hit with "Goin' Home" on 5/2/52. Other #1 singles included "Ain't It A Shame" (5/4/55), "I'm In Love Again" / "My Blue Heaven" (4/11/56), "Blueberry Hill" (10/3/56), "Blue Monday" (12/26/56), "I'm Walkin'" (3/6/57), and "I Want To Walk You Home" (8/16/59). His last big hits were "Walking To New Orleans", which reached #2 on 7/17/60, and "My Girl Josephine", which charted at #7 on 11/20/60. Of course the popular U.S. television series "Happy Days", starring Ron Howard, helped make "Blueberry Hill" a hit once again in the 1970s. (Sorry Peter for the Americanized date numbering)


Fri Apr 30 15:17:28 CEST 1999

Dexy

All hails to Medicine Hat. Great list.


Fri Apr 30 15:17:00 CEST 1999

mattk

From: maryland

Pat, I was trying to think of bands that have singular qualities that you also find in The Band. In thinking of Garth's great take on "Free the Birds" off "Stay Awake." It's too easy to give up Cripple Creek to a honky tonk style...been there, done that. Pere Ubu does such a great job with "pop dissonance" that I can imagine how Cripple Creek would take on some new dimensions. Stylistically, I here it as a variation on "I Hear They Smoke the Barbecue..."

BTW, nice catch on the Cleveland angle, very clever...

As long as we're assigning songs for the "Bad" tribute album: William Shatner - "The Shape I'm In"

cheers

Matt


Fri Apr 30 14:58:05 CEST 1999

Matias Winding

From: Denmark


Fri Apr 30 13:09:46 CEST 1999

Peter Viney

What a relief! I was having serious withdrawl symptoms and spending too much time working. Thanks to Jan.

Two items of note: (1) Jubilation is in HMV in Britain, as a Festival Australian import at mid-price (£9.99). A bargain.

(2) “Music From Big Pink” - EMI Millenium edition on 180 gram vinyl is now available (TheMillenium vinyl collection). It claims “Original packaging” which it’s not. First it has the inferior British glossy cover without a gatefold. Second, the title and artist are overprinted on the cover picture in bright pink, huge letters. My original LP version labelled p1968 does not have this crude overprinting. Third, the lettering on the spine is in a different typeface - Toshiba-EMI Japanese CD remasters get this sort of detail right! Interestingly, I checked the 1968 British spine and that says “Music From Big Pink: The Band” too. So they WERE using the name “The Band” for the group, at least on the spine - on the back cover it’s “The Band - colon - names of artists” (with an explanation) which supported the view that they weren’t really called The Band, but rather the five individual names. What does it say on a 1968 US spine? Additionally, I read the notes for the first time in years and as well as explaining the name, it consistently uses lower case letters throughout - the band. Fourth, the ills of Photoshop in careless hands are apparent. The cover is way, way brighter than the original. Also, the whole thing is a photographic scan and it shows on the back cover notes which are a tinge defocussed. The pink overprinting is the worst fault - I think it was like this on British and European 1970s mid-price editions. After all, who’s going to buy a 180 gram vinyl remaster (at £15.99) if they don’t even recognise the cover? Well, the proof will be in the listening, which I shall enjoy at leisure. It says “Analogue cutting from analogue tapes”. One for David Powell (if you can live with the awful cover, David!). A rapid and crude judgment based on “The Weight” - bass & drums are reproduced better on the Toshiba CD, guitar and piano on the remastered LP.


Fri Apr 30 12:22:42 CEST 1999

medicine hat

From: pittsburgh

say, how's about a tribute album of really bad band covers. my suggestions: 1) tears of rage -- michael bolton 2) we can talk -- hanson 3) lonesome susie -- mariah carey 4) up on cripple creek -- cher 5) it makes no difference -- celine dion 6) the shape i'm in -- depeche mode 7) life is a carnival -- marilyn manson 8) whispering pines -- franky valli & the four seasons 9) ring your bell -- the three tenors 10) theme from the last waltz -- john teche thanks jan for a wonderful site.


Fri Apr 30 12:20:37 CEST 1999

medicine hat

From: pittsburgh

say, how's about a tribute album of really bad band covers. my suggestions: 1) tears of rage -- michael bolton 2) we can talk -- hanson 3) lonesome susie -- mariah carey 4) up on cripple creek -- cher 5) it makes no difference -- celine dion 6) the shape i'm in -- depeche mode 7) life is a carnival -- marilyn manson 8) whispering pines -- franky valli & the four seasons 9) ring your bell -- the three tenors 10) theme from the last waltz -- john teche thanks jan for a wonderful site.


Fri Apr 30 12:09:08 CEST 1999

Diamond Lil

From: The society for the prevention of another Holy Cow discussion

Does anyone know who Levon is playing with at 5 towns college on Long Island on 5/15? J Geils is also on the bill...but I'd be really shocked if they were playing together. Is he bringing the Crows? The Barnburners? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.


Fri Apr 30 06:34:01 CEST 1999

Ragtime

From: no joke hey hey hey

... My Days Were Empty Without You Babe...

But please, not Holy Cow again

It's haunting me again...

:-[


Fri Apr 30 06:29:34 CEST 1999

Mark

From: Mad Town

Regarding my previous post about trading, for some reason the 'Home Page' click-on is not linking to my site so just e-mail me & I will send you the URL. Mark


Fri Apr 30 06:22:30 CEST 1999

Mark

From: Mad Town
Home page

I'm looking for Band audio or video material. Check out my trading list at my site & maybe we can work out a trade. If you don't see anything on my list that interests you then I'd be willing to buy from you. Mark


Fri Apr 30 05:44:53 CEST 1999

Phil

From: Ca

Danny Lopez: I once thought it was Richard on Holy Cow too. Great debate on this very site sometime ago. BUT after hearing it on headphones several times in deep concentration(for me anyway) I came to the same conclusion as you! It is Rick doing his best Richard impersonation. And a damn good one he did. What confused me was the 'whatcha doin' 'watcha doin' child, part on the chourus. It sounds like classic Danko so you think (I did anyway) he is on backing vocals. But the verse sounds different. Sorry Peter(that horse is dead) but Danny did bring up a good point.


Fri Apr 30 04:31:30 CEST 1999

Ryan Stang

From: Madison, WI

Has anybody out there ever heard the "Foamfoot" bootleg from the Troubador about 3-4 years ago? Chris R. and Marc F. from the Black Crowes, Andy Sturmer from Jellyfish, Jimmy Ashurst from the JuJu Hounds, and Eric Bobo on perc. A kickass version of Jemimah Surrender!


Fri Apr 30 04:05:34 CEST 1999

Danny Lopez

From: Iowa (soon to be New York)

That Holy Cow issue just won't go away. Why? 'Cause, darn it, it does sound like Richard's voice on the first couple of lines. There's a cocky swagger to the voice that brings Richard most to mind. But I think I've got the solution that is the Aufhebung of all previous opinions -- it's Rick doing his best Richard impersonation!

On a more serious note, Thank God this website is up and running again. It sure gets lonely when your the only Band fan -- no, change that, the only person whose ever heard of the Band -- for miles and miles in every direction. Serge, that charming, gracious, mild-mannered soul (now don't get ticked, I'm just having fun!), once said most of us should just shut up and stop contributing because everything that's ever been said about the Band has already been said and that the group is de facto defunct. Well, he might be right on both points, but, speaking for myself, this little guestbook creates a community that keeps the memory of that one and only Band alive. Daily discourse on their past great music makes it part of the present, and that, in turn, makes the present just a little more precious.


Fri Apr 30 03:51:54 CEST 1999

Pat Brennan

From: USA

mattk, Cripple Creek by Pere Ubu? Okay...How bout the Everly's doing Look Out Cleveland?


Fri Apr 30 03:38:33 CEST 1999

Pat Brennan

From: USA

Dylan Tape Center: http://key.cyberg8t.com/simon/dylan/freelib.html Very nice site but cassette based. While the Hollywood Bowl is the most famous, there were a number of poorer Band vinyl boots covering the early years--specifically two that I can recall. Both are part of the tape archive here onsite. Re: Last Waltz CD; that boot is reviewed here on the site. Thanks, as always, to Jan.


Fri Apr 30 03:29:33 CEST 1999

RufasFF@aol.com

From: Cleveland TX.

Spider, Holy Cow is so clearly Rick that it doesn't bother me much, the error that has always hurt is Greil Marcus, who in all the editons of Mystery Train still credits Richard for singing lead on "A Change Is Going To Come." Here's an old Band Memory that came to me the other other day for no good reason. In the mid seventies used record stores started to really come in, and allthough I never found a lot of Bootlegs, for some reason I found three or four of the Band. Trouble is, they were uniformly worthless, the sound quality made "Hollywood Bowl" sound like Rock of Ages. Still, I waded through them for interesting little points, one I think was the woodstock set with Robbie playing accoustic on "The Weight." Anyhow, ya gotta remember that this was before The Last Waltz, and I had no way of knowing what ANY of the boys sounded like just talking, mute as the always were on stage. But on the one Bootleg with the worst sound of all, there was one clue. At some point, someone in the audience started screaming in a wild, absurd way as in tripping on LSD. And a deep southern drawl came from the stage, leting me know what at least ONE of them sounded like: "Come on Naw......GROW UP......" The crowd bust into applause, and I didn't feel COMPLETLY cheated on the price of that boot....... Would someone please repost that free Dylan Tape exchange? I still can't get into the achives......


Fri Apr 30 03:20:19 CEST 1999

Jonathan Katz

From: Columbia, MD

Thanks, Jan!


Fri Apr 30 02:34:28 CEST 1999

tony

From: mansfield,mass

Rick, if you get a chance, get in touch with me about the Providence gig. I'm going to be opening up for you, so if you need some help, let me know, and I'll get the my guys ready. Later, tm.


Fri Apr 30 02:15:20 CEST 1999

Spider John

From: LAD3/4Time

I'd like to add my thoughts to an old debate, Rick or Richard on "Holy Cow". First what the experts say:

1. "Lead Vocals in Band Songs- Demaria- Band Website- Rick. 2. "Across the Great Divide" - Barney Hoskyns page 278- Rick. 3. "This Wheel's on Fire"- Helm/Davis page235- Richard 4. Moondog Matinee/ Liner Notes- Chris Morris- Billboard Magazine -No comment.

My own ears tell me without any question that its Rick. That's my story & I'm stickin to it.


Fri Apr 30 01:23:54 CEST 1999

mattk

From: maryland

My List...

  • Rockin' Chair - Los Lobos
  • Don't Ya Tell Henry - Taj Mahal
  • King Harvest - Meat Puppets
  • Cripple Creek - Pere Ubu
  • I Shall Be Released - Jane Siberry
  • It Makes No Diffence - Little Jimmy Scott
  • Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down - Michelle Shocked


Fri Apr 30 00:41:43 CEST 1999

Freddy Fishstick

From: Sag Harbor

Good to be back on terra firma. Thanks Jan for all you do. Hat's off to you. :-)

Levon Helm will apppearing on the North Shore of Long Island @ The Five Towns College in Dix Hills off the L.I.E. on Saturday 5/15/99 as part of a gala show. Suggest you all "Don't Wait" and get yer tickets. If anybody gets to see the boss after the show give him our collective best wishes and request that the boys tour. To CrazyKat f/k/a Catbalu, best to ya. :-) Lil, ever tried Fruitcakes with Java?


Thu Apr 29 22:31:48 CEST 1999

Bud

From: Cleveland

When the Guestbook archives are searchable once again, I suggest that all those interested in putting together a dream tribute album of Band covers check out the postings from November '97. We got a lot of mileage out of the subject then, and there were a lot of interesting and provocative suggestions. I think you'll also be suprised at the similarities between today's suggestions and those from 1997. I'm not calling anyone unoriginal, I only point that out to demonstrate how like-minded many Band fans are.


Thu Apr 29 21:30:30 CEST 1999

Just Wonderin'

From: Texas

Nice to see the site up and running again. "Don't know what ya got till it's gone". Just got a copy of Clapton's "No Reason To Cry" on cd. It's nice to know that the first song is Richard's and he is in the center of the group photo.


Thu Apr 29 21:11:06 CEST 1999

Dieter Zimmer

From: Balve/Germany

Hi folks ! Hi guys of the Band! Congrtulations for this great Web-Site. It´s so good that you still making music. Greetings from a great great fan from Germany


Thu Apr 29 20:52:33 CEST 1999

justin

From: flint, mi

Jan: thanks for getting our wonderful little rolling circus back on-line. i was beginning to panic! you're doing a killer job. As long as were talking about people covering band tunes....here's my list 1. REM-Whispering Pines 2. The Jayhawks-Long Black Veil 3. Wilco-Lookout Cleveland 4. Eric Clapton-The Shape I'm In 5. The Counting Crowes-Tears of Rage 6. Neil Young-Acadian Driftwood 7. Tom Waits-Unfaithful Servant 8. The Meters-Life is a Carnival 9. Ray Charles-Up on Cripple Creek 10 The Other Ones-King Harvest


Thu Apr 29 20:48:13 CEST 1999

The Lube

From: Central Connecticut

You don't miss your water... I am an absolutely compulsive lurker on this group and I missed it while it was off-line. Thanks, Jan, for all of your hard work. You (and many of the people who post here) have helped me to enjoy The Band's music more than I did before.


Thu Apr 29 20:33:25 CEST 1999

Paul Godfrey

Jan...for a couple of days without the site I considered forming a Terminal Band Site Obsession Syndrome Support Group. Great to be on line again. I get my new scanner next week. Then watch out cyber space. Shine On!


Thu Apr 29 20:22:29 CEST 1999

Pete Rivard

From: Hastings, MN

Actually, I'd like to hear Adam Durwitz do Stage Fright just to hear the sound he'd come up with at the "...sing like a bird" line. Bonnie Raitt on "The Shape I'm In", Joe Cocker on "Tears of Rage", Billy Joel on "Look Out Cleveland" and Mark Knopfler, John Cowan (ex Newgrass Revival vocalist) and Beausoleil doing Acadian Driftwood.


Thu Apr 29 20:09:33 CEST 1999

Bones

From: Connecticut

Jan, I want to thank you again for all your hard work. This site is a wonderful part of my day.


Thu Apr 29 20:02:21 CEST 1999

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Nice to see the site up and running again. Nice picture Jan...a look of complete and total perplexity. Aah..the life of the webmaster. Maybe you need a vacation :-)


Thu Apr 29 19:40:46 CEST 1999

Just Wondering

Testing


Thu Apr 29 17:47:33 CEST 1999

[guest photo]

Jan Hoiberg

From: Halden, Norway
Home page

The guestbook is working again .. I hope. If you have problems posting here, please send me an e-mail. Enjoy.


Thu Apr 29 17:34:23 CEST 1999

Jan H.

Testing


Sun Apr 25 09:48:33 MET DST 1999

Jan H.

From: Halden, Norway

Due to server upgrades, the guestbook is now closed for new entries. It'll be opened again on Monday 04.26 or Tuesday 04.27.


Sun Apr 25 09:41:07 MET DST 1999

Patric

From: Down South In New South Wales

On the possible reasons for the naming of Islands, one immediately comes to mind and that is the fragmenting of a once close-knit group to one where all the pieces split up and drifted away.


Sun Apr 25 03:13:24 MET DST 1999

John Moran

From: Marquette,Mi.

what is this "complete last waltz" cd like? I never realized there were that many tunes done that evening


Sat Apr 24 23:57:13 MET DST 1999

The Voice of Reality

JANICE DUFFY: Don't hold your breath.


Sat Apr 24 17:59:09 MET DST 1999

Janice Duffy

From: Toronto, Ontario

I'm not allowed, by your website, to state anything personal. However, you are my 2nd cousin, Uncle James was my uncle by marriage to Tom and Violet Robertson. We are all Toronto natives. Didn't mean to spring this on you, but my Dad Jack Duffy, recently brought up the family history. Robbie, I'm not a fan, I'm family, please reply if you can. Janice.


Sat Apr 24 17:34:38 MET DST 1999

Peter Viney

Tracy: Great game! This enabled me to ponder vaguely through the day. Such things can’t be done in a hurry. Peter Gabriel is a very good choice for covering Richard’s songs, with others by Aaron Neville. Two essentials there. I also thought the Stones on “Unfaithful Servant” was an unusual but well-thought out selection, thinking of songs like “Angie” rather than the rock stuff, but a nice ironic touch with the singer.

So I’ll have to have a go. On these albums, the wise go for unexpected songs rather than the big ones, but I’ll stick to major songs. Also Van Morrison pre-empted a similar exercise by producing “No Prima Donna” with HIS choice of covers - like Marianne Faithful on “Madame George.”

Patti Smith, “This Wheel’s On Fire”; Daniel Lanois (with extended French sections), “Acadian Driftwood”; Aaron Neville, “I Shall Be Released,” (no competition); The Rolling Stones, “Jemimah Surrender,”; Sir Paul McCartney (with strings) “Lonesome Suzie- The Eleanor Rigby Mix”; Van Morrison, “The Rumour” (extended version with new rant about people telling lies about him), fading into “Why Must I Always Explain” with much bad language and a short snatch of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” (11minutes 32 seconds) including role call of Howard Johnson’s horn section (twice) recorded live; Peter Gabriel with Kate Bush, “Sleeping.”; Taj Mahal, “Rag Mama Rag;” Ry Cooder with Geoff Muldaur and Amos Garrett, “King Harvest” (instrumental version); Paul Simon, “All La Glory”; Joseph Zawinul and Garth Hudson, “The Genetic Method” followed by Tina Turner on “Chest Fever” (think of her version of Come Together); Big Daddy “ The Moon Struck One” (pastiche in the style of The Shangri-Las); Brian Wilson, “Unfaithful Servant”; The Tractors, “Up On Cripple Creek”; Lou Reed “The Shape I’m In” (semi-spoken); Four Men & A Dog (with Kevin Doherty singing lead) “Daniel & The Sacred Harp;” Johnny Cash, “Long Black Veil.” Finale: “The Weight”, Levon on verse 1, Aaron Neville on verse 2, Rick Danko on verse 3, Prince on verse 4, Van Morrison on verse 5. Guitars RR and Eric Clapton. I reckoned on the full 76 minutes worth. Producer: Robbie Robertson.


Sat Apr 24 16:23:48 MET DST 1999

Ilkka's wife

From: the woods
Home page

RE: Diamond Lil and catbalu

I'm very sad, too, about the tragedy. As a teacher I have experienced several incidents: the students inspired by skinheads have opened full size gas tubes and sprayed acid on fellow students. The solution is not more control but love and caring.

This is not related with The Band but I have been listening to them since 1969! I wish Rick Danko well.


Sat Apr 24 16:09:33 MET DST 1999

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

How bout Adam Duritz doing 'It Makes No Difference'? He sometimes has that Rick sound going..especially on things like 'A Long December'. In fact, I could also picture Rick doing _that_ tune. Funny how sometimes you can really hear another person doing a tune while you're listening to it. Guess that's how band's decide who gets to sing what, eh?


Sat Apr 24 16:04:30 MET DST 1999

Dexy

Went to the local video store to get BULLWORTH last night (great movie, by the way). Walked in to the sound of "Hey, buddy, would you like to buy a watch real cheap?" It was playing during a scene in the Bill Murray movie LARGER THAN LIFE from a few years ago. Haven't seen it, but like the soundtrack.


Sat Apr 24 15:20:23 MET DST 1999

Colonel KC

From: Long Island

I liked Aaron Neville on I Shall Be released. I just heard David Johansen & the Harry Smiths doing old blues songs and I think that Buster Poindexter would be great for W. S. Walcott's Medicine Show. As for Thinking Out Loud... it is definitely Levon on rhythm guitard and definitely Rick on the Bass. Just listen to the bass line. I always thought that was a great song recorded too slow. in fact most of that album (except fror Life is a Carnival) presented the best recording engineering ever for them, but it was produced to death. Back to fantasy tributes, how about The Who for Volcano?


Sat Apr 24 13:37:22 MET DST 1999

Ragtime

From: the philharmonic society

Freddy - you really fooled me. So you're a genius anyway :-\ I don't know those songs. I'm too classical a buff, ya know...


Sat Apr 24 13:34:08 MET DST 1999

Martin

From: Aberdeen

MARK: I'm glad somebody else recalls the open tuning business on Unfaithful Servant, couldn't remember where I'd read it, but I'm fairly sure it is some weird tuning. It's got me stumped so far, I'd need to sit down with an acoustic guitar someday and attempt to unravel it, no luck yet though.
By the way, can anyone confirm the vocal line up on 'Knockin Lost John'. I'm fairly sure Richard sings the lower part with Robbie above on lead, and Rick coming in with the higher part on the choruses. The lower part sounds like Robbie as well in places, but I reckon it must be Richard. Also, anyone have any ideas on who played what on 'Thinkin Out Loud'?. To me it's definitely Richard on drums, Garth on piano, Robbie on lead guitar, Rick on bass and Levon on acoustic guitar.( or vice versa with regard to Levon and Rick). TRACY: Steve Winwood singing Chest Fever is a Fantastic Idea, his voice would be perfect for it.


Sat Apr 24 10:55:39 MET DST 1999

Freddy Fishstick

From: Key West

Ragtime & Catbalu

The world is upside down & confused enough. So as notto add to it let me point out that the "original" lyrics to Islands I posted are actually Morrris' Nightmare from "You Had to Be There". Islands II is from Coconut Telegraph. Lil, you have expressed well the feelings of many of us. A generation that listens to The Band or Jimmy Buffett doesn't produce the Trenchcoat Mafia.


Sat Apr 24 09:40:26 MET DST 1999

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland Tx

Tracy, ya know, we allready played this game about a year and a half ago, but what the hey! I would say this: Rolling Stones: Up On Cripple Creek. BB King: Yazoo Steet Scandel John Fogarty: Rag Mama Rag Gillian Welch: Daniel and The Sacred Harp Arron Nevel and Shanad OConnor: Wispering Pines Van Morrison: Hobo Jungle Paul Westerberg :Knocking Lost John The Cheiftan's with Linda Thompson: In A Station Cher: Time To Kill Willie Nelson: All La Glory Alanis Moressete: When You Awake Kenny G: Islands The Prentenders: Jupiter Hollow Nine Inch Nails: Last Of The Blacksmiths


Sat Apr 24 04:25:01 MET DST 1999

Pat Brennan

From: USA

Actually, Jaco has a more direct connection to the Band. He sat in with Rick and Richard at least once (NY, Lone Star, I think). And, John Anderson doing The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down would be nice.


Sat Apr 24 02:41:52 MET DST 1999

Just Wonderin'

From: Texas

Diamond Lil and Catbaloo: It's a scary world out there! Very sad indeed. Ragtime: Re Largo...well said!


Sat Apr 24 01:21:42 MET DST 1999

catbalu

lil, you made me spill peach jello all over myself... thank you for the validation (as i consider you to be a mountain) ... for the first time, the fear to die truly has struck me, not for me, but for my jock son's words: "if i'd been there, they'd a'killed me - and i'd have been their friend!" (which is true, he has an humble heart for "all la glory" in him... as his bro is not "pretty" like him, just smart - and my child...) what's goin' on, Mitt? talk to us, young folk. what can i do? what can i do... money can't buy us love... or the spirit of Big Pink... i'll meet anybody halfway......


Sat Apr 24 01:13:15 MET DST 1999

Mr.Tempo

From: the Kollege of Musical Knlowledge

Are you kidding? The Rolling Stones couldn't get around the chord changes to Unfaithful Servant!


Sat Apr 24 00:32:26 MET DST 1999

Tracy

From: the den
Home page

With all of this talk about the Johnny Cash tribute special some of us saw the other night, it got me thinking. Along the lines of that special, or the Dylan Tribute, or The Grateful Dead tribute album, "Deadicated." If there were to be a tribute album on The Band who would you choose and what songs would they sing? (Band members could be included." Here are some of the ones that I thought of.

The Weight- The Wallflowers
4% Pantomime- Van and Eric Clapton (just imagine the guitar solos!)
To Kingdom Come- Bono & Bruce Hornsby
Out Of The Blue- Peter Gabriel (he's suffered some relationships, it would fit him well)
Tears Of Rage- Pete Townsend
Unfaithful Servant- Rolling Stones
Chest Fever- Garth (because NOBODY can play a better organ) and Steve Winwood on vocals (okay, two keyboardists)
King Harvest- Bruce Springsteen and definately Robbie on guitar (nobody can touch that solo but him!)
I Shall Be Released- Aaron Neville and D'angelo (must be that RRHOF influence)
Ophelia- Al Green
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down- cast of many (a la Last Waltz)

Of course you could have some background singers or some house band including a few Band relatives.

Who's next?

Tracy


Fri Apr 23 23:52:22 MET DST 1999

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

This post is completely un-Band related, but I want to make a comment on something catbalu said in a previous post. It was about teaching your kids that it's ok to be _uncool_ these days.

I don't think there's anyone in here who hasn't lost a little piece of themselves after the tragedy in littleton this past week. 12 kids are dead....9 more are in critical condition...and all because 2 of their peers felt like uncool outcasts. Something is very wrong in society today when kids are out there killing kids. It makes me sick and scared for our kids.

I guess the reason why I'm posting this in here is because of the predominant age group of Band fans being mid 20's to 50 or so. Most of us are parents ourselves, and it's up to us to teach our children right from wrong and give them self esteem and self respect. It's a very scary world out there right now. Hug your kids tonight and let them know that they don't have to be cool to survive..they only have to be happy and proud of who they are.

My apologies that this came out sounding like a speech. It wasn't my intention. My thoughts and prayers are with all the families and friends of these young victims.

Thanks for listening.


Fri Apr 23 23:16:00 MET DST 1999

Ragtime

Freddy: I like both versions, but I think I prefer the first one :-)

BTW Why is the album called Islands? Not because of an allusion in the lyrics of the tune-of-the-same-name, since it hadn't any before Freddy Fishstick came along! Is it because the album consists of "islands" = isolated songs instead of a coherent unity as the previous albums were conceived? Hoskyns claims that Robertson in haste "forgot" to write lyrics for this piece of "elevator muzak". I wish more elevator muzak were like this... (especially since I once heard a very very slimy version of Chest Fever in a shopping arcade... - it's months ago but I'm still shivering with anger).

catbalu: I don't mind if you don't TBYP ... and SYLA...

Ilkka: it was too hard a task for me too, since Freddy did such a wonderful job :-)

Just Wonderin': I listened to Largo the last few days & I love it! Not only Gimme A Stone which is the most attractive track. But, being a classical buff, I'm sorry to say that I'm not too impressed by the tracks that were inspired by the largo from the New World Symphony. As much as I admire Garth. I prefer the real thing from a classical orchestra. These arrangements sound a bit whiny to me. Well, I thought I could say this without any fear of flaming, since this GB is so peaceful lately... :-]

Frau Antje: hat es heute wirklich geregnet in Düsseldorf? Kann ich fast nicht glauben...


Fri Apr 23 22:45:06 MET DST 1999

Mark

From: I'd tell ya but den I'd haff ta........

In various books or articles that I've read about the Band, Rick Danko has mentioned that Robbie had been experimenting with a new tuning around the time when he was writing songs for the Brown album & that he had written Unfaithful Servant using this tuning. Do any of you know the tuning that he used? Also, was this tuning used on any other songs written for this album? Thanks for any info that you can give me on this.


Fri Apr 23 22:42:39 MET DST 1999

Antje Velling-Schürmann Dipl. Designerin

From: Düsseldorf, Germany

Dear members of the band, please send me a contact address, because I would like to do a better cover-art for you. I'm working as a free artist and in case you are interested, I can send you some examples of my work. Best regards from the rainy town Düsseldorf Antje Velling-Schürmann


Fri Apr 23 22:22:05 MET DST 1999

Les Thierolf

From: Kansas City, Missouri

Bill Munson mentioned Bill Wyman. In his autobiography, "Stone Alone", the former bassist for the Rolling Stones complained (often) that originally the agreement was that songwriting and all earnings were to be divided equally amongst the members of the group - 5 ways. Of course it didn't take long for the Jagger-Richards writing team to appear and suddenly the rest of the Stones were left out of the songwriting money. In addition, Wyman also complained that the Stones, in an attempt to sabatoge sales of his solo album "Monkey Paw" at the same time released a Rolling Stones album. A friend of mine had a cassette of "Monkey Paw" and he claimed it may be the worst album of all time. He lost it or taped over it. I did kind of like Wyman 'singing' "In Another Land" on "Satanic Majesties Request".

About a year ago I read a wire story that said the Rolling Stones had announced that the feud between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards was phony and concocted to take attention away from Charley Watts' addiction and recovery from heroin abuse. Wouldn't it be something if The Band announced that the feud between Robbie & Levon was made up to cover Rick Danko's addiction to Moon Pies or Garth's addiction to John Phillip Sousa marching music?

Les


Fri Apr 23 21:30:23 MET DST 1999

Dave Z

From: Chaska, MN

I caught a little of that Johnny Cash special on TNT, and it was very enjoyable. I mean I'm not really into country... even though I need a little Willy and Waylan everyone once in a while...And Emmylou...O.K. maybe I do like country but don't even know it. Anyway, I liked Dylan's train song... I didn't watch it all, but it seemed like a good tribute. Maybe somebody will do one for the Band someday. Like Amy Helm or Sebastian Robertson.

I am thinking that I am seeing alot of names mentioned in the GB who still mix it up in both the Levon and Robbie camps as good friends...And being a flightly naive optimistic Gemini, I'm daydreaming...Maybe some of these friends will be involved in a future intervention - I mean tribute....


Fri Apr 23 21:13:28 MET DST 1999

Carmen

From: PA

Great site. Any news on tours this summer in the Philadelphia Area? Thanks


Fri Apr 23 20:53:22 MET DST 1999

Bones

From: Connecticut

Dr. John is another one! He played with Rick and Levon on the Ringo tour as well as being an RCO all-star. Ol' Mac also played with Robbie at the Concert for the Hall of Fame in '95.

Also, I was looking at the liner notes to Storyville yesterday, and I find it amusing that Rick and Garth appear courtesy of Columbia Records. How long were they actually involved with Columbia?


Fri Apr 23 17:42:17 MET DST 1999

catbalu

From: I Need A Miracle Every Day

David Powell and Coot - don't know about you, but today down here is just a --- Perfect Day. Makes me think of an old song that went something like "Sittin here in limbo, waiting for the rain to fall..." steve goodman? always had visions of the first ring of hell in Dante's Inferno when i heard that song - overcast, breezy sky, Socrates and Homer drinking margaritas beneath a beach umbrella, waiting for the second coming... Freddy - lovely, both versions. First lyrics sound like a whole Band thing. Second sound like something you and Garth and Richard should think on, along the lines of French Girls (hey, Sundog, maybe they should consult the spirits, maybe they'd know what to do... and i say...) too many too soon gone. what to do. read the leaves, Preserve the life learned so well from the Old Wife... (her name is Freida). My retirement plan. :-)

Ilkka - just for your information (because you always sound like such a young and gentle spirit in here and you've always been kind to me) - i quote "everybody", trying to stick to writers/singers fellow BandHeads might recognize. My words stay in a trunk where they belong. except for the occasional simple poem. when i ramble, i'm just rudely imposing my "journal" upon you. (i'm nobody, who are you? - didn't write that either, ya know). it's my simpleminded way of honoring all i've read, understood, held onto of those who can REALLY write. guess the best that can be said for it is, i forget very, very little. am influenced by you and everything i come in contact with. and my personal and professional goal is to give it back for the common good cos i ain't gonna take it with me. best any of us can do for our childrens' sake. my retirement plan... we need a miracle everyday. BTW - as for the colorado tragedy - child abuse comes in many forms. have you sat down with your kid and told him it's alright to be UNCOOL today??? still not too late to buy a blue ribbon. Have a balmy day, Freddie, i'm a'singin your song!

Ragtime, did not TBYP! not today!


Fri Apr 23 15:34:43 MET DST 1999

mattk

From: maryland

Ok...Let me rephrase that as it came out wrong:

Still, for those who find Joni's contributions to TLW "iffy" (save her work on "helpless" with Neil), "Shadows and Light" IS a great opportunity to hear how she ultimately was able to make some of TLW songs work MUCH better in a live setting.


Fri Apr 23 15:33:12 MET DST 1999

Dexy

Mr. Viney -- the other artist who has maintained strong ties to "both sides" of The Band is Eric Clapton. As you know, he appeared w/RR, GH and RD in place of Mr. Helm at the R&R Hall induction, then was on JUBILATION, and has since appeared w/RR at subsequent Hall ceremonies. Of course he also appears prominently in the AUTHORIZED BAND BIOGRAPHY alongside current members. Along those lines, I suspect George Harrison has remained in contact with both sides. I wonder about Ronnie?


Fri Apr 23 14:54:10 MET DST 1999

David Powell

From: Georgia

More on Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the '90s": Dylan & the Hawks "Live 1966: The 'Royal Albert Hall' Concert" is listed as one of the Ten Best Albums of the Decade in the Box Set category selected by Anthony DeCurtis. Van Morrison's "Too Long in Exile", along with "Hymns to the Silence", is also listed in the Rock & Roll category. The late Kurt Cobain is named "Artist of the Decade" in a selection written by Greil Marcus. I guess Greil's overcome by the smell of teen spirit (sorry I couldn't help myself).

There was a great satiric piece in last week's New Yorker magazine written by comedian/actor Steve Martin. The premise is that the guy who supposedly designed the packaging for CDs dies & goes appropriately to hell, where he receives a hero's welcome. The Devil's emissary, a snake, promptly informs the designer that his assignment in Hell, apart from fiddling with the five remotes it takes to operate his VCR, is to keep the headache-prone Beelzebub supplied with aspirin. The catch is that he must open a fresh bottle each time, requiring him, for all eternity, to have to remove the tamper-resistant collar, the childproof cap, the aluminum sealer, and the dreaded cotton wad from inside the bottle!


Fri Apr 23 14:49:33 MET DST 1999

mattk

From: maryland

My favorite Jim Stafford tune was "I'm Being Eaten by a Boa Constrictor," though in the states, "My Girl Bill" was actually a pretty good hit for our boy. Didn't know he was a bass player too!

...and how come everyone has a "Jaco got drunk and stormed the stage story?" Sadly, because he did it a lot, I suppose (and ultimately was his immediate cause of death, if I recall).

As long as we're on Jaco. Band connection would be two, via Joni Mitchell. Listening to the god-awful version of "Shadows and Light" on my TLW bootleg reminded me how well her band from her "Shadows and Light" album performed...Jaco, Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Don Alias. The CD version lacks a great version of "Free Man in Paris" that's available on vinyl.

Still, for those who find Joni's contributions to TLW "iffy" (save her work on "helpless" with Neil), this Shadows and Light is not a great opportunity to hear how she ultimately was able to make some of TLW songs work MUCH better in a live setting.


Fri Apr 23 12:04:19 MET DST 1999

sn

From: the playground

Greetings from the majestic 8th wonder of the world. The scenery is breathtaking, large and life-like. The images glisten and mesmerize me. Yes, a visit to the playground. All la Glory.


Fri Apr 23 10:58:57 MET DST 1999

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Bluesymama: Sorry..but I'll be the first to admit that my middle aged memory is not what it used to be. I stand behind everything I post here..on merit...but if there are any pertinent corrections to be made...please don't hesitate.

Brown Eyed Johnny: I had the pleasure of seeing Bruce Hornsby years ago, and remember "Mandolin Rain" as being one of the best live performances I ever heard. Thanks for bringing back that memory.


Fri Apr 23 10:52:07 MET DST 1999

Freddy Fishstick

From: Sag Harbor

Ragtime

Thanks for the kudo but FOB inform me that the following song (with music I dont care for) is more appropriate for the music. What you think?

ISLAND Jimmy Buffett, Dave Loggins Island I see you in the distance I feel that your existence Is not unlike my own Island they say no man is like you They say you stand alone Sometimes I feel that way too Is it the need for love? Heart and soul accompaniment That seems to make me different from you I've tried to build bridges But they all fell down I've taken to the air on wings of silver But always hit the ground Island I see you in all of my dreams But I'm a man with no means to reach your distant shore Island I see you in the moonlight Silhouettes of ships in the night Just make me long that much more To be like you Heart and soul accompaniment That seems to make me different from you I've tried to build bridges But they all fell down I've taken to the air on wings of silver But always hit the ground


Fri Apr 23 08:41:06 MET DST 1999

Peter Viney

Bill: John Hammond: I Wish You would / I Can Tell. I don’t think that the tracks on the 1967 “I Can Tell” album are the actual 1964 Red Bird single. The version on “The Best of John Hammond” (called “I Wish You Would Come Back Baby”) says it’s line-up (B) which is the same exactly as the 1965 “So Many Roads” album, with Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica. The version on 1967’s “I Can Tell” album is completely different with a deeper voice, a much more restrained harmonica, and a prominent bass line. The one on “Best Of” sounds thinner but gutsier and is guitar / harmonica led. I would then assume that the two songs on 1967’s “I Can Tell” with Bill Wyman are both later recordings. If so, the Red Bird “I Can Tell” is not available at all. Whatever, the version of “I Wish You Would” on “Best Of” is called “I Wish You Would Come Back Baby” and I guess is the 1964 single, It sounds just like the later Hawkins & Hawks material in tone and treatment with Robbie right at the front of the mix.

The site info on “Mirrors” just says that two tracks have Levon, Robbie & Garth, i.e. the 1965 So Many Roads line-up. Tracks are not listed. I’ve tried to guess what’s on “Mirrors” before - but it would now figure that it was the 1964 single versions.

This is all pretty obscure anyway. As the credits on “Best Of” seem a bit slipshod - all this is just “Line-up B”-the single could have had a different line up.And anyway, I know at least two better versions of this song than either of these!


Fri Apr 23 07:08:33 MET DST 1999

Coot

From: Muscle Shoals, AL

....."Tears of Rage" playin'... can remember day and place when I first heard Big Pink... In the crazy 60's, freind of mine said " Sorta makes you wanna take a walk in the woods, don't it???"... Good web page here.. Appreciate your work in providing a good "Band" resource...


Fri Apr 23 04:27:25 MET DST 1999

Bluesymama

From: Diamond Lil

in more ways than one


Fri Apr 23 04:13:00 MET DST 1999

Just Wonderin'

From: Texas

John Donabie: If you would like the Johnny Cash tribute email me. I have it on tape and I'll send it to you.


Fri Apr 23 03:02:33 MET DST 1999

Tony LoBue

From: NY

Friend of the Farmer: Danko show has been canceled.


Fri Apr 23 02:49:57 MET DST 1999

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Jim Stafford: Not _the _ Jim Stafford, are we? Spiders and snakes guy? Have a special place in my heart for him as some of my nearest and dearest are spiders and snakes :-)

BTW...Think that Long Island club you're referring to is "My Father's Place".....been there many times myself and never did see mother. Saw Eppie though..all the time. Any of you Long Islanders know if he's still around?

Just at this moment realizing that I just missed the Johnny Cash tribute _again_. Guess my memory isn't serving me well.


Fri Apr 23 01:39:44 MET DST 1999

Jim

From: Miami

Just a little reminiscing... First became a Band-aholic when I played bass in a band (early-mid 70's)in Ill. Danko kicks ass! I could cover most of his lines (with varying degrees of success), but I have no clue how he can sing like that at the same time. Only saw them twice, once in early eighties in Ft. Lauderdale. A great show, I remember a tanked Jaco Pastorius trying to storm the stage for the encore. Second time I saw them at Hialeah park, I believe this was one of the last shows before Richard's death. All I remember was the sound was horrible, not a good show in general. I regret to admit I haven't checked out the newer material, was afraid I'd be disappointed (ala new Little Feat) but I will give it a shot. Thanks to all Band members (past present & future) for keeping this great music alive.


Fri Apr 23 01:12:40 MET DST 1999

David G

From: originally Suffern NY now in Atlanta GA

I haven't seen the band in 17 years but would love to considering I had seen them about 15 times when I was young. The last time was My Mother's Place in Long Island. I was hanging out in the parking lot with some friends when I met Rick Danko. He was quite a character. He invited me in to meet the rest of the group after the concert. It was a night I won't soon forget.


Fri Apr 23 01:12:10 MET DST 1999

Paul Godfrey

Bill M. Have a look at the CHUM CHARTS at www.1050chum.com starting with july 6, 1959 you will find the #4 song listed that week was Forty Days/Ronnie Hawkins on the Apex label. Click on Ronnie's name and it lists all his chart dates, #'s, labels and titles. BO DIDDLEY reached #8 May 20, 1963 on the Roulette label. Interesting that the Bo Diddley is the only one on the Roulette label. Can you pass on info re: Stones That I Throw in terms of highest chart listing and date etc. I had the single at one time, but unfortunately it was given away. Met the artist on the Band Site home page today, Paul Fleming. He is really a gentleman, a fine musician and obviously a talented artist. I knew his brother Gordon back in the Ronnie Hawkins days. Another....Too Soon Gone.


Thu Apr 22 22:38:09 MET DST 1999

Bill Munson

From: Toronto

Hammond's I Can Tell came out in '67, but, as is noted in this site's discography, "The song 'I Can Tell' by John Hammond came out as a 45 in '64, b/w 'I Wish You Would. Both sides are the same takes as used on the eventual Atlantic LP." The 45 label was Red Bird, not an obvious choice.


Thu Apr 22 22:05:00 MET DST 1999

Peter Viney

John Hammond: The So Many Roads album from 1965 features Jimmy Lewis on bass, Michael Bloomfield on piano (he was intimidated about playing any guitar with RR on the session) and Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica. Plus Robbie, Levon and Garth.

The I Can Tell album from May 67 just has Bill Wyman on bass on I Can Tell & I Wish You Would and features Robbie and Rick. Rick plays bass on nine tracks. Jimmy Lewis plays bass on one. I’ve never found the “Mirrors” album.

Retrospectively articles like to say “The Band backed Hammond.” According to the sleeves they never did so on record as an entity. It’s a bit like the Bobby Charles album - every recent review says “with the Band” though they never all appear. And the organ on “Small Town talk” (and bass pedals) is Dr John. The story of what they did between May 66 (on return from the Dylan tour) and the move to Woodstock (if anything) is still lost in the mists of time. One for investigation.

On another post (Brown-Eyed Johnny), Bruce Hornsby is the link between RR and This Band. This Band were doing demos of his songs (including ‘The Tide Will Rise’) in the early 90s. He played with RR at Seville in 1992 and on TV spots. He was up there with The Band at Woodstock 94. He’s playing piano along with Robbie’s wailing guitar on The Wild Magnolias “Life Is A Carnival” (Love RR’s last line “Look out. Here come the Indians” or whatever it is, plus the following “vocal flavours” in spite of the liberties taken with the lyrics.) More than anyone, Hornsby seems to be in touch with both sides.


Thu Apr 22 21:46:07 MET DST 1999

Bones

From: Connecticut


Thu Apr 22 21:23:31 MET DST 1999

David Powell

From: Georgia

The editors & writers of Rolling Stone magazine have just released their list of "The Essential Recordings Of The '90s." As you can probably guess, the usual suspects appear, but there are a few interesting choices.

In the "Alternative" category, the album "Kiko" from Los Lobos shows up among the Nirvanas & Pearl Jams of the world. The "Rock & Roll" category includes "Ragged Glory" from Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Van Morrison's "Hymns To The Silence", Eric Clapton's "From The Cradle", Johnny Cash's "American Recordings", Dylan's "Time Out Of Mind", "Mermaid Avenue" from Billy Bragg & Wilco, John Fogerty's "Blue Moon Swamp", "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road" from Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson's "Teatro", and many more too numerous to list here. The Rolling Stones still remain the critics' darlings, with both "Bridges To Babylon" and "No Security" making the list. Dylan's kid & his group The Wallflowers also made the list. There are two other categories, "Hip Hop And R&B" and "Dance + Pop", but I don't even want to go there.


Thu Apr 22 20:51:53 MET DST 1999

Ragtime

Freddy Fishstick: you're a genius. I've been singing Islands all day... :-)


Thu Apr 22 17:36:16 MET DST 1999

mattk

From: maryland

I believe Robbie gives up some info on Roy Buchanan in the Musician Magazine interview that was done around the time Storyville was released. I have a copy of it, let me dig it up and I'll post the Roy Buchanan section...hopefully tonight.

peace

matt


Thu Apr 22 15:40:22 MET DST 1999

BROWN-EYED JOHNNY

From: STREETS OF ROME

I saw Bruce Hornsby for the first time, last Friday at Westbury Music Fair. He tipped his hat to the Band and Bob Dylan by doing "When I Paint My Masterpiece." It was very good.


Thu Apr 22 14:54:03 MET DST 1999

Bill Munson

From: Toronto

To Paul Godfrey: Your early summer '64 squares, more or less, with Robbie Lane's Easter '64, so I guess that's pretty much settled. I wonder when they did the Hammond sessions, especially the very first, with Bill Wyman on bass. I'll have to drag out my old CHUM charts to see if I have any "Bo Diddley" placings. I know I have at least one with "Stones I Throw".

As for Fred Carter, I doubt it. One, I don't hear any evidence of a duel, or even of two guitarists. Two, Carter's style was not so down-and-dirty. Three, he was long gone from the Hawks by then anyway; his next somewhat related appearance seems to have been as songwriter / producer for Hawkins' second session with the Disciples in 1965.


Thu Apr 22 03:31:26 MET DST 1999

Pat Brennan

From: USA

BTW, there's a mag called Gig for the working musician--as if musicians actually work--and the latest issue has an article by Bill Payne, keyboardist for Little Feat. In it he describes how the band split the publishing money evenly to reward their contributions to the songs. Man, I wish Lowell George had offered me that deal. I was shocked to learn one of the great rock songwriters split his publishing with his band, a truly generous move. Now, I love Little Feat--I place them right next to the boys. But the fall off in writing since Lowell passed makes the post-Robbie Band look like the Beatles. Still great players, Little Feat is/are, but Lowell had the goods like few ever have.


Thu Apr 22 03:15:33 MET DST 1999

Pat Brennan

From: USA

"Naked if I want..."


Thu Apr 22 01:34:18 MET DST 1999

Paul Godfrey

Bill M. Re: Confusion about when Levon & the Hawks left Ronnie. Best I can put together is that Levon & The Hawks (Jerry P. had moved on) played Tony Mart's N.J. in 1965. Levon and the Hawks most likely left Ronnie in the early summer of 1964. Of course by the end of 65' they had moved on to their date with Dylan. I have a CHEX TUNEDEX (music survey from May of 1963) that lists BO DIDDLEY/RONNIE HAWKINS at #28. I believe I caught Ronnie and the Hawks (The Band) at the old Brock Ball Room in either 61 or 62 and was the first time I met Levon. Bill, some say that Robbie and Fred Carter Jr. played duelling guitars on the Roulette version of Bo Diddley. Have you heard anything along those lines? Nice to see Lonnie Mack's name on this page. He has a direct connection with Ronnie in that he stayed at Hawkstone for a while and had a considerable influence on Robin Hawkins.


Thu Apr 22 00:25:32 MET DST 1999

Freddy Fishstick

From: Key West

Suggested lyrics to Islands with apologies to the boss

Down in the islands where the happy folks stay Everybody do what Bwana Jim say He say its ok, it's ok You can do what you wanna Do what you like Twist a big ol' number Ride a motorbike It's alright, It's alright Dance to the drum Drink a lot of rum Love till you come to a stop Swing like a monkey in a coconut tree Sing like the dolphins in the deep blue sea Sing it's alright, it's alright -- Spoken: "How does Fred Neil do it? Come on Jay Spell" You know people in the city got nowhere to go They used to go to bars now they go to Discos No, no, no disco (uh-uh, no) They never see the sun They hardly see the moon They barely see the ground 'til the snow melts in June Uptight, It's out of sight So they save a little money Take a little trip They only see the islands from a tacky cruise ship Buy a little liquor Buy some sea shells Husband tries to sleep Wife just yells Morris, you can sleep when you get home Down in the islands where the happy folks stay Everybody do what Biwana man say He say its ok, it's ok It's alright, it's alright Do what you wanna, do what you like


Wed Apr 21 20:51:02 MET DST 1999

Bones

From: Connecticut

I just purchased Life is a Carnival by the Wild Magnolias. For those of you who enjoy New Orleans party music, this is a disc for you. Great fun! Nice picture of Robbie with the group in the liner notes, and the title track is obviously wonderful.


Wed Apr 21 19:27:22 MET DST 1999

Chris

From: Cincinnati

Pat, good to see Lonnie Mack brought up. He was born just outside Cincinnati, and comes back every now and again.


Wed Apr 21 18:22:35 MET DST 1999

Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran

From: Mad City, Wisconsin
Home page

"MOBY GRAPE ROCKS". Well said David Powell!!!!!


Wed Apr 21 17:43:58 MET DST 1999

Martin

From: Aberdeen

KEVIN: 'Bill' on the Last Waltz is, to the best of my knowledge, Bill Graham, promoter extrordinaire who organised the venue for the Last Waltz.


Wed Apr 21 16:34:47 MET DST 1999

Kevin

From: New York

I was watching The Band's Authorized Video Biography last night and saw this guy Bill Avis (Hawks and the Band's old road manager) Is he the guy that Ronnie yell's "Big Time Bill" too in the Last Waltz? Thanks.


Wed Apr 21 16:32:56 MET DST 1999

Kevin

From: New York

I was watching The Band's Authorized Video Biography last night and saw this guy Bill Avis (Hawks and the Band's old road manager) Is he the guy that Ronnie yell's "Big Time Bill" too in the Last Waltz? Thanks.


Wed Apr 21 15:43:12 MET DST 1999

David Powell

From: Georgia

"Listen my friends..." Just a few words about Alexander "Skip" Spence, who, as catabalu noted, passed away Friday (Sunday would have been his 53rd birthday). Several of his songs, including "My Best Friend" from Jefferson Airplane's _Surrealistic Pillow_ and "Omaha" & "Indifference" from Moby Grape's first album, have always been among my favorites. I still have my treasured LP copy of his 1969 solo album _Oar_ recorded on a 4-track machine in Nashville, on which Skip played & sang all the parts. "Little Hands," the album's opening song is a joyful celebration of innocence, sorely missing in this day & age. Perhaps Skip succeeded in retaining a child-like innocence until the end, and through the exuberance of his music, he thankfully shared some of it with us. "Little hands caring, little hands sharing...all over the world."


Wed Apr 21 15:02:47 MET DST 1999

Bill Munson

From: Toronto

Oh yes, and thanks to Catbalu for the Moby Grape link. I loved that band, and especially the late Skip Spence. I've never seen anything on when he left Windsor, but I've always wondered if he'd seen the Capers, with Garth Hudson, before heading south.


Wed Apr 21 14:51:59 MET DST 1999

Bill Munson

From: Toronto

Further to my post about the "Bo Diddley" lineup, I checked the Hawkins CD booklet at home last night and noted that both Jerry Penfound and King Curtis played tenor sax on the session. Very quietly, I guess.


Wed Apr 21 14:35:21 MET DST 1999

Jen

From: New Brunswick, Canada

Great band and webpage, it was very enjoyable to search through


Wed Apr 21 14:22:57 MET DST 1999

Mr.KICKING HORSE

From: someplace safe from all the confusion

December 1995, Rick, whatdo ya think of todays's youth; their' actions and music and such?? "LOTS of DEATH and DESTRUCTION MAN".


Wed Apr 21 12:09:35 MET DST 1999

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

For anyone that missed it (as I did), the Johnny Cash tribute is being shown on TNT again on Thursday night at 8PM EST. 'Because you're mine...I walk the line'. Anyone else ever hear Rick do that? He does it good.

So..Ragtime and Marvin are gonna write lyrics to 'Islands", eh? Hmmm... Something tells me it'll have a bit of a Buffettesque flavor :-)

Have a good day everyone. Trying like hell to here. Smile Jan..it could be worse...I could be messin with html codes again :-)


Wed Apr 21 12:09:17 MET DST 1999

catbalu

From: what's big and purple and lives at the bottom of the sea?

Just an FYI - heard that Canadian and fellow Aries "Skippy" Spence of the late great Moby Grape has passed away. There's a great Moby Grape site that tells their tale very well: www.mobygrape.com; Skip, hope the next time round, world of man is kinder to you. SYLA


Wed Apr 21 08:03:47 MET DST 1999

Ragtime

Marvin Gardens: maybe WE can write the lyrics for "Islands" that Double R so painfully forgot... We've got a job to do Ilkka... :-)


Wed Apr 21 04:18:05 MET DST 1999

Pat Brennan

From: USA

For those of you surprised that Roy Buchanan possibly played bass on a session, I bring up the report that Lonnie Mack played bass in the studio for The Doors.


Tue Apr 20 21:19:32 MET DST 1999

DONABIE

THAT SHOULD BE "GOT" NOT GO


Tue Apr 20 21:18:31 MET DST 1999

donabie

I JUST WISH WE GO TNT IN CANADA!


Tue Apr 20 21:17:00 MET DST 1999

David Powell

From: Georgia

For those of you who may have missed the Johnny Cash Tribute last Sunday, the TNT cable network will be showing it again this Thursday night. Many have noted the influence of the Man In Black on the music of Dylan and The Band. Johnny was born in Kingsland, Arkansas, a hundred miles or so southwest of the Turkey Scratch / Marvel area where Levon hails from. As a boy, Johnny & his family moved to Dyess Colony in Northeast Arkansas where they farmed the land to make ends meet. It was a background shared by Carl Perkins and many of the other pioneers of rock & country music.


Tue Apr 20 20:18:38 MET DST 1999

Bones

From: Connecticut

Trying to lock-in dates when Hawkins played with all five Band members will always be somewhat of a mystery, which is probably a good thing. I have always enjoyed the air of mystery involving the Band. Granted, some of it was calculated(i.e. Grossman), but some of it genuine(i.e. Basement Tapes, Hawkins, etc).


Tue Apr 20 17:55:02 MET DST 1999

Bill Munson

From: Toronto

I agree with Peter that the evidence points to the Band/Hawks line-up coalescing after the January 63 session. However, I'm not comfortable with "before the May 63 session" part of the chronology. Not only because of Penfound's claim that he was on piano on "Bo Diddley", but also because elements of the May '63 recording line-up in the CD booklet (Manuel on piano, Buchanan on bass, Danko on rhythm) strike me as absurd. I can't help but see the suggested "Bo Diddley" line-up as a mixture of fable, regurgitated reminiscence and faulty logic rather than as something written on a tape box. Why would a producer waste a great (and expensive) session guitarist like Buchanan on bass. Especially when a fine bassist is already in the room. And why have a fair pianist (Manuel) do the key part of a song while a much better pianist is at hand. Makes no sense to me.

As for the question of whether anyone other than Helm ever drummed live, I can only point to the reference to Sandy Konikoff in one of the books. Although the it wasn't clear, I took it to mean that Konikoff drummed - if very briefly - while Helm moved to rhythm guitar.


Tue Apr 20 17:53:20 MET DST 1999

Little Brother

From: around Philly, PA

I hope I'm not crippling this most pleasant cybercreek and water hole with a few more bits and pieces inspired by Viney's essay. After all, this algal bloat can be flushed away with the stroke of a scroll bar...

So: For all of my childish wariness of Robbie for being insufficiently Warm 'N Wonderful, I think "Little Bessie" is an inspired, masterful creation. To me, she's a manifestation of Zina, the Fairy Princess, conjured up from RR/The Band's personal experience. ("Zina" is a figure of myth and folklore who appears in Philip K. Dick's "The Divine Invasion"; PKD/Band music have other points of resonance.) Anyway, don't think "Fairy Princess" as in the trite juvenile image of some Tinkerbelle in a tutu. We're talking about a magical, powerful feminine presence-- a special, extraordinary woman touched by, or part of, the divine. A Gypsy Queen, something on the order of Yeats' "glimmering girl with apple blossoms in her hair".

Happily for the narrator, Little Bessie is a down-home variety, not a fatal attractor who always dances just out of reach. She's a Good Witch, mysteriously conferring favor, in the form of a standing invitation, to her chosen.

Somehow or other, you drift on by and stay with her a spell, and it's a swell time all around. It's just laid out so perfectly: You feel lucky, you head to the track. Bessie sort of comes along for the ride; she places her own bet, in a casual, whimsical, offhand way. Just to be good company, go along with the program, share the fun. Bang! Everyone's a winner-- such is life in Bessie's charmed circle. (By the way, Levon DOES sing "...sure enough, WE had won" in the studio version, doesn't he? The printed lyrics on this site read "she".)

Peter, I can't agree with the speculation that Bessie tears up the winnings BECAUSE they're insignificant. Given my take, I see it as Bessie/Zina, in the midst of her affectionate frolicking, saying in effect, "Silly mortal! Your money's no good HERE! When you're with ME, we're into something way richer than petty, shabby, wordly rewards!" It's no accident that praise for her Incredible Edible Doughnut caps the verse. I never heard that particular metaphor either, Peter, but it DEFINITELY isn't meant to mean he so enjoys a cuppa tea with his lady-friend.

I agree that there's less explicit sexuality or raunchiness in this song, but I think that's because Bessie is so, er, ACCOMODATING. "Jemima Surrender", "Rag Mama Rag", even "Volcano" are hotter, in my opinion, because they're superheated with frustration. Here the concentrated essence of prowling tomcat (such a, shall we say, seminal component of true Band personality at the time) isn't clawing at the turf and howling furiously-- it's purring, yelping, and chuckling. As noted, Bessie is a synthesis of the many enthusiastic sexual partners, professional or otherwise, who met the guys more than halfway.

The nice thing here is that Bessie is no mere lowlife whore or throwaway groupie du jour. She's got character, soul, depth. Even though the narrator will return to a Big Mama, that line "Me and my MATE" is striking. It's possible, I spoze, to conjecture that this guy lives with his mother or something, but it just feels like, as I said previously, Big Mama is his woman but Bessie is his (soul) MATE. (Even so, one gathers you can't just LIVE with Bessie. Again, this goes to my notion that she's got a foot in the other world; if you tried to stay forever you'd either burn out or the magic would.)

Even the music works with all this-- like a cheerful counterpoint to the dark classic, "Season of the Witch". That crazy, magical, absurd clavinette Jew's harp squawking underneath, yet a churchy organ rising in the chorus. Little Bessie's promise of libidinous fulfillment, the righteous succor she gives unconditionally, the counter-mundane magic, versus the routine, predictable, wearying demands of everyday life: the road, even Big Mama. All this knit together with those remarkable drums-- counterpoint to the narrator, an ordinary man with enough sense to sing the praises of a rare and exotic love...


Tue Apr 20 17:44:59 MET DST 1999

Ilkka

From: The Memoires of an Innocent Boy
Home page

Sir Peter Viney

Thank You for the notes on 'Upp On Cripple Creek' - You mentioned the Finnish group 'WIGWAM' in the cover section. I must be one of the few here who has heard this unique 12 minutes version.
How was it? - Hard to tell. It was in a rock festival in 1969 (or 1970) in Finland. People on that field were not dedicated Band fans - or sober - and a strange song was not appreciated. And Chuck Berry was coming! I concentrated to avoid flying beer cans and bottles. Most of all nobody told me that I would like to tell about this concert after 30 years in Internet (Int...Inter...what?!)


Tue Apr 20 16:06:40 MET DST 1999

mattk

From: maryland

I queried my mother-in-law about Spike Jones in terms of how she thinks of him (on TV vs. Vinyl). She is Robbie's age (April, 1941), and other than the fact she is from Massachusett's instead of Canada, I'm gonna take a leap that her cultural memories about television would map to Robbie's in terms of time frame and context.

I asked her is her memories of Spike Jones were via recordings or his TV show. She didn't blink--TV show, she said. I asked my own mother who is about 4 years older. She has stronger memories of the vinyl recordings, which she owned, but noted that most of her friends knew Spike from his TV work as much as his recordings.

Sounds like a bit of a toss-up, but the mom's are in synch with RR, than it's fair to assume that a poor kid from Ontario would probably have found watching a TV show more cost effective than buying the vinyl. Also, unless the narrator brought his records on the road, Bessie's reaction implies that she's not familiar with Spike, which would enforce the idea of the narrator and Bessie watching the tube...

For the record, I always assumed "box" meant radio...

Matt


Tue Apr 20 13:48:52 MET DST 1999

Scott Brown

From: Kansas City Mo

Does anyone have any info on if Levon, Rick, Garth, Jim, Randy are gonna do some summer shows in the midwest??? I have a feeling that my chance to see them would be a road trip to New Orleans at Levons but if any of you have any inside info on possible tours close to Kansas CIty or St Louis , please let me know.... Thanks and keep on rockin' Scott


Tue Apr 20 11:40:43 MET DST 1999

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Peter Viney: Thanks for another job well done! Very much enjoyed the piece on cripple creek. This stuff would make a great book. Ever think about doing something like that? You could call it 'Viney's take on tunes" or something. Just a thought.

On a completely different note, I got the sad news yesterday that a very brave and strong lady passed away. No, she wasn't famous...but she was a big Band fan like all of us and I had the pleasure of meeting her on several occassions at various shows over the years. She was paralyzed from a spinal cord injury many years ago, and lost her daughter in a tragic accident...but still she held on until she couldn't anymore. She went the way of Richard several months ago. I'm glad I got to know you Ingrid. Rest in peace.


Tue Apr 20 10:56:09 MET DST 1999

Marvin Gardens

From: Atlantic City

Sir Peter Viney

A nice hors d'oeuvre on Bessie and Cripple Creek. If you were here right now I'd certainly comp you. Keep up the good work. Now its on to an analysis of Islands whose lyrics have always puzzled me. :-)


Tue Apr 20 09:25:45 MET DST 1999

Peter Viney

Time code: This is tougher than tough. Bill Munson is the best source on this. The more I’ve looked, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that the story in Helm & Hoskyns is a simplified version when it comes to chronology. I also began to suspect that the image of the five together so solidly for so many years was somewhat retro-fitted. Reading the session notes on “The Roulette Years” is puzzling. As Bill said, why wasn’t Garth on this session or Richard on that session? The only sessions in the notes with the full five line-up are May 63 (note the dates are in the international order, e.g. 18/9/61, not the US one, so 7/5/63 is 7 May 1963) and “February 62”, both including Jerry Penfound. But then you get a session in January 63 without Garth. As the notes in the Roulette Years seem chronological otherwise, I’d assume the “2/2/62 session” which is listed last (Arkansas, Mojo Man) is a mistake for : “2/2/ (64 probably)”. The notes say:

“This session appears to have been recorded in Feb 1962 according to Roulette files, but must have been mastered at a much later date - possibly the matrix numbers were allocated at the time of the overdub session”.

Either there could have been an older vocal + rhythm track sweetened by the later line-up with Garth & Richard, or the matrix numbers are right and the session files wrong. Then it figures that the line-up coalesced after the January 63 session but before the May 63 session. All the 61 sessions have Danko on bass. Richard first appears on the January 63 session (with Roy Buchanan on bass & Danko on rhythm guitar) ). I also suspect that the line-up (with Jerry & Bruno too) was more fluid than it has been painted in retrospect, but that’s a guess from the session notes. I also get the impression that people came and went and came back again. In common with many bands at that time, their ranks may have swollen or diminished according to the size of the gig, the geographical location, the money available. Even today you can judge Van Morrison’s level of success by the size of the backing group. In the lean years he had to dispense with backing singers. Now he can afford backing singers and three percussionists. All the books on The Hawks fail to note Penfound played piano and drums at various times. The fact that Penfound could double on drums has somehow been omitted, possibly because it spoils the story of how Richard found himself drumming in the basement and then they carried on with the novel idea of two drummers, allowing Levon to switch to mandolin or guitar. It looks as if having someone else drum was an earlier possibility too, though whether they ever did it live or not I don’t know. Any info on this from our Canadian contingent?

BTW, one of the greatest distorting factors in rock chronologies is the date differences. Even US visa and immigration forms now use the internationally accepted day-month-year, not month-day-year. As the rest of the world follows this order, it’s clearly been found necessary. Hard habit to change though!


Tue Apr 20 03:27:33 MET DST 1999

donabie

Thanks Bill....I didn't think it was an easy task to put the time code of the Hawks/The Band, time spent with Hawkins. I've read as many stories as you; but no one can really pinpont the exact time spent with The Hawk; before becoming Levon & The Hawks.

I knew this was a tough question when Peter Viney didn't shoot back with an answer.


Tue Apr 20 02:52:44 MET DST 1999

Charlie Young

From: Down in Old Virginny

Peter Viney's "Up On Cripple Creek" essay (doctoral thesis?) is absolutely amazing. Great job, sir. Thanks for the tip on the May issue of MOJO as well, Peter. I'm happy to hear Richard Manuel fared so well in the TOP 100 SINGERS list. MOJO is a fine magazine, just a bit expensive as an import in the US. I usually loiter at a Borders store and check the hightlights or borrow a copy from my friend who buys it monthly. This one I'll buy!


Tue Apr 20 01:24:46 MET DST 1999

Spider John

From: LAD3/4Time

They say everything comes to those that wait. A year back or so there was some questions about the tune that Rick weaved into Long Black Veil at his solo shows. A smart Bandhead finally identified it as Train of Love. Imagine my thrill at hearing Dylan do it (couldnt touch Rick's) at the Tribute to Johnny Cash on the same night that Long Black Veil was performed. BTW I guess I'm prejudiced or just loyal to the boys but I wasn't that excited by Jerry Mathers Band's cover. He's something for the Beaver is all. :-)


Tue Apr 20 00:24:54 MET DST 1999

[guest photo]

Stuart the Maniac

From: Austin, TX, USA, Earth, Milky Way, Infinite Space, Inverting Vortex, Speck of Dirt, Austin, etc.
Home page

Hi! Nice page you have here! Keep on jammin'! See ya! :-)


Mon Apr 19 23:45:25 MET DST 1999

Just Wonderin'

From: Texas

Ragtime: Enjoy Largo...it's great! Been on my cd player for 2 weeks!


Mon Apr 19 21:16:23 MET DST 1999

Little Brother

From: around Philly, PA

Enjoyed the "Up On Cripple Creek" study, Peter. A few random comments:

-- "Box" definitely suggests radio, or pre-"hi-fi" record player. Of course, it's one of those universal terms, like "machine". My father used it frequently for "automobile", as in, "I see you got a new machine, there, Jack." Brother Edmond, who taught typing in high school, meant "typewriter" when he said, "Cover those machines!" Come to think of it, both "box" and "machine" can be sexual terms as well. Hmmm...

-- I'd written previously about running into a retired truck driver who thought the verse was, "A TRUCKER'S dream if I ever did see one." John Poppy's 1970 LOOK article describes the tune as "a sexy truck driver's salty ballad to the girl he's stashed in Lake Charles, La." Apparently Robbie thinks the narrator is a truck driver, too. The song was released well before the cornball "Convoy" CB trucker fad of the late Seventies, but I always pictured some overworked tractor-trailer driver driving his rig down some tricky, treacherous mountain highway, dying to drop his load and dreaming of well-earned freedom = Bessie.

-- As many of the insights in Peter's article suggest, this song comes from a place also called Jupiter Hollow-- a freewheeling, euphoric, zany Wonderland where Tricksters rule. The "plot points" can't be connected like dots, at least not to make a straight line. Time and place are all swirled around, like a Quentin Tarrantino screenplay. He "wants" to go to little Bessie, and it sure sounds like he got there. Does that mean all the hijinks 'n thrills of the middle verses are reminiscences of past times? Tenses shift back and forth, but the gleeful zeal of the narrator gives the events an edge that's fresh and immediate.

Poor "big mama", the mundane significant other waiting at home! (Maybe she's "Molly", across the Great Divide, standing by her window in pain...) Because this hymn to Bessie justs burst with psychedelic joy at her mind-boggling ways! He's got the "good luck", but damned if SHE doesn't take the pot! (I prefer the original line to the sweeter, "...me AND Little Bessie had won" sung in concert.) She TAKES the pot, but damned if she don't turn it into confetti for the pure randy hell of it! What a piece of work! What a babe!

I think this tune has a thematic twin in a very different suit in Dylan's "From A Buick 6" (try http://www.uvm.edu/~ksherloc/dylan/highway_61/buick_6.html) Here, too, we have a overburdened man's ode to a soulful mama who "keeps me hid... is bound to put a blanket on my bed". The definitive verse:

Well, she don't make me nervous, she don't talk too much/She walks like Bo Diddley and she don't need no crutch/She keeps this 4-10 a; loaded with lead/ Well, if I go down dyin' you know she's bound to put a blanket on my bed..."

Dylan doesn't say, but her name could very well be Bessie.

--Thanks again, Peter.


Mon Apr 19 21:07:29 MET DST 1999

Bill Munson

From: Toronto

I owe John Donabie a reply to his question(s) regarding timing. Unfortunately, the answers aren't clear, even to a long-time delver. One of the Disciples (who replaced the Hawks with Hawkins) remembers taking over in Easter '64, after a three- or four-month overlap when the Hawks played downstairs, the Disciples played upstairs and Ronnie Hawkins split his sets between the two. Another Disciple remembers it as Easter '63, but that runs against the recording dates for the "Screw Loose" session (summer '63) as provided in the Hawkins/Hawks CD booklet.

The when-did-they-first-play-together question is no easier to get to the bottom of. We can date Robertson's arrival from its connection with Hawkins' appearance on British TV in early '60 (I think). Penfound told me that he and Danko joined at about the same time, and that his first session was the one (in '61?) with Henry Glover and the Warwick sisters. Penfound also told me that he played piano on the "Bo Diddley" session. So, perhaps no Richard Manuel and certainly (by this reckoning) no Garth Hudson until after February 1963. This would leave little more than a year together before leaving Hawkins - which is surprisingly little.


Mon Apr 19 20:38:03 MET DST 1999

JD

Thank you JT for remembering that it was Levon who play with the Hawks on Tour 65 with Dylan. There is always so much talk about Tour '66 that it slipped my mind that they were here in November of 65


Mon Apr 19 19:06:02 MET DST 1999

Occasional Visitor

From: Northern New Mexico

Just perused Viney's Cripple Creek dissertation. I'm surprised he didn't get it from the Tourism folks, but the stream, and ultimately the town, was so named because of what often happened to the horses and cows crossing it. If you've been there, you've seen how the grass grows high right up to the banks and it's really narrow. Probably had a similar effect on more than a few humans, too.


Mon Apr 19 18:34:02 MET DST 1999

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Ragtime: Noted the spelling and laughed. "coffe" is only spelled that way when I haven't had enough of it to type it correctly :-)

Spider John: Wonder if Rick Danko and the "cash stash" caper had anything to do with the boys not being a part of the tribute? Something to think about, eh?

Jan: My mouse thanks you :-)


Mon Apr 19 18:29:07 MET DST 1999

Bill Munson

From: Toronto

Two things: a la David Powell, can we find an echo of "Don't Take Your Guns To Town" in Kenny Rogers' immortal, "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town" (with Mickey Jones on drums yet!). And, though it hadn't occurred to me before now, the shack (back at which the narrator and mate were) could just as easily have been a "restaurant" as a home - after all, we had Jimmy Smith with his chicken shack and Jimmy Gilmer with his sugar shack. If so, the box could well have been a juke box. Note too that it's always "back at the(adjective) shack - because it rhymes, I guess.


Mon Apr 19 18:02:00 MET DST 1999

Dave Z

From: Chaska, MN

Pete R: Thanks, I am gonna try to make your gig on June 18th.

Peter V: When did "boom boxes" come into existence? That's been my visual, whether right or most likely wrong. Then again, I did have an old record player that looked like a box on four legs with a place to hide stuff in the back.


Mon Apr 19 17:59:55 MET DST 1999

David Powell

Regarding Spike Jones: He began his professional career as a studio drummer, playing for various bands that were featured on the radio. He later started his own band known as the City Slickers. Although accomplished musicians, Spike & his band were more of a comedy, novelty act that performed paradies of popular songs of the day and classical works. After a successful radio career, Spike & the City Slickers were indeed featured regularly on television in the '50s, begining with the Colgate Comedy Hour and the All Star Revue. Spike had his own TV series in 1954, The Spike Jones Show, and later hosted the show Club Oasis in 1957. By the way, one of the songs that they were known to perform was "Don't Take Your Guns To Town," complete with gunshot sound effects. How about that for a Johnny Cash connection.


Mon Apr 19 17:33:36 MET DST 1999

Peter Viney

From: viney@mailbox.co.uk

Video killed the radio star: Spike Jones (1911-65) started his career on radio, then (according to the Guinness Encylopaedia of Popular Music) successfully moved into records, then film, then television. When I first heard the song in 1969 I immediately conjured up the TV version of Spike Jones, in B & W, singing “Cocktails For Two.” I’d seen him on TV but didn’t think of him as a record artist. I was worried about the word “box” (which I footnoted) as it had a very strong collocation with TV in Britain in 1969, though 30 years later it sounds old-fashioned. I was interested because Websters don’t list this use for American English. But some British English words are found in Canada (and neighbouring areas of the USA), such as “pop” for “soda”. I was surprised when I saw “pop” in Canada as it had long been replaced by “soft drink” in England and sounded very 1950s. An old record player sounds possible, but if the word was not common and was being used specifically for the song, I’d think a large old radio. (This was my alternative thought). But “we had Spike Jones on the box” favours Bill’s interpretation of a record player, as “we had” suggests choice.

BTW, nothing to do with the song, but I once saw a documentary on an attempt to introduce “TV Jukeboxes” using Cineloop film. Most of the material was jazzy, and I seem to remember Spike Jones and Duke Ellington as examples, which might date it. Cineloop film (which was used in advertising sites and language laboratories in the early 70s) was packed in an early version of the cassette, on a continuous loop. It was incredibly unreliable and broke frequently. They wouldn’t have had a jukebox back at the shack though.


Mon Apr 19 17:30:20 MET DST 1999

Pete Rivard

From: Hastings, MN

How about "Louisiana" under the heading of Randy Newman tunes that the Band would have just nailed?


Mon Apr 19 17:29:35 MET DST 1999

Bones

From: Connecticut

Thanks to Peter Viney for a fascinating article on "Cripple Creek". Like Greil Marcus, Peter showed me new images and ideas about the song that hadn't crossed my mind.


Mon Apr 19 16:56:26 MET DST 1999

Ragtime

From: largo misterioso

At last! My copy of Largo arrived in the Low Countries... They had to row it over the Atlantic obviously...

Peter V: great article on Cripple Creek... I came too late to notice your big mistake crediting RM... so this must be a collector's item now... Thanks btw for crediting me for initiating its publication on the site... So I'm inducted into the Hall of Fame without doing anything... (how many more dots can you stand...... :-)

Diamond Lil: please note spelling & join me for a cuppacoffe :-)

Donald Joseph: still stuck in the land of the Wiener Waltz?

Ilkka: it's another Monday :-)

Uncle H.: keep your shirt on :-]

This new Yahoo Band fanclub has a lot of "members only" areas...


Mon Apr 19 16:36:33 MET DST 1999

Bill Munson

From: Toronto

Thanks to Peter Viney for the most interesting "Cripple Creek" article. A couple points:

I'm glad to hear of the metaphorical basis for the title; I can't say I've given any thought to it, but I always felt that "this mountain" was a metaphor for something like "stressful situation" (which wouldn't work!)

I don't see how the Spike Jones bit gets us to 50s/60s TV. Box is more likely, in this instance, to refer to a record player. At least, that's what I've always heard, as I was familiar with my parents' Spike 78s but wasn't aware of a TV show.

For what it's worth, I'd place the narrator straight UP the Mississippi River, and far enough north that it would make some sense to use "the Gulf of Mexico" as a geographical aid in locating Louisiana.


Mon Apr 19 15:28:54 MET DST 1999

mattk

From: maryland

I watched the Johnny Cash thing as well. While enjoyed most of it (save the U2's overly processed version of "don't take your guns to town"), I was also struck by the strong ties to, and the lack of ANY Band folks around (though I rather like Dave Matthews on Long Black Veil--very close to the vest and reverent of the original, I thought). I also thought the Wycliff Jean thing totally rocked...

Still, with Dylan, Emmylou, Long Black Veil, Native American activism...

It's actually a great example of the cross-hatching that occurs in American music. The fact that The Band cull(s)(ed) so much of their music from the same roots as Johnny highlights much of the same discussion we've had about BT of late. I think ultimately, what I love about The Band is how it became a kind of abstract of American musical culture...at this point, anything short of a Soundgarden reunion seems lacking without SOMEONE from The Band present.

matt


Mon Apr 19 15:24:58 MET DST 1999

David Powell

From: Georgia

Yes, the Band was missing from the Johnny Cash tribute, but lately they've been sorely missed everywhere, period. I'm trying to remember the last time that they performed live (or live on tape) on television. Was it the 1993 Dylan 30th anniversary tribute? The question is not what would or could have been if they had done this or that, but rather, what they are willing, ready & able to do.


Mon Apr 19 11:55:15 MET DST 1999

Spider John

From: LAD3/4time

Caught the Tribute to Johnny Cash on TNT last night. A great show but oh how The Band was sorely missed. Dave Matthews & Emmylou Harris couldn't touch Long Black Veil. Missed you Rick and the way you work in Train lf Love. Dylan appeared on tape covering that tune. Would have been magic to have had the boys do both.


Mon Apr 19 11:17:49 MET DST 1999

Peter Viney

The article on "Up On Cripple Creek" is now up. By lazily copying the title & heading from a previous article (for style) I made a huge screw-up. It says "By Richard Manuel & Robbie Robertson" at the top instead of "By Robbie Robertson". Hopefully this will be corrected by the time most of you get to it, but I apologise and say there's no need to tell me it's wrong!


Mon Apr 19 11:10:56 MET DST 1999

Petra Fischer

From: Germany - black forest

I think "christmas must be tonight" is the best song on earth for me !!! I'm very glad to get the text of the song ! best wishes from Germany ! Petra


Sun Apr 18 23:06:55 MET DST 1999

Bernardi Sonnie

From: Toronto Canada

Marie and Sonnie sr.( Concord Tavern Days ) Say hi. I hope to see you in Toronto soon for some good music. Our band Crowbar is back at it and we are doin Remedy justice. Best of Luck Sonnie JR.


Sun Apr 18 22:55:22 MET DST 1999

Todd Grove

From: W. Chester, PA

To the members of The Band and all else associated: I was given "Jubilation" as a holiday gift and I really enjoy the music. Good music that I'm proud to have in my collection. As I heard in song, "Stand your ground",guys(and dolls). T. Grove


Sun Apr 18 21:53:59 MET DST 1999

JT

From: Toronto

John, Drummers: Summer 65 until end of November 65 Levon Helm End of November 65 until early 1966. Bobby Gregg Early 1966 to early April 1966 Sandy Konikoff Finally, April 1966 (Honolulu, Australia, UK) Mickey Jones So, in Toronto on Nov. 14 and 15, we saw Levon Helm. And I'm glad we did.


Sun Apr 18 21:23:27 MET DST 1999

Gary Bird

From: Originally Kansas, now Geneva Switzerland

Im a 30-yr Band fan & love the site. I could go to my grave happy if I could hear them record "The Hammer Song" (from an old Spencer Davis album), "Days of '49" (with Levon & Rick trading off verses) & Randy Newman's "Baltimore". I think they'd be great songs for them


Sun Apr 18 21:04:18 MET DST 1999

searchin by myself

singing old songs, see if they help.....

And they don't.


Sun Apr 18 20:20:18 MET DST 1999

Odessa

From: not important

Okay... CALLING THOSE WHO HAVE VISITED BIG PINK (not psychedelically either) Is it the first house on the right when you turn down Pine Lane? I have a problem. I know the chord progression for "The Weight," but I need the notes for the intro. If anyone knows I'd appreciate your help. I've been improvising, but it's not right. Check out Ronnie Hawkins' official homepage and get a T-shirt. Support The Hawk.


Sun Apr 18 20:01:13 MET DST 1999

Cecilia Lindqvist

From: Sweden

"WHEEL´S ON FIRE" IS BEST! "WATCH "ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS"


Sun Apr 18 17:45:51 MET DST 1999

Martin

From: Aberdeen

Hey Band Fans, check out the Unofficial Bob Dylan Free tape library at http://key.cyberg8t.com/simon/dylan/freelib.html. This is a site which provides copies of a performance/bootleg of your choice. You send them a tape and postage and they dub it and mail it back free of charge. I'm interested in obtaining the first show on the 1974 tour which i've been told contained the only ever live performance of 'Holy Cow', however, it's not listed on the setlist. Can anyone tell me whether or not I've got the right show or whether the song was omitted from the tape that's in circulation( I know a lot of boots from the tour had the Band segments chopped out in order to fit onto lees tape). Any info appreciated.
Also can anyone in the UK copy me Levon's drumming video? I can send blank tape and return postage.
Bye for now


Sun Apr 18 11:57:46 MET DST 1999

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Mitt: Best wishes to your dad..peace and no pain.

Richie: Sorry to see you go. Looking forward to that Molson though.

Uncle H: Just be happy, ok?


Sun Apr 18 10:02:00 MET DST 1999

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland Tx

Well, tonight old Ben finds himself in Hollywood USA, of all places. No joke, I'm in town to meet some old socailist buddies, we're organizing some kinda committe to protest Dylan Ticket prices. Anyhow, I thought I would go down to that Trobadour Club they got here, cause I heard the Eagles played there once or something, and Joe Walsh has been sitting in with the boys. Anyway, let me tell you, that Gillian Welch was playing and She is GOOD. I take it for granted that Band fans get into good music, you should check out her two albums, REVIVAL and HELL AMONG THE YEARLINGS. And She and her partner David Rawlings do a set that will hang around in your memory. And they even gave me a link; closing with a Long Black Veil that has got to be my all time second favorite. Ben Pike says check her out. On the Van Front, if people don't know what we're talking about, but wanna get there feet wet, the Best of Van CD Vol 2 is that all too rare well chosen Anthology disc. I had forgotten about Common One, that is a weird and beautiful album.


Sun Apr 18 08:54:23 MET DST 1999

Floorbird.

From: Toronto, Canada.

My favourite top ten in the "Genuine Basement Tapes (Vol 1-5) Vol 1 All You Have To Do Is Dream #1 Stones That You Throw Vol 2 Tears of Rage #1 I'm Not There 1956 Vol 3 Silent Weekend. Sign On The Cross Vol 4 I'm A Fool For You*-(personal fav) See That My Grave Is Kept Clean Vol 5 Under Control Banks Of The Royal Canal. What could ge better-eh!


Sun Apr 18 06:36:21 MET DST 1999

Mark

I'm interested in trading for audio or video bootlegs of The Band. Please contact me for my list.


Sun Apr 18 05:51:16 MET DST 1999

John Donabie

Thought you might enjoy this story from the Mickey Jones site

"You're the best rock drummer I've ever heard," Dylan told Jones. The drummer was playing in Detroit months later when Albert Grossman, Dylan's manager, left frantic messages at his hotel urging Jones to join Dylan's new electric band.

"When Bob called, I had a speech ready to say no," Jones recalls. "I was getting $500 a week and all expenses paid with Johnny Rivers. That was serious dough. But Bob offered me $750 a week, and it took my breath away."

He accepted until Dylan mentioned that Jones would have to pay for hotels and meals. Jones declined. Dylan's counter-offer: He'd cover travel and lodging but not food.

"I said OK," Jones says. "Bob tells me, 'Keep this quiet because the other guys are paying their bills.' I got the best deal."

The Hawks were Robbie Robertson on guitar, Rick Danko on bass, Garth Hudson on organ and Richard Manuel on piano. Jones was their fourth drummer. Weary of the road, original member Levon Helm had returned to Arkansas and was replaced by Bobby Gregg and Sandy Konikoff before Jones stepped in. The six jelled during all-night rehearsals at Columbia's Hollywood studio.


Sun Apr 18 05:00:30 MET DST 1999

Whirlwind Dreamer

From: mitt@stampler.com

My favorite album of all time is Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks" --Mom thinks Shelter from the storm was the best love song ever written, but I've heard her say she liked "Hold My Hand" too, "I want to love you the best that that I can" too so dobn't take her too seriously LOL! Zeke


Sun Apr 18 04:51:05 MET DST 1999

Mitt Stampler and Whirlwind Dreamer

From: a long way down the crazy river
Home page

Hey everyone! I've been away awhile, visting my dad (the Ur-Band fan, now very, very ill) but tonight me and my oldest ward (Whirlwind Dreamer, a/k/a Zeke) got back to Massachusetts and watched "Last Waltz." And in the middle of "The Weight," my twelve (almost thirteen) year old godson said that the difference between Band fans and Dylan fans was that Band fans were happier with the little things in life while Dylan fans were more concerned with the grand "cosmic" scheme of things. "The difference between you and Grandpa, Mom, is that you're a Band fan and he's a Dylan fan." Which is true, incidentally, but not the whole truth. We were watching the Band sing the Weight with the Staples, and he says, "J. Robbie was brilliant before he decided he had to become Steven Spielberg. I didn't even like Private Ryan." And I just looked at him (after all, I did like Saving Private Ryan) and I said, "Well, Zeke, sometimes people don't realize that it's okay to be what they are, or else they want something more, and that's ok too" And all I could think was, Gee, why wasn't I that smart when I was twelve? I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I'd realized that I would become what I became, and that's all...and that's enough. If "The Shape I'm In" was about anything, I think it might've been that...Sure miss hanging with you guys and hope I wasn't forgotten! Cheers and All best wishes, Mitt


Sun Apr 18 04:25:12 MET DST 1999

the Ragman

From: 10th Ave. NYC

The Band, Van, Beatles, Dylan, Stones--my top five. My favorite Van album is Saint Dominic's Preview (they fly too high to see my point of view). Others are Common One (Put on my Great Coat), Beautiful Vision (Cleaning Windows, Dweller on the Threshold). This last one, Back on Top, though critically acclaimed, I find the cd BORING. He takes no chances on this record. I thought The Healing Game was better. I watched Van's segment on The Last Waltz the other day, and God! You could see all the musicians watching him in amazement! He really is incredible.


Sun Apr 18 01:51:20 MET DST 1999

catbalu

From: soccer madness - i can't hang! not a sports person...

Richie - gosh darn it, i was even going to get into my Baby Dan's Star Wars version of monopoly for some REAL serious play - and there you go, Lil wins again.... best of sales to your music; enjoyed messing with you alittle (mischief, never mean!!!) not a bayou girl, tho, me... ma boys got dat in 'em, 'do. and will offer up a story to Pat Brennan soon of their dad and his old bar buddy, George Gann. Civil War he loved, and wrote about. Sounds like quite a character. As is their Papa.

Mr. V, nice to know your wife is an Irish lass. Have always wanted to go to Ireland before i give up the ghost.... Bob James' "Women of Ireland" makes me want to go even more.... it's no wonder your son is so clever :) kidding aside, thank you.

Favorite ALBUMS: Van, Common One. Bob, Planet Waves. Neil, Hawks and Doves. Grateful Dead, Terrapin Station (sp?). The Band, BIG PINK!(hey this ain't the first pink house i ever lived in!) Those folks have given much inspiration here... and i do tithe to the little ones... small way of passing it on....


Sun Apr 18 01:37:09 MET DST 1999

donabie

One last time Mr. Viney. Enjoy the Wavelength site; but what's more exciting is the news that Van may record an album of Hank Williams Sr. & Webb Pierce songs..well "I AIN'T NEVER" Now that would be great!!


Sun Apr 18 01:32:29 MET DST 1999

donabie

Found it Peter; but I had to go to my search engine for some reason and bring up everything Van and HELLO! there it was. Thanks


Sun Apr 18 01:27:44 MET DST 1999

donabie

Peter Viney...I can't get http://home.netcentral.co.uk.wavelength. to work. Won't come up. If I take out the word wavelength I get the site; which is christain music and I did a search for wavelenth and nothing happened?


Sat Apr 17 23:41:55 MET DST 1999

Richie Rich

From: Atlantic City

Catbalu how's bayou? Our esteemed judges have ruled that Lil won the contest. If she will take that Coast City Bus or drive perchance she will get her just desserts, maybe even a Molson. New album on its way and Its a Good Feelin to Know. I officially retire this nom de plume. Had the serge to keep it a bit longer but I cant afford the thesauruses. Hold the door Noah, I shall be there anon. :-)


Sat Apr 17 22:55:04 MET DST 1999

Rolling Stone

From: current issue

Robertson contributed some brilliant guitarwork. Robertson sauntered onstage and gave a period perfect solo on BSShoes.


Sat Apr 17 22:08:37 MET DST 1999

Donabie

IIKA: Couldn't agree with you more about Coulson Dean McGuinness Flint. I now have it on CD. Don't you tell Henry was absolutely unique.


Sat Apr 17 19:02:20 MET DST 1999

Peter Viney

Sorry, a correction: http://home.netcentral.co.uk.wavelength.


Sat Apr 17 16:43:42 MET DST 1999

Peter Viney

From: Springtime in England

May I recommend “Wavelength” (again) to every Van Morrison fan here? Full details on the website: http://home.netcentral.co.uk (and I have a small review in the latest issue). The magazine did a survey of fans in 1996, and the highest placed album was “No Guru” though more people voted “Astral Weeks” a classic - it was #2 overall. Then came (in this order) Moondance, Too Late to stop Now, Poetic Champions, Hymns to the Silence, Into the music, St Dominic’s, Enlightenment, Night in SF, Beautiful Vision. My wife agrees with the “St Dominic’s” choice made twice on this site, though places it equal with “Irish Heartbeat” … she was brought up in Belfast. The highest placed song - by a wide margin - was ‘In The Garden’, another surprise. The nearest contender got half the votes (Summertime in England). For the rest get the back issue! I think the placing of these two show the influence of live concerts, where they’re near the end, amazing and always different. In the three years since the survey, “Tupelo Honey / Why Must I always Explain” has tended to hold this position in the show which might get it more votes. Band connection? Er, I’m sure they like him too.


Sat Apr 17 13:44:28 MET DST 1999

[guest photo]

Stuart the Maniac

From: Austin, TX, USA, Earth, Milky Way, Infinite Space, Inverting Vortex, Speck of Dirt, Austin, etc.
Home page

Hi! Cool site you have here! I saw Levon Helm in the Austin City Limits studio many years ago--great show! See ya! :-)


Sat Apr 17 08:42:59 MET DST 1999

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland Tx

Here's what really happened: Abe Vigoda was on Merv, who was doing a week of shows from Woodstock. He had come for the salt water springs; but was misiformed. One the third show Merv does Whiter Shade of Pale, and Vigoda starts going on and on about how Poco Harum did the most interesting keyboard stuff of the late sixties. Suddenly he is surrounded by Danko, Manuel, Butterfield and Albert Grossman, springing of course to Garth's defence. Relizing his error, Vigoda looked at Grossman, and said "Al, do you think you could get me off the hook, just for old times sake?" Grossmen just nodded no... Tupalo Honey is mared by "You're My Woman" the most sexest song this side of "You're having My Baby." "Preview" does the best job of wedding the two sides of Van. Allmost all Van albums are about half great, with the requisit dollop of filler on the side. "Too Late To Stop Now" is a fantastic live album, with GREAT covers. I don't know about all the fancy techincal talk, but the movie "The Last Waltz" always sounded much better than the album. Much bouncier and more alive. If only they could mix a CD to sound like the movie......


Sat Apr 17 08:12:57 MET DST 1999

Blind Willie McTell

From: Toronto

Best of Van is a draw for me ...

His Band and Street Choir & St. Dominic's Preview.


Sat Apr 17 05:36:50 MET DST 1999

Pat Brennan

From: USA

Ben Pike hitting it on the noggin with St Dominic's Preview as Van's best. And, finally, a mention of Bob Mould. In a world of posers, Mould is the real deal. Can't think of a Band link, but that's OK. Also, in regards to that business discussion of a week ago, how about Mickey Jones holding out for $750 a week?


Sat Apr 17 03:16:32 MET DST 1999

catbalu

From: moments as opposed to months

Richie, oh, so you mean MONOPOLY money...... my bad. good fortune to all who'll take the challenge! (i got some MONOPOLY money myself, SO i might just ---- make something up for Ilkka, to be played on the bagpipes as an answer)

agree that the GB is very fine reading right now. Good to hear and to learn and to imagine...... To everybody, please buy or wear a blue ribbon this month. Be kind. Think small. Have a good day.


Sat Apr 17 00:22:42 MET DST 1999

Sarah

From: Toronto

Hi there. I'm hoping someone out there can give me a little advice. My guy and I are in the early stages of planning a week-long road trip to Upstate New York(tentatively in mid October). We want a good combination of scenery, eats, and entertainment. I know that The Band calls Upstate New York home-at least the last time I heard. My question is- Do they ever play in their hometown or nearby? Or even a solo show by Rick? Any suggestions what towns we should hit? Roadside motels with character? The Boys' favourite joint? Any info would be greatly appreciated.


Sat Apr 17 00:04:11 MET DST 1999

Peter Viney

Today 'The healing game' seems up there with 'Beautiful Vision' (and 'Moondance'). I only wish The Band had done as many albums.


Fri Apr 16 23:31:11 MET DST 1999

Bones

From: Connecicut

Abe Vigoda and the Band.... that is stranger than Tiny Tim and the boys. I have enjoyed all the posts lately. Nice to know this can be done without flaming. Mattk, I completely agree with your post about Robbie. I have always thought that Robbie and Levon were two of the most wonderful characters in rock and roll history. I understand that Levon is very bitter right now which is strange because that has never been one of his personality traits. I still view them as brothers. Maybe one day they can be again.


Fri Apr 16 23:00:17 MET DST 1999

Harry B

From: Bucks County, PA USA

Best Van Morrison album: live: Tie between "It's Too Late to Stop Now" and "Live in San francisco" (circa 1993/94?) studio: Astral Weeks, Moondance, Too Long in Exile How does this relate to the Band - "figure it out for yourself" as Van would say...


Fri Apr 16 22:32:30 MET DST 1999

Colonel KC

From: Long Island (NY)

This guestbook reads more like a bulletin board for Band-ids So I'd like to introduce myself as The Colonel and state that I am a huge Band fan ande student. My own Band has recently lost its lead singer and its manager - they've Gone Country as Alan Jackson put it and left me as the Unfaithful Servant. So if anyone knows any musicians up her on Long Island looking for a group that planys Band and similar type music, I'm looking for rhytm or lead guitar with at leastl one other lead instrument (we have enough keyboardists, thank you), a good voice wouldn't hurt either.... just let me know After all a good Band is hard to find.


Fri Apr 16 21:17:11 MET DST 1999

Pete Rivard

From: Hastings, MN

Dave Z from Chaska (and anyone else in the area)" My band, The Rivertown Rats, is largely defunct due to my lead singer/rhythm guitarist's decision to relocate to Phoenix. However, we will be doing one gig for certain locally, Friday, June 18th, from 8-11 p.m. in Hastings at Professor Java's restaurant/coffeehouse. 202 2nd St. E.High probability of hearing "Up On Cripple Creek", "The Weight", "Atlantic City" and "Ain't No More Cane" as well as a bunch of good, solid original stuff too. And if you've never heard "Lawyers, Guns and Money" on the 5-string banjo before, you will. Also a torrid, rapid fire banjo lead on Van's "Brown Eyed Girl". And some sweet, Garth inspired accordion work. Well worth the drive.


Fri Apr 16 19:45:39 MET DST 1999

Michael Anderson

From: Kentucky

Glad to see a site for one of the greatest bands in rock history.


Fri Apr 16 19:00:56 MET DST 1999

Ragtime

Tracy:

The British(?) documentary you're looking for might be Dutch & made by the VPRO TV-network. From what I remember it fits your description. I'm looking for it myself. So don't send me any money yet... :-)

C...


Fri Apr 16 16:53:34 MET DST 1999

David Powell

From: Georgia

Just a few more points about the Last Waltz. Rob Fraboni, in his interview, credited Ed Anderson for his tremendous assistance in the project. Anderson was the "technical expert" with the Band, who worked with them for many years mixing their live sound. Anderson helped in both the recording & the mixing process, no doubt assuring that the final mix was an accurate representation of the group's live sound.

The Last Waltz was recorded before the perfection of Dolby surround sound that we've now become accustomed to when we go to a film theater. Fraboni achieved the full, theater filling sound of the Last Waltz by adjusting the phasing of the left, right & center channels. When mixing the various redone parts from Robbie & Garth along with the actual soundtracks, Fraboni of course equalized & adjusted the volume levels in order to achieve a smooth dynamic balance. This would help explain why the final version has a fuller soundstage when compared with soundboard tapes. All in all the soundtrack project was a monumental task, and Fraboni & Robertson should be commended for the final result.

Thanks Jan for the link to the Mickey Jones website. Last weekend I pulled out an old Johnny Rivers LP in order to learn the song "Secret Agent Man" and noticed that Jones was credited on the album. I've always been curious about his career and his website really fills in the details.

Illka: You mentioned the Charlie McCoy link between Dylan & Paul Simon. There's also a Simon / Band connection in Fred Carter, Jr. who played on some Simon & Garfunkel sessions. Fred also played with McCoy on the Monument sessions for his old boss Ronnie Hawkins.


Fri Apr 16 16:00:41 MET DST 1999

Little Brother

From: around Philly, PA

OK, Linc, you're blowing my mind with this Abe Vigoda thing. Hot damn! I want to see FOOTAGE of this event, which I think someone hallucinated.

This is weird wild, stuff... it so happens that the "Barney Miller" show is another of the More Perfect Union ensembles enshrined in my heart and funnybone. Did Inspector Luger come out to encore with "Rockin' Chair", perchance? Uh, oh, here comes a flashback-- when I close my eyes I see scenes like Albert Grossman turning up in the squad room to spring the boys out of that cell, where they've been tossed for Drinkin' & Drivin'... whoops, here comes a 7-Up commercial w/Geoffrey Holder... Jack Soo and Richard harmonizing on a cloud... thanks so much, Linc, and howdy to Pete 'n Julie. Everything old is new again!

P.S. This will be a short PS, like they're spozed ta be: Mattk (I think) and Dave Z, I agree that it's nice to have churned up some meaty exchanges without cyberanimus boiling up. Dave, I wasn't trying to be snotty, or suggesting is was "obvious" RR is Indian. I didn't pick up that bit of info until fairly late; I just meant that it seemed to be an essential part of the publicity when the project got going.

To loop back-- I keep wondering why, in this age of dredging up defunct TV shows, there hasn't been a film or even TV-movie (gack) Barney Miller reunion. I find myself worrying, Robbie-like, that the concept may be too fundamentally lame to risk it.

That was short, for me.


Fri Apr 16 15:43:11 MET DST 1999

Dexy

Avalon Sunset. I know it's one of the "recent" ones, but great songs and feel.


Fri Apr 16 15:28:48 MET DST 1999

Tracy

From: the den

Speaking of rare appearances and video, has anyone heard of a British 1970 documentary on The Band? It was supposedly when they recorded "Stagefright" It's said to be an hour long and all five members were interviewed. A collector told me he sold a copy of it for $100! I'm sorry but that is insane. He offered it to me for $35. I sent out a check right away and didn't hear anything from the guy other than his basement got flooded. I'm certain that my money went towards his reconstruction. Still I remain disgusted yet wary of so-called collectors who want to take me for a ride. Don't trust them if they don't give a phone number and have a P.O. Box!

Tracy
wary collector


Fri Apr 16 12:43:41 MET DST 1999

Nick Yamana

From: NYPD

Barney neglected to mention that I clocked Levon when he suggested I Move to Japan. Stay cool Lil & Sax Man!


Fri Apr 16 11:58:37 MET DST 1999

Barney Miller

From: NYPD

Lincoln Isaac

I remember that show quite well. Originally Phish was scheduled to join Fish on the stage but at the last minute they got caught in school. Rick, Levon & Wojo went out for kielbassa after the show. Me and Robbie discussed Jewish- Indian cuisine; butfirst I busted Richard for possession. Chano sang "New Mexicoe". Garth and Harris went to Barney's to pick out suits. Such a night! :-)


Fri Apr 16 09:57:37 MET DST 1999

Ilkka

Home page

About Band alike albums and BT.
This post comes late because sometimes things get too obvious to be even noticed, like my vinyl LP 'LO AND BEHOLD' from 1972. It contains songs from the BT era like LO AND BEHOLD, DON'T YOU TELL HENRY, ODDS AND ENDS, OPEN THE DOOR, HOMER and others. It is produced by Manfred Mann (DJLPS 424) and the name of the band is simply DENNIS COULSON, DIXIE DEAN, TOM MCGUINNES, HUGHIE FLINT. The cover photo is like that in the Brown album - with the jackets (but the rain has stopped). The background is not the woods but an english industrial landscape.

DON'T YOU TELL HENRY is interesting. It is like RAG MAMA RAG with its trombone, tuba and rhytm. Everyone has his own verse and voices 'go over eachother' like in THE WEIGHT. Hard to imagine? It is really groovy. And Pete: OPEN THE DOOR, HOMER has a melancholy 5 string, it could have sounded that way.

Re: DAVID POWELL - Charlie McCoy has a connection with his bass harmonica to both Simon and Dylan (who are actual here): 'Papa Hobo' Paul Simon/1972 and 'Days of '49'/Self Portrait has this comical instrument. - BTW I am almost jealous when I read of your contacts with these musucians. I see often in the media one of my old students who has become an explosive Tango Queen (you have Zydeco Queens, we have Tango Queens). I hope that someday she has a guestbook like this. Then I'll have a story to tell

catbalu - let your mind flow through this gb, too.


Fri Apr 16 08:54:19 MET DST 1999

Lincoln Isaac

From: Pennsylvania

I have enjoyed the band's music for a number of years now. I'm especially fond of Richard's drumwork on "Daniel and the Sacred Harp". By the way, has anyone out there heard anything about a mid-70s Talk Show television appearance by the Band, in which they were briefly on stage by T.V.'s Abe Vigoda??? A friend of mine told me that Vigoda (one of the greatest actors of the past 50 years, in my oppinion) was a HUGE Band fan (WAAAT??? :-) ), and that he Actually joined Levon for a chorus of "Jemima Surrender". Anybody out there know about this--the show, the date, etc.? I would KILL for a copy of this preformance!!!! If you have it on tape, leave a message here. To see Levon and Abe on the same stage--WOW!!! It must have been wierd!! But cool though. Long live the Band Long live Abe Vigoda Peace Lincoln


Fri Apr 16 05:29:13 MET DST 1999

Pat Brennan

From: USA

Wolfgang, "die Beste Musikhompage der Welt!!!!!"? Couldn't agree more.


Fri Apr 16 04:54:57 MET DST 1999

Wolfgang Schröder

From: Germany/Hamburg

Hallo "The Band" und Ihr lieben Fans, ich möchte hiermit mal ein ganz großes Lob den Webmeistro machen, der es uns ermöglicht das wir hier auf seinen Supertollen Seiten miteinander Konversation machen können!Danke dir Jan für die Beste Musikhompage der Welt!!!!! Wann kommt Levon und der Rest der Coolen Gang für Concerte nach Germany????? Levon play nicht nur den Blues in deinem Cafe in New Orleans,auch wir in Hamburg möchten "The Band" Live erleben!!!!!!! Clubs und Concerthallenbesitzer würden bestimmt gerne mal die Adresse,Tel.Nr.und Fax,und oder Hompage von dem "The Band" Manager wissen,damit man Euch buchen kann!!!Ich würde auch gerne mal die Autogramm Adresse von "The Band" wissen,lieber Jan könntest du Sie bitte bekannt geben?Danke schon mal im voraus! Viele liebe Grüße an alle von Wolfgang.


Fri Apr 16 04:32:16 MET DST 1999

Pat Brennan

From: USA

Re: overdubbing at TLW; I once thought it interesting to go over track by track and compare the record to the complete bootleg. Sorry, I'll save that for my retirement. However, after some cursory observations, I do believe that every song was the subject of some overdubbing, be it vocals or bass or Richard's piano. Bass in particular. As others here have noted, Levon's drums and Robbie's guitar were probably the least subject to this. On another note, I do believe that the boot of the whole show is a monitor mix rather than a main mix--very possibly it's Garth's monitor feed. I'm not positive. Re: Richard's voice; there are some stunning boots of the Beak towards the end. His voice sounds great and his playing is very strong. I'm afraid singing with the full throttle of a group wore his voice down as a tour would progress. This is common for a lot of singers, especially someone like Richard who used his falsetto a lot. That part of the voice box is the first to go. As far as Robbie goes, the man borders on genius and we're lucky we have him. The angler in him helped give us the 65-66 Dylan tours, the BT, the Band, TLW, and, for many of us, some compelling solo albums and projects. For that, thank you.


Fri Apr 16 03:24:30 MET DST 1999

Paul Godfrey

Stanley L. Re: Richard's voice. I never really noticed any problems with Richard's performance at TLW. John D may bring more to that occassion. However, I did see him play at Centre In the Square Kitchener as related earlier on this site. That evening he was in fine form. Not a problem with his voice. It was strong,full, even youthful as I remember. Spoke to him back stage and he appeared to be a very happy contented Richard with that big grin and full of fun. He would be gone shortly thereafter. Bill Munson. You caught my curiosity with the idea of the Band being nominated as companions of The Order Of Canada. Dropped by MP's office and picked up a nomination file. Was greatly disappointed to find out that the Order cannot be awarded posthumously. So that leaves out Richard. What about non-canadians? The order permits foreigners who have performed extraordinary service for Canada to be considered as Honorary Members. Leaves the door open for Levon. Garth, Rick and Robbie would have a good shot at it. What do you think? Van Morrison's best. I like "Enlightenment."


Fri Apr 16 03:12:27 MET DST 1999

Kevin

From: Pittsburgh

Stanley, it was a miracle Richard even finished the '76 tour after nearly having his neck snapped in the boating mishap in Texas. He should have spent weeks recuperating, but he was back out on the road in less than two. He either had to be in a great deal of physical pain or feeling nothing at all. I saw them perform late September that year and Richard was clearly not in the best of health.


Fri Apr 16 01:31:58 MET DST 1999

Dave Z

From: Chaska, MN

Nice to see so many different opinions on Van's best album. I think that says something.

Pete: I am guessing Robbie's wife didn't have a chance to veto those glasses. By the way I'd love to see your band if you play anywhere in Mpls, especially if you do a couple of Band covers.

Little Brother: Yeah, I figured out he's an Indian, but not really until I first saw the Native Americans CD in a store. Fact is until hooking up with this webpage, I never bothered to read books or articles or was familiar with any history. I just listened to the music, which because I don't play and am not in the bidness really just serves mostly as background music for my personal journeys. I am actually surprised at how many of my friends who have listened to the Band for years, don't know half of what's found on Jan's excellent site. I guess what I was trying to say was that back in '78 when I was sitting in a MD movie theatre on a rainy night, I would never have guessed that the skinny guitar player would later sing Indian songs

For anyone else out there who's been trying to find out more about Storyville, I found some interesting interviews on Tracy's site that mention a boy meets girl storyline that's pretty cool.


Fri Apr 16 00:19:41 MET DST 1999

mattk

From: maryland

Pete Rivard In placing such weight on appearance, are you not committing the exact crime you are accusing RR of? Do capped teeth and a tux make you "fake?" If he was wearing a ripped up t-shirt and was missing teeth, you would automatically give him more rock and roll props?

hmmm...


Fri Apr 16 00:12:47 MET DST 1999

mattk

From: maryland

Harry B: Living in the DC area, I know what you mean about humidity. As a displaced Coloradan, I'm never gonna get used to it. It even makes my sax go out of whack.

David Powell: Very very very nice info on TLW dubbing. I had no idea Garth went to that extreme...good lord!

Dave Z. & Little Brother: I'm a pretty unabashed Robbie fan. Without getting into the politics of the group history, I've always felt that RR's penchant to seem flighty one moment and engaged the next is more a product of his creative temperment than a character flaw.

Indeed, like Paul Simon, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Bob Mould, David Byrne, Neil Young (all of whom I think are probably among my upper eschelon of rock-era songwriters) exploring, adopting and even rejecting various styles is part of their creative process and not part of some merecenary desire to pillage and capitalize on other musical forms. Though, like RR, they've each been accused of such shallowness. But pretense (certainly there is some pretensiousness there) doesn't NECESSARILY beget a lack of depth, interest or artistry (I left Sting off my list on purpose--I think he IS pretty shallow).

Perhaps more than any other artistic form, music is such a blending of styles and influences into whole new forms that without these pollenators, rock itself would have died after about 1965.

Whether or not RR is genuinely a "nice guy" or not is really not my issue. If I based my musical tastes on the artist's temperment, I'd have to throw out 90% of my CDs (with Miles and Mingus going out first). Still, and maybe I'm just a sucker, but I still get a very genuine sense from RR via interviews and interaction with his peers that he's not a prima donna or overtly cynical. He may have chosen to "play the game" somewhat, but there's a leap from there to "dishonest." Still, it's just a gut feeling that may change with time, and ultimately will not affect my appreciation for either his solo work or work with The Band.

How about that? A fairly even-handed appraisal of RR amongst 4 people with positive and negative issues raised and no flaming. Maybe we're onto something here...

Matt


Fri Apr 16 00:05:33 MET DST 1999

Stanley Landau

From: Toronto

I have a sound board recording of the Last Waltz. I had heard all the stories about overdubs before I got it, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Robbie's guitar parts sounded for the most part identical to those on the official recording (although the quality of the sound seems to have been enhanced on the official version). I have always loved Robbie's licks and solo in Caravan and I kind of expected to find that they had been redone in the studio. Not so.

Unfortunately the same is not true for Richard's playing. The piano part in Caravan starts off in a different key than everyone else and it doesn't get too much better from there. I'm sure most of the piano was overdubbed. Richard’s singing during the concert is generally strained, and he forgets the words of the Last Waltz song causing it to break down completely. (By the way the song starts with a superb performance of Evangeline sung by Rick and Richard and about half way through it changes into the Last Waltz song that’s on the album.)

As one who would place Richard at #1 on the list of all time singers, I found many of his live vocal performances disappointing in the later stages of his career. It seems as though his voice or at least the stamina of his voice deteriorated drastically from about 1974 on. I first noticed it on the Before the Flood tour and observed it on several occasions thereafter. He could sing as good as ever in the studio, but often seemed to be hoarse on stage. Does anyone else have this impression? Did Richard develop a medical problem of some kind with his voice?


Thu Apr 15 23:11:36 MET DST 1999

Bones

From: Connecticut

It's nice to see Robbie's Contact get some praise in here. In regard to The Last Waltz, the overdubs were done very well and were needed in many cases. The thing that sometimes bothers me is the editing. I always wished that Robbie's guitar solo on Clapton's "Further.." when Eric broke his string in the beginning wasn't cut. Obviously, I just wanted more of everything even though they had to worry about time issues.

Best Van record: Tupelo Honey


Thu Apr 15 22:57:31 MET DST 1999

Pete Rivard

From: Hastings, MN

Little Brother: Cogent analysis of Mr. Robertson. I think one of the photos of Robbie featured in the Rolling Stone article on the Hall of Fame inductions is worth at least 1,000 words. There's Robbie sitting at table with Neil Young, Eric Clapton bending over from behind. Now there is something in both Neil and Eric's look that state rock 'n roll, whether it be Neil's venerable grey sideburns, long hair and get-up, or Clapton's all black chic. Robbie, on the other hand, looks like a prototype fat cat exec. He's got the half frame glasses, the perfect evening attire tux, even the orthodenture cleaning up what used to be some pretty impressive front uppers (with gap). It's calculated presentation.


Thu Apr 15 20:06:07 MET DST 1999

Little Brother

From: around Philly, PA

Not to seem carping, Dave Z, but can ANYONE who's listened to Robbie have missed the news that he is of Indian/Native American descent? Though the more I participate in this site the more I realize how cool I am toward Robbie, I don't see how his "roots"-based work could inspire much rejection, resentment, derision, scorn, or criticism from Indian listeners. It's respectful and appreciative of the culture and politics, and since he's got the bloodlines, what's to offend?

Of course, folks in and out of the community might question the depth or breadth of his identification with his heritage, since it took him a while to discover it. But my sense is that if his expression of it is generally OK, it'll be received in a positive way.

P.S. As noted, I struggle with my ambivalent opinions about Robbie. My reverence of The Band as a More Perfect Union, and decades-old drooling respect and envy for Robbie as a founding member, seminal songster, and guitarist's guitarist are not overcome lightly. But his personality, or whatever you call the persona that emerges from various media, resonates with the unkind descriptions offered by third parties in that same media.

In describing his character Zooey Glass, Salinger warns us that the first thing to realize is that we're dealing with "the complex and cloven". So it is, I think, with Robbie. I think John Simon's "a cold dude" and the Snobby Robbie rap is one manifestation. On the other hand, Robbie has that disarmingly warm, low-key, articulate manner that's positively smooth and silky. So terribly EARNEST.

To Your Humble Narrator, it comes off as phony. I feel bad, guilty, etc. for feeling that way but I can't shake it. I remind myself that, OK, he IS a born hustler-- hustling songs, guitars, himself since his street-punk days. He IS the guy who asks, "Hey, buddy, would you like to buy a watch real cheap, here on the street?/I've got six on each arm, and two more 'round my feet!"

My perception of him has probably tainted my ability to appreciate his solo work. For instance, I was thrilled many moons ago when I saw in my local TV program guide that he was being featured on a PBS special. Robbie! Cool! But I found myself feeling actually a bit embarrassed for him, though I enjoyed the bit where he returns to the Indian community where he spent his summers as a kid and was greeted by a cousin (?) who needled him with, "Hey, Robbie, how ya doin'? Haven't seen you around for the last thirty years or so..." (I paraphrase.)

I know that, like a method actor immersing himself or herself in a character, that some artists choose a particular topic and focus on it with profound enthusiasm. Once it's played out/extinguished-- internally, externally, or both-- it's shed like a molted skin. Eventually Robbie will shed (or "outgrow" Indianness) and move on. When interviewed, he'll express undying attachment to whatever he's abandoning.

But hey, if anyone can bring klezmer guitar alive, Robbie can!


Thu Apr 15 19:12:58 MET DST 1999

David Powell

From: Georgia

It's strange that several tapes involving the Band, made at various stages of their career, could be the subject of so much controversy. We have the matter of Robertson altering & redubbing both the Basement Tapes & the Last Waltz tapes. Also, there's the question regarding the true source of the _Rock Of Ages_ live album. Is it truly the live concert or is it Memorexed from the rehearsal?

With regard to the Last Waltz tapes we have Levon's accusations from his book. Last June, in his interview with VH-1, recording engineer Rob Fraboni offered a few clues about the Last Waltz soundtrack project. According to Fraboni: "The live album was mixed at Shangri-La. So, what was going on was we had four studios going...Garth had to redo his part. What Garth did was he ...actually went in and charted out note for note everything he played. Listened to the live tapes, wrote everything he played and played it again. Took him two months to do what he did in five hours. He was at Geordie Hormel's house. Robbie was at the Village Recorder, working on the studio side and at Shangri-La we were doing the live mixing of the concert for the album and then at night we were mixing. They had to do premixes and then the final mix for the film. so everyday I would start at Shangri-La and then I would go visit Garth and I'd go by and see Robbie and then at night we'd all convene. Robbie and myself and Scorsese would meet at Goldwyn. This was our schedule. That part only. The four studios a day thing went on for about two or three months out of eighteen months."

As Fraboni explained, Garth had to redo his keyboards because the Wally Hyder recording remote truck hooked up their power at that same source as where the concert lights were hooked up. Consequently, according to Fraboni "...everytime that the lights went up full, the voltage dropped to the truck and certain tracks started to hum and it happened to be the organ tracks."

If I understand Fraboni correctly, his reference to Robbie "working on the studio side" at the Village Recorder must refer to the over-dub work. Fraboni was mixing the actual soundtrack tapes at Shangri-La and Scorsese & his crew were evidently editing the picture footage at Goldwyn.

According to Farboni, the sountrack was taped using five film recorders rather than conventional recording tape machines. "When we were editing the music, the music was on five pieces of film that's coated with magnetic oxide. Like tape is. It's called mag striped. And so there were two six tracks and three, three tracks. So the drums and the vocals were on the same piece of tape, stretched across the tracks. And then the guitars were on one. The keyboards were on one. And you know it was like--so when you went to edit you could do something you could never do with a regular piece of tape, and that is you could cut the drums where you wanted to cut the drums. But you could let a guitar length finish across the edit and then--so all the edits are completely seamless you can't spot an edit. That's something that was never done before."

So Robbie was doing the overdubs in one studio, while Garth redid his parts in another. Meanwhile Fraboni was mixing the film soundtracks and Scorsese was editing the picture. Each of these parts had to be mixed together in sync with the frames of the picture. One would assume that this was done a scene, or in this case, a song at a time. Robbie & Garth's parts had to be mixed in with the actual soundtrack, which was eventually transferred onto an optical track along side the frames of the pictures on the copies of the finished film. It really must had been tedious work, putting all the parts together in-sync. No wonder it took two years to complete.


Thu Apr 15 18:15:05 MET DST 1999

Dave Z

From: Chaska, MN

mattk and Ben Pike: Contact's my favorite. I feel like Robbie has made it o.k. for mainstream America even as outsiders to openly explore American Indian music and issues, and somehow begin to claim this diversity of culture as a part of it's own even if we are not totally welcome. Maybe Motown can question what a bunch of hillbillys were doing singing a Marvin Gaye song, but I don't hear too many Indians sounding off in a similar way in public about what most of us thought was a cool white cat is doing singing Indian.

I also feel that Robbie has expanded upon the American folklore, stories that maybe started for the Band in the basement with old instruments, and has put out something that makes old mysterious primal and to me unfamiliar sounds using maybe new instruments, technology. And it's soooo cool, with a 90's+ feel to it. The fadeout on Contact's "The Lights" sounds like something you might hear on an episode of the X Files. And the trend of questioning the status quo appears to also continue with the Leonard Peltier thing, among others.

Maybe Rock & Roll doesn't die or even grow old or rust -- maybe it cohabits again with and gives birth to friendly alien children we will come to know as World Music. Now I'll take a breath... and fade back into my introverted shell.


Thu Apr 15 17:40:43 MET DST 1999

Harry B

From: Bucks County, PA USA

To MattK: One possible reason for Robertson's "retuning" his guitar after every song on the 7/31/73 recordings at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, NJ could be that the region (NJ/PA/MD/DC) is EXTREMELY HUMID (in the summer months, especially combined with the oppressive heat), and HUMIDITY can cause guitars to go out of tune after a very short period of time. That observation, along with the "string bending" theory and Mr. Robertson's perfectionism, could be the reason for the constant "tune-ups".


Thu Apr 15 16:35:44 MET DST 1999

Pete Rivard

From: Hastings, MN

Charlie Young: I know a fiddle tune called "Devil's Dream" but not "Drunkard's Dream." Not that my repertoire lacks for alcohol inspired melodies. There's a great British Isles tune called "Whiskey Before Breakfast" which substitutes an Em for the usual C chord and has this syncopated refrain that presents wonderful opportunities for drunken lurching on the instrument of choice. It's also known as "The Temperance Reel" though we always called it "The Intemperates Reeled". I played it for years before I found out there were words to the melody. I only remember the refrain, which goes "Lord preserve and protect us, we been drinkin' whiskey 'fore breakfast!"

There was a time when that would have been Danko, Helm and Manuel's theme song.


Thu Apr 15 15:53:00 MET DST 1999

John Donabie

From: If Your Memory Serves You Well...mine doesn't

ATTENTION BILL MUNSON!!

Hi Bill...I don't have your e-mail so I'd like to ask you a couple of questions here. Any others feel free to answer; but Bill is my Toronto Memory Bank Anchor. Bill, I could probably look this up somewhere; but you will know off the top of your head. Two questions.

What was the exact time frame that the full five original Band members played together with Ronnie. They all came in at different times; but when they became a unit. What were the years before they left and became Levon & The Hawks. I seem to remember they were gone by 63. The second question is...was it Mickey Jones or Sandy who played drums in Toronto on tour '66. I seem to remember it was Mickey.

Sorry for the open letter; but it's the only way I could reach you Bill. Thank you very much and I am now enjoying the brothers Traum on CD. I still have both pieces of vinyl as well.


Thu Apr 15 15:34:19 MET DST 1999

mattk

From: maryland

Ben Pike:

As I understand it, the live version of TLW was pretty much a disaster at the actual event. Either because of this or space on the tape, it was not included. Mine picks up the two big Jams, closes with "Don't Do It." Whoever made this version originally tacked on another jam from and earier show in the 1976 tour.

Ditto on "Red Boy" here. I really like the other three a lot, but I feel like RR has rediscovered the powerful "voice" on this album. Not that I don't really enjoy "Robbie Robertson" or "Storyville," but "Red Boy" and really "Music for Native Americans" mark RR's first great musical growth, arguably since the early 70s.

To me, the first two solo albums really brought closure to the folk/southern explorations that began with BT. Many folks here don't seem to care for Red Boy or Native American's, probably because it is so far removed from his earlier work.

I believe, however, Red Boy DOES make him "a contender" as not many musicians, especially in the rock vein, are able to push themselves as they near 60. Most tend to settle into old habits or regurgitating old themes.

With Red Boy, I think RR establishes himself firmly as an artist outside The Band universe--which he seems to have been trying to do since 1976, and perhaps is what angers so many folks. I say bravo.

cheers

matt


Thu Apr 15 11:44:25 MET DST 1999

Spider John

From: LAD3/4

A reminder to all C&W fans, Sunday night at 8pm EST TNT will rebroadcast the Tribute to Johnny Cash. I believe Long Black Veil, Train of Love and perhaps Peanut Butter Conspiracy are part of the lineup. Too bad Rick wasn't there. Hey Lil, you selling Snake oil?


Thu Apr 15 11:33:02 MET DST 1999

Diamond Lil

From: The Web

Snakebyte -----<" : Good to see you here! Brings back a memory for me of a little club on Long Island....a borrowed credit card....friends, family, Rick, Richard, and Garth. One of those nights I'll always remember. I guess next to the life I saved and the cheesedoodle incident...it's right up there on my top ten favorite snakebyte memories. Welcome to the site! Hope you stick around....


Thu Apr 15 09:40:22 MET DST 1999

Ben Pike

From: Cleveland Tx

Van's Best: St. Dominac's Preview. The Dillard's were very mememorable on "The Andy Griffith Show". The family Father was played by Denver Pyle. They were featured in some episodes with Howard Morris as the immortal Ernest T. Bass. I would like to know how the hell Richard ended up in England doing a dumb french sex farce, but I guess stranger things have happened. There is a much hated flower power documentary that the boys are in from around 68, called You are What You Eat, Peter Yarrow was somehow involved. I believe it recently became available on video, but I don't know anyone who has ever seen it. I've just given my first real listenings to Redboy. I think it is hands down Robbie's best album. If he had shown this kind of artistic daring after TLW, he coulda been a contender.....Matt, on TLW there was a song called TLW that they did in the show, but didn't make the movie. Is it the same as The Last Waltz theme from the studio side?


Thu Apr 15 05:14:45 MET DST 1999

mattk

From: maryland

Just Wonderin'

Scored TLW from a friend of a friend who used to trade, but is now retired. I've listened to about half of it. Between that and the 7/31/73-8/1/73 sets, I've found a few interesting things already (traders on the board, please forgive my being a bit remedial here):

  • Robbie has an annoying habit of tuning between ever single freaking song. I expect this is due to his playing style, which relies heavily on plucking and bending the strings, which takes the strings out of tune--the guy must have spent his weight on new strings on tour. In this age of digital tuners, and roadies who do nothing but tune guitars, it's both charming and distracting to hear 30 seconds of tuning between every song.
  • I don't buy Levon's "not me" claim, vis-a-vis overdubbing on TLW. Clearly these tracks were sweetened for the album and some gaffes were corrected (Garth approaches his sax solo on "It Makes No Difference" very differently on the tape I have, more staccato, and there's a squawk that gets taken out. Back to Levon...I swear the vocal on this tape is somewhat different than the official version.

    For the record: I have no problem with overdubs of live recordings, so I'm not particularly disturbed by the fact that some sweetening was done. At this writing, Levon's recent claims that he's the only one who didn't need or stoop to dubbing or whatever seems pretty disingenuous.

  • Rag Mama Rag and WS Walcott should have made the final cut (along with Georgia and Don't You Leave Me)
  • Richard's voice on Georgia is everything I'd been led to believe...what a beautiful man

    I'll save the rest for a more thorough listening. I am interested in someone else's opinion who has a good quality version of the complete show. Mine is a B-Quality tape, so I am sure there is much I'm losing in the translation

    RE: Van the Man

    I vote for "Vedon Fleece." It was the first Van recording I bought (on 8-Track, actually), and I still love it on CD. Some of Van's best grunting...

    cheers

    Matt


    Thu Apr 15 04:49:21 MET DST 1999

    snakebyte--------<"

    From: New York
    Home page

    hmmm...


    Thu Apr 15 04:20:50 MET DST 1999

    Charlie Young

    From: Down in Old Virginny

    One last "Cripple Creek" comment from down here in Old Virginny: the traditional roots of "Up On Cripple Creek" are made more evident by the chorus hook, "a drunkard's dream if I ever did see one." That line, coupled with Garth's clavinette, grabbed my ear the first time I heard the song on a crummy AM car radio. "Drunkard's Dream" is another old American song familiar in bluegrass circles, but there's also a Cajun variation called "Reve Du Saoulard." Maybe we should have Pete Rivard track down John Hartford to see if he knows more (great story, Pete).


    Thu Apr 15 03:51:48 MET DST 1999

    Don Pugatch

    From: Roswell, Ga and lately Park City Utah

    Just returned from the winter of Utah and had the best snow of the season, but the reason for this post is that if anyone has the opportunity to see Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, don't hesitate. I know this is totally UnBand related, but the best way to descripe the night was an ecceltic mix of Jazz, new age, blue grass, rock and soul. Bela, The Futureman, the Bassman and the horn man are worth the trip. Going to be in Atlanta in July, with the Symphony, like I said, go.


    Wed Apr 14 23:36:33 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Addendum: Of course Levon is mentioned in the Manuel article twice. Once by me on “King Harvest” , once by the anonymous intro. The intro begins:

    “In spite of, or rather because of, the incredibly high vocal competition in the Band, it’s sometimes hard even to tell Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel apart. Still, the latter is the one who delivers best. Almost effortlessly it seems, he opens his heart & mouth simultaneously. Emotions, bravado, just plain sadness.” (Mojo 66, May 1999).

    Don’t know who wrote that, but Hoskyns is US Bureau Chief. Just buy the mag - other good articles this month on Tom Petty & Lee Hazelwood(the latter by Hoskyns).

    Dave Z: “Beautiful Vision” is my favourite Van album too, and as I’ve written (in Van circles) songs from it always get the biggest applause as they begin live. (Mind you, he never does “Madame George” or “Caravan” nowadays!). Yes, I did vote Richard and Levon as #1 and #2. Van was #3 I think! Don’t tell “Wavelength”. But it’s all academic - any of my top 10 could be argued as #1 on their day. I think I’d usually put Richard first though. I assumed Van wouldn’t be short of votes.

    Just Wondering: I sent a short review of “Life Is a Carnival” by the Wild Magnolias to Jan. Find it via “What’s New” - about a week back. I have my doubts.


    Wed Apr 14 23:13:42 MET DST 1999

    Dave Z

    From: Chaska, MN

    Peter: Did I read you write that you would put Richard then Levon ahead of Van in some kind of best singer voice type of poll? Huh.

    By the way, what is your favorite Van album. Mine is "Beautiful Vision". To me the horns on "She Gives Me Religion" sound like northern lights, although that's heavily influenced by the fact that I was painting the lights when I first listened to the album. Funny how that works. I read alot to music too, and to this day everytime I hear a certain Elton John album I think of the book The French Connection.


    Wed Apr 14 23:03:55 MET DST 1999

    Tracy

    From: Across that great divide

    Charlie, it's funny that you mention Billy Joel and The Band in the same post. Strangely enough I used to be a Billy Joel fan (maybe that's why I've collected some tomato paste from this site) and I happened to get a copy of Billy doing some rehearsals, all were of odd cover songs. One was "Up On Cripple Creek." He even tries to sound like Levon! NO CHANCE!!

    Tracy

    who gave up Billy for Robbie


    Wed Apr 14 22:52:10 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Bones: No mention of Levon. In the Mojo poll, Lennon was #1, Elvis #2, Aretha #3, Sinatra, #4, Dylan, # 5, Orbison #6, McCartney #7, Otis #8, Robert Plant #9, Ray Charles #10, Van #11, Marvin Gaye #12. Plant I’d argue with for the top 100, let alone top 10. I have to say I tried my best. I placed Levon at #2 (and I think he’d respect that position in relation to my #1, Richard Manuel.) I also voted for Rick Danko, who at least got an honourable mention.

    Apart from Levon, the other surprising absentee was Paul Simon, though Garfunkel was placed. What a low point he seems to be at following “The Capeman”. The story in Isis is that Dylan & Simon will each play 75 minute sets on their tour this summer, and Dylan’s is described as “with band” which implies that Simon may be solo. Pity, as Simon’s live bands were always tight, and well-rehearsed. They will finish with a 30 minute joint set. What’s the betting on “The Boxer” (recall “Self Portrait”) for the joint set? Can’t see Bob hitting the notes on “Bridge Over Troubled Water” somehow.


    Wed Apr 14 22:39:30 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    American music, like the country itself, is a melting pot of different influences. One of the pioneers of modern American music was Jimmie Rodgers, the "singing brakeman," who combined traditions of both black & white rural music into his own unique style.

    Rodgers, who died young as a result of tubeculosis, led a life that sounds straight out of a song by the Band. He was born near Meridian, Mississippi in 1897. Learning to play the guitar at an early age, he was influenced by the blues played by black delta bluesmen, as well as the traditional white folk music of the south & the west. He was also influenced by the dixieland jazz of New Orleans; at one time later in his life he recorded with Louis Armstrong. Rodgers began playing professionally as a teenager, briefly touring with a medicine show. Like his father before him, he earned a living for a short time as a railroad man.

    1927 was a turning point in Rogers' musical career. He moved to Asheville, North Carolina where he began singing on the powerful radio station, WWNC. At night, this station's signal reached as far north as Ontario, Canada and as far west as Waco, Texas. He caught the attention of Ralph Peer, who would record Rodgers, along with the Carter Family & others, as part of the legendary sessions recorded in nearby Bristol, Tennessee for Victor Records.

    Rodgers' recording career soon took off. His popular "Blue Yodels" combined sly, blues lyrics with repeated lines with Rodgers' high singing voice punctuated by his distinctive yodel. The music of Jimmie Rodgers would have a tremendous influence on Appalachian bluegrass musicians, especially Bill Monroe. Monroe based his famous "Muleskinner Blues" on Jimmie's "Blue Yodel #8." Although the people living in the mountains of the South were isolated from the rest of the world, one of the few modern pleasures they had were their radios. The songs of Jimmie Rodgers were widely played by the country music stations, helping to spread the influence of his music.


    Wed Apr 14 22:32:29 MET DST 1999

    just wonderin'

    From: texas

    Just got a copy of Wild Magnolias "Life is a Carnival". It's wonderful, but certainly different! Anyone else heard it yet? MattK: Can you share where you found the complete Last Waltz?


    Wed Apr 14 22:18:06 MET DST 1999

    Bones

    From: Connecticut

    Thanks to Peter Viney for the Mojo info. Sounds great, but no mention of Levon?

    I just purchased Marianne Faithfull's Strange Weather disc with Garth on accordian. This is a beautiful recording. She has a very interesting, haunting, and delicate voice that works with this material. I think it is a better record than her acclaimed Broken English album.


    Wed Apr 14 22:05:49 MET DST 1999

    Pete Rivard

    From: Hastings, MN

    "I remember very well the day old Dooley died

    The women all looked sorry and the men stood round and cried..."

    The Dillards could make the hair on the back of your neck stand up with their tight 3-part harmonies. And that pipe smoking bass player/cellist was a lot of fun.

    Puts me in mind of a public radio benefit gig in Houston, TX in 19 and 81, as they say down there. My band, Hotfoot was booked to open up for The Dillards and John Hartford. Well, Hartford pulled rank cause he wanted to get out of town early. He went up first, then the Dillards, then the two of them combined. Then they all left, and so did the crowd. We were left to break down the equipment. I was so pissed I went home, took my two John Hartford LP's and sailed them into the back yard for the teething pleasure of my two dogs. And that my friends, is the day that I was not onstage with the Dillards and John Hartford.


    Wed Apr 14 21:35:23 MET DST 1999

    Dave Z

    From: Chaska, MN

    Anyone care to interpret for me the Chicken Man's P.S.?

    Either (1) Jan has an awesome wife, (2) Jan's picture as sometimes posted is deceiving, or (3) Jan has just been called a girlyman.


    Wed Apr 14 21:24:45 MET DST 1999

    mattk

    From: maryland

    I gotta crow to someone who cares:

    Scored my first batch of boots today. Now the proud owner of the complete TLW, 7/31/73-8/1/73 Roosevelt Stadium along with a 6/21/84 show in Toronto--can't make myself drop dime on anything missing BOTH Richard AND Robbie.

    Just wish I had a tape player at the office...it's gonna be a long 2 1/2 hours.


    Wed Apr 14 20:55:29 MET DST 1999

    The Chicken Man

    From: Philly

    Been browsing around this incredible web site for hours now, after finding the address on "Jubilation". What a find! And this guestbook is cookin'! Love reading all the input from you music expert people. LONG LIVE THE BAND!!!! PS. God is female. Her last name seems to be Hoiberg.


    Wed Apr 14 19:24:52 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    From: Georgia

    As Pete mentioned, the Hee Haw hokum kind of ruined the appreciation of "Cripple Creek" for many people. Some of you may remember that years before that, on the classic Andy Griffith television show in the '60s, the Dillards appeared in a re-occurring role as the Darlings. They played a bunch of back-woods hillbillies who occasionally showed up with their heart-thob sister & Dad. They never said a word, but would pick up their instuments at the drop of a hat & start pickin'& singin' on a bluegrass classic with Sheriff Taylor usually joining in.

    As corny as Hee Haw was, there were some great musicians on that show. Charlie McCoy was the leader of the house band and Buck's Buckaroos also appeared. As many of you know, McCoy played with Dylan on "Desolation Row," _Blonde On Blonde_ and subsequent albums that Dylan recorded in Nashville. He also played on a couple of albums that Ronnie Hawkins recorded in Nashville on the Monument label.

    As a teenager I once saw Charlie McCoy play at a Caravan of Stars show put on by an Atlanta country music station. He played a rousing set of country & blues instrumentals with a talented group of pick-up musicians. Afterwards I briefly got to speak to him backstage. He was amused when I asked him about playing with Dylan, rather than asking him about his then well-known role on Hee Haw. He said he enjoyed the "challenge" of playing with Dylan because he got to do a lot of things that he normally didn't get to do on the average session in Nashville. I guess he might of been refering to playing the bass with one hand while blowing the trumpet with the other, as Dylan sang "Everybody must get stoned." The next time a saw McCoy perform, several years later, he was part of a very hot country rock band made up of some of Nashville's best pickers, some of whom also played on _Blonde On Blonde_. They were called Area Code 615, named simply after Nashville's telephone area code numbers.


    Wed Apr 14 19:22:22 MET DST 1999

    mattk

    From: maryland

    SW Virginia Appalachians

    My father's family is from that area of Appalachia. In addition to farmers, the area is full of coal miners and miner decendants. It's important to note, also, that the Irish that landed in that area are the earliest Irish settlers in the Americas, pre-dating the Potato Famine influx by some 150 years. Most of the Irish, English and Scots arrived in that area in the aftermath of Cromwell's ascendency and were deported for purely political reasons...many by force.

    The geography is very hilly with EXTREMELY thick forest (much of which you can't walk through without a machete of some kind). It was not an ideal area for plantation economics, which kept the slave numbers down.

    After the Civil War, however, the major coal producers began diggin in earnest. When labor unrest began and unions were formed, the coal companies began working to attract African American coal miners to the area. In classic fashion, the white miners were incensed and turned their fury on the Black miners instead of management. The result was a pretty powerful KKK presence well into this century.

    Incidentally, the part of Kentuckey that meets VA and Tenn in that region is the infamous Harlan County--home of some of the most brutal labor unrest in recent times. I highly recommend the film "harlan county, usa" as an excellent documentary of the more contemporary residents. Another fine companion flick is John Sayles brilliant film, "Matewan."

    Between the KKK and a lack of farming that did not require land ownership (i.e. sharecropping), the presence of an obvious African influence on the culture is not as strong as in Miss. This is not to imply, however, that it did not exist. Simply, there is/was a smaller community of African desendants in the area--the influence is more deep than broad, shall we say in comparison to Miss, Ala, etc.

    So while there are not a huge number of African Americans in that area of the south, the baseline musical influences trace itself the moors and fields of Scotland and Ireland than the cotton fields and African tribal roots that blues draws from. Musically speaking, you could view this area as the Bluegrass equivalent of the Mississippi Delta.

    The Appalachians move south out of Virginia to become the Great Smokey Mountains of Tenn. This region produced some of the most influential names in not only bluegrass, but in Country and Western music as well.

    All that said, it's possible that "Cripple Creek" as a concept traces it's roots even back to Celtic imagery as easily as anything else.

    cheers

    matt

    p.s. having grown up in Colorado, I would also minimize Cripple Creek, Colo. as a source here. If anything, the river Cripple Creek (which gives the town it's name), probably got the name from the folk-image. Give that CC, Colorado was a major mining area, perhaps Irish-American miners who left the coal hills of Va/Tenn/Ky brought the name with them.


    Wed Apr 14 17:50:21 MET DST 1999

    Charlie Young

    From: Down in Old Virginny

    Greg from Jersey: being from Springsteen's home turf (I lived there in Monmouth county circa '66 through '68), have you notice the echoes of "Chest Fever" in Bruce's "Tunnel of Love?" Listen to 'em back to back, and it's hard to deny...


    Wed Apr 14 17:21:19 MET DST 1999

    Pete Rivard

    From: Hastings, MN

    The traditional "Cripple Creek" seems to me to be mostly about crossing a borderline for fun of the forbidden variety. Like crossing the tracks to the poor side of town, or the red light district."Gonna wade ol' Cripple Creek 'fore I sleep" tells us that somebody's out for some fun under cover of darkness. The thrills are of the sexual variety, in most verses.

    My point is, despite a song's origin, or even it's original intent, as it is passed around it has additional understandings attached to the lyrics by the listener.

    Now, Greil Marcus's description of it as "The Big Rock Candy Mountain" where all pain is erased, or whatever, is stretching the song lyrics in directions that it may not want to go.

    I think of Cripple Creek as the poor man's Las Vegas, not Never Never Land.

    This particular tune, because of it's use in Hee Haw to introduce the embarrassing "I'm a'pickin' and I'm a'grinnin'" joke segment, has developed a cartoonish, hillbilly square dance patina to it that would probably shock the original creators of the tune. The same tune sung by Buck Owens and Taj Mahal are two different experiences entirely.


    Wed Apr 14 17:12:15 MET DST 1999

    Greg

    From: Red Bank NJ

    ...All this talk about "Cripple Creek"!... I believe I have an interesting insight about "Chest Fever"... Namely that it's more closely musically related to "You Must've Been a Beautiful Baby",than "Tacata and Fugue in D minor". Please don't say I'm nuts. I actually have found a recent original recording released of "You Must've Been a Beautiful Baby" from the movie "Hard To Get",and when I play it properly synchonized with "Chest Fever",It actually sounds like Dick Powell is singing in perfect tune,and timing,to Garth Hudson,and Bands accompanyment,or vise-versa! This is a very interesting phenomenon,I just had to share this insight,and I went searching for this site so that I could do just that. I hope this is fuel to further the interesting writing I've now found here.


    Wed Apr 14 16:29:31 MET DST 1999

    Charlie Young

    From: Down in Old Virginny

    Dave Marsh wrote a whole book about the song "Louie, Louie." I think that this great group here could do a similar study on the mythical Cripple Creek. CDNOW has a LONG list of artists who have recorded the traditional Appalachian tune, ranging from Bill Monroe to The Monkees(!). I agree with Mr. Viney that "Caney Creek" by the Dillards (a much underrated band)draws from those same waters and I'd forgotten about Neil Young's "Cripple Creek Ferry." I doubt that Cripple Creek has any underlying underground railroad reference; the population of the area in which the tune originated were mostly farmers of English, Scotch and Irish origin (only 10% of the population of the South were rich slave owners; Appalachia has a minimal African-American population). Despite what pseudo-musicologist Billy Joel claimed at this year's Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame induction, not all American music borrows from African-American tradition. Bill Monroe, The Byrds and the Everly Brothers are just a few of the Rock Hall members who came out of the Appalachian tradition with virtually no African influence. But I doubt if Mr. Joel's limo has wandered through Appalachia or, God forbid, Cripple Creek...


    Wed Apr 14 09:22:48 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Thanks everyone for comments on “Cripple Creek.” After David & Charlie’s posts I looked around and found I had a Leo Kottke version (instrumental unfortunately). Pete’s post (which I read this morning) set me thinking about these borrowed choruses - anyone heard The Dillards “Caney Creek”? Sounds like a gunfight story, but the creek is also one where the “water flows wide and deep”. This backs up Pete’s point about metaphor - creeks should run narrower and slower than rivers.

    On another subject: MOJO today publishes its Readers Poll of the 100 Greatest Singers. Richard Manuel is at #31, but also gets more space than anyone else in the poll. Readers had to describe a sublime moment by an artist not included in the poll they did last year where singers (including RR) voted. Some artists got one description printed, some got two. Only Richard got FIVE plus an excellent introductory write up (and yes, my sublime moment - King Harvest - was one of them). Rick Danko gets an “Honourable mention” (unplaced) with a sublime moment write-up of “It Makes No Difference.” Don’t forget this poll is in a general rock magazine. I guess many readers here would place Richard at #1, but the competition is huge and the years have passed.


    Wed Apr 14 05:08:46 MET DST 1999

    Michael

    From: Maryland

    This is a superb web site devoted to a truly memorable group. I saw Levo last Saturday night in New Orleans with his Blues group at the French Quater Jazz Fest and then at his cafe performing with James Cotton. Levon's daughter is also impressive. I saw the Band and Dylan in 1974 at the Capitol Center in Largo, Maryland. I also saw The Band at Watkins Glenn in 1973 and The Band minus Robby in the mid 80's at Merryweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. Good luck with the web site. Michael


    Wed Apr 14 03:41:55 MET DST 1999

    Diamond Lil

    From: The Web

    The power of suggestion? Just found myself drinking a glass of 7-up here and listening to 'Cripple Creek'... and had to laugh. I mean...can merely reading about something make a person subconsciously follow up on it? Nah....couldn't happen. I'd post more about this subject, but I really gotta go. I suddenly have this overwhelming craving for bacon.

    Have a good night everyone :-)


    Wed Apr 14 03:29:27 MET DST 1999

    The Prodigal Son

    From: Old Testament

    LUIS: It's good to have you back, man.


    Wed Apr 14 01:37:23 MET DST 1999

    Luis

    From: Planet Earth

    Off to the Jeff Beck show 2nite. Thought this might be fun to read in here for y'all... From JEFFBECK.com Finally just a couple of funny things that will be in our upcoming New Orleans report. Before the show I was standing outside the House Of Blues. (This is Bill talking) I was waiting for Jeff's limo to show up so I could snap a couple of shots of them arriving at the show. While I'm there who walks by but Levon Helm (of The Band). Levon has his own cafe just down the street called the 'American Classic Cafe'. Well my heart skipped because I'm also a HUGE fan of The Band, so I took a quick photo and then stuck out my hand and said "Love you man". Levon smiled and shook my hand and said, "thanks". It turns out after the show I learned that Jeff and his whole band were at Levon's place the night before until the wee hours 'dancing on the tables' as Jennifer B. put it. Another funny moment....several of us were in Jeff's dressing room after the show and there was the obligatory table of food, snacks etc. for the band along with two bottles of Moet champagne. Jeff in perfect Austin Powers form walks up the the two bottles and says "Hello boys". I almost fell on the floor!


    Tue Apr 13 23:33:46 MET DST 1999

    Bones

    From: Connecticut

    The chorus that David Powell mentioned about the folk song "Cripple Creek" sounds just like the chorus to "Goin' to Alcapulco" on the Basement Tapes. Same words. I'm surprised that Greil Marcus did not mention this in the book. Or did he?


    Tue Apr 13 22:43:00 MET DST 1999

    Pete Rivard

    From: Hastings, MN

    One more thought on Cripple Creek. Craig Werner, in "A Change Is Gonna Come" points out, correctly, that many songs from the folk tradition whose original authorship is lost or disputed carry whole lines or verses cobbled from earlier songs, often gospels or spirituals. In those tunes, any "wading the river" reference was understood from the slave perspective to have a literal meaning as well as a metaphorical. The river was where you threw the hounds off the scent, and maybe where you crossed from a slave state to a free state. So wading the river meant freedom. Crossing the Jordan River could mean leaving this life for an eternal reward, or escaping to a free life. So "Cripple Creek" at least echoes those meanings.


    Tue Apr 13 22:24:33 MET DST 1999

    Pete Rivard

    From: Hastings, MN

    "Cripple Creek's wide and Cripple Creek's deep

    Gonna wade ol' Cripple Creek 'fore I sleep

    Girls on Cripple Creek 'bout half grown

    Will jump on a boy like a dog on a bone"


    Tue Apr 13 22:18:51 MET DST 1999

    Pete Rivard

    From: Hastings, MN

    Cripple Creek, Colo is now something of a tourist trap with more cheesy casinos per square block than you can shake a pickaxe at.

    I remember getting hopelessly lost at night in a rental car trying to find that town. Passed a sign that read "Road Ends 200 Feet" and then another sign immediately reading "No Off Roading Permitted."

    The song "Cripple Creek" is almost always the first tune taught to 5-string banjo students as the Scruggs version requires slides, pull-offs and hammer ons within a two-bar lick.


    Tue Apr 13 21:55:27 MET DST 1999

    Charlie Young

    From: Down in Old Virginny

    There's a Cripple Creek in rural, Appalachian Southwest Virginia, not far from the home of one of the oldest traditional mountain music festivals in the US (the Galax Old-Time Fiddler's Convention). I'm not sure of the origin of the song David mentioned, but the region I'm talking about brought us names such as the Carter Family and Doc Watson. It's also not far from the border town of Bristol (Virginia/Tennessee) where some of the earliest country recordings originated.


    Tue Apr 13 20:54:24 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    From: Georgia

    Peter Viney: There's an old American folk / bluegrass song called "Cripple Creek." There are so many different versions with various verses, but the basic premise of the song is that the place called Cripple Creek is paradise on earth. The chorus goes: "Goin' up Cripple Creek, goin' in a run / Goin' up Cripple Creek, gonna have some fun." The water there runs cool, deep & wide. It's a place where you can meet a sweet young girl with eyes of blue, who'll make your gun shoot straight & true. You get the picture.

    I'm not sure about the origin of the song, but I do know that there's a place called Cripple Creek in Colorado. During the 1890s gold was discovered in this area. Would-be miners flocked there from all over seeking instant riches in the rush for gold & the typical wild west boom town was established. By the end of the 1890s, millions of dollars worth of gold had been mined out of the area.


    Tue Apr 13 19:44:26 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Up On Cripple Creek: I’ve just about finished a piece on this, but one thing still puzzles me. Greil Marcus says this: “In American folklore, Cripple Creek is like the Big Rock Candy Mountain, a place where all fears vanish beyond memory.” Is this a well-known story? What does he mean by “in American folklore”? In general “The days of 49” and “The Klondike” also conjure up the idea of striking it lucky / rich. Does he mean that Cripple Creek exists in the consciousness in this straightforward way, or does he mean that there’s actually a further myth or a legend? I can’t trace the story, and if anyone can add information on this, even like “I’ve heard of it” I’ll add their comments (only if they wish of course) and finish off the piece . Either post it, or e-mail me directly.


    Tue Apr 13 19:32:57 MET DST 1999

    Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran

    From: Madison, Wisconsin
    Home page

    ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT MERL LOVES THE BAND AND I THINK I WILL KEEP WHAT HE SAID ABOUT THAT BEAUTIFUL MAN THAT HE KNOWS, "RICK DANKO", TO MYSELF, BUT MERL HAD ONLY NICE THING TO SAY ABOUT HIM AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE HIM SOON AGAIN!!! PEACE, TIM(SUNDOG)CORCORAN.


    Tue Apr 13 19:26:47 MET DST 1999

    MattK

    From: East East East East Hollywood, Maryland

    Hmm...more movie tangents...

    Apparently there is a 1986 movie called "The Man Outside" http://us.imdb.com/Title?Man+Outside+(1986) set in Arkansas which features acting performances from all of the boyz (save RR, of course). This is Garth's only listed movie role outside of TLW. His role is simply titled "A Recluse."

    Richard actually had one other film appearance. In what sounds like a horrible film, "Let's Get Laid" (http://us.imdb.com/Title?Let%27s+Get+Laid+(1977)), is apparently a 1977 sex farce produced in Britain. Richard does get a great character name, though: "Fenton Umfreville." Don't think you'll be seeing this one at Blockbuster here in the states.

    Levon's and Robbie's film credits are well documented, so I won't linger there...

    Personally, I find the fact that "The Bacon Bros." ever shared a stage with The Band to be pretty depressing. Reason #153 why I refuse to acknowledge that "The Band" existed after 1976...

    cheers

    Matt


    Tue Apr 13 18:13:46 MET DST 1999

    Martin

    From: Aberdeen

    RE Rick's appearance in 'The Kids Are Alright'. Does anyone know exactly at which point he features? I've watched the film about 3 times recently and haven't noticed Rick at all.
    ROGER:HMV reckon they can still order me a copy of Classic Albums so I should have one within a fortnight, however thanks for the offer, If I still haven't managed to get a copy in another month I'll be in touch.


    Tue Apr 13 17:56:06 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    I neglected to mention that Van's album ASTRAL WEEKS also made this year's list. (I've enjoyed later pressings of this LP as well as the CD, but this past weekend I got original green label pressing for $5. All I've got to say is that the sound of this pressing is stunning.)


    Tue Apr 13 17:45:47 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    From: Georgia

    The Recording Academy, NARAS, has announced the 1999 list of recordings to be inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame. A total of 186 will be added to the already existing list of 263 of the greatest recordings of all time. In order to be eligible, the recordings must be at least 25 years old. There are so many great albums & songs of all types on this list. Here are just a few:

    The album THE BAND (their first album MUSIC FROM BIG PINK made the list last year). Dylan's BLONDE ON BLONDE. Van Morrison's MOONDANCE (GLORIA by Them featuring Van also made this year's list). The album EAST-WEST by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. MODERN SOUNDS OF COUNTRY AND WESTERN MUSIC by Ray Charles. GOT MY MOJO WORKING by Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf's SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING. You can check out the entire list on-line at the Grammy website:

    http://www.grammy.com/news/national/990405hall.html


    Tue Apr 13 17:34:21 MET DST 1999

    MattK

    From: Maryland

    "The Kids Are Alright" is a 1979 concert movie of The Who. I've not seen it in years (long before I was ever into The Band) and given when I saw it--late teens--I doubtlessly was heavily imbibed at the time--I have no clear memory of Rick. I assume he performs.

    "Eliza's Horoscope" I had not heard of either. It's listed on the Internet Movie Database (http://us.imdb.com/Title?Eliza%27s+Horoscope+(1970), but there is no plot summary. It's apparently a Canadian produced flick starring a very young Tommie Lee Jones. Richard is credited simply as "the bearded composer."

    Perhaps some of our Canadian friends know something of this film?


    Tue Apr 13 16:44:28 MET DST 1999

    Bill Munson

    From: Toronto

    Considering what isn't out on CD yet, it's a wonder that the Traum LPs are. I've never even seen the first on vinyl, and "Double Back" just once (and I bought that copy - has Rick Bell and other Full Tilters). I do remember hearing John Donabie playing their "Bessie Smith" on CHUM-FM once, but I seem to recall him being annoyed that they'd tried to sound so much like the Band!

    John is also part of my UnCola memory file, as his station prior to CHUM-FM (the one with up to 26 listeners) was the one that played the UnCola Underground commercials. So as a religious listener to John's afternoon show, I heard the ads lots of times. This was '70 or '71 I think. So I guess that in a roundabout way the UnCola was sponsoring the Band's music. Right on!!


    Tue Apr 13 16:25:55 MET DST 1999

    Chris Lecky

    From: Cincinnati

    I just read a little write up about Levon's Cafe and Jeff Beck. I guess Jeff visited the place. You can read about it here: http://www.wsvn.com/~staff/beck/new.html


    Tue Apr 13 09:53:35 MET DST 1999

    Ben Pike

    From: Cleveland Tx

    Jeffery Holder. He's in Woody Allen's "Everything You've Always Wanted To Know About Sex"....


    Tue Apr 13 07:21:58 MET DST 1999

    Jonathan Katz

    From: Somewhere else and still should not be here

    Peter: I don't track set lists, but I think "Covenant Woman" has not been played since the Evangelical Tours. Reason? He's no longer with the aforementioned woman - I guess he could not really count on her to stay the way she was! Meat or poison [or as we say in science one man's error variance is another's career]: I like the lyrics, especially the chorus. In the live recordings you can hear him almost stumble on the complex wording, but get it right, with a clear "wow" from the audience. As for "Street Legal," I agree and would take it over "Saved" any day. This one is really under-rated. I'd put it up there near "Blonde on Blonde" and definitely as good as the released version of "Infidels" [though not as good as what he would have released with "Blind Willie" (the Band connection to this post), "Foot of Pride" and "Someone's Got a Hold..."] Some quibble about the sound quality of "Street Legal," but I think the power of the songs [musically and lyrically] makes the technical features irrelevant.

    [But I'm still listening to Susan Tedeschi for now.]


    Tue Apr 13 03:52:44 MET DST 1999

    Diamond Lil

    From: The Web

    Ben Pike: No way!! I was just thinking of that very same thing! What was that guys name anyway? Can see him clear as day. Used to _love_ that commercial.


    Tue Apr 13 02:24:43 MET DST 1999

    Ben Pike

    From: Cleveland Tx

    These are nuts, these are UNcola nuts.....HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA......


    Tue Apr 13 02:01:18 MET DST 1999

    Spider John

    From: LAD3/4

    MattK

    Since the Bacon Brothers opened for The Band in March of 1997 (I was there), I'd say Kevin can chew the fat at factor of 1 with the boys. Dave Mason was supposed to open but was a last minute scratch. Call me crazy but I was humming "Blue Tail Fly" today. Was thinking of the holy trio of Burl Ives/Andy Devine & Rick Danko. Plenty of Bacon fat there!


    Tue Apr 13 00:52:10 MET DST 1999

    Bones

    From: Connecticut

    Charlie Young: That Robbie soundtrack tape sounds wonderful. It is too bad that Geffen Records would not let him use vocals on the album because of his upcoming 1987 solo project(I'm referring to Color of Money). It would have been nice to have something like "Between Trains" and "Bad Intentions" on that soundtrack.

    Mattk: What are "The Kids are Alright" and "Eliza's Horoscope" ?


    Mon Apr 12 23:32:30 MET DST 1999

    Joe

    From: london

    Peter and others: Get real about Dylan! The latest TOOM is the only decent music he's done for years; even Oh Mercy only had 2 decent songs (Man in the Long Black Coat and I forget the other...). I love the man but his voice is shot... The albums of covers have some good songs (altho Froggy went a courtin' is n't too bright)but that voice! I thought we were clutching at some pretty short straws on this GB with the scraps off the Band's table but please leave His Bobness' dire offerings out of it. Blood on the Tracks, even Street Legal were still at the top (he could even sing on some later "Christian" albums even if the song quality was a bit naff) but per-lease....

    On the paucity of music today compared with the 60's, i beg to differ. We only remember the best: there was far more badly produced crap around then. There's more choice now: dance, drum and bass, rap whatever: but look at the charts in the 60's, singles and albums. Most was total rubbish. You could name a hundred groups today to match the 60's: massive Attack, manic street preachers, portishead, Blur (just to mention a few Brits)


    Mon Apr 12 23:25:27 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Little Brother: I didn’t know about this campaign. We have 7-Up too (and as I loathe cola drinks I prefer it which may be age). What interests me is the use of it in a general sense to mean “non-corporate.” Is that yours? As I say, I love it. Also, there’s a lot of talk about the growth of the InterCap in English in the 90s (like the capital “C” in UnCola or the “W’ in DisneyWorld or the J in MacJob) and this is a very early example. Thanks for the information.

    Martin: I didn’t know “Classic Albums” was out of print on video - the DVD is around, as you say. “Reunion Concert” / “The Band is Back” has been missing in action for years. I don’t know about “This Country’s Rockin’” (Magnum) which has four Band tracks, nor “Woodstock: The lost performances” (WB) which has one. A good musical instrument shop should be able to get “Levon Helm: On Drums & Drumming” (excellent & entertaining) or “Rick Danko: Electric Bass Techniques” (older, less good, but I enjoyed it) both from Homespun Video. Laser disc importers used to have the New Orleans show on NTSC from 1994, but it hasn’t been on video in the UK. Also the seperate Robbie Robertson & Band retrospectives - both on laser.

    Jerry: I’m going to try “Good as I Been To You” & “World Gone Wrong” again - I last tried while reading “Invisible Republic”. A lot of people with good ears like them. I tried, but didn’t. You never know! Thanks.


    Mon Apr 12 22:47:55 MET DST 1999

    Tracy

    From: formerly SFX land

    Dave Powell, you're right about SFX. We HAVE felt it in this area. SFX took over at least five of the major radio stations in one fell swoop, along with that they bought up Meadows Music Theatre. That's been sitting around with no shows for a little while. Jim Koplik decided he didn't want it anymore and the stations that SFX bought up did badly and lost listeners. Not until the stations saw what their new merger meant, they dropped SFX and now continue to give us good music like they had before the buy-up. The SNET Oakdale Theatre does much better and they aren't owned by SFX. They have put on some great shows, while Meadows Music Theatre sits waiting for a big show. That will be the Dylan & Simon tour coming in on July 24th. I don't think too many acts are ready to alienate their fans (except the Greedgles formerly The Eagles). So now, they have their choice of Oakdale, Foxwoods, or Mohegan Sun. It seems that many of the older acts are trying out smaller venues such as Rod Stewart, John Fogerty, and Steppenwolf.

    Give the music back to the people!

    Tracy

    hoping she hasn't offended any Eagles fans now


    Mon Apr 12 22:23:49 MET DST 1999

    mattk

    From: maryland

    Levon already has a Kevin Bacon factor of 1 (per the Oracle of Kevin Bacon site http://www.cs.virginia.edu/oracle/. Levon was in "End of the Line" in 1987 with Kevin Bacon.

    Robbie has a Bacon factor of 2: Factor one is RR's appearance in "The Crossing Guard" with Jack Nicholson. Factor 2 is Jack's appearnce with Kevin Bacon in "A Few Good Men."

    Richard had/has a Bacon factor of 2: Factor 1 is Richard in a movie called "Eliza's Horoscope" (1970) with Tommie Lee Jones. Factor 2 is Jones' appearance in "JFK" with Kevin Bacon.

    Rick has a Bacon factor of 2: Factor 1 is Rick's appearance in "The Kids Are Alright" with Steve Martin. Martin was in "Tranes, Planes and Automobiles" with Bacon.

    Garth has a Bacon factor of 2, but it's boring: Factor 1 is Garth's credit in TLW with Levon. Levon, obviously was in a movie with Kevin as noted above.

    The internet is a sick and disturbing place for sick and disgusting people such as I.

    Cheers

    Matt


    Mon Apr 12 22:03:18 MET DST 1999

    Little Brother

    From: around Philly, PA

    Peter Viney-- Alas! I can't take credit for the UnCola. This is truly a non-Band tangent, but FYI: A clear (non-colorized) carbonated beverage called 7-Up has been sold in America forever; its sales lagged far behind cola drinks, partly because it was considered unhip, uncool, mostly for oldsters. It's traditional slogan was "You Like It; It Likes You", presumably because it was less gassy or stomach-upsetting than colas.

    In the late Sixties or early Seventies, the ad folks for 7-Up launched a major campaign dubbing it the "UnCola". Sort of an "It's Hip To Be Square!" attempt to make it an "in" drink. They had some clever ads and twists, like manufacturing glasses in the inverted shape of the classic Coke fountain glass.

    As far as I know, the UnCola concept never worked nearly as well as its creators hoped.

    By the bye, I think it's fair to say that The Band wasn't packaged & marketed quite so blatantly and artificially as a soft drink. I was just ruminating over various dimensions of commercial life. When you hit this site on the fly, with lots of intrusions and distractions, it's easy to projectile-blather...


    Mon Apr 12 21:36:42 MET DST 1999

    BOB REICHERS

    From: CAPE COD, MASS

    Did anybody catch Rick Danko's show up in Marshfield Mass last saturday night ? April 10th ? Just found out about it this morning & am kicking myself for having missed it- am wondering how it was-- also, is Rick doing another "trio" album with Eric Anderson & Jonas?


    Mon Apr 12 21:24:48 MET DST 1999

    Jerry Tenenbaum

    From: Toronto

    Peter, "Sublime 10 minutes later" it is. Thanks for your response. I'll take average Dylan over many others 'Most Of The Time'. I'm glad you softened your position somewhat, though it may still overstate the case. But, as you said, there is 'meat' and 'poison'. With the exception of 'Saved', I didn't get the impression that you suffered too much poison. I must disagree with you about 'GAIBTY' and 'WGW'. Covers if songs like these are part of the enjoyment I am getting from Dylan concerts. I think the studio performances are very good. I enjoy Dylan originals but respect the ability to demonstrate respect for those who came before. Much like the Band do in all of their recent covers. All the best. Jerry


    Mon Apr 12 21:11:51 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Jonathan: you persuaded me to try “Covenant Woman”, which set me wondering why I had this album on both LP and CD. It also has the worst artwork of any Dylan album, though both “Real live” and “Dylan & the Dead” attempt to compete. Spooner Oldham takes a nice solo and ‘Covenant Woman’ has a memorable melody because it’s somewhat reminiscent of “Street Legal”, but I’d argue that everything on Street Legal is in a totally different class. When I first got it, I also kept playing “Covenant Woman” because it’s the only half-decent track. He doesn’t do a lot of this live, does he? I let the album play through to see if I’d changed my mind. “Covenant Woman” apart, which I’ll agree is not entirely dire (well, the lyrics are), the album’s worse than I remembered. It just proves that you can take brilliant players like Keltner, Drummond, Oldham and Clydie King, have them play well, and produce a really bad album. Which is why they’re superb session guys and not individual stars, I imagine.

    Little Brother: To be UnCola is the best new word I’ve heard since MacJob,. Is it your invention? If so, you deserve a place in the dictionaries of the future (hopefully not brought to you by Oxford-Time-Britannica Corp.)


    Mon Apr 12 20:41:20 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    Scott Duncan: I just realized the significance of your posting about Robertson's appearance on Kevin Bacon's radio show. According to the "five degrees of separation" game, the Band can now literally be connected to Kevin Bacon. Ain't show business great.


    Mon Apr 12 19:45:58 MET DST 1999

    Little Brother

    From: around Philly, PA

    My heart is in the highlands with Diamond Lil. Go 'head, girl! I want you to be the mother of my children, leaving aside the inescapable Carnivale' masque dimention of this medium in which you may in "reality" be an aging male who's even hairier and fatter than I.

    It's hard to refute the cold, rational arguments for corporate sponsorship of musical groups. It seems to be something that either offends one "in principle" or doesn't.

    My sister, only a couple of years older than I, sneers at my odd, naive, idealistic penchant for clinging to some Sixties-style prejudice against "selling out". Many years ago, when Nike bought the Beatles' "Revolution" (from Michael Jackson, what a twist and shout) to use as advertisment muzak, it just pissed me off no end. Just the other day, I heard some major league baseball executive weasel talking about selling ad space on uniforms-- the same transition pro tennis players made from flannels and "whites" to walking collages. Ugh.

    Since I'm scavenging PC time at work, I don't have my books handy to research this, but: Mark Twain, like Lil 'n me, had a classic American rugged individualist's horror of the concept of patronage in art. He said (I paraphrase most raggily) that when he visited the churches, museums, and galleries of Europe he couldn't admire a piece of fine art without gagging at the thought of the homage and servility the artist was forced to display towards his master. Yet Twain himself was an artist who recognized that corn pone didn't drop from the sky, and knew that even the most elegant, purest art had to be tied down with the sordid strings of commerce to keep the concern going.

    That image of the original Band, that More Perfect Union of mystically independent, anomalous Mountain Men that is burned into our hearts, would seem to be the very antithesis of commercialism. Yet it's not blasphemy to say that even that image, that package was in part a marketing spin: The Band was, in a way, the UnCola. I love that image-- I still BUY that image.

    So they're not wrong to say it's ALL bidness, Lil, and woe to he or she who doesn't make the best deals possible all the way down the line. But I'd be depressed as hell to come see The Band, Brought To You By Those Wonderful Folks at Pepsico! Or Jeep! Or, well, you get the idea.

    P.S. I can picture Robbie shilling just about any upscale product, somehow. And looking like he MEANS it, too...


    Mon Apr 12 18:27:20 MET DST 1999

    Pete Rivard

    From: Hastings, MN

    This news of SFX gaining an ever increasing share of the concert promotions market is one more example of consolidation of power and influence at the expense of the audience, both in cash (ticket prices) and choice (mass marketing of fewer choices to generate mass appeal). We see a lot of acts getting recognition way out of proportion to what they have to offer. I offer as example Marcy Playground, Sixpence None the Richer, Matthew Ryan. Yawn. And I'm still waiting for the next Joan Osborne or Wallflowers effort. Where are their next projects? It seems like new and unknown beats anything. Those musicians who are building a body of pop work (Sheryl Crow, for instance) are becoming the rarity, rather than the rule. I don't see artist getting nurtured by these conglomerates, I see them getting thrown in the deep end. Consolidation of record labels is continuing apace. You see artists getting dropped between the cracks when labels consolidate. God knows how much good stuff is in the can, waiting for a release.

    My feeling is that this Internet of ours may be the most promising tool available for artists shunned by the new giants to get their sound out there and even create enough notice to put a small to medium venue tour together.


    Mon Apr 12 18:15:10 MET DST 1999

    Scott Duncan

    From: Ct.

    Last night I caught Kevin Bacon's Guitar show on a local Mass. radio station. He featured an interview with Robbie Robertson. It was a typical "how'd you get started" interview and Robbie talked some about his family and his introduction to Rock n' Roll. The show is sindicated so I don't know if it played in all markets at the same time. Did anyone else catch it? SD


    Mon Apr 12 17:56:16 MET DST 1999

    Roger Woods

    From: Birmingham, England

    Band videos in UK Martin - Tower records had the Band Classic Albums video before Easter. £15.99. Email me if you want me to buy it and send it to you.


    Mon Apr 12 17:38:55 MET DST 1999

    Martin

    From: Aberdeen

    PETER: Do you know if any of the Band videos bar the last waltz are available in the UK? I can't even find a copy of the classic albums video anywhere now, and Virgin tell me they only have it DVD which isn't much use.


    Mon Apr 12 16:11:31 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    From: Georgia

    Regarding recent comments about corporate sponsorship of music tours & higher ticket prices, I'd like to point out a disturbing development in the concert promotion business. Over the past couple of years, concert promotion giant SFX Entertainment, based in New York, has been buying up many of the top regional promotion firms across the U.S. In Addition, SFX has acquired control of a huge network of concert venues, 31 of the top 50 markets in the U.S. Last Wednesday, it was announced that SFX is acquiring The Next Adventure (TNA) based in Toronto & Bermuda. TNA is the largest promoter & producer of international stadium tours, including every Stones tour since 1989, as well as tours for U2, Pink Floyd & others. Last year, TNA was the top-grossing concert promoter at $238.4 million from 105 shows. This year they are handling the Stones' "No Security" arena tour and are set to produce the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young summer reunion tour.

    Since most of the acquired promotion firms continue to operate uner their old names, you may not have noticed SFX's takeover. This summer they will be promoting close to 20 tours, which is an unheard of number. In the past, most companies would handle two or three tours each summer at most. SFX will be promoting the summer tours of Dylan & Paul Simon, Neil Young, Rod Stewart, Tom Petty and others, too many to mention. What's this all mean to the concert goer? Since SFX often puts up huge artist guarantees to gain promotion rights, many in the business are saying you'll see a rise in ticket prices. In any event, a lack of competition & loss of regional control could also result in a loss of opportunity for many artists to acquire bookings or exposure.


    Mon Apr 12 15:57:18 MET DST 1999

    Jonathan Katz

    From: Somewhere else, today

    What am I doing here? Too much to do and I shouldn't be bothering with this, but I stopped in for a look at the guestbook and have to say this: Peter-listen to "Covenant Woman" again [and if you are like me again and again]. Fantastic song with maybe not the best performance, as Heylin points out. But I've listened to a lot of boots and concert tapes and IMO Heylin overstates his case - the version on the lp is understated but not lacking in emotion compared to live versions. But I am digressing from The Band, but let me digress a little bit more. A recommendation of a CD that has me hooked with only a little Band connection. If you can find it pick up Susan Tedeschi's "Just Won't Burn." Great album and worth much more than the $8 I paid at my local used CD dealer. Band connection: She lists as inspirations [among others]: Irma Thomas [a frequent performer at Levon's cafe who put on a good show the night I was there], and the afore mentioned BD [albeit, probably not on the basis of "Saved"]. Well - not too close a connection, but check out this CD. Her version of Jr. Wells' "Little By Little" and Tom Hambridge's "It hurt So Bad" are worth the price.


    Mon Apr 12 15:51:47 MET DST 1999

    Diamond Lil

    From: The Web

    Sorry Jan...know this isn't for personal messages..but I got the e-mail blues here.

    Uncle H: Please call.

    Thanks Jan. Smile :-)


    Mon Apr 12 14:49:15 MET DST 1999

    Charlie Young

    From: Down in Old Virginny

    I dug out some old, black vinyl from the basement this weekend and made a Robbie movie music tape (inspired by the recent discussion here). I must admit that the first side of "Carny" is excellent and Robbie's tracks from "Color of Money" and "King of Comedy" ain't bad either. Some of the filler I used on the tape included the obscure version of "The Weight" from the EASY RIDER soundtrack. The album cover explained Grossman's decision to hold back the version by The Band thusly: "The song is performed in the motion picture by The Band and is not available for this album. We have taken the liberty of including the song as recorded by Smith in this package." It's a tribute to the strength of the song that even this minor-league treatment is worthwhile. But the best listening of the weekend was from the Canadian version of the video called "The Band Reunion" (the Vancouver concert from 1983). Richard, Rick and Levon all sounded great. I wish I had the "Japan Tour" video from the same period, but that one is pretty pricey.


    Mon Apr 12 11:52:28 MET DST 1999

    Richie Rich

    From: El Paso

    Catbalu

    Who said anything about "dollars". I said the denomination of my choice. Please read the fine print carefully. The Devil is always in the details, and I'm certainly a FOTD. Let the games continue.


    Mon Apr 12 10:13:05 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Jerry: Yes, it’s hyperbole and one man’s meat is another’s poison. I’ve bought every album since “Times they are a-changing” (which was instantly followed by the first two). And I’d buy Bob reading his shopping list. Surely the joy of Dylan is that he’ll confound the listener at every turn. He’s always brought out albums that a section of the people have hated from the folkies fury at the piano on “Another Side” via the electric furore, then the spareness of JWH, the C&W fuss over Nashville Skyline, then Self Portrait … he does it as a matter of policy. I agree that if you listen hard you’ll find value in all of his work. I love “Self Portrait,” while for me “Saved” is his worst ever album. But we said “recent”.

    I’m not alone in finding “Down In The Groove”, “Knocked Out Loaded”, and “Dylan & The Dead” poor (I’ll retract “dire”). In all three cases the “poor” extends to virtually the entire album. Look at the reviews (and sales) - this is what most listeners thought. Of course there were great songs (Silvio, Brownsville Girl). But virtually every live Silvio improves on it. Sorry Dead fans, but Dylan & The Dead shows neither at their best. This is not an individual or original opinion, it’s what even dedicated Dylanologists said. “World Gone Wrong” & “Good As I’ve Been To You” divide the opinions. Some like Marcus find them absolutely wonderful, some like me find them … er … really boring. I wouldn’t have bought a third in the same style, creating the first gap in my Dylan collection.

    I think “Time Out of Mind”, “Oh, Mercy” and “Empire Burlesque” are very fine indeed. There’s nothing poor on any of them. “Under The red Sky”? Nothing dire, but I’ll stick with 50% poor. “Unplugged”. Yes. Good show. I mean I buy Dylan bootlegs, so who am I to complain? “Real Live?” - shows he hasn’t a clue how to bootleg himself. There are many, many better bootlegs. And we’re back 15 years now, which is beyond recent. Dylan can be dire on a bad day as well as sublime ten minutes later.


    Mon Apr 12 09:58:02 MET DST 1999

    Ben Pike

    From: Cleveland Tx

    Well, I'm glad a lot of ya'll read my post but I'm not sure ya much got my point. Peter, I'm glad my senero becomes too far fetched only when we get to Julie Christie. But maybe with all that sweat shop money Nike WILL build a time machine. I know Beer companies in there own small ways have helped out little Bands; what that has to do with the Rolling Stones bilking suckers for 300 bucks a show. I know everyone can't do it, but two words: Ani Defranco. And if you are not paying attention to whats going on with small labels in todays music, your missing what little worthwhile is going on..


    Mon Apr 12 09:33:00 MET DST 1999

    Ilkka

    Home page

    Re: PETER VINEY - about the sponsorship
    To say the truth - it would be easy to sell certain items to me with help of the label " The Band". Yesterday I visited a horse market, bought some clothes and looked like a walking Brown album. And what about construction materials or paint (Big Pink) or those fancy wooden decorations on the sides if the American station wagons...pipe tobacco with name Ragtime Willie...maple syrup...strawberry wine...email domains (ilkka@old.dixie ilkka@cripple.creek)...WOW!


    Mon Apr 12 08:31:55 MET DST 1999

    Barry

    From: Newark, De.

    Greetings to all. I just want to sadly announce the passing of David Ackles, a brilliant songwriter and singer from the early 70s. All of his work, but particularly his greatest album, "American Gothic", explore themes of place and memory that mirror many themes that are also examined in The Band's greatest songs. It is available on Import CD from places such as CDNow, check it out,( particularly "Montana Song"). Secondly, does anyone know of the availability on CD of either the Borderline album, "Sweet Dreams and Quiet Desires", on which both Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson played, under pseudonyms, or Alan Price's "Between Today and Yesterday"? Thanks!


    Mon Apr 12 03:45:31 MET DST 1999

    catbalu

    From: Might as well be walkin on the sun

    Phil: Sorry i missed you on the "pseudo-chat" but, of course, Mr. Viney wins. I think the 2nd best bed is too GREAT to let go forgotten! :) Hello again!

    well, gee, rr, i'd think being too rich for me and all, the $10,000 is a typo. Surely you meant $100,000. or $110,000, wasn't it?

    A lot of "Rusties" are complaining about Neil's high prices and commercialism on his recent tour. But then, i've heard statements made that a good bit of the proceeds go to The Bridge school. so ----- high prices there are a GOOD THING....... "Don't judge yourself too harsh my love, some day you might find your soul in danger..." (Ilka, i didn't write that, just quote alot. Like Serge, i'm plagued enough..... but i still think you and Ragtime playing Anything together is better than no You and Ragtime at all! :))

    finally settled in to the new office and the German mac is working..... Mr. V, you're a sweetheart. Busy season for me, and i've missed a lot of interesting "stuff" in a short period of time here.... saw the XXXXX jtb, Charley, and i'm with you - too much (and i can talk!!!!!).... so goin back to read the leaves with the old wife....... and hey, rr, give it a rest. you know as well as i do the high rollers only deal in 6 figures, minimum. don't get me started. ya'll have a nice day.


    Mon Apr 12 01:36:04 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    I should add that the Miller sponsorship included Fender, Kurzweil, Dean Markey, Shure, and a number of other music related businesses. They also provided promotion which included advancing shows in new markets. The help was invaluble.


    Sun Apr 11 23:17:41 MET DST 1999

    Richie Rich

    From: Helmsley's Palace but El Paso bound

    First of all I am not Serge and I feel you have insulted him deeply by even suggesting same. In my initial post I indicated that I would pay "ten thousand" in the denomination of my choice. The resplendent Rosa appears to have deciphered the mystery although she has proffered no evidence to substantiate her claim. Our parsimonious judges therfore decline to pay her the booty. The prize remains unclaimed.


    Sun Apr 11 22:54:32 MET DST 1999

    Jerry Tenenbaum

    From: Toronto, Ont. Canada

    Re: April 8, 1999 "Dylan has ditched great stuff(I'm Not There, Blind Willie McTell etc.) and kept a lot of poor and even dire material (about 50% of recent albums). I can agree with the former, but must object to the latter. 1) Time Out of Mind - 1997 - Nothing is dire or poor (Highlands has been questioned by some, but ...dire or poor\? I don't think so. 2) World Gone Wrong (1993) and 3) Good As I Been To You - 2 excellent albums which cover a wide range of excellent material in a convincing manner, well executed 4) Unplugged - (1995) - excellent performances for the most part/little to complain about 5) Under The Red Sky (1990) - Some quarrel with some of this material, but it grows on most and is far from 50% dire or poor 6) Oh Mercy (1989) - highly regarded/most selections very good or excellent 7) Down In The Groove (1988) and 8) Knocked Out Loaded (1986) - Some concern again, but far from 50% could be criticized 9) Dylan and The Dead (1989) - a fine selection of the live concerts (good to very good, and far from dire or poor) 10) Empire Burlesque (1985) - listen to it. It's very good to excellent in almost all cuts We'll ignore Biograph, Bootleg Series, Greatest Hits III, or the 30th Anniversary Celebration/ They speak for themselves in a most positive way. Even Real Live (1984) has many good live performances. I think we get carried away when we try to compare Dylan of the 60's and 70's to the current performer. To call "about 50%" of his recent recorded output dire or poor borders on hyperbole. I rest my case. (in the spirit of fairness and accuracy.) I do agree that the Band selects well and intreprets Dylan in a most excellent way.


    Sun Apr 11 22:03:49 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Time machines & such: Pat is speaking from a musician’s viewpoint. When someone has travelled, then hauled equipment into a gig, set up, hung around in a crappy dressing room, played a set, admired the promoter’s new Porsche(s), hauled the gear back out and driven three or four hours home (stopping for junk food on the highway because nothing else is available), then a bit of corporate sponsorship might appeal. Don’t these guys deserve decent hotels, business class flights with legroom, some one to sift the M&Ms for the colours they like, good food? If having Nike or even MacDonalds (sorry Donald, I don’t eat their stuff either, but I’ll choose a worst-case scenario) on the ticket stub and poster provides this, it doesn’t worry me. I don’t care if they have a banner on stage.

    Most of these corporations use sponsorship for the indirect benefit of their employees in one way or another (tickets, corporate boxes, indulging pet pastimes whatever), rather than because it’s actually effective. If they want to put this surplus profit onto musicians rather than mud wrestling or motor racing, let them throw it where they want to. I’ll enjoy the concert without feeling compelled to wear Nike trainers or drink Miller Lite. As to the exploitive practices of these companies, anyone who has a pension fund or any insurance is unknowingly investing in them anyway. I suspect that few multi-nationals would emerge peachy-clean from an investigation. I might turn up my nose at a band who accepted cigarette sponsors, but that’s personal.

    But the problem is finding a sponsor. I see RR already does leather jacket adverts. The Band might appeal to a sponsor with an Americana image . Most of these are clothes manufacturers, and I can’t see the guys as fashion plates (thank goodness). However, if you’re going to take the 30 pieces of silver, it’s pointless to argue too hard about the donor. Maybe joint sponsorship from Fender, Chateau Latour, Marlboro clothes (NB the Italian clothes company who make clothes that would fit the cover of the brown album NOT the US tobacco company) & Ferarri (with a touch of product placing) would appeal.

    Ben Pike: putting Julie Christie into the equation makes the choice impossible anyway. Think I’ll watch “Far from The Madding Crowd.” It takes place in Dorset, where I live. The accent is all around me.


    Sun Apr 11 22:01:42 MET DST 1999

    Diamond Lil

    From: The Web

    Pat Brennan: Yes - I agree that alot of the animosity between members of The Band is because of business gone bad. Perhaps that's why 'music as a business' leaves me a bit cold. I know it's the way things are done, but I still find it sad that the pleasure of the end product has to be compromised along the way by the almighty buck.

    Uncle H: You seem to be unreachable today. Been playing bouncing mail here to my extreme frustration. If you're out there - miss you - and hope the problem is fixed soon.


    Sun Apr 11 20:56:56 MET DST 1999

    jd

    TO JUST WONDERIN: re... The Libby Titus CD. As God is my witness I found it on a site out of Seattle. I found it by typing in Japanese Imports or something like that in my search engine. I have long since lost the bookmark and have tried to find the site ever since. I know it had $2000 in its address. It took 8 months and I quite frankly gave up and one day it just showed up. This was after a call at the 6 month mark saying they didn't think I would ever get it. If I ever put the address together again in my mind I'll put it out.


    Sun Apr 11 18:54:39 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    Lil, although multinationals can't give us everything (they do try, don't they?), you certainly hit a kernel of truth. The Band without Richard just ain't the Band. I still think if the boys had paid more attention to business matters in the late 60's, there wouldn't be this animosity today.


    Sun Apr 11 17:38:45 MET DST 1999

    Tom "Smos" Vermost

    From: Flanders

    Well, boys and girls, quit all the chitchat and enjoy The Band. They still give me some fine times aspecially listening to Music From The Big Pink and The Last Waltz... with all those other great people from the 60's and 70's (Dylan,Beatles,Stones,Mothers of Invention,Yardbirds,Beach Boys) they show us each day that the bands from the 90's still have to learn a lot (if they'll ever get it). Enjoy...


    Sun Apr 11 15:00:38 MET DST 1999

    `oi polloi

    From: the intelligentsia

    If THAT ONE is back again (Richie Rich or Fido or whatever) I quit.


    Sun Apr 11 14:44:37 MET DST 1999

    DIOGENES

    From: Greece

    RICHIE RICH: Is that 11,000 Canadian or US dollars? How big a "Serge" of generosity are we talking here?


    Sun Apr 11 14:20:56 MET DST 1999

    Rosa

    From: The Cantina

    Hey Richie Rich: Sources tell me that Louie (Louis) may just be Aaron's middle name. Put that together with the N'awlins influence - and you got one Professor Louie.

    I'll take payment of the 11k in small, unmarked bills - so my accountants (Weir,Rich,and Urnot) can't trace it. Thanks:-)


    Sun Apr 11 13:00:59 MET DST 1999

    Richie Rich

    From: Helmsley's Palace

    Freddy Fishstick

    Your meager tender hardly merits a response. I suggest you return to the nether world of Buffetry from whence you came and leave this venue to the titans. Our judges award you a sou for your efforts. Spend it wisely my son.


    Sun Apr 11 12:54:44 MET DST 1999

    Richie Rich

    From: Helmsley's Palace

    Mr. Shaw

    Your response fails to explain the "Louie" reference. After careful consideration the judges rule against you. Due to a sudden serge in generosity I am increasing the bounty to 11,000.


    Sun Apr 11 11:28:37 MET DST 1999

    Diamond Lil

    From: The Web

    Pat Brennan: Although I respect your opinions, I'm afraid your "Nike Fantasy" wouldn't be enough for me. Now if Richard were there... and we're talking about the original 5 ... then maybe we'd have something to discuss. Anything less than that to me is just another whistle stop.


    Sun Apr 11 10:13:15 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    Ben, I don't believe you. However, if I had the choice between the Nike thing and your 2nd night at Winterland/Julie Christie amour, I'd be on the first bus to SF.


    Sun Apr 11 09:35:16 MET DST 1999

    Erich Mussak

    From: Madtown

    Alright Traci... It's really a shame that you have to include the current R&B and rap scene in your cut on Woodstock '99. I don't know if you've noticed, but that genre of music is the ONLY thing worth listening to recently. Dylan is the only lyricist that I've heard better than some of these rap artists. There are some incredible acts out right now. Let me name a few... Nas, Common, and The Roots. Pick up "Things Fall Apart" by The Roots. Are they playing at Woodstock? Truly genius instrumental music with a fresh style of lyrics. I used to hate rap too, but that was before I understood what it was. It's a voice for an entire race, and it's truly beautiful if you choose the right groups. It's gotten a lot less violent too.


    Sun Apr 11 08:46:34 MET DST 1999

    Tracy

    From: Up Cripple Creek with one paddle

    I don't think we would be having this debate about "Corporate Woodstock II", or it would be less heated if there were better musicians on the bill. The idea of Guns 'n Roses being on a bill for what's to be the 30th Anniversary of a peace festival sickens me. This is a band that has been notorious for riots! A good part of the Rap scene promotes violence. What is wrong with this picture? Would we really want to shell out $150 for tickets to something like this? Now, if we had something like some Beatle members, The Who, Stones, Van (the man) Morrison, Neil Young, Santana, Joni Mitchell, mix in some soul artists (the real ones) not that Pop garbage, and a flavoring of jazz and Reggae (yeah, I know I add in a lot of 60s artists. This twenty-something year-old doesn't find much exciting in her generation) then that would sound mighty tempting. But some of these so called artists or talent which don't have any taste or morals disappoints me to see they are on the bill of this event. Sure, music is a business. It's been that way mostly starting in the 70s. I went to the Concert for the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland, in '95. That WAS an event that was worth the price of the ticket which I gladly forked over $80 to see 49 of the greatest rockers to grace a stage in one night. I guess it all depends on what you get with the almighty dollar.

    Tracy

    prepared to be flambayed by Metal and Rap enthusiasts

    A show of hands anyone?


    Sun Apr 11 07:27:03 MET DST 1999

    Ben Pike

    From: Cleveland Tx

    Pat, The answer to your question is no. Now, lets put it another way, let's say Nike has built me a time machine, is going to take me back to The Band's second night at Winterland, give me backstage passes and garentee that I score with Julie Christie at the post show party. And they only charge me fifteen bucks. The answer to that is YES, because I'm a flawed, weak human being. But the answer to your's is easier, because the Band are now a bunch of old guys who are not very good and people who live comforatbly should not be living off sweat shops in the third world. And you know, Bob hasen't exactly had a "short stay" in the music biz. It's true, they did take crap on the 74 tour for ticket prices. What you don't mention is that it was for charging TEN dollars, nothing compared to the rip off prices of today(and I'm figuring in inflation. Of course, that had to do with Rock music having an idealolgical bent(how far we've come, and how low we've sunk) and Bob having spoken up for the poor in some of those songs. Today of course, we've have fliped far, far into the other direction, and rasing ethical issues with the announted rich babies is the true off the table, politicaly incorrect taboo topic. I don't even really mean to dog Bob, he does shows where the faithful can see him for less. But I think few would argue that Albert Grossman was "good" for the Band, and it should be clear that the Albert Grossmans are bad for music, and bad for the country.


    Sun Apr 11 07:18:22 MET DST 1999

    Fido

    From: The Kennel

    Every dog has his day in the sun. Enjoy yours SUNDOG :)


    Sun Apr 11 06:45:29 MET DST 1999

    Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran

    From: Madison Wi. "MERL SAUNDERS DAY".
    Home page

    Todays the day I've been waiting for!!!MERL SAUNDERS DAY AT TIM'S SUNDOG IN THE MAD CITY, SEE YOU THERE ERICH, DONALD JOESPH, ECT, ECT, ECT.


    Sun Apr 11 03:20:23 MET DST 1999

    Freddy Fishstick

    From: Sag Harbor

    Richie Rich

    I don't know how Aaron Hurwitz became "Professor Louie" but I'm first with some info on Professor Louie as shown on the All Media Guide:

    Professor Louie Years Active Genres Rock Styles Singer-Songwriter 1986 Professor Louie Professor Loui 1992 Live At The Postcrypt C Live at the Postcrypt Coffeehouse Vocals


    Sun Apr 11 02:05:30 MET DST 1999

    Peter Shaw

    From: Chicago, IL

    Richie Rich, I assume Aaron Hurowitz gets the title from being a New Orleans Professor of Piano, like Professer Longhair. If memory serves, the title has something to do with having mastered (well, doctored) all the various piano styles that have shaped music in New Orleans.


    Sun Apr 11 02:04:19 MET DST 1999

    Freddy Fishstick

    From: Key West

    Pat & Lil

    It ain't called the music business for nothing. This is America, artists are capitalists. The boys went through millions and I for one don't begrudge artists from getting what they can while they can. It's a short ride. Nobody puts a gun to a fan's hand a makes them attend a concert. It's the bullshit surcharges and add-ons from the "Ticketmasters" of the world that bug me. Artists generally have to just play ball. As a wiseman once wrote

    "So I went to Biloxi seekin' fortune and fame I got hired, I got fired, I got called dirty names You'll never (never), never (never), work in dis bidness again You'll never (never), no never (never) Never work in dis bidness again I knew I needed representation And I found it one night in a bar He was a bondsman and a part-time agent And he said that he would make me a star He said', "Aaaah, you don't have to be that good To make it out in Hollywood You just have to change and complain" Or you'll never (never), never (never), work in dis bidness again You'll never (never), no never (never)


    Sun Apr 11 01:50:26 MET DST 1999

    Richie Rich

    From: Helmsley Palace

    A little while back Diamond Lil asked the musical question - How did Aaron Hurwitz get the charming sobriquet "Professor Louie"? There were no takers among the hoi polloi and the intelligentsia In the interest of getting the answer to this query and ending my temporary ennui, I hereby offer ten thousand payable in the denomination of my choice to the Banddandy who can come up with the correct answer and prove it. Obviously Rick/Aaron members of their families etc. cannot apply. The earliest email wins. My favorite CPA firm Dewey, Cheetham & Howe will judge the winner. Good luck mes amis.


    Sun Apr 11 00:04:50 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    Diamond Lil, given that Northern Lights Southern Cross came in the midst of the business problems, I would respectfully disagree with your point. And my Nike fantasy employed Levon and Rick's participation as a given. The answer is....?


    Sat Apr 10 23:17:47 MET DST 1999

    Diamond Lil

    From: The Web

    Pat Brennan: I really don't need to add much to your post, as you made my point quite nicely. Taking heat for ticket prices, feuds between "brothers" over business and money issues. Takes way too much away from the music in my opinion.

    And btw..you asked if I would go? I have a better question. Would Rick or Levon go? I doubt it.


    Sat Apr 10 21:43:54 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    Diamond Lil, I really don't understand what you mean by my "standards," but running a band like a business so that it can successfully interact with other businesses is the only way a group can survive. Summer of Love groups got financially hammered by not having their business end together. These days, even outsider groups like Fugazi are tight little business ships. When discussing greed, I would advise everyone to consider things carefully. When Dylan and The Band launched the 74 tour, they took a lot of heat for the ticket prices, and I mean a lot. Even the ticket price for the Last Waltz was considered extravagant. The boys were also managed by one of the most cutthroat businessmen of his day, Albert Grossman. And the bad blood terribly evident in the Levon-Robbie feud seems to be the result of poorly defined business relationships as much as anything else. We can bemoan the area where money and art collide, but no one is going to fix the fact that it does. Consider this: Nike announces that it has managed to convince the remaining members of the Band to reunite and go on the road with a fully supported tour. Nike support allows the group to hire a full horn section, allows Robbie to stage it similiarly to TLW, allows the boys to record each show for an eventual live release, and allows the boys to drag some of their favorite artists along for the ride. Do you go?


    Sat Apr 10 20:33:55 MET DST 1999

    Just Wonderin'

    From: Texas

    John Donobie: Where on earth did you find the Libby Titus lp or cd? Feels like I've been hunting for it forever! Thanks


    Sat Apr 10 20:08:46 MET DST 1999

    Lee

    Re: John Simon's production skills. I don't think John recorded the guys on 2-track but I know they recorded released songs with lead vocals by different guys than they eventual release. There was a lot of experimentation in the studio but John says they didn't save anything. A real shame.


    Sat Apr 10 20:06:51 MET DST 1999

    Peter L. Nederlof

    From: Holland

    The band is great and timeless. I like the music very much. I think Levon Helm is the best drummer of the world!


    Sat Apr 10 19:23:37 MET DST 1999

    Davod Rosen

    From: New Orleans

    Levon Helm's performance with James Cotton will be broadcast over the radio tonight (Sat.) here in New Orleans at approximately 8:45. You can get it over the internet by going to http://www.wwoz.org and tuning in. If you happen to be in New Orleans, tune into 90.7. -David


    Sat Apr 10 18:52:46 MET DST 1999

    Ben Pike

    From: Cleveland Tx

    Vinney, the style of Cahoots songwriting is obscure and overblown, so Bessie, Yazoo, and Katie don't belong there. Bessie and Katie are too simple and direct for Pink, Yazoo too raw. But Boys and Girls, what masterpeice of an album do these songs fit PERFECTLY on, yes, thats right, a little record I like to call "The Basement Tapes."Funny how things work out. And in the grapling with moral issues dept: I don't know about this Woodstock deal, witch just seems like sad money grubbing, but it is also surely a "fact of life" that Paul Simon and Bob Dylan could get along fine with charging the hell out of there fans. It's time to start looking at these superstar money grubing shows as what they are: a ruthless explotation of love. They know they have this music thats in our hearts(and has allready made them VERY rich men) they know we Can swing paying a ticket price that ought to be good for three or four shows, so like the man said "There it is, take it." Dylan is like Fawell or any other American Roadshow Christan, he went back to the Bible but learned to ignore ONE sin of witch quite a lot is actually written: Greed. It's sort of sad to see in Simon's case for many years he was a class act, refusing to play large venues untill they could come up with decent sound systems. Oh well, at least Zimmy's not wearing a Nike shirt......


    Sat Apr 10 17:13:53 MET DST 1999

    Dave Z

    From: Chaska, MN

    Erich: I wouldn't fixate too much on the need for a group to speak for your generation. The recent Bravo special on Van highlighted the fact that Van mostly listens to stuff older than the 70's stuff you mentioned. I would recommend scanning the archives to maybe catch some pearls found by other GBers.


    Sat Apr 10 16:04:30 MET DST 1999

    Dave Carey

    From: Connecticut

    Current State Of The Band ?? Does anyone have any info as to if & when the Band will ever perform again ?? The "new" disc is now 6 months old, and it seems like it died a very quick death, seems odd that with Levon performing again that they aren't all together as one unit.


    Sat Apr 10 13:05:56 MET DST 1999

    Diamond Lil

    From: The Web

    Erich Mussak: You made the comment about sometimes being upset that you and your friends having to revert back to music from another generation, and I say why be upset? Music is supposed to make you feel good. Doesn't matter where it comes from. I find it very unfortunate that it's all become such a 'business' these days though.

    Pat Brennan: I may be naive by your standards, but yes..I _would_ like to believe that music _can_ exist outside the corporate umbrella. Maybe this next generation can succeed in fixing whatever went wrong along the way. Fate is never ever sealed unless you give up and accept it.

    Richie Rich : Could it be that you're forgetting some other words by that same wise man? "I know that this may sound funny....But money don't mean nothing to me....I won't make my music for money....No, I'm gonna make my music for me". Put _that_ in your pipe and smoke on it :-)


    Sat Apr 10 11:59:01 MET DST 1999

    Richie Rich

    From: The Palace

    Lil & Tracy

    It's nearly the cost of a Pirate's Ball to see Dylan & Simon on tour. What an honor to help these gentlemen along. I for one will be there with fingers crossed that they do a duet on Kodachrome. I didnt hear Lil complain about the prices King Buffett charges for his carnival world expeditions.


    Sat Apr 10 11:11:17 MET DST 1999

    Ragtime (P.S.)

    Erich Mussak: ...and from the next decades of course...

    Cet...


    Sat Apr 10 11:03:08 MET DST 1999

    Ragtime

    From: a middle-aged kid hanging out...

    Was The Band ever "the voice of a generation"? I don't think so. When they emerged in the late 60s as a group in its own right, they were a welcome "back to basics" alternative for many groups that DID speak for the hippie generation. I've always considered their themes & music as timeless - standing the test of time. Still - as this guestbook shows, they mainly appeal to the generation that was struck by them in the 60s & 70s. Probably because they never were a mega-hit band & didn't want to be. Erich Mussak: no need to seek music that speaks on behalf of 18-years. Just pick out the best of all the music from the last decades & leave the rest to the dedicated followers of fashion.

    Ceterum censeo: R...


    Sat Apr 10 08:21:35 MET DST 1999

    Erich Mussak

    From: Madison, WI

    Lil, I totally agree. Being 18 years old, I find a lack of REAL music that seems to speak for my generation. We had that little Alternative/Grunge thing a couple years back (which was semi-decent), but what is there now? Little to nothing. Perhaps music for money really does speak of the times, much like the music of the 60's and 70's spoke for the self-destruction and disillusionment. Shouldn't there be a problem with me listening to Dylan, The Band, The Stones, Santana, the Grateful Dead, Cream etc.? Few of the Baby Boomers listened to what their parents listened to (Benny Goodman,Glenn Miller, or Fletcher Henderson) when they were my age. No, of course not. The music scene was much better, and what's "pop" now was incredibly soulful and artistic back then (most of the time). I'm a little upset that my friends and I have to revert back as much as we do to hear decent music.

    Great bands of the 90's... Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Phish, and Ben Harper. Only three really innovative and/or talented bands that I've found. Look at the 60's. Let's see, can you come up with more than four?


    Sat Apr 10 04:29:51 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    I also hope nobody takes that last post personally. I don't intend it as any sort of a flame. Re: John Simon's production skills. I've always had a soft space in my heart for the first Blood Sweat & Tears album (with Simon producing and Al Kooper playing, there's enough of a Band connection, I suppose). When I saw a gold CD of it available, I immediately bought it. To my surprise there are some bonus tracks which consist of live to 2track recordings Simon made of the band. It seems Simon took the tapes home and worked out some new arrangements. For an example of his production techniques, you might want to hear the album. More interestingly, the 2tracks sound great. If he did that with the Band, there are some monstrous (in a good sense) hidden treasures just waiting to see the light.


    Sat Apr 10 04:13:41 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    Corporate usurpation of music is a sad fact of life. I was in a band sponsored by Miller beer. Their sponsorship allowed us to travel and play in places we generally couldn't afford to hit. A number of such places became pretty good markets for us. Big splashy advertisements are certainly distasteful, but you can't possibly believe that music somehow still exists outside the corporate umbrella. I'm not arguing that this is good, but it's a fact of life. The original Woodstock was a bright beacon that faded quickly into the night, to be replaced by what we have now. BTW, What did a ticket to the original Woodstock cost? If the price of gas is a barometer, multiply the ticket cost circa 1969 by 6.


    Sat Apr 10 03:46:53 MET DST 1999

    Tracy

    From: Away from the mud people safely in den

    Lil: I think that's called "Corporate Woodstock II" now. ;)

    Does anybody have a t-shirt with the vulture instead of the dove from the last (charade) uh... festival?

    Tracy

    going into hiding from the passing tomatoes


    Sat Apr 10 03:23:00 MET DST 1999

    Charlie Young

    From: Down in Old Virginny

    Little Brother: Peter Stampfel is part of a recent tribute to Harry Smith CD from Smithsonian/Folkways. I saw Stampfel play last year at the Barns of Wolf Trap here in Virginia (where I saw a great Rick & Garth show ten years ago; anyone have a tape of THAT?). Along with him were old folkies such as John Sebastian, Dave Von Ronk and The Fugs. Roger McGuinn and other acts played the second night of the tribute, and the best tracks turned up on the live CD. The whole thing was sort of a release party for the Smithsonian folk music anthology, which was based on the collections done by Harry Smith in the 50s and 60s.


    Sat Apr 10 03:22:09 MET DST 1999

    Diamond Lil

    From: The Web

    Richie Rich: Not griping..just stating facts. think it's a real shame that a concert geared towards 16 to 25 year olds is not affordable to them. Music should be able to be enjoyed by everyone. Not just the richie rich.


    Sat Apr 10 01:46:31 MET DST 1999

    Richie Rich

    From: The Palace

    Lil and others

    Quit your griping. What a small price to pay for the privilege of hearing classic music. As a wise man once said:

    Spend it while you can Money's contraband You can't take it with you when you go Spend it while you can 'Fore it's taken from your hand There's no free ride in this carnival world


    Sat Apr 10 01:15:20 MET DST 1999

    Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran

    From: Mad City
    Home page

    You are soooo right 'LiL, ITS NO LONGER ABOUT MUSIC, AND THE PEOPLE WHO WORK IT--WORK YOU FOR YOUR $$$...


    Fri Apr 9 23:55:49 MET DST 1999

    Diamond Lil

    From: The Web

    Don't misunderstand. I'm not saying that some of the artists performing at "Woodstock 99" are not talented (Sheryl Crow, Aerosmith, Adam Durwitz, Jewel, Dave Matthews Band, Alanis Morisette, Willie Nelson, Brian Setzer , etc... are all incredibly talented), but it's the promotion of this event that I'm having a problem with. The days of "peace, love, and music" are over, and what's taken their place is "money, money, and money". That's a pretty sad commentary if you ask me. Tickets for this event are $150 just to get in. Of course, if you want to ride the bus, that'll cost you another $100. Burgers are $5 each..and the cost of beer and wine..well..I can only imagine.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's a shame that the next generation can't enjoy the music without such a tremendous price tag. Just my opinion. Thanks.


    Fri Apr 9 23:36:03 MET DST 1999

    Rod

    From: NZ

    I agree with Peter that Bessie Smith wouldn't have fitted on Big Pink but I think it's "woody" feel would have been right at home on The Band. Katies Been Gone would have made a great single at some point. Which brings me to another point. The best of the BT stuff was as good or better than some of the stuff that made it onto the first four albums - so why wait to '75 to release it?

    Little Brother, the version of Quinn you talk about would have been the high light of the '74 tour.

    Finally, I was watching a documentary on road deaths in New Zealand the other night and was thinkung that the eerie back ground music sounded familiar. After about 10 minutes the penny dropped - It was Native Americans - no mention in the credits though.Hopefully Robbie got his cut.


    Fri Apr 9 23:30:15 MET DST 1999

    franko

    From: boston

    Lil - I read today that Woodstock '99 would be without "three timers", so anyone that performed at the first two won't be back. Sheryl Crow is expected to perform. I assume there is a Band connection with her - Levon thanked her on HOTH - so maybe she'll invite a friend or three to join her. Just a thought.

    Bob from the Cape - Don't be afraid, drive over the bridge (people who live on Cape Cod often tremble at the thought of visiting the mainland). Rick is playing in Marshfield tomorrow night. If I'm able to go (read, prior commitment that I haven't figured out how to cancel) I'll be the one requesting Ferdinand. As I don't own any boots, it may be my only chance to hear the song that I read so much about in here.


    Fri Apr 9 22:37:12 MET DST 1999

    John Donabie

    From: Over Taxed Canada

    The longest waits I have had for CD's to arrive, were Libby Titus and what awaited me in the mail today...Happy & Artie Traum + Double-Back. Their first two albums from Capitol(Toshiba Japan). Both the Traum and the Titus are Japanese imports.

    Taking into consideration that when youy live in Canada you must add 40% to the American price and then be hit with a tax called G.S.T. My Traum CD probably ended up costing me far too much. But that's the fault of the Canadian dollar. But Yen..er I mean But then; when you hear the sound it makes it all worth while.

    I didn't write this piece to bitch about taxes. I wrote it because I just wanted to share Going Down The Road To See Bessie; with you. Theirs was the first version I had ever heard and it stands today. My bitch is with the complacency of the North American record companies. The sound of this Japanese import is magnificent. Why! Why must fat North American record companies sell us any less in quality!!!

    Thanks God the Japanese have pride in their releases. Yes yes I know they don't press as many from the Mother Masters; but I just wish we had the same pride in North America. Outside of Japan, the best sounding album in years for me was the self-produced new Van Morrison album. The cat's got ears. I feel like their in my living room. Enough ranting for one day. I'm going to sit back and enjoy the 21 cuts of the brothers Traum. Have a good week-end.


    Fri Apr 9 21:13:28 MET DST 1999

    Pete Rivard

    From: Hastings, MN

    I join those who want to climb out of the basement for a breath of clean spring air.

    In my case, I'm currently reading a book, "A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race & the Soul of America" that I highly recommend to all on this site. The author, Craig Werner, covers the call and response tradition of Black gospel music. The caller puts something out, the audience responds. This can be either verbal, or purely musical.

    Listening to New Orleans style jazz, one hears this a lot where a theme is announced by one instrument, and others come in, sometimes very briefly, to state their piece. Quite often a lead is a shared, as opposed to a solo event. This puts me in mind of "Life Is A Carnival" and the Last Waltz version of "Ophelia', both with a strong Dixieland feel.

    In fact, it puts me in mind of a lot of Band arrangements, vocal and instrumental.

    I cut my musical teeth playing bluegrass, where taking leads is a very individualistic,improvisational, solo thing, where instrumentalists try to outdo one another, to "cut" one another, to quote Levon Helm. Onstage you'll see them stride out in front of the mikes while soloing, like rock guitarists, to accent who happens to be in charge at that moment.

    I've found it to be a lot more fun these days to take the subtler approach, and blend instrumental sounds, to try and create new sounds, where the instrument isn't so obvious, or to stick little noodlings from one instrument slightly out front of a combined effort of two others. I wonder if I didn't get this technique from the Band, and if they didn't get it from the Delta.


    Fri Apr 9 20:15:49 MET DST 1999

    Little Brother

    From: around Philly, PA

    JUST when I get what I hope will be a QUIET moment to read the latest postings and offer a comment or two-- hoping the passing thunderstorm won't fry me, this PC, or the phone line-- a co-worker I unkindly call Little Oots decides to run off about a gazillion photocopies at the machine about five feet away. It was a nice, quiet Friday, and now it's like I'm sitting next to a steam-powered stamping machine...

    -- Ah, Charlie, so the "that's not writing, it's typing" is a vintage slam against Kerouac? I thought the virtually-departed Serge invented it; it was his favorite derisive phrase. Anyway, I didn't see the offending posting in it's long form, thanks to Jan. The short version, including photo, made me long for The Holy Modal Rounders. Hmmm... maybe I ought to check for a website on THAT musical entity. Does anyone, by fantastic chance, know what ever became of Steve Weber and Peter Stampfel? It wouldn't surprise me if their paths crossed The Band's in the NY/Woodstock era.

    Speaking of "The Mighty Quinn", performed so splendidly by Dylan & The Band at the Isle of Wight and included in Dylan's "Self-Portrait"-- why do you spoze it never made it on the Basement Tapes, or even "Before the Flood"? Was it even in that tour's repertoire? I wonder, because it is a first-rate song and perfect for Dylan's lead and the Band's backup. Someone (Peter?) mentioned that it might have been a suitable choice for The Band early on, but for some reason I need to hear Bob wailing out the first verse. I can sort of hear, say, Rick taking the next one and Levon snapping out, "Cow's moo and cat's meow/Y'know, ah can recite them all!" I love the version referenced, but I druther hear it repeated that the various takes of "Like A Rolling Stone".

    I join those who are glazed, dazed, and confused about all the BT postings. I only have the Columbia CD (and LP, somewhere), and I'm intrigued with all the history and analysis but I'm quite lost. As I probably have said before, I'm not too fastidious to buy bootlegs, but I'm not sure where to shop. I feel like some rube getting off a train in the Big City during Prohibition, and shouting, "Hey, where kin ah find a SPEAKEASY?"

    Finally, for now (The photocopier has been fed twice since I started, and is chugging along ferociously, thus my train imagery) I checked out that-- VHS-1 site, is it?-- about "The Last Waltz" to which someone kindly provided a link in a recent posting. I always find transcripts of live interviews kind of unsatisfying, because the rhythms and body language and such are obviously stripped away. With a fast-talking Italian like Marty Scorsese (I am one, too), it's really hard to judge from skimming through a transcript.

    My point? Oh, yeah. I'm finding that the Marty/Robbie interview (and Robbie's reminiscence) is still another bit of TLW lore that leaves me increasingly bummed about it. Not long after I found this website, I "confessed" to a fellow participant via E-mail that I'd finally purchased the TLW video, but never took it out of the shrink-wrap. I thought it was just because watching Richard rather than just listening to him sometimes makes me sad & depressed. But now I wonder if the cumulative effect of the "darker" side of the event, expressed most strongly by Levon, hasn't dampened my ability to enjoy the great music and ostensible joy permeating it.

    The Robbie/Marty interview, especially Robbie, rehashed all the wild & crazy, impossible problems that evolved in producing the thing. Well, OK. But Robbie sounded (READ, I have to remind myself) typically smooth and disingenuous in gushing over just how WOWED he was by this and that part of it. As I say, maybe I've been too swayed by reports of the stories behind the story, but I was hoping that Robbie would comment directly on some of that. He just sort of rattled off the party line about how The Band "decided" they needed to take it to another level and TLW was born-- damn, we really got ourselves into it, didn't we! etc.

    Apologies to our non-American friends, because thankfully I don't have the time to explain this, but: I guess I'm hoping that Robbie et al and Levon et al will appear before Judge Judy in a special 90-minute episode. Yes, I know we're supposed to stop dwelling on this. Hark! The rain has stopped and so has that damn copier. Let us all rest in peace for the weekend...


    Fri Apr 9 19:13:16 MET DST 1999

    Bones

    From: Connecticut

    To Peter V- You are right about the mistakes that Heylin made about "Ferdinand" and the RM compositions. Like Levon, Heylin has a problem with Robbie's ego/ambition or whatever you call it. They both have trouble giving credit where credit is due. Can you imagine what kind of nasty book Levon would have written if Clinton Heylin was the ghostwriter?


    Fri Apr 9 18:36:15 MET DST 1999

    Wolfgang Schröder

    From: Germany/Hamburg

    Hallöchen, ich hoffe das meine lieblingsband "The Band" in Germany auch mal wieder Konzerte geben,denn das 1996er Loreley-Concert war Echt Geil!!!!! Also Levon Helm und der Rest der Coolen Gang auf nach Old Germany!!!!!!!! Grüße an alle The Band Fans und natürlich an "The Band". Wolfgang


    Fri Apr 9 17:52:25 MET DST 1999

    Just Wonderin"

    From: Texas

    Getting away from the Basement Tapes for a moment...just got a copy of Largo and wanted to thank everyone on this site who recommended it!! Also for anyone who hasn't got it RUN out and get it...it's top quality music.


    Fri Apr 9 17:42:02 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    Peter: As I recall, one of the BT reels was tranferred onto a safety copy in the studio by John Simon. According to Heylin, this copy later turned up in Neil Young's archive. This is rather ironic considering that Neil has been known to have shelved more of his releases, at the last minute, than even Dylan.


    Fri Apr 9 17:20:03 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    What Clinton Heylin said was “At least three RM compositions - “Beautiful Thing’, ‘You say you Love Me,’ ‘Ferdinand the Imposter’. were omitted from the set possibly because they highlighted how Manuel, not Robertson, was the first to pen original Band material.”

    Heylin was wrong about “Ferdinand”, which is an RR song, and wrong on the timing - the Levon & The Hawks singles were written by Robbie. His “Possibly because …” interpretations let down his usually meticulous research. But life would be dull if speculating were illegal.

    These songs emerged because 14 of them were put on an acetate as a songwriting demo / sales pitch. Heylin also speculates “Perhaps Dylan wrote them all along for The Band to cherry pick from …” which seems unbelievable to me. Many songs wouldn’t have suited their style. Their choice from the 14 acetate songs was going to be obvious - the two they co-wrote plus the one that only Richard could do justice to. I wondered about the other possibilities. A fourth Dylan song would have overloaded Big Pink with Dylan, and songs like “Ain’t Going Nowhere” & “Nothin Was Delivered” would have declared them in the country rock camp too strongly. The jaunty “The Mighty Quinn” was maybe the most suitable of the others. “Ain’t No More Cane” is traditional according to the 75 BTs, but a Dylan recording survives from the 1961 “Gaslight Tapes”, which ascribes it to Leadbelly. On the Isle of Wight concert it’s introduced as “country music”. This 1969 performance means it was about long before 1975. As Dylan had been doing it so many years earlier, my “possibly because” would be that Dylan introduced it to them.


    Fri Apr 9 16:58:20 MET DST 1999

    Ilkka

    Home page

    Lil, I agree.
    I couldn't afford a plane ticket from Europe in the sixties - now I could but there is nothing for me. Tragical, isn't it.
    But it is OK if the younger generation keeps the tradition alive. ( In fact the local school shows tonight a rock musical they've called *Ringo*, it's about a girl(!) who wants to be a world famous drummer.) - If *Woodstock 99* is only a bluff, that is - of course - not OK:


    Fri Apr 9 16:54:39 MET DST 1999

    BOB REICHERS

    From: CAPE COD MASS

    LOVE THE WEB SITE- THANKS FOR KEEPING THE TOUR DATES CURRENT EVEN THOUGH THEY NEVER SEEM TO COME UP HERE TO THE NORTHEAST ANYMORE- LOVED THE JUBILATION CD- HOPE WE DONT HAVE TO WAIT ANOTHER COUPLE OF YEARS FOR THE NEXT ONE-- ALSO- REALLY ENJOYED LEVON & RICKS LATEST RELEASES ON THE WOODSTOCK RECORD LABEL- HOPE THERE IS MORE TO COME !


    Fri Apr 9 16:50:20 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    From: Georgia

    A great transformation did take place between the winter of 1967 and the summer of 1968 as the Hawks evolved into the Band. According to several accounts they signed on with Albert Grossman and recorded some rough sounding demos. Grossman took the demos to Warner Brothers (the label of his clients Peter, Paul & Mary) and later to Capitol after WB didn't act quickly. Capitol agreed to sign them for a six figure advance. After hooking up with producer John Simon they went into A&R studios in NYC and later Capitol & Gold Star studios in LA. They must have had at least some of the songs worked out before they began recording. Indeed, two of the first songs recorded at A&R, "Tears Of Rage" & "This Wheel's On Fire", were from their BT material with Dylan. After recording "We Can Talk", "The Weight" and "Chest Fever", Capitol was evidently pleased enough with the results, that they went sent out to the better studio facilities in LA. So maybe the sessions at A&R, under the guidence of John Simon, is where the proved their mettle. Perhaps Simon helped them smooth out the rough edges around the songs that had sprung from the fountain after their experience of playing with Ronnie Hawkins & Dylan.

    By the way: the song "Bessie Smith" curiously is registered with ASCAP under the name "Bessie." Richard Claire Danko and Jaime Robbie Robertson are listed as writers and WB Music Corp. as publisher. It is listed as recorded by Happy & Artie Traum and Bob Dylan & the Band.


    Fri Apr 9 12:22:47 MET DST 1999

    Diamond Lil

    From: The Web

    Just heard the line-up for the "Woodstock 99" festival here in upstate NY, and just want to make a comment. So far, not one person/band from anything even remotely having to do with Woodstock. Most of the performers are younger than me. Why is this being billed as "Woodstock 99"? Whoever is promoting this...let it rest, will ya?


    Fri Apr 9 04:57:13 MET DST 1999

    Charlie Young

    From: Down in Old Virginny

    Perhaps someone should tell John the Baker it ain't 1969 anymore, and even if it were, most of the folks here started listening to The Band as an alternative to the sort of mindless verbal diarrhea displayed in the previous message. His posting reminds me of the great quote regarding "On the Road": "that's typing, not writing." Kerouac, of course, wound up a broken-down drunk living with his mommy on Long Island when he died. According to the editor of Jack's last books, Ellis Amburn (author of "Subterranean Kerouac"), the King of the Beats was way back in the closet when it came to his bi-sexuality, too. I wonder if John the Baker was the result of one of Kerouac's liasons with Allen Ginsberg. One never knows...now back to the BT discussion which was a LOT better than that Greil Marcus pretentious...oh, don't get me started!

    JtB's looong and unformatted/unreadable post about his band and such has been deleted from the guestbook. I've asked him to post a link to it instead, if he wants to.
    --JH


    Fri Apr 9 04:15:29 MET DST 1999

    [guest photo]

    john the baker

    From: woodstock
    Home page

    We are THE BANNED from Woodstock! and we want to know if The Band would like to assist us with our summer tour. anything really, recording time, cash for equipment and travel. thanks for helping the kids on the green get ahead in the rock world.


    Fri Apr 9 03:42:59 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    Dave P, it seems obvious from the existing BT/post BT(meaning after Dylan departed for Nashville) that the boys either didn't record the new material that eventually made it onto Big Pink or didn't keep the tapes. Garth claims everything from the BT era--which includes a lot of the weird experimental stuff and the various country funk jams that hint at later feels--has made it into circulation. It's possible that they stopped recording, and I'm guessing it's unlikely that they did record and the work never made it into circulation. But something sure happened between Thanksgiving of 67 and the Big Pink sessions. Unfortunately, there may be no record of it. As far as when the Hawks became the Band, I'd argue that hints of the Band stretch back to "Stones" and continue through a number of BT outings. But there's also a lot of strange stuff that surfaced from the BT that is very un-Band-like. The Hawks became the Band sometime after Thanksgiving of 1967.


    Fri Apr 9 02:53:39 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    The impression I get from Heylin's comment about RR's ambivalence about the Richard material is different than what's surfacing here. As I read it, Robbie feared that if the original versions of the Richard material were included on the Columbia BT release, they would have sounded like exactly what they were: piano/vocal demos with minimal backing. Their inclusion as such would have sounded like Richard was working close to on his own, an impression Robbie wanted to avoid. Thus the need for overdubs to make it sound like they were all working on the material together. Re: Dylan solo BT vs. Dylan/Band BT; I would hasten to add that I understand the Band's need to sell some records and, except for the reservations I've already voiced, I'm thrilled that at least some of the material surfaced in an official release. Now, how about the logical conclusion to all this: vol. 5-7 of the Dylan bootleg series should be a return to The Basement.


    Thu Apr 8 23:02:09 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Bill: no disagreement about ‘The Stones I Throw’ being closer in tune to Big Pink, but from the surviving tapes of the Hawks (through the hiss) I could imagine them featuring “Orange Juice Blues” or “Long Distance Operator”, and by extension “Don’t Ya tell Henry”, “Yazoo Street Scandal” or “Ferdinand”, except for the Dylan influence on lyrics on the last two. I can’t imagine them doing “Aint No More Cane” so easily.

    Ragtime: The small margin between excellence and perfection is hard to define. Some days Bessie Smith is one side for me, some the other (Just listened and it was on the plus side). All the stuff on “Big Pink” is always on the better side. I think it’s easily the number #2 of the eight though.


    Thu Apr 8 22:27:38 MET DST 1999

    Bones

    From: Connecticut

    Reconnecting with Dylan in the mid-70s was very important for the Band from a historical perspective. The '74 tour, Basement Tapes and the Last Waltz helped re-establish their role in history, and also gave weight to their longevity as a band. Otherwise, they would have been known as a group that just made two great records. Obviously, this type of thing would concern Robbie and not the others. If it were not for Robbie making some of these mid-70s decisions, my guess is that they might not have enjoyed the historical success they currently enjoy(i.e. Hall of Fame induction, box sets, solo careers, etc).


    Thu Apr 8 20:09:48 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    Hot news from down South: Word is that Derek Trucks has replaced Jack Pearson as a guitarist for the Allman Brothers. Young Derek is of course the nephew of drummer Butch Trucks. The Allman Brothers just recently finnished their annual series of concerts at NYC's Beacon Theatre. They will begin their 30th Anniversary Tour June 12 at Red Rocks in Colorado. The tour is currently booked through September and is sponsored by NASCAR. For those of you who are redneck-challenged, NASCAR is an American stock car racing asssociation. I guess this is appropriate for a group once played that huge concert at Watkins Glen, a site also known for auto races.


    Thu Apr 8 18:14:26 MET DST 1999

    Paul Godfrey

    Hello Bobby Hogan. The Band's musical universe is certainly broader than you have suggested. However, Hear, Here!


    Thu Apr 8 16:53:01 MET DST 1999

    Ragtime

    Peter: all three basements songs that made it to Big Pink (Wheel's, Tears & Released) were (co-)written by Dylan. Coincidence?

    And what would have happened to the "all round song quality" of the other tunes if they had gotten the chance to be worked out like Bessie & No More Caine? (if You Say You Love Me had found its verse...). Well, we'll never know, don't we?

    BTW: please enlighten me about that "smallest margin" Bessie's missing.

    Ceterum censeo: Rags And B...


    Thu Apr 8 16:38:23 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    From: Georgia

    The Basement Tapes were recorded in the last half of 1967. _Music From Big Pink_ was released in August 1968. On that first album the Band included three songs from their basement collaborations with Dylan; three songs ("Tears Of Rage", "This Wheel's On Fire" and "I Shall Be Released") that appear in earlier versions on the BT recordings. Another song, the cover of "Long Black Veil", sounds like something they may have worked on while playing informally with Dylan. The question is: when did they first start working on the other seven songs that would appear on Big Pink? Were they working on these songs during their basement sessions with Dylan and just didn't tape them along with the other BT material? Or perhaps, were they working on these songs when Dylan wasn't around?

    Another source for booking, tour & other related information can be found on-line at:

    http://skylineonline.com

    This is a website maintained by Skyline Music, the agency that handles bookings for Levon & Crowmatix and Rick Danko. Other clients include NRBQ, Merl Saunders, John Sebastian, Johnny Winter and many others.


    Thu Apr 8 15:03:13 MET DST 1999

    Bill Munson

    From: Toronto

    I tend to disagree with Peter's point about the Basement Tapes representing a transition from the Hawks to the Band. I'd say that the "The Stones That I Throw" (from 1965) is much closer to the Big Pink than it is to the Tapes, or than the Tapes are to Big Pink. The only real development is lyrical sophistication: "The Stones ..." has very good lyrics, but they're much more direct than those of, say, "The Weight".

    The same does not apply to "He Don't Love You", of course, but "Go Go Liza" also has a Bandish guys-around-the-campfire sound to it. Nobody could imagine a campfire being involved in the Basement Tapes (could they?).


    Thu Apr 8 10:11:38 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    BTs: The comments on artists’ abilities to judge their out-takes started me thinking. Dylan has ditched great stuff (I’m Not There, Blind Willie McTell etc) and kept a lot of poor and even dire material (about 50% of recent albums). I think The Band show much better judgement. Three basement songs made it to Big Pink, “Tears of Rage” “This Wheel’s On Fire”, and “I Shall Be Released” and in all cases they were radically improved; vocals, arrangements and backing all show a major leap from the basement versions. My first 1975 reaction on hearing the official BTs release was that only “Ain’t No More Cane” would conceivably have fitted on “Big Pink” in terms of melody, treatment, style and all round song quality. As Levon said in his autobiography, it was the song where they found their blend.

    The rest is great, fascinating stuff, but it’s a transitional phase between The Hawks and The Band. Think about it seriously - were any of the other songs contenders for Big Pink? I think “Bessie Smith” misses by the smallest margin. “Don’t Ya Tell Henry” was waiting its time to be a natural for a Levon solo album. “Long Distance Operator” sounds unfortunately far too much like a British Blues-boom song. “Orange Juice Blues” - incredible performance and backing, but the melody best described as generic. They didn’t use anything this conventional in style or melody on “Big Pink”. It would not have fitted. “Katie’s Been Gone” would have been OK on Cahoots, but wouldn’t have made Big Pink. “Ruben Remus” again has a Cahoots feel (almost as if they went back a stage when they ran short on Cahoots). “Yazoo Street Scandal” has fun lyrics if you can hear them, but it’s far too messy and the melody too undistinguished for Big Pink. The Heylin comments on keeping Manuel songs back is patently nonsense. There are plenty of Manuel songs on “Big Pink” and they’re better than the rejected ones. “Beautiful Thing” had a good enough melody, but was pretty undeveloped. Ditto “You Say you love Me” which is a lovely fragment - a chorus waiting for a verse. “Ferdinand The Imposter” has better lyrics than melody (and has similarities with Ruben Remus in style). Jointly they showed impecable taste in the “Big Pink” selection.

    It’s interesting that the songs I think most accomplished, “Ain’t No More Cane” and “Bessie Smith” also seem to have been developed further (as were Tears of Rage, Wheel’s On Fire, I Shall Be Released). This doesn’t mean that they weren’t redone or at least heavily refurbished, but that stylistically they were further along the road between The Hawks and The Band.


    Thu Apr 8 08:15:12 MET DST 1999

    Ben Pike

    From: Cleveland Tx

    At this point I would just like to say....AH HAAA!!! We seem to have cut through the dang skin and gotten down to the very marrow. Pat, we can disagree honorably; but I will never ceed the History of The BT's to those who would destroy every known copy of Big Pink to save a single cassette of "Under The Red Sky"( or some other Bob stink bomb). And believe me, I know such glassy eyed Dylan worshipers. Rob Fraboni produced some enjoyable Joe Cocker albums, by the by. And does anyone know why "Rags And Bones" is sometimes in one sequence on "Northern Lights" and sometimes in another?


    Thu Apr 8 08:13:20 MET DST 1999

    BOBBY HOGAN

    From: ROANOKE,VIRGINIA

    The BAND MUSIC IS SO TRUE FORM OF MUSIC THAT YOU PUT IT WITH FLATT AND SCRUGGS,CARTERS, DOC WATSON,MONROE BROTHERS,STANLEY BROTHERS PEOPLE WHO NEVER GOT RICH OFF THEIR MUSIC BUT EVERYONE BORROWED FROM.


    Thu Apr 8 07:34:13 MET DST 1999

    Ragtime

    Like to add: on a 100% Bob BT album most attention would have gone to him & not to his sidemen.

    Ceterum censeo Rags And Bones... need I say more...?


    Thu Apr 8 07:15:57 MET DST 1999

    Ragtime

    PAT: our guys could easily have filled a whole album with 12 refurbished songs (& Bob could have delivered 8 more of his "own" basement tunes to fill the official 1975 release), but this was no guarantee for success: The Band badly needed a bestselling record at the time & the combination with Bob Dylan was the best way to achieve that.

    Ceterum censeo: Rags And Bones is wonderful...


    Thu Apr 8 04:38:36 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    Actually, I can understand Dylan afficiandos being a tad unhappy with the presence of so many Band tunes on the Columbia BT. The purist's POV is obvious given the BT thread of the recent past, and even the mid-tempo Dylan fan probably would have wanted more Bob and less Band just on the face of things. Personally, I kinda wished the boys simply said they were gonna fix up a bunch of their old tapes and release them for the fun of it, kinda like Moondog. The general public would have heard more crucial Dylan material, we would have gotten more of the boys at a particularly interesting time in their development, and the whole discussion of the overdubbing, etc. would be moot. I'm also going to guess that they did the BT cleanup and overdubbing on at least a 16 track. For example, the close mic'ing on Henry demands a decent number of tracks.


    Thu Apr 8 02:42:36 MET DST 1999

    Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran

    From: Madison, Wi.Merl on April 11th. 1999
    Home page

    Hi to all my friends on Jan's web site!!! I'm sorry for do being around much, but the Merl Saunders thing has really taken up alot of my time, and we are very excited about this event on our show. I wish (truly) you could all be here for this, and as a matter of fact some of you (can't mention names yet)are going to be here, via Chicago area and I'm very happy to get the chance to meet a few of you in person! I'll be asking Merl about his Japan (1997) trip with Rick Danko, and other members of The Grateful Dead, then post them here, with Jan's permission of coarse.Peace, Tim(SUNDOG)Corcoran


    Wed Apr 7 23:32:18 MET DST 1999

    Jan H.

    From: Halden, Norway

    Bob,
    The VH-1 LW site is still up, see: http://vh1.com/insidevh1/access/last_waltz/ for interviews with Robbie, Scorsese, and Fraboni.


    Wed Apr 7 23:19:53 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Martin: Just noticed that Hoskyns gives more or less a Watkins Glen set list (p 283 of hardback), which confirms my memory that "Slippin & Slidin" was on the double LP bootleg. It's not on the site. Surely someone must have it?


    Wed Apr 7 23:17:22 MET DST 1999

    Bob

    mr powell did you download those interviews of Fabroni, Scorsese and RObbie RObertson from last year on the VH-1 site. Would it be possible if you could forward copies to me at the address above. thank you in advance--hopefully.


    Wed Apr 7 22:47:58 MET DST 1999

    Bones

    From: Connecticut

    Granted, Dylan may not be the best judge of his own work, for I cannot believe he did NOT release "Im Not There" and "She's Your Lover Now". However, let us not get too bootleg crazy here. For the most part, there is good reason that the songs are left in the can. The Band and Dylan are exceptions. I remember an interview with Don Henley about an Eagles box set, and Henley replied that they were not like Dylan..... they released their best stuff.


    Wed Apr 7 20:45:56 MET DST 1999

    Bill Munson

    From: Toronto

    The good Dr Powell's findings on the Band members' real names prompts me to ask if anyone knows why the names are listed as Jaime Robertson, Mark Helm and Eric Hudson on the John Hammond LP. One could suppose an attempt to avoid contractual obligations, but who would have had a hold over them at that early stage?


    Wed Apr 7 19:03:46 MET DST 1999

    Mike

    From: Oregon (at least for now!)

    All this hoopla about the Basement Tapes...Kinda reminds me of the missing "Eddie Wilson" recordings! Reckon anyone will make a movie? On a lighter note, are the guys going to tour again, especially out west? Anybody know anything for sure? I need a fix, but I suspect it'll have to come from my own collection...Great site, Jan.


    Wed Apr 7 18:32:18 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    From: Georgia

    Veteran engineer Rob Fraboni no doubt provided much of the technical expertise when the Basement Tapes were prepared for release by Columbia. Fraboni, who was then working at the Village Recorder in LA, first worked with The Band when they recorded _Planet Waves_ with Dylan at that studio. As Fraboni recounted in his interview with VH-1: "...I always wanted to work with the Band. But I always thought, oh they're in New York and that will never happen. And, you know I just didn't imagine (it) coming to pass. Then they came to do Planet Waves (with Bob Dylan) and that's how I met them. And we hit it off and I just kept working with them and that's what happened. I did Before The Flood, I did the Basement Tapes, not the original recording but the compiling and fixing it up to release it. I went through all the tapes and then, you know Robbie came in and checked it out."

    Unfortunately, Fraboni didn't elaborate on any of the details of what was actually done with the Basement Tapes. As Pat Brennan mentioned, nowadays with computer work stations & hard disc drives, it easy to digitally manipulate & work with recordings. In the "old days of analog" what was normally done was to transfer the original session master tapes to "production master" copies in order to make post production changes. Through this process the engineers could fix problems or otherwise "doctor" the work tapes. I think this is what Fraboni & Robertson did with the Basement Tapes. By copying the original two-track recordings onto a four or eight track production master, they could make certain alterations and have additional tracks available for over-dubs. During this transfer, certain functions could have been performed such as noise reduction, limiting, compression and equalization to correct any noise & distortion problems and to adjust the dynamic frequency ranges. This process could also be used to correct any tape speed / pitch problems.

    On another note, as I mentioned yesterday, many of the Basement Tape songs published by Dwarf are registered with SESAC. Other Band songs, including those on their albums, are registered with ASCAP. Most of these songs were either published by Dwarf or WB Music Corp. It is interesting to note that the members of the Band are listed under their full names for songwriting credit; Jaime Robbie Robertson, Richard G. Manuel, Mark Levon Helm, Eric Garth Hudson and Richard Claire Danko. That's the first reference I can recall regarding Rick's full name. I found "Blues For Breakfast" registered and credited to Richard G. Manuel. According to ASCAP, it was registered when Mama Cass Elliot recorded the song.


    Wed Apr 7 18:28:41 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Martin: many years ago I saw a double LP bootleg of Watkin's Glen, but in those days I couldn't even dream of affording it. I've regretted it many times since. But yes, one did exist. I had it in my hands.


    Wed Apr 7 17:46:19 MET DST 1999

    Jonathan Katz

    From: Columbia, MD

    Ben Pike: At least one noted "Dylanologist" has referred to Garth's playing as "manic doodlings!" I've also heard several sources suggest that the Band numbers simply do not belong on the same record with the "real" BT's. You may have a point.


    Wed Apr 7 16:52:36 MET DST 1999

    Martin

    From: Aberdeen

    Can anyone verify if the version of Don't Ya Tell Henry on the Crossing the great divide boot( the one spliced together from 2 different sources) is Woodstock or not. The first half definitely is, but to me the spliced in second section sounds uncannilly similar to the Watkins Glen performance, albeit from a viynl source. Not having another CD player to be able to play the 2 versions simultaneously, I wonder if anyone else can settle the issue. Whichever performance the second half originates from raises the interesting question of where the viynl source came from. If the second section is indeed from Woodstock, this must mean that there is an acetate in circulation in addition to the board tape in the tape archive, which presumably would contain the mising songs. If on the other hand the second half is the Watkins Glen performance, it would mean that there is a Watkins Glen acetate/boot LP in circulation which would presumably predate the CD version and may well contain the 'missing' tracks from that day.
    Comments? P.S. Keep up the facinating comments/info RE the ever popular Basement tapes.


    Wed Apr 7 12:44:19 MET DST 1999

    snorre

    From: norway

    This page rules the internet. Hang in there friends.


    Wed Apr 7 11:16:08 MET DST 1999

    Ragtime

    Jonathan: I agree. Those so-called leftovers are fascinating. ...All You Have To Do Is Dream You Say You Love Me...

    Peter: so you did write about Cripple Creek? Why not add it to the articles section?

    Catbalu: you realize I can only play classical ragtimes in the Scott Joplin manner? I can't make Rag Mama Rag rag.

    Ilkka: Abba? Now you've lost me, my friend... :-]

    Ceterum censeo: did you all have your daily Rags And Bones? ...ragman your song of the street keeps haunting my memory...


    Wed Apr 7 09:31:53 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Catbalu: Indeed, Shakespeare left his wife his second-best bed with the furniture in his will. Most of his estate went to one daughter, Susanna. His daughter Judith got a silver bowl. His fellow actors got 16 shillings each to buy rings and the poor of Stratford £10. The second-best can be seen as an unpleasant gesture, but some commentators have said that his wife was wealthy in her own estate, and that the the “best bed” was reserved for guests so that the “second-best bed” was the one they shared.There must be a story in there for a sequel to Shakespeare-in-Love.


    Wed Apr 7 09:12:09 MET DST 1999

    Ben Pike

    From: Ben Pike

    Ferdinand The Imposter found it's rightfull place on the cutting room floor. I think my "Dylan resentment" angle bares some looking into. One day the Marcusites and the members of the Heyland sect may have to duke it out. Hopefully, Nato will not have to be called in.......


    Wed Apr 7 07:41:11 MET DST 1999

    Jonathan Katz

    From: Columbia, MD

    Pat: Don't limit your list of "Infidels" outtakes to "Jokerman." The entire "Rough Cuts" bootleg provides some of the best Dylan work since 1966 [imho]. Notable songs include: "Foot Of Pride," "Blind Willie McTell" [electric or acoustic, take your pick], "Someones Got A Hold...," and one of my favorites: "Lord Protect My Child" [which I'm reminded of daily by my own kids - and entires in this guestbook from a few weeks ago]. As Heylin points out: sometimes the artist is not the best judge of his own work. Dylan has proven that over and over again, and bootlegs have preserved some of his best work. Artists paint over canvases, and sometimes the original works can be recovered. Bootleggers can serve the same function. Whatever the original purpose of the Basement Tapes, or the purpose of the official release [I'm glad they had to pay rent on Shangri-La], these "throw-aways" contain some of the best music that I have in my collection. I keep going back to them - and that's the real test.


    Wed Apr 7 06:21:24 MET DST 1999

    Phil

    From: Ca

    A Gitjo ?


    Wed Apr 7 06:03:03 MET DST 1999

    catbalu

    From: just pulled into Danville this past week....for real...

    Mr. V - My favorite trivia about Shakespeare is what he left his wife in his will... Anybody?..... :-)

    ILKKA - that line-up sounds like something to rival Mick Jagger singing "Long Black Veil" with The Chieftans! Better you and Ragtime join Pete's line-up with you on harmonica!... (Hey, Pete, anything is possible...) I volunteer to stoke the fire - or get you a song or two...

    Give "anything Band-Related" to give the basement tapes a good respectful rest, without question... Makes me wish that if a "group-like" project were to be accomplished and seriously considered in HERE (the GB), it would be the preservation of Big Pink - after all, Donald Josheph has already offered to fix its screen door... Many sincere people support this GB. this is where i'll make my donation (hey, been tryin', jan!).

    How good it feels to restore a pink house... a place that young people call "cool" and want to be and breathe in. and mine - isn't even THE BIG PINK. just an imitation with heart, with the music playin' and resoundin'.... has anybody got info on how PINK's doing Right Now? would appreciate an update.


    Wed Apr 7 06:01:07 MET DST 1999

    Phil

    From: Ca

    Pat Brennan, I find this stuff fascinating. First we have Robbie and company cleaning up 1967 home made demo recordings to get closer to 1975 standards. Then we have 1975 recordings being mucked up to (retro) fit in with 1967 homemade recordings. That is why I suggested that maybe they used a 4 track Teac to record the 75 songs. It would have made this task easy, though that would not be the only way to do it. It would be great to know how they did this but we'll probably never know. If someone were to tell me that 2 songs from The BT's were recorded in 75 and I had to guess which one's I never would have picked "Bessie" and "No More Cain". "Yazoo" and "Don't Ya Tell Henry" sound like more contemporary recordings to my ears and would have been my guess. It all gets so confusing.


    Wed Apr 7 04:44:07 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    Dave Powell, with regards to the technical end, Dolby Noise Reduction would not have helped the BT. A performance would have to be recorded with NR encoding then played back with the reducer on to "enjoy" the benefits. dbx also produced a similiar unit which works much the same way. I use quotes on "enjoy" because I personally disliked those early NR systems. Today, with computerized intelligent NR among the audio tools available to engineers, the sky is the limit. What Robbie probably did was use limiting and compression to normalize the audio levels, then use a parametric/graphic equalizer to kill some frequencies while pushing others. Probably added reverb. Of course, in an attempt to duplicat the BT, he probably used intentionally poor recording techniques on the re-recordings. As far as the ethics of bootlegging, let's not forget that if the BT had never surfaced, neither would we be having this discussion--which generally includes paeans to the BT as a musical and historical document--nor would we be comparing "Brazos" "Bessie" et.al. to the Band's best work. And, anyone who likes the released Blood On The Tracks over the bootleg NY sessions is looney. Same goes for Jokerman, Danville Girl....oh, and that Royal Albert Hall thing.


    Tue Apr 6 23:50:06 MET DST 1999

    Bones

    From: Connecticut

    To Mattk: You have to buy both sets of Basement Tapes, but the "official" release is better to start with. If you love it, then spend up to get the 5 CD set. People on this site(and I am guilty of this as well) tend to over-analyze outtakes and demos. Although listening to demos of "Ferdinand" and "You Say You Love Me" are fascinating and wonderful, I would still prefer to listen to the released version of "Ain't No More Cane" no matter what year it was recorded.


    Tue Apr 6 22:07:10 MET DST 1999

    Peter V

    From: again

    Correction: no, three LPs of the brown album - there's the remastered vinyl from 1997 too.


    Tue Apr 6 22:03:04 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Went to check out what I said about Bessie in my article on “Cripple Creek” in response to Matt’s question. Look at this quote from Levon:

    Levon Helm: “Little Bessie is an echo of Rick’s song Bessie Smith from the basement tapes. People always wanted to know who she was, and I’d tell em it was Caledonia’s cousin.”

    So Levon is referring back to Bessie Smith as an old song at the time of the brown album. Nevertheless, the Bessie the narrator of Cripple Creek is remembering doesn’t seem to be a singer. BTW, there’s nothing in the lyrics that suggests she’s necessarily a “strumpet” (what a great word) rather than an old girlfriend. Unless I fail to read a subtext. Maybe he’s “kinda tempted” to go and see Bessie again rather than his Big Mama, but there’s no evidence of a financial transaction, however given Ronnie Hawkins’ tales, that’s what most people read. I always assumed the only echo was in the choice of name. Note how “Rick & Robbie’s” song becomes “Rick’s song” in the quote.

    Interesting comments all round on the BTs. I’d agree that Dylan had little interest bar getting a small share of what bootleggers had already made (It’s been a financial pleasure to be here tonight … as Kinky Friedman said somewhere) and that Heylin angles his description to fit his negative pre-conceptions about Robbie. Another way of saying it was that Robbie was the one who cared most about these historic recordings.

    As to price of bootlegs, it’s basic supply and demand. And they get busted, fined, and even sent to prison. Which sets the price. In the UK, at around £14/£15 for a single CD, £25 for a double it’s “undiscounted retail price” but no more than that. “Crossing The Great Divide” is better packaged than most official releases. People don’t buy bootlegs until they have every official release. I’d buy any Van M. or Band bootleg that was offered, and with both artists I have every official album, many of them three times - on LP, CD and remastered CD. I have two LPs of the brown album. I bought a second copy in 1970 and left it unplayed against the day when I could afford a decent record deck with a light stylus. As Van has put out his recent singles in two different versions with different bonus tracks, I’ve bought them all twice too. Dylan - well you have to be seriously selective!


    Tue Apr 6 20:43:53 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    Dylan's songs, published by Dwarf and Special Rider, are registered with SESAC rather than with BMI of ASCAP. I did a cursory search of their on-line data base and found no listing for "Ferdinand the Imposter". However, they did have "Orange Juice Blues" and "Ruben Remus" listed as written by Richard Manuel and published by Dwarf. Perhaps someone with a little more time can do a more thorough search.


    Tue Apr 6 19:56:08 MET DST 1999

    Bill Munson

    From: Toronto

    Note to Paul Godfrey: If only we COULD.


    Tue Apr 6 18:53:07 MET DST 1999

    Ilkka

    From: the ABBA land
    Home page

    We are many (if not all) who are crying after a reunoin of The Band - or what is left of it.

    I don't know anymore.

    You see, we have an ABBA fever here in Sweden after 25 years. There are certain similarities between these two groups, although the genre is not the same:
    One of the members wrote the songs (melodies), he didn't sing - he opened his mouth with his microphone switched off(?), they broke up, no reunion is planned, they are 50+. How it would be if these middleaged people sang their teenager songs once again - probably that could feel the same way than The Band performing their 60/70 songs. - No, let it be the younger generation which take the inspirations and carry on.

    That became clear to me when I had a period as a senior high school teacher in the same school where one of the ABBA girls once went. She was a *next-door-girl*, so the school was full of girls looking, acting and singing in the school shows like she did. It was fresh, natural and sincere. - Let's have it that way.


    Tue Apr 6 18:37:07 MET DST 1999

    Pete Rivard

    From: Hastings, MN

    I just yesterday received my copy of Craig Werner's "A Change Is Gonna Come-Music, Race & the Soul of America" and, Lo and Behold, there are two Band references. The author is a professor of Afro American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, and teaches a course on popular music and culture.

    The first reference is just a notation that the Band appeared on The Big Chill soundtrack, which also featured a number of Motown classics. The second reference is more extensive and speaks to Paul Simon's and The Band's gospel influenced work. Werner writes:

    "On his "Live Rhymin'"album, Simon collaborated with both the South American group urubamba and gospel's Jesse Dixon Singers. Simon's gospel version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" responds lovingly to Aretha Franklin's rendition of Simon & Garfunkel's ethereal classic. The only comparable moment in the dialogue between rock and pop came when the Staples Singers joined the Band, who demonstrated a deep feeling for gospel on "This Wheel's On Fire" and "I Shall Be Released," to perform "The Weight" on The Last Waltz. However much Simon or the Band might have reached out to black musicians and traditions, however, the black audience, if it was aware of them at all, seemed singularly unimpressed."

    The book is published by Plume, some sort of division of Penguin Books, 1998. I got my copy via amazon.com.


    Tue Apr 6 18:26:33 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    From: Georgia

    In discussing bootleg versions of the Basement Tapes, there's one important factor that can't be overlooked; that is, from the standpoint of Dylan , The Band & Columbia, no compensation is paid to the artists or their record label. As I recall, the Great White Wonder bootleg album of Dylan material became the first big-selling one of its kind. Bootleg albums of Dylan purportedly have out-sold many of his commercial releases. No wonder that this is a touchy subject in his mind.

    When Dylan finally decided to officially release some of the Basement Tapes material, I'm sure that the farthest thing from his mind was to preserve the songs as they were originally recorded. He never intended to commercially release the stuff to begin with, so maybe he decided that once he did release them it would be on his terms. From his standpoint, and apparently from that of Robertson, if they were going to see the light of day, they would try to upgrade them to studio-quality sound. After all, Robertson & The Band had just set up the Shangri-La studio, and Robertson & Fraboni had all this fancy equipment to play around with, including Dolby noise reduction. The boys had their toys and one would assume that Columbia compensated them to prepare the tapes for release. (Just as Columbia paid Greil Marcus to write the liner notes.) Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

    As Rob Fraboni revealed in the VH-1 interview back in June, the Shangri-La equipment was originally rented from the Village Recorder studios and the house itself was leased. Any revenue from studio projects would have been sorely needed to offset the cost of the equipment & house lease.

    So maybe the over-riding factor regarding the official release of the Basement Tapes in the minds of Dylan & The Band, and certainly Columbia, was to make some money. Hence, everything was done from a commercial rather than an artistic perspective. In some way they were also exacting revenge against the bootleggers, by giving the public something significantly different than the earlier, illegal versions. By the way, look at the prices you pay for bootleg releases compared to official commercial releases. How do you explain the higher bootleg mark-up, especially since none of it goes to the artists, their labels or their publishing companies?


    Tue Apr 6 16:59:44 MET DST 1999

    Martin

    From: Aberdeen

    RE the Basement tapes material, I notice Harm van Sleen cites 'Don't Ya Tell Henry' as one of the songs that was probably recorded in 1975. This is backed up by the fact that on the live versions I've heard( Woodstock and Watkins Glen) Garth plays the organ, while on the BT version he plays piano. I suppose the BT version could just as easily have been done in '67, but I think it's more likely that in '75 after the song had lost it's place in the set list, they decided to cut a decent version where Garth decided he'd rather play piano for a change. The BT version is also far less ragged and more together sounding than either of the live versions, suggesting that by the time they came to cut the BT version, they were far more comfortable performing it. However if the BT Don't Ya tell Henry was recorded in 75, it would mean that there is another( presumably inferior) take of the song in existence on their first demo session back in 67. I reckon if the tapes of those sessions ever leak out then it would clear up the confusion once and for all.
    Also, does anyone know if there's a complete tape of the woodstock 69' set in circulation? I've acquired the tape which cuts out midway through Don't Ya Tell Henry, but between what's available on the Band Box Set and Various Woodstock sets I reckon I can cobble together the complete set with the exception of wheel's on Fire'
    Lastly, I've just bought Clinton Heylin's book, Bootleg: A Secret History of The Other Recording Industry' and would reccomend it to anyone who's interested in the early Dylan bootlegs. It contains pictures of some classic boot covers, including Little White Wonder, a Basement boot with a superb caracture of the band in the top corner. If I get access to a scanner I'll try and get it on the site.


    Tue Apr 6 06:59:47 MET DST 1999

    Commissar Trotsky

    From: the heart of the Soviet Republic

    hi

    To put at least a bit to the latest discussion onvoling the Basement Tapes.

    1) My roommate interviewed Mr. Marcus about Invisible Republic and he discussed with him why the Band was included as well as other info. The article didn't turn out too well partly due to my roommate having to write it on short notice, . It is located at : http:www.daily.umn.edu/ae/Print/1997/16/books.html

    Mr. Jan----feel free to copy it.

    2) I will talk my roommate about transcribing the entire interview in which Mr. Marcus briefly discusses talking to Robbie, saying he has a gift with words etc. I'll post it or email anyone interested.

    hope this gives a little.


    Tue Apr 6 05:38:04 MET DST 1999

    Jonathan Katz

    From: Columbia, MD

    Peter: Heylin is often full of himself [if not IT]. You are right - he got Ferdinand's authorship wrong and he flames Robbie for being too full of himself as motive for the BT scam [well maybe].

    MattK: Buy them both [if you can afford it]. The GBT's for a whole lot of good music in a raw but honest[?] form. The Official Release for the material by the Band. Its all great stuff regardless of when it was recorded.


    Tue Apr 6 04:05:42 MET DST 1999

    Emily Story

    From: Forrest City, Arkansas


    Tue Apr 6 01:27:34 MET DST 1999

    Ragtime

    From: urbi et orbi

    Ben Pike: Actually I wish they had polished "You Say You Love Me" (Richard & Levon singing plus an intriguing Robbie vocal), "Ferdinand The Imposter" (Rick at his best) & "Beautiful Thing" (Richard just working something out) too in 1975, in the way mattk polished our guestbook :-)

    On the other hand, mysteries & rumors should remain. Let the Pope never interfere from the streets of Rome - filled with rubble as you know... Personally I'm very happy with our own basement gurus like Peter V & Pat B & Jonathan K :-)

    And this is from the spirit of Ilkka's latin teacher: ceterum censeo Rags And Bones esse admirandam


    Tue Apr 6 01:02:37 MET DST 1999

    Ben Pike

    From: Cleveland Tx

    I have a solid secondary source that says Rob Fabroni was handing out leaflets for the "Fair Play For Cuba" committe, and that.... opps, sorry, got my conspearacys mixed up. Anyway, I didn't know that "Beautiful Thing" went all the way to the BTs. Clapton of course, recorded it around 75. When Richard stopped, he really stopped. I would dispute the Dylan had anything but a cursory interest in the BTs; having stated on at least one occasion that he hated them. This notwithstanding his blurb for the paperback edition of "Invisable Rebublic"; I think he pretty much just made sure he got paid. Along these lines, I would suggest that a big part of this grousing(Pat B excluded) comes from Dylan hardcores, worshiping as they do at the temple of the Almighty Bob, who resent the BT's turning into a Dylan/Band album. These are the people who resented the boys getting there own numbers on the 74 tour(how it must have gauled them, in the early sets, when Bob stayed onstage to play along on some of the Band songs, like a mere SIDEMAN!) and have never given the Band their due. Well, I guess little of this will ever be settled. I think the BT's version of Orange Juice Blues is way better. But I am wore out for now. Perhaps the Pope could request a BT's truce for next Easter.........


    Mon Apr 5 23:50:40 MET DST 1999

    mattk

    From: maryland

    DOH missing </b>

    sorry Jan...grovel grovel grovel


    Mon Apr 5 23:44:30 MET DST 1999

    Paul Godfrey

    Bill M. Do you suppose we might add Richard Manuel's name to the Order Of Canada List?


    Mon Apr 5 23:41:31 MET DST 1999

    mattk

    From: maryland

    Bones - Frank Zappa once said (Dance Contest on "Tinsletown Rebellion," I believe), something to the effect that pretty people should watch out 'cuz "theres more of us...than you guys." I use a similiar concept to differentiate those of us who are full of it, and those of us who KNOW we're full of it . Seriously, though, it seems a likely psychology that accounts for much what seems to have gone down...minus the business issues, which we'll never know until Jan get's Real Audio streaming of bugged conversations at Watkins Glen, and an OCR of every recording/publishing contract the boys ever signed--anyday, now, righ Jan ?

    Dave Z - Having not heard "Bessie Smith," I'm admittedly speaking out of my hat, but assuming Bessie Smith is about the blues singer, Cripple Creek's Bessie is at least a strumpet if not an actual prostitute--at least by my take. Viney?

    Pat Brennan - Dylan's control was EXACTLY my original point, but someone implied that Dylan's input was not as big on BT since it was in that "difficult period" he was going through with Columbia. I totally lay any decisions about the makeup of that album at Bob's feet--it was labeled as a Bob album and was put out on Bob's label. RR's role would seem to be more technical than creative--except in the creation of the doppleganger cuts that were added.

    Which really raises my central issue, board:

    Is it worth it to buy the "official" AND the "complete" BT, or just the 5-CD set?"

    thx

    Matt


    Mon Apr 5 23:31:56 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    BTs: To rehearse this yet again, the source is Clinton Heylin in “Bob Dylan, The Recording Sessions.” Heylin states unequivocally that two are Manuel 1967 piano demos, two are demos cut in NYC in September 67, two were made with Levon shortly after he rejoined and two are 1975 from Shangri-La. Heylin goes on about the three “ignored” Manuel songs, but judging by the evidence none of the scraps of “Beautiful Thing” or “You say you love Me” were capable of rescue due to dreadful sound quality. I also query his unequivocal statement that the missing “Ferdinand” was a Manuel song, as other sources say it was Robbie’s. Thematically the lyrics are pure Robbie on the “trickster” theme. This could be checked via ASCAP and BMI, though I believe it isn’t listed. I also think that the selected songs did nothing to diminish Manuel’s stature. Quite the contrary. Heylin’s source is allegedly Rob Fraboni, the engineer on the sessions which is indisputable. There are unsweetened versions of some songs circulating but not others. The non-existence of others doesn’t mean basement versions were never done, just that the tapes were removed from the whole in 1975. As they did “Ain’t No More Cane” live in 69, there was almost certainly a version. Perhaps it was as rough as “You say you love me”, but Levon says this is where they discovered their sound in 1967. Theoretically you could build the song around an echo, a fragment and still retain some of the original. Maybe they discovered their sound but didn’t get it down to their satisfaction, so recreated it.

    Robbie (1998) still refutes the stories. In fact, I trust Pat Brennan’s ear and comments on styles much more than I trust Heylin. Heylin makes sweeping statements. When Heylin & Krosgaard disagreed over the provenance of Dylan tracks, Krosgaard had the evidence (tape boxes), but Heylin stuck 100% to his guns in the face of it. But Pat’s ear backs Heylin up here, and that I do believe. None of this diminishes the songs. I don’t believe that the two extra 1975 songs were built from scratch. I’d guess they were based on recordings which existed. Remember, they’ve often said that the bootleggers didn’t get everything. To those of us who are interested in history, this is like the question of when Shakespeare wrote Romeo & Juliet (P.S. Shakespeare in Love is fiction). If I could prove that Romeo & Juliet dated from 1602, would it detract from the work? A rose by any other date would smell as sweet. So the songs remain the songs whatever the truth behind it. And John Donabie, I believe that artistically, in spirit, they are indeed FROM the basement whether the actual renditions on the Columbia artifact were recorded then or not.


    Mon Apr 5 22:17:37 MET DST 1999

    Donabie

    DAVE Z. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. GREATLY APPRECIATED.


    Mon Apr 5 21:26:23 MET DST 1999

    Bones

    From: Connecticut

    To Mattk: You are NOT full of s**t. Everything you said in your post is exactly my take on it as well.

    To Charlie Young: Hornsby is great in person(live). It is too bad that his records don't have the same punch. Also, you have to love a guy that feels the same way about the Band as we do.


    Mon Apr 5 21:04:57 MET DST 1999

    Bill Munson

    From: Toronto

    Holy smokes - what a busy weekend you contributors had! I can't remember when it's taken so long to scroll back.

    1) John Donabie is correct on all counts: we don't have knights; we do have the order of Canada; and Danko, Hudson and Robertson certainly deserve the award.

    2) On the subject of Invisible Republic, I'll repeat my thought (stated here many moons ago) that the most annoying characteristic of the book, for this Band fan at least, is Marcus's unwillingness to recognise the Band's non-American (un-American?) contributions, despite some clear hints (restated but ignored by Marcus) from both Robertson and Hudson. I can only guess that they didn't fit in with the author's grand cultural theories.

    3) Two weekends ago I went to a record store in search of a new Domenic Troiano CD (Troiano being the guy who took Robertson's place on Ronnie Hawkins' bandstand). Didn't find it, but staring me in the face was The Bauls of Bengal. Not the Big Pink one, unfortunately, but really good all the same. Fabulous if weighted against the $10 price tag - and those are Canadian dollars.

    Went to a different store this past weekend, and found the Troiano thing, titled The Toronto Sound (on Universal / Mercury). The insert does a pretty good job of reciting the highlights of Troiano's career - though it doesn't make the point that of all the great local Robertson soundalikes, Troiano is the guy who took the style right to the edge, taking impressive chances in his solos on 45s released (by the Mandala) way back in the mid-60s. (Sorry about that long sentence.)

    The liner notes also mentions our own John Donabie, as the inspiration for the song, "All Night Radio Show". Hats off, John!


    Mon Apr 5 20:41:01 MET DST 1999

    Dave Z

    From: Chaska, MN

    John D: After seeing your question, I went back to Discography, Dylan & Band, BT, and finally clicked on the Clinton Heylin highlight. Does that help any? Hopefully someone else can kick in now, because I'm so confused I don't care anymore. It was fun talk though.


    Mon Apr 5 20:15:31 MET DST 1999

    John Donabie

    Pardon My Ignorance Re: Basement Tapes.

    I was always under the impression the basement tapes were in fact, recorded in the basement of Big Pink in '67. Again, pardon me for not keeping up; but would someone tell me how the stories started about a)they weren't all recorded then and b)they were sweeted in '75. Who started this story and what proof do we have? Just wondering. And why so long getting this info? Like Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, I would like to continue to believe it all happened the way I originaly heard it.

    By the way Peter Viney's warning about the boot original basement tapes vol.02 going bad...has also happened to me. Vol. 2 only. The others seem OK. Time to get a CDR.


    Mon Apr 5 18:52:45 MET DST 1999

    Pete Rivard

    From: Hastings, MN

    Ilkka and catbalou:

    here's my personal laundry list:

    5-string banjo, accordion, English concertina, guitar, lap steel, 3-string bass balalaika. I've tossed around ideas of doing a global recording session where a master is passed around in either tape or digital format, and folks just keep adding tracks. Either take a Band song or an original and try to evoke a Band arrangement. Any interest?


    Mon Apr 5 18:21:35 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    From: Georgia

    It seems as though the Basement Tapes will always remain a source of controversy & conspiracy theories. Where & when were they actually recorded? Were there additional musicians hiding on a grassy knoll near the house at Big Pink? Were the songs recorded merely to fulfill contractual obligations or for publishing demo rights? Maybe they were just rehearsing, practicing or just playing for the fun of it. The myths surrounding Dylan, The Band & the recordings they made are forever perpetuated. By accident or by design, who's to say?

    It's my opinion that perhaps the true significance of The Tapes lies not in songs themselves, but in the method or style of music as it was played by the principals. Between the recording of _Blonde On Blonde_,along with the live material from the 1966 tour, and the release of _Music From Big Pink_ & _John Wesley Harding_, the style of the music of both Dylan & the Hawks changed drastically. The Basement Tapes offer clues to how they were redeveloping their musical styles and exploring new ways to express themselves through their music. What the tapes show is that they stripped away excess, went back to the basic roots, and began to build on that foundation.


    Mon Apr 5 15:51:24 MET DST 1999

    Dave Z

    From: Chaska, MN

    More on BT. I was scanning my newly bought Across the Great Divide this weekend when a few questions came to mind. First, I got the feeling that Yahzoo was at one time considered as an outtake from Big Pink, and Hoskyns points out it was written in studio. Does this seem to imply anything not included on the first album could be considered a part of the basement tape fuzzy period or process? Or am I missing something here? I guess what I am getting at is that if I was a lawyer for the BT defendant, I may try to argue that all songs were a part of the BT process, some written in '67 maybe recorded, maybe not, and maybe not used but instead updated re-recorded in '75. Second, does anyone know if the song Bessie Smith somehow relates to the Bessie character in I think Cripple Creek?


    Mon Apr 5 14:23:37 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    What with the enormous ammount of ink spilled over it, the historical weight attributed to it, and the sheer musicality of it, the BT have taken on a life of legendary proportions. Investigating and debating the sources, no matter how far removed from the fact, still makes a difference.


    Mon Apr 5 13:23:04 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    If you pick up the Wild Magnolias CD "Life is a Carnival" you will find on the inner sleeve track listing that LIFE IS A CARNIVAL itself is listed as "featuring Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm & Rick Danko". This was exciting for a November 1998 recording BUT read on and you discover that "featuring" is a misprint for "written by". Only Robbie features (with Bruce Hornsby). Have just sent full details to Jan.


    Mon Apr 5 10:47:15 MET DST 1999

    Rod

    From: NZ

    The further we get away from 1975 the less it matters when various songs were recorded. However, the quality of the recording of Orange Juice makes it pretty obvious it's not from '67 and as I've said before I can't understand why the version from Across The Great Divide was not included on BT as it was recorded in the late sixties and sounds much more BTish. I always thought that Don't Ya Tell Henry never sounded like a BT song. As great as it is the guitar in particular sounds more controlled than it did in other sixties RR recordings. It reminds me more of RR solos from Moondog and Before the Flood.


    Mon Apr 5 09:57:57 MET DST 1999

    Ragtime

    From: the newsboy on the corner, singing out headlines

    Paul from New York: yes Garth IS incredible. But NLSC was never underrated in this forum. What WAS underrated is one of my all-time favs on that album: Rags And Bones. It crept into my head immediately after the LP came out & has never left me since.


    Mon Apr 5 03:25:40 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    And, Ben, it goes without saying that there's no hard feelings. Buster Keaton, Bob Dylan, and the Band, all in one post. That's livin', pally.


    Mon Apr 5 03:22:56 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    Ben, I can just picture us at Washington Park up front yelling, "When did you record Bessie Smith?" Since this thread seems to be winding down, I'll try to be brief. First, check Harm Van Sleen's article on the BT in the Library. Good analysis which casts further doubt on the inclusion of the Band material on the Columbia release. Second, I referred to the liner notes primarily in regards to Greil Marcus's involvement and secondarily in reference to exactly what Dylan and The Band were attempting the release to portray. Let me preface something here: I love the various overdubs and re-recordings, and I don't dispute in the least the Band's right to do something like that. In fact, I thank them. However, in the way the Columbia release was packaged, in the way the liner notes described a certain recording process, and in light of the historical significance of what went on in the basement in the summer of 1967, I believe the inclusion of the overdubbed and re-recorded Band tunes on the Columbia release was unfortunate.


    Sun Apr 4 12:27:44 MET DST 1999

    Ben Pike

    From: Cleveland Tx

    Pat, if only we could have raised this with the boys when we saw them in 76. A few last thoughts...for now. It's hard to imagine Robbie was ever trying TOO hard to keep Richard from shining as a songwriter, since it looks like they were trying to develop "Orange Juice Blues" into there first single, and Richard or course has three great songs on Pink. That leaves the great "Katies Been Gone" and the pretty good "Ruben Remus". Nice, but lets face, Richard just tapped out early as a songwriter. If all the songs were written around 67(as acutally, I assumed) that argues more for there inclusion than removal. It seems to me, finally, what we may be argueing about here are LINER notes, and if that isn't hair splitting..... I'm not sure what is. Now Vinney, I stick with my three CD version of the BTs. To include ALL of it would be like putting a "definative" version of a great film by including all the footage shot. All of it is INTERESTING, not all of it can stand beside your Tears Of Rages, your Goin' To Acapulcos. But then of course some of it can. No hard feelings Pat, you know even Buster Keaton used a stunt man once......


    Sun Apr 4 10:01:12 MET DST 1999

    Ilkka

    Home page

    Catbalu - oboe, Ragtime - classical piano, me - bagpipe.
    Jan, is the time near when there are Realtime musical sessions in the Chat room:)

    Happy Easter weekend and God bless the members, owner of this site and contributors.


    Sun Apr 4 09:39:46 MET DST 1999

    Colonel KC

    From: Long Island

    I guess this is the website that can rejuvenite the fan I am. Plenty to see and plenty to do. As for The Band, its taking me some time to get past Robbie Robertson splitting off. As a guitarist and a songwriter, Robbie has been my idol in both departments ever since the release of the brown album. I've loved everthing Robertson has done since the break-up and The Band is doing a great job of carrying on. (it would be a dream come true for them to get back together...)


    Sun Apr 4 03:33:48 MET DST 1999

    Spider John

    From: LAD3/4

    Can't make Jim Weider & the Honky Tonk Gurus tonite and I feel like being the Towne Crier. I know you are at the show tonite Stu. Post a review/setlist. Sure hope you get the word about The Band's tour plans/ health etc. Best to ya.


    Sun Apr 4 03:16:46 MET DST 1999

    Paul

    From: New York

    I just replayed my vinyl of NORTHERN LIGHTS-SOUTHERN CROSS fot the first time in years---I still can't believe how underrated this album was/is---Garth is incredible!


    Sun Apr 4 03:12:57 MET DST 1999

    catbalu

    From: the treehouse

    Ilkka - you and your bagpipes, me and my oboe! Was it enough to make the rabbits run? (my oboe playing made our horses crazy, so sis - the sax novice - and i started to "play" for them just to watch them run fast like race horses - for a change. ever heard of spoiled horses? :) Hope you enjoy making your joyful noise. all that matters... hello again!

    doesn't bother me about the basement tapes touch-up as long as all Band members gave it their blessing - and as long as the originals were archived. History. Refinement..... As long as the artist(s) is(are) the one(s) involved in changing the original, why should the audience have a vote — or think they should? if it were done like a secret, makes me wonder..... but consider it my right to manipulate my personal work as i see fit, especially if $ (hello, $) is not the motive but the craft is.

    world of man. kills children and spirit. not worth it. make beautiful music, make a mess. be glad that it can BE.

    have a good day to all. BTW - Caledonia Mission is great wall-papering and dancing-in-the-kitchen music....


    Sun Apr 4 02:38:35 MET DST 1999

    Gerard York

    From: Tallahassee, Florida

    Here's a proposal. There may not be many Band fans who, like me, are also King Crimson fans. However, the DGM Collectors club was started by veteran Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp. (www.discipline.co.uk). The club releases limited editions (for 1500 -2000 members or so) of old concert bootlegs, cleaned up for distribution. So far, three CDs have been released, and most club members I know are delighted. I can't speak to the financial bottom line at DGM, but I assume it's satisfactory. Query: would the Band or their label be interested in setting up a similar club for old Band and solo material. Rather than buying bootlegs, I want to put the cash in their pockets. I'd also love to get vintage concert and studio tracks on CD. Does anyone at Woodstock or their current label think a "Big Pink Collectors Club" is a viable concept? Gerry York Box 10714 Tallahassee, Florida 323022714


    Sun Apr 4 02:30:38 MET DST 1999

    D Pepper

    From: Turkey Point, Ontario

    Greg, Look up Woodstock Records (link is somewhere here on the page). Turkey Point Productions is on hiatus.


    Sun Apr 4 01:17:34 MET DST 1999

    Charlie Young

    From: Down in Old Virginny

    Robbie Robertson joins Dr. John, Allen Toussaint and Bruce Hornsby on the new album by the Wild Magnolias, LIFE IS A CARNIVAL. The review posted on the CD NOW website says it is "possibly the best Mardi Gras party ever captured on tape. I caught a solo Hornsby benefit show in his hometown of Williamsburg, Virginia this week and he did an abbreviated version of "Long Black Veil" which segued into his own "White-Wheeled Limousine." He explained that his song was inspired by the former. Bruce will tour with his band this spring and early summer, followed by a fall tour with Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Shawn Colvin. If you've never caught Hornsby live, you owe it to yourself. Pay no attention to his mainstream radio stuff. See him in concert to catch an artist in his prime, with an amazing band to boot.


    Sun Apr 4 01:05:52 MET DST 1999

    Jonathan Katz

    From: Columbia, MD

    I agree with Pat on the BT - his views on both the official release and the genuine material. With regard to the Tiny Tim stuff - its not worth $30. But I thought it was fun to listen to it. The musicianship is excellent, though the lead singer leaves a lot to be desired to say the least!


    Sun Apr 4 00:46:55 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    The Tiny Tim material is pretty weightless. It's appeared a number of times in various forms, but I wouldn't get a collection just to get that.


    Sun Apr 4 00:39:48 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    IN addition....MattK, Dylan had unprecedented creative control over his product. Recall in 1975 he recalled an entire album after it had been mastered and the pressing begun (Blood On The Tracks). Don't blame Columbia for the BT.


    Sun Apr 4 00:29:28 MET DST 1999

    Danny Lopez

    From: Iowa (soon to be New York)

    Another BT matter:

    Does anyone have "Down in the Basement," the boot with Tiny Tim? I've found where I can get a copy (for $30), but I'd like to hear an opinion or two on it's worth. Just listening to the audio segments offered on this site, it actually sounds pretty weird, not to mention un-Band-like. Many of the songs are naturally familiar, but what about the "instrumentals" or the cover of Chuck Berry's tune?


    Sun Apr 4 00:23:07 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Sorry, a question I didn't answer. The boot with disc rot was a CD, not a CDR (it predates CDRs).I'm sure the copyright owners find its fate well-deserved!


    Sat Apr 3 23:53:56 MET DST 1999

    Ian

    From: Florida

    The very first time I listened to The Band was on the Last Waltz video wich changed my whole musical direction and opened me to a whole new world of music. All I can say to anyone who likes the band. Good choice if anyone has lead guitar tabs to any band songs e-mail me @ loser128@hotmail.com


    Sat Apr 3 22:13:51 MET DST 1999

    Mike Carrico

    From: the sub-basement

    Can somebody help me out re the Basement Tapes issues - that is, it seems to be generally accepted that all of the songs were doctored in 1975, and that two of them were completely recorded then. What is the source of this information, and is it acknowledged by members of The Band to be correct?

    I realize that this ground has undoubtably been covered in the guestbook before, but it would be helpful if someone here in the know would list all eight Band songs on the 1975 release, and the recording specifics of each song.

    Thanks in advance folks...


    Sat Apr 3 22:06:15 MET DST 1999

    Freddy Fishstick

    From: Key West

    Dave Z

    You welcome. Nice to see somebody was paying attention.Any details on Rick show @ Friend of the Farmer in Roslyn? I know he been a ploughboy, but not many farmers in that neck of the woods. Saw Rick & Paul Butterfield in Roslyn back in the late 70's with Mrs Fishstick. As I recall they both was semi-lubricated. Mighta been moonshine from the missin still friends and neighbors.


    Sat Apr 3 21:18:17 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    Ben, call me whiney if you must, it doesn't bother me atall. However, your description of the Columbia BT as "a subtly tweaked collection of work tapes" is far off the mark. First of all, two of the songs were completely re-recorded in 1975. The claim in the liner notes that these songs were recorded in 1967 is dishonest. Such inattention to the truth hardly adds to the stature of the actual recording. Now, to the music that's left. A number of the tunes were Richard Manuel demos--basically Richard at a keyboard with minimal backup, sometimes only a bass guitar. The real BT versions of these songs a quite beautiful. One problem: they simply don't sound like the Band. If they were included on the Columbia BT release in this form, a number of things would be obvious, the main point being that Richard was writing and demoing a lot a material on his own at the time. For whatever reason--and you all can make up your own minds here--various instruments were added to these songs. Various arguments have been entertained here: Robbie wanted it to seem like the group had developed its sound at this point, Robbie was afraid the song demos wouldn't stand up to the Dylan material, Robbie was afraid Richard would be perceived as the major songwriter at the time, whatever. But here's something to ponder: Marcus's words in the liner notes: "all of the tracks have been remastered; highlights have been brought out, tones sharpened, hiss removed, and so on." Buy into it or don't, I guess. Ben, you also missed another point. All the songs, including the two re-recorded, do date back to 1967. None were written in 1975, although many of the performances do. I also never said that the music itself was dishonest, and I went well out of my way to express my deep regard for all the songs. What I did say was that the presentation of the songs on the Columbia BT was and is dishonest. Much of what you listen to in the Band tunes on that release was not recorded in the basement in 67 but rather at ShangriLa some eight years later. You can hear Robbie guitar tones that he didn't develop until the mid-70's supposedly flavoring '67 recordings. A Garth sax solo where none existed. Vocals added, removed. Finally, please, do not regard this as some flame. I respect everyone's opinion here.


    Sat Apr 3 21:03:37 MET DST 1999

    Phil

    From: Ca

    I think I read somewhere that the BT's were recorded on a regular stereo 2 track reel to reel. This was 1967. As for the stuff done in '75 who knows? Could it have been done on that 4 track Teac visible behind Rick in the "Sip The Wine" segment in TLW film?


    Sat Apr 3 20:54:33 MET DST 1999

    Jonathan Katz

    From: Columbia, MD

    IMO a second coming of the Basement Tapes can be found in two Dylan albums: "World Gone Wrong" and "Good As I Been To You." Of course these two were w/o the Band. But after all those years and all the stuff that went down, here's Bob doing it all over again.


    Sat Apr 3 20:33:13 MET DST 1999

    MattK

    From: Maryland

    Wow, great discussion on the BT, folks. This is what this board should be about. Great, great info...

    Just a few quick comments:

    Danny Lopez - Thanks for the lead on a quality release of the BT. Viney's experience is EXACTLY what I'm looking to avoid. Thankfully, the internet is a great resource for following up and researching further, but at least I have an idea what to look for--thanks again. Also, since you mention my holy trinity (Mingus, Mile, Coltrane)...I just picked up Atlantics re-release of Mingus' "Oh Yeah" and "The Clown." Great great stuff...It's released as part of the same series which begat "Roots & Blues." Tons of extra cuts and a nice analysis of the song "The Clown" itself, complete with percieved alternate endings to the story...great stuff. Nice to find a quality release of these works (especially "Oh Yeah") again. Nice compliment to Columbia's release of "Ah Uhm," "Mingus in Wonderland," etc last year.

    Back to The Band...

    On this "ethics" issue. How the album is packaged and marketed as being the "real deal" falls entirely at the feet of Columbia. We don't know how the project was pitched to Robbie and the boys. RR has been very consistent on one issue: they didn't think anyone would ever hear this stuff--which is both the strength and weakness of the recordings. As a strength, the are very un-self-conscious and emotionally very honest. On the negative side, they (purportedly) suffer from the lesser production values of a 4-track (or was it 8?) recorder in a basement. I have a number of tapes like that of my own--old compositions where I'm just messing around and experimenting. As much as I love them, I would never put them on vinyl, no matter how much the money, without re-recording or re-mastering them. It's that line between you as a fan and the composer. If Dylan, RR and The Band wish to "doctor" their tunes before you hear them, it's their perogative. It's your decision whether you think it's musically worth your time to buy and/or listen. The fact that they are labled "The Basement Tapes" begins to move into a gray area. What right do I have to tell those boys what they should release "officially" as the BT or not? It's not like the boots are legal, themselves... At any rate, 1975, it's impossible to expect that RR or Dylan could be as un-self-conscious as they were in 1967 (especially the newly famous RR). This is a nice segue to the other thread... I believe that becoming self-conscious is what killed The Band (or at least version that includes RR). In my opinion, after BT and the first 2 1/2 Band albums, the group produced a number of great songs, and a number of great experiences (live). But nothing they did from about 1/2 of Stagefright, was not of the same transcendent, visionary mold to be held CONSISTENTLY across an entire album. The live stuff, no question, was superior, but that too was taking it's toll in addictions and bad habits.

    In other words, the 8-10 years that preceded the Big Pink experience were the impetus for those late-60s recordings. Once that creative explosion was done, the boys were left standing out there as some sort of high priests of American Music (the Smithsonian comment comes to mind). How can you not be self-conscious after that?

    As much as the trappings of success eroded the relationships in the group, personally, I think it was this loss of creative innocence that eroded the group to the point that RR couldn't take the pressure to create in what was an increasingly acrimonious environment. In my theory, he had to leave, or face becoming a cliché.

    I find that moment in the "Coming Home" video, where RR talks about going to Shangri La one day to work and no one shows, to be heart-breaking. His rather emotional reaction when talking about the groups demise (really, the only record I know of where RR really talks about his personal feelings about the breakup), to be genuine and very very regretful--if not fatalistic. I don't for a second believe that he wanted the group to dissolve, but I think he felt that there needed to be an event that would allow the group to break from it's past and move forward--even at the risk of the group itself. I think, to him, that event was to be "The Last Waltz."

    For those that think they should have just squirreled away and done "The Basement Tapes Mark II," please reconsider your position. Sequels are rarely anything but disappointment, and would not have likely worked. Once they hit the big-time, such low-key, anonymous work was impossible. Like someone said, these guys could not find that same comfortable fame as the Stones seem to have discovered--and are probably the only ones to do so (anyone who's seen the last few incarnations of The Who can attest).

    Of course, what do I know, I'm full of s**t .

    Cheers

    Matt


    Sat Apr 3 19:08:05 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    The basement tapes currently in circulation in one way or another would require a 6 CD box set (the five CDs of Dylan/Band stuff, plus the Band solo stuff, which was once supposed to appear as Volume 6 of the “Genuine …” series. BTW, in listing the bounty of 1998 I forgot there was “Live 1966” too. The full BT’s are the sensible follow up! I guess the problem of officially releasing the material is someone having the time and inclination to oversee it, i.e. Dylan or Robertson. I think Dylan and Robertson have both remarked that they thought everyone already had the basement tapes before the 1975 release. It’s probably true now that many hard core fans have the “second batch” too, but I think they’d all be up for getting one step closer to the master. The polishing in 1975 has made the task harder, because they wouldn’t be polishing the other material. Even so, Columbia could follow Frank Zappa and Robert Fripp’s example - obtain the best quality bootlegs and just run them off. They didn’t do much to the few extras on ‘Biograph’ / ‘Genuine Bootleg Series 1 - 3’.

    I’ve just returned from a record fair where for the first time in memory there were NO bootlegs. It seems that the police have been busting the fairs and that people are being imprisoned. No musician likes to be bootlegged, but there is an intelligent answer which is to produce limited edition live albums at regular intervals, probably via the internet and the specialist mail order dealers. And to make older material available in the same way. Woodstock Records have shown the way with the Danko & Levon & The Crowmatix sets. Let’s hope they do more. Most bands would not want such live documents to be thought of as major releases, but by releasing them in a more limited way, the distinction is clear.


    Sat Apr 3 15:00:32 MET DST 1999

    Dave Z

    From: Chaska, MN

    Thanks guys. This BT stuff is facinating! Those two songs just re-inforce for me anyway that the Band was still awesomely creative in '75.

    I just got my Barnes&Noble copy of "Across the Great Divide". I was pleasantly surprise that for the $10.94 including shipping I got a hard copy. I was expecting a paperback. Thanks to whoever gave the tip earlier in the GB.


    Sat Apr 3 10:47:13 MET DST 1999

    zoot

    From: tokyo japan
    Home page

    Very nice site!! I love it. sometime I'll be back again. thanks.


    Sat Apr 3 10:07:19 MET DST 1999

    Greg

    From: New Jersey

    I went to Rick Danko's own web site last year and now it seems to have disappeared. I thought that I found it through the Band site. I think the name was Turkey Hill Prodictions. Does anyone know if it has moved or has a different name? Thanks.


    Sat Apr 3 09:59:18 MET DST 1999

    Ragtime

    First & last of all: Bessie & Brazos are among the very very best The Band has ever done. I think we all agree on that. I wouldn't miss them for the world. There exists no such thing as "dishonest" music anyway (not by The Band, that is). It's just that we want to know the recording history...


    Sat Apr 3 09:26:07 MET DST 1999

    Ben Pike

    From: Cleveland Tx.

    Boy, it is hard for me to get into this BT thang without ranting. Let me give it my best shot. The BT's is one of the seminal classics of Rock and Roll, and the fact that is a subtly tweaked collection of work tapes seems to me to only add to it's stature. What is incredible to me is if (some of) the Band's tunes were written years after the fact how amazing indeed it is that they fit so perfectly into the tapastry of the old songs. And how brillant of Robertson(at least) to see the sessions created there own little musical world. Why Richard and Rick could help create great songs for that specific mindset(years after the fact, it is argued)but could never really create first rate material for themselves is a real mystery; and makes me question the whole "after the fact" premise. Maybe they had just saved the songs. As I HAVE ranted in the Guestbook before, the essentail spirit of the BTs made it onto the album in a big way; and it seems whiny to the Nth degree to call music like "Yazoo Street Scandel" and "Bessie Smith" dishonest. I wish that in 76 the boys had desided that they needed to create fourty minutes of BT's like material for part two release. Judging by what happened the first time, you would have gotten something a hell of a lot better than "Islands." Also, Marcas claims that the sound quality on the Genuine Basement Tapes is weak and stuff is missing. What we need is a boxed set, with at least one more CD. But at this point Robertson must feel he'd only get abuse for his trouble!


    Sat Apr 3 07:23:20 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    Peter V. and I have discussed this closing of the ranks on the BT issues (his initial observation for anyone interested) and it is another example of the boys' tight-knit world. One problem: Rob Fraboni told Heylin about the brushups, etc. and the rest is history. Believe me, I love Bessie Smith and Brazos, but it's a weird thing in their history no matter how you look at it.


    Sat Apr 3 07:16:50 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    Dave Z, Bessie Smith and Brazos. A couple of months ago I ran down all the differences between the BT and the Columbia release. I know it's somewhat time-consuming but it's back there somewhere.


    Sat Apr 3 07:05:18 MET DST 1999

    Dave Z

    From: Chaska, MN

    Pat: Yeah, I guess I agree with you on the honesty issue. I'm definitely no expert on the BT's or Dylan, and couldn't even tell you off the top of my head which were the '75 versus the '67 songs. You probably can - is it really noticeable?

    I guess I am personally just struggling with my own different set of honesty issues as I dig more into the history of the Band and Dylan. It seems to me sometimes that there is this Dylan-associated-force out there that strives to elevate the importance of process, and especially artistic firsts, to such a degree that it appears to be maybe more important than the music or sound itself. I get this same feeling after watching too many episodes of VH1 Behind the Music at one time.


    Sat Apr 3 04:24:57 MET DST 1999

    Diamond Lil

    From: The Web

    Hi Tracy..and thanks for the laugh :-) What a way to meet future wives, eh?

    Actually, Rick _was_ married twice. First was Grace, then was (and still is) Elizabeth. Rick's son's are Eli (who passed away in 1989) and Justin (who's still, thankfully alive and well). His only daughter is Lisa. Rick and Elizabeth have been married now for I think about 25 years plus. It just goes to show you that if you "crash" into the right person, it can be a _good_ thing :-)


    Sat Apr 3 04:09:59 MET DST 1999

    Jonathan Katz

    From: Columbia, MD

    Pat: I agree with you. When I want to listen to The Basement Tapes I listen to the boots. The official release is something else - I like it, but its not The Basement Tapes IMO.


    Sat Apr 3 03:07:28 MET DST 1999

    Tracy

    From: valley of the confused

    Diamond Lil: Okay, now where in the world did I get Donna from. Probably from the credits to a Band album which I mistakenly thought was a Danko. As you can see, I don't know too much of the Danko history. Who were his sons? As I was looking through both biographies I was left a little puzzled, or did somebody get the names confused. In Levon's book, it says that Rick crashed into a Grace Seldner who he later married. Then in the Hoskyn's book it says that he crashed into Elizabeth Grafton (who is still his wife). Did they make a mistake? Was Rick married twice? If so, is this how he would meet women? By crashing into their car?

    Tracy

    juuust curious


    Sat Apr 3 01:46:45 MET DST 1999

    Danny Lopez

    From: Iowa (soon to be New York)

    Just started reading the guestbook again. I had to give the other side of my brain -- the Coltrane, Mingus, Miles, Thelonious side -- some release for awhile.

    Glad to see BT is the subject again. I hope someone here benefited from the Midnight Records address I gave about a month ago. That's where I recently got the Genuine BT. Now I see, in their latest catalogue, none available. This is a Wild Wolf production, but everything else is the same -- same pictures, packaging etc. They're also quality cds. Do tell, Peter V., if the one's you had that developed holes were cd-r's or what?

    After listening to these 5 cds pretty intensely, I must say a Band collection is not complete without them. There's so much here it defies my weak abilities to discuss them aesthetically. For a Band-head, it's worth it alone just to hear the banter between Dylan and the boys. One episode is particularly priceless: On the tune "Next Time on the Highway," Dylan is heard ranting some obscenities towards the end. This much John Howells reveals in his review on the Punkhart site (where, by the way, you can find boot sources, including Midnight). But what Howells doesn't say is that Dylan is laughing at Richard. In a rough paraphrase, Dylan says "just listen to Richard play that piano, all shit-faced ..." And then a couple of tracks later, on "Bring It on Home," its quite endearing, and perhaps quite telling of Richard's admitted difficulty with writing lyrics, when Bob tells Richard to "take a verse," and Richard pleads twice, "I can't ad lib." Then Bob says, "okay, I'll sing it."

    Some of the music here is just pure fun. Some of it is so profound and deep it takes you to a place far away (perhaps a previous century or travelling on a highway to nowhere)-- a place quite familiar I'm sure to all you Band/Dylan freaks. At any rate, it's indispensable.


    Sat Apr 3 01:35:08 MET DST 1999

    Diamond Lil

    From: The Web

    Tracy: Very nice to imagine the next generation doing their own version the basement tapes, but I do have a question. Who's Donna Danko? Rick's daughter's name is Lisa. Just curious.


    Sat Apr 3 01:14:04 MET DST 1999

    Tracy

    From: beyond the night parade

    Okay, talking about the basement tapes, Dylan, and such. I was discussing an idea with some people elsewhere on the net. I had been talking to a Wallflower's fan, (Jakob Dylan's band) and I mentioned that it seems among the Band and Dylan their musical genes have been inherited by their fathers. If there could ever be a resurrection or new (rock of ages) generation, I would say a really nice bunch to make their own basement tapes I would choose, Jakob Dylan (guitar), Sebastian Robertson (drums) and throw in that they are songwriters as well and mix in three female vocalists. Those would be Amy Helm (sings with her father), Delphine Robertson (background vocalist on "Coyote Dance" and "Paint Yourself," and Donna Danko who can sing really well to "It Makes No Difference." I would imagine that this would really sound nice, or I've been inhaling too much inkjet printer's ink lately.

    Tracy

    sometimes WAY out there


    Sat Apr 3 00:30:47 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    I could care less when the BT were recorded. However, if someone tells me they were produced during a magical period in 1967, then I find out some of the tunes were recorded some 8 years later and passed off as products of an earlier time, then I question the honesty of the effort. If you don't, fine. At no point did I question the value of the BT availability or their historical significance. But I pull the boots if I want to listen to them.


    Sat Apr 3 00:07:53 MET DST 1999

    Jonathan Katz

    From: Columbia, MD

    David Powell: My recollection is that when the Basement Tapes album was officially released and sold, Dylan was quoted as surprised by the sales figures because he thought that everyone already had them.


    Fri Apr 2 23:58:49 MET DST 1999

    Dave Z

    From: Chaska, MN

    If you are singing songs about mysterious lost American in the 1800's, then does it really matter whether the songs were recorded in the 60's or 70's. I don't blame 'em for some cleaning up but then again I don't value any of the Band's work based on being "an artistically process pure first" of any kind. I just like the way it sounds. Who's to say they didn't have a flashback in '75, so maybe somebody was temporarily transported back to '67. Heck, I think Dylan should come back again, or maybe Robbie and Levon should secretly get together out of the public eye, but that's just me.


    Fri Apr 2 23:12:54 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    John Donabie: Right, no knights nowadays. I was fooled by the 19th century Prime Ministers and Governor-Generals who tended to be “Sir (Mac)whatever.” Long, long time ago. I believe the sovereign of Canada is “unconnected constitutionally to Great Britain though physically the same person”, but I wonder if the Order of Canada can be awarded to foreigners. I’d hate to see Levon left out:-)

    Seriously, not a bad idea about the others.

    Pat: the details of the BT charade must be not only known but evenly shared. And they’ve kept close ranks and tight lips on this one. There must have been equal participation, and if it reinforced an archtype it was “of the five-as-one”. They all benefitted.


    Fri Apr 2 23:06:11 MET DST 1999

    Bones

    From: Connecticut

    Robbie always said the Basement Tapes were a "conspiracy" . I like the fact, as he does, that there is still a lot of mystery surrounding the recordings. Who cares if some songs were touched up at Shangri La? Are you sorry they are on the record? Not me, for I will take the product that I can get. As for the people who say Robbie poisoned the group after the second record, this is ridiculous. Does Levon really think they could have made a better record than Stage Fright or Northern Lights-Southern Cross without Robbie?


    Fri Apr 2 22:36:43 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    Ragtime, although I appreciate fully the rock/hard place you fell into in regards to the review, Marcus obviously heard the Columbia version of the BT; his comments are pointed enough to prove that. He's had plenty of chances to rewrite himself and has chosen not to. Far be it from me to say he should. Given his close relationship with the group-and Robbie in particular-I suppose he has good enough reason not to, although the details of the charade are well known in these circles. It's funny, though. The Columbia release now has the appearance of a different sort of historical document, the product of 1975 rather than 1967.


    Fri Apr 2 21:47:42 MET DST 1999

    John Donabie

    Peter Viney....We do not have knights in Canada. Our highest civilian honour is receiving the "Order of Canada". Joni Mitchell, Ian & Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot have been "pinned" so to speak. I believe Leonard Cohen as well. I understand the way to receive this high Canadian honour is to write your member of Parliament. Get everyone you know to write and why they should receive it. That's the way you get in, unless your a great hero or something. All four Canadian members of The Band should receive it as far as I'm concerned; for their contribution to Canadian music.


    Fri Apr 2 21:28:05 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Little Brother: enjoyed your comments. I assume Canada still has knights, presumably recommended. In Britain we now have a system where the people can suggest new knights directly to the Prime Minister. If it's the same in Canada, I guess all the Canadians out there should start writing in to Ottawa. Sir Garth, Sir Robbie & Sir Rick. BTW, the Queen can appoint foreign nationals as knights too - though they can't put "Sir _' on their headed notepaper, so Sir Levon too (for Extraordinary Services to Canadian Music).


    Fri Apr 2 19:43:50 MET DST 1999

    Little Brother

    From: around Philly, PA

    "The memories will linger on, But the good old days, they're all gone..."

    This site appeared on the hyperspace horizon like an oasis appearing to a thirsty vagabond. I'd survived on a trickle from my cactus of a brother, the only Bandophiliac in sight.

    After a few weeks of gulping down postings and emitting a few gassy belches, one weekend I grabbed up Levon's book and Hoskyns' "Across the Great Divide" and burned through both. The effect was as if I'd just picked them up and slammed them to each side of my head.

    It took me in a circle I'd run before, banging me hard into the obvious: The "classic" (original lineup) Band formed in a bubble that just HAD to pop! In that sense, their story is a tragedy in the highest sense of the term.

    I think I'd align myself with the moderates in the Robbie/Levon theme: I appreciate and respect Robbie, mostly for his guitar virtuosity. On the other hand, I don't much relate to his post-Band glitterati status. If Canada had knights (they don't, do they?), I think he'd scheme to get on the Honors List. For all of Robbie's angst and stagefright about public performance, he's hardly reclusive or self-effacing.

    But even if I think I'd enjoy Levon's (or Garth's) company more than I would Robbie's, my refresher course revived some frustration at Levon. His claim that Robbie prematurely terminated a "productive" band is hard to reconcile with the facts of their helter-skelter professional and personal lives then. I don't know much about the Stones, but by some instinct or wisdom they evolved into a first-class performing band and stuck to it. I'm not really into their music, so I don't know if they've continued to produce quality new songs or recycle their repertoire. But even from a distance, they obviously committed to putting out a quality product and have found the chemistry to do it.

    The Band, on the other hand, never could overcome fundamental hangups. Once they came down from the mountain (Big Pink), they weren't about to go back up there and keep a reclusive workshop mode going. And although they COULD perform brilliantly, they certainly couldn't get comfortable in the kind of groove the Stones found.

    Levon's right to say that the Last Waltz doomed the band, despite Robbie's weak claim that they might've "met back at the corral" after getting some solo projects out of their systems. I'd sort of glossed over Rick's comments (can't remember which book) that now seem like the DEFINITIVE comment on the Band s fate. The quote, loosely, was something like, "I'm here to tell you that it's a SHAME what success does to a person..." Whether Robbie was as rotten as some say in stripping the Band's corpse and pocketing the valuables, it's hard to imagine a path that would've kept them together and able to stay at their awesome level of creativity. This simple comment seems truer than Levon's claim that somehow the Band could've fixed their mortal wounds and settled down to some stable operating mode.

    I still love them, and am happy that they're still performing. I agree with whomever said Garth seems to be aging like fine wine. But, as someone once said, it ain't like it used to be.


    Fri Apr 2 18:49:55 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    Freddy: Have you heard the Elvin Bishop song about fishing in which he details an elaborate method to prepare & cook carp? Right before you're about to serve it, you throw it away.


    Fri Apr 2 17:53:49 MET DST 1999

    Freddy the F.

    From: "Waters Much Dried Away"

    Enough talk; Ima Goin Fishin and You oughta Be a goin Fishin Too.


    Fri Apr 2 17:38:56 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    From: Georgia

    MattK: I was ignorant myself until recently when I read up on the subject out of curiosity about Dylan's relationship with Columbia. It seems that when his contract was up for renewal he grew impatient over the slow negotiaitons with Clive Davis & Columbia. He then signed basically a one studio album deal with David Geffen's up & coming Asylum label which also yielded the live 1974 tour album with The Band. This explains why _Planet Waves_ was recorded so quicly just before the tour. Shortly thereafter he re-signed with Columbia. One can only guess at the details of that contract, but either Dylan retained the rights to the material released by Asylum or Columbia bought those rights. This would explain why the later CD versions of that material are on Columbia. Warner Brothers acquired the Elektra & Asylum labels and albums by other artists on those labels continue to be released by WB/EA.

    In the meantime, Columbia, frustrated that one of their major artists had not recorded anything worth releasing & was about to jump ship, put out the album _Dylan_ aka "Fool Such As I" in 1973. This album was comprised of cover versions of warm-up songs & out-takes from previous studio sessions. It's release supposedly angered Dylan, pushing him over to his brief association with Geffen.

    One has to wonder why Columbia chose this material when they had the Basement Tapes in their vaults. Maybe they didn't know what to do with the BT material since there was so much of it in such a raw sounding form.

    I myself, like many, prefer the bootleg "diamonds in the rough" versions of these songs. However, Dylan & Robertson must have preferred to "clean them up" to give them more of a professional studio quality sound. Maybe they figured that since there were already so many different bootleg versions out, they would instead release a more refined version of what it might have sounded like if they have actually gone to a studio to record the material. After all, they never really intended to release the stuff anyway. It was recorded more of as a lark and to have demos of the songs in their minds. Only later did Dylan & the others realize the "historical " significance of what they put on tape.


    Fri Apr 2 17:29:12 MET DST 1999

    Dexy

    Have to admit, when Jericho came out (which I loved and still do), it did cross my mind that they may have thought to call themselves Big Pink or Hudson, Danko & Helm or something. I understand why they wouldn't want to do that from a marketing point of view, but if they had, we'd still be here on this website and they would have less to prove and be constantly compared to. I think it's harder for The Band to regroup with new members than most bands, because the original was just so damn good. Because each individual member contributed so much to the whole. Same reason, of course, that Ringo and George weren't jamming with Paul at the Rock Hall ceremony.


    Fri Apr 2 16:34:07 MET DST 1999

    Rick Smith

    From: Denton TX

    Peter Viney got it right. His description of what a show by the current lineup might look like is very close to the show I saw on Jan. 2. Randy handling most vocals, Marie and Amy in supporting roles, Levon holding forth on drums. They did NOT play their typical setlist, filling in with blues jams, etc. It was a good show, but not really a BAND show. Rick seemed distant; didn't interact at all with others on stage. And Peter was right, when the Weight was played, it was very strange to hear vocals from all but Levon. But he DID pull his voice together to sing one song, and when he took the lead on Ophelia--well, for a few moments, it was THE BAND again . . .


    Fri Apr 2 16:24:45 MET DST 1999

    Dave Z

    From: Chaska, MN

    Tracy: I've got no idea what "Out of the Blue" means. You got me wondering though. I had to pause for a moment to guess that this song appears on the Last Waltz. I think I will give a listen tonight.... But since you are talking about a song he may or may not have written about or for his wife, it raises a question for me. Especially since we are on this whole Basement Tapes line lately. I wonder if Robbie has written or performed really personal music for his wife and/or kids that may never see the light of day? I myself have written poems for my wife that I will never share with anyone else (Don't try too hard to imagine an engineer writing poems because it can be hazardous for your health). Maybe it's because like a medicine man or magician, I fear they would lose their magic once shared (I once memorized the lyrics to Van's Crazy Love but that's a bad visual too). Also, it's fun some of the discussions my wife and I then have usually starting with "What the heck does that mean?" "I'm not like that,... blah blah blah." All this usually leads to me giving a two-handed backrub with lotion, and some good laughs.... Anyway, I'm guessing Robbie could probably do a whole album for his wife if he really publically wanted too. I wonder what songs he sang to his kids when they were young?


    Fri Apr 2 15:54:07 MET DST 1999

    Brown-Eyed Johnny

    From: It makes no difference

    Lil: You are right. The Band stopped being the Band when Robbie left and Richard died. And thank God we can all love the new Band whenever it surfaces. Isn't life great.


    Fri Apr 2 11:31:44 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    Both ‘Planet Waves’ & ‘Before the Flood’ were on Asylum originally. Dylan & Paul Simon seem to have sufficient control to switch their old material between labels. The Columbia album “Dylan” (1973) was said to be a veiled threat by Columbia, to let Dylan know that there was myth-destroying material in the archives which could be released. Little did they know that Dylan fans are avid for anything. In 1975 The Band were on Capitol, but as the basement material pre-dated their Capitol contract this would have been irrelevant. Much of their stuff is not basement, as Pat says. I think there’s another area that hasn’t been investigated. I even wonder if any of it (at least in the basic unimproved versions) could be PRE- basement. After all there’s nearly a year between the end of the 1966 European tour and them joining Dylan in Woodstock - during which they did at least Carly Simon and John Hammond sessions.

    There were at least four versions of the basement material with different sleeves knocking around last time I was at a record fair. Bootleggers are quick to bootleg other bootlegs. But let the buyer beware, particularly of second-hand copies. Some of the “Genuine Basement Tapes 1-5” have severe disc rot. I thought it was a myth until visible holes started appearing in my copy of Vol. 2 (fortunately I found a newer pressing to replace it). This material (like “Live 1966”) makes you realize that neither the record company nor the artist in this case really have much idea about what should be officially released!


    Fri Apr 2 07:55:59 MET DST 1999

    Ragtime

    P.S.: anyway, in his Invisible Republic mr. Marcus doesn't focus on The Band's contributions to the Basement Tapes. Didn't want to refer to his own shameful linernotes?


    Fri Apr 2 07:48:12 MET DST 1999

    Ragtime

    PAT: It's hard to say whether Greil Marcus MUST have known about the "charade" at the time when he wrote the linernotes. If so, it makes me suspect his Invisible Republic as dishonest. If not, I can't imagine he didn't find out later. So he must have decided to persist in the "charade". But let me tell you a story. Occasionally I write linernotes myself for classical CD's. On the WORKS, that is, not on the artists. Sometimes they give me a DAT-recording of the performance in advance, but in most cases I haven't heard the performances when I write the notes. This is common procedure in the classical business anyway. But! What happened once. Years ago I wrote about Haydn cello concertos & their history and commented something like "thanks heavens nobody plays the once-popular, thickly orchestrated Gevaert edition any more, in favour of Haydn's wonderful original score". Guess what: it turned out these damn Russian orchestra DID use Gevaert's awful score (they obviously had missed all musicological discussions & insights of the last decades). I found out when it was too late & the dull Russian performance plus my linennotes were spread all over your continent (I was relieved it was never released in Europe & it's been deleted in the US long time ago). Well, what does this tell us about Mr. Marcus: although he must have heard the refurbished basement tapes before their official release, writers of linernotes don't know everything. But when he found out the truth, he must have been as ashamed as I was when I found out about the Haydn. Still I wouldn't dare to write an Invisible Republic about Haydn & Gevaert...

    Re The Current Band: I think Levon, Rick & Garth & the other guys are members of a "pool" of befriended musicians playing in various bands, calling themselves Crowmatix or Honky Tonk Gurus or whatever, depending on the line-up they're booked for. When all six play together, they call themselves The Band. Which they shouldn't do IMHO, because this reminds me too much of THAT Band. And THIS Band, wonderful & sincere as it is, is something else.


    Fri Apr 2 07:07:51 MET DST 1999

    Jonathan Katz

    From: Columbia, MD

    MattK - Pat Brennon got it right on the Basement Tapes. As for the purchase of the Genuine Basement Tapes, those sources that I listed provided information on the tapes, unfortunately they are not a source for their purchase. My preference on from whom to buy from? Sorry, its a crap shoot when dealing with contraband. I guess to live outside the law you don't have to be honest.


    Fri Apr 2 06:21:54 MET DST 1999

    Pat Brennan

    From: USA

    Although questions about the BT's have been bandied about for a while here, the story is quite simple. Dylan let Robbie produce a sanitized version of the BT for a variety of reasons, some obvious, some not. Dylan's participation in the project is well documented: he had little, if anything, to do with it. As far as Columbia goes, Dylan would deliver a master and Columbia would release it. That is how extensive Dylan's creative control was and is. Thus, Robbie was able to create the impression that Dylan and the Band were both in a massive state of creativity when that simply wasn't the case. We've discussed these timings before, but I guess it bears repeating. The Dylan/Hawks material on the BT was recorded well before the Hawks material. Two songs on the Columbia release were actually recorded at Shangri-La in '75. If you hear the full range of the Hawks solo material from the basement, you'll find very few completed ideas. This is why Robbie and all get heat for the Columbia BT release. It borders on dishonesty. To add a new twist, Greil Marcus wrote the liner notes. Are you gonna tell me he didn't know about the charade? Complicity? As far as the pre-Robbie Band vs. the post-Robbie Band, just listen. The answer is obvious.


    Fri Apr 2 04:58:05 MET DST 1999

    Ben

    From: New Jersey

    For some time I've wondered why there's been no official live CD of the post RR Band. It's odd that there have been several video and laser discs released but no CD's. I am eagerly looking forward to the upcoming releases on Woodstock records, but it doesn't make any sense that Pyramid or River North have not put out a live recording. I think a release like this if marketed intelligently could go a long way towards gaining a new audience for the Band. Does anyone have any opinions on why this hasn't happened?


    Fri Apr 2 03:02:08 MET DST 1999

    MattK

    From: Maryland

    David Powell - Pardon my ingnorance. I'm addmittedly not a huge Dylan fan--my faith is a bit more sporadic, if respectful when it comes to Bob. In that sense, I fall into that typical clichéd group: "guys who like Dylan songs, but have a hard time listening to Bob perform them."

    That said, I do have one question. My copies of "Before the Flood" and "Planet Waves" (recently purchased CDs) are on Columbia. Did Columbia buy the Asylum library? Just a bit confused here...this is why I placed those albums in the Columbia universe.

    Which raises the question (and forgive me as I own no versions, genuine or otherwise, of the Basement Tape): How is it that anyone holds RR responsible for the mix and order of songs on the Columbia release? As RR was on Capitol at the time (and firmly in Geffen's camp), how/why is held accountable? Even if he did lend some consultation to the process, how much "juice" did he really have, since the album was released in Dylan's name on Dylan's former label?

    thanks in advance for the information...

    Matt


    Fri Apr 2 02:56:33 MET DST 1999

    Diamond Lil

    From: The Web

    Tracy: Robbie and his wife were pretty much on the outs during the period when "Out of the Blue" was written and recorded, and I've always gotten the impression that it was for her. I admit that I'm not a big fan of "solo" Robbie, but I've always thought that tune was a nice one.


    Fri Apr 2 02:30:20 MET DST 1999

    Tracy

    From: way beyond the crazy river

    I've got a question. Can anybody out there in Bandland tell me what you believe the song "Out Of The Blue" means? I've always thought of this as a pre - Robbie solo. There seems to be something more personal in the lyrics that make it obvious. Pete V? Dave Z? MattK? Anybody?

    Thanks,

    Tracy


    Fri Apr 2 00:00:56 MET DST 1999

    Pete Rivard

    From: Hastings, MN

    As far as the Band touring as the Band, I don't think any of us know whether they even want to, and one starts to wonder if they would tour if they feel that they aren't up to doing justice to their own standards. Even so, I'll stand in line for tickets if any permutation shows up in the Twin Cities, purely out of respect.


    Thu Apr 1 23:54:23 MET DST 1999

    Pete Rivard

    From: Hastings, MN

    Alright, Mr. Powell! We got us a real discussion!

    I amend my earlier comment by saying that Garth Hudson is the one original Band member who has continued to get better with age, like good wine or well made acoustic instruments. In fact, I believe that Garth's superb playing on Jubilation made some pretty weak stuff sound damn good. Kind of like having Anthony Hopkins in a movie like Zorro. He makes it worth the watch, but you maybe don't want the movie prominently displayed in your video library.

    Also, I will admit that "Atlantic City" and "Blind Willie McTell" from Jericho stand up nicely with any of the Band's earlier work, but that just underscores the point of what these guys can if the song can stand on its own two feet.


    Thu Apr 1 23:46:58 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy all the individual projects as much as the next person. Maybe I'm just impatient. For now I guess I must be content with listening to the recordings, rather than seeing an actual performance. It's springtime down here in the South and the weather's beautiful. Trout season is upon us; I guess I'll go fishin'. Any fish'll bite if you got good bait, but it's all in the presentation my friends.


    Thu Apr 1 23:46:04 MET DST 1999

    Bones

    From: Connecticut

    Thanks to Dave Z, Mattk, Diamond Lil and Peter Viney. I loves your posts because you feel like I feel about the Band. I can't stand to rehash this Levon vs. Robbie deal because I admire them both and support them both equally. I prefer to recall the days when they were brothers(they still are to me). I agree with Dave in that I now look at solo projects as Band projects. I loved Robbie's Contact and I thought Jubilation was wonderful. We should be thankful of the quality stuff that still comes out.


    Thu Apr 1 22:55:20 MET DST 1999

    Peter Viney

    The current state of The Band is an unknown, and we’re not going to find out either, I suspect. It’s great to hear that Levon’s playing in New Orleans and looking good. I would speculate that they won’t go out as “The Band” until Levon is able to sing his fair share of the songs again. They could do a set with nearly all Rick lead vocals, but that would be unbalanced. Randy does a great Chest Fever and Garth & the Crowmatix were superb on “Don’t Wait.” They could carry off a show with careful selection between Rick and Randy, showcasing Levon on drums, harmonica, mandolin and bass through the set. It’d help if Aaron and Marie were there to flesh out the vocals. But think how it must feel for Levon to perform ‘The Weight’ on drums without doing the vocal. I guess it’s fine doing this as The Barn Burners or The Crowmatix, but in my opinion, it’d be a bitter taste for him doing it as the Band. In fact, I think the audience would accept it. We’re used to seeing bands of this vintage with changed line-ups.

    I’m delighted to see every and any permutation of members. These people have made important music for nearly forty years. I hope they’re getting pleasure out of doing their own thing. Last year we had a Band album, a Robbie Robertson album, a Jim Weider album and a Levon & The Crowmatix. OK, we want more, but 1999 has hardly started.


    Thu Apr 1 22:36:00 MET DST 1999

    Rod

    From: N.Z

    Pete Rivard, I agree with you completely. Perhaps you were a bit harsh on Jericho IMHO the only one of the new albums that is up there with the old ones.

    I bought a copy of The Ties That Bind and have probably played it more in the last couple of days than I've played Jubilation in 3 months.The only things I can't figure is:
    Why did they choose Living in a Dream over Ophelia?
    Why is The Weight credited to Ringo's All Stars?
    There's plenty better stuff than You Got Me they could have included.

    My guess it's probably a personal selection and it does contain great tracks like Play Something Sweet, Watermelon Time and When Even a Fool Would Let Go (his James Taylor track).


    Thu Apr 1 21:56:42 MET DST 1999

    Dexy

    Pete, I have to disagree. It's all subjective, but I think Jubilation and Jericho (and at least the arrangements on Hog) make This Band one of the best groups recording today. I agree about Levon singing -- it's hard to imagine The Band without his snarl, but again, Don't Wait and Blind By Love do it too. I've seen this Band several times, and let me tell you, they can still kick ass. Are they currently the second best rock group ever assembled (in my humble opinion)? Maybe not. But man, Danko, Helm and Hudson, backed by guys they've played with for years, is still a potent combination. Now, as for what the heck are they doing and why aren't they doing it together -- good question.


    Thu Apr 1 21:40:58 MET DST 1999

    The Gypsy

    In answer to David's comments. I would not say that The Band lost their drive after Robbie left. That was over twenty years ago and they were very much alive and kick'n. They all did some solo things after Robbie left and then decided to reform the group. From what I understand they had some legal problems with their record label at that time. The record label wouldn't let them out of their contract and the label wasn't interested in fronting them money for a new album, so the guys stuck to their old stuff and toured. After Richard's death again I would not say that the soul of the band died. Of course it changed things forever and the band would never be the same, as they all loved Richard very much, but with the emergence of Richard Bell, Randy and Jimmy things were looking good again and the guys seemed to be enjoying themselves. Now it seems they have taken a hiatus from each other for awhile. Levon has his club, plus some side projects of his own, Rick is involved with various projects (the trio, which I heard will do another album)and his solo career. Garth also is doing solo work and working on other projects. If you look closely you will find them popping up on other artists albums all the time. I definitely would not count them out yet. Just when you think you won't hear that beautiful sound again - Ala Glory!! they will be playing again. Of course they are not kids anymore, so I wouldn't expect a grueling tour, but..... To Pete - I don't know if you have seen Rick or have heard him lately. I have and his voice still sounds wonderful and rich.


    Thu Apr 1 21:12:08 MET DST 1999

    Diamond Lil

    From: The Web

    David Powell & Pete Rivard: I agree with you both about the ambition ( or rather lack of) of The Band. I think all of us older fans know that The Band as we knew it just doesn't exist anymore. That's not to take anything away from Jim, Randy, and Richard - who happen to be incredible musicians - but as they say, you can't go home again. The Band stopped being The Band the day Robbie left, and when Richard died - I think a part of what was left died with him. My only hope here is that the remaining members..Rick, Levon, Garth, and Robbie will still be with us for many years to come. Each of them has given all of us so much...and may they still continue to do so.


    Thu Apr 1 20:15:06 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    MattK: I believe a bit of clarification is in order relating to Dylan's recording history, Columbia & the official release of the Basement Tapes. In October 1970 Dylan released _New Morning_. He had long since severed relations with his former manager, Albert Grossman. Their falling-out could be traced back to before the release of _John Wesley Harding_. Around the time of the recording of the Basement Tapes a deal for Dylan to jump ship from Columbia to record for MGM had fallen through.

    Following the release of _New Morning_, Columbia released _Bob Dylan's Greatist Hits Vol. 2_ in 1971. Dylan's next Columbia release was the haphazard recording _Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid_ in July 1973. This uneven album did however yield somewhat of a hit with the single "Knocking On Heaven's Door." In 1974 Dylan did jump ship to record for David Geffen's Asylum label. _Planet Waves_ and _Before the Flood_ were both originally released that year on the Asylum label, not Columbia.

    Dylan's relationship with Asylum was short-lived, as he soon returned to Columbia. In January 1975 he released his critically successful _Blood On The Tracks_ album. The official version of the Basement Tapes were released by Columbia in July 1975. Columbia was probably happy with the sales from _Blood On The Tracks_, so the release of the Basement Tapes seems to support the theory that Dylan finally agreed to release the material as a favor to The Band. In the meantime The Band had released _Cahoots_ in 1971 and _Moondog Matinee_ in 1973, which probably didn't make Capitol happy, considering the fact that the two albums they released with Dylan in 1974 were on a rival label.


    Thu Apr 1 19:35:15 MET DST 1999

    Pete Rivard

    From: Hastings, MN

    David Powell: Regarding the apparent lack of momentum of the current Band config, you've gotta think it's because, for all musicians concerned, what is going on in the side projects is more compelling than what they are doing as "The Band". Here's a few of my ideas in no particular order of priority:

    I've not seen, nor heard, any evidence that Levon's voice is not shot for good. He's closer to 60 than 50 years old and he's abused his pipes with tobacco. The absence of his compelling vocals to the Band are every bit as much a loss, to me, as Richard or Robbie. If Levon ain't singin', it ain't The Band.

    Danko's carrying so much weight he can't draw a proper lungful of air anymore. His vocals have lost much of their power as well. I envy the Stones in that Jagger seems to be pacing himself much more effectively, and taking care of himself to the point that he can still deliver most of the goods onstage or on CD.

    If you're Weider, Bell or Ciarlante, who wants to spend their prime propping up the senior citizens, even if they are, are were, The Band? These guys, as musicians, need to be out playing all the time and developing new stuff.

    Finally, The Band just has not been able to come up with lyrics that deserve the tender attentions of Garth Hudson and Levon and Rick's remaining vocal ability. I'm sorry, but their last three projects have been spotty at best, and none of them, Jericho, Hog or Jubilation is even as strong as Cahoots or NLSC or even Islands. We've gone through this a lot on this web page. But I know of three or four songwriters in a montly seminar here in Minneapolis whose songs kick the ass of the best that Jubilation has to offer. There's a ton of better stuff out there, and the boys didn't find it.

    My computer's wearing full body armor. Let the flaming commence!


    Thu Apr 1 19:10:30 MET DST 1999

    Ilkka

    Home page

    - let's see how many instruments I can come up with to impress you :-)

    I am a happy owner of a Scotch sack pipe. I'm trying to learn to play *Masterpiece* - I've got as far as *Oh the streets of Rome...*, then I lose my consciousness (and neighbours!).


    Thu Apr 1 19:00:18 MET DST 1999

    MattK

    From: Maryland

    Mitt: Yes indeed, I think it's a fairly recent publication (don't have it handy, so I can't check the pub date). It's "typical" Marcus, in the sense that it contains some very interesting insite and theory, but bogs down at times in pursuit of pedantic tangents. It is pretty light on Hawks/Band/Dylan history--mostly recycled anecdotes well-known to posters on this board. For the most part, it's an exploration of the culture(s) that come together in the songs--tracing references back across centuries to show the inevitable link between a certain darkness inherent in Dylan's music and the people and places that inspired it. If you read "Mystery Train," the theory is not unfamiliar to you. Marcus goes on at length in that book about The Band's fascination with the darker aspects of American rock/country/blues/etc (let's call it "people's music" or "bar music."). Marcus has always made a point that he is fascinated by the darker under/overtones in much of The Band's music (at least in his opinion), and the irony of the "friendly" veneer (e.g. the songs at face value don't necessarily SOUND disturbing until you deconstruct them).

    Of course the argument could be made (let's pull a bit of lit theory out, if I can remember my college days), that the deconstructionist is really writing about themselves and less the author or the work since it has to be filtered by the deconstructionists predisposition to the work. But that's another debate.

    Dave Z - You are correct that Marcus is pretty vilified in some circles. I do get a bit tired of his penchant for "let's see how many vague cultural references I can come up with to impress you" bit. Personally, though, based on what I've read here and elsewhere, I think Marcus' downfall for many Band fans, unfortunately, is again the damn RR vs Levon thing. Marcus, particularly in Mystery Train, paints the picture of RR as reluctant leader who HAD to take over the creative output of the group as Richard stopped recording, and Rick and Levon were not bringing much to the table, song-wise either. While he can be critical of RR's solo work, he definitely takes the pro-RR stance on why The Band "broke up" in '76, which rankles the Levon-ista's to know end. Add the fact that Griel and RR are admittedly friends, and you have plenty of fuel for the fire. I suspect some folks see Griel as the architect of "the myth of Robbie" ("myth" from Levon's point of view, not mine). Good read for the most part though. I do really appreciate the excellent narrative he writes in the beginning of the book about the 1966 "Royal Albert Hall" concert. Having recently bought that CD, it provides great insite to the anger and rage the permeates that recording, which I dearly love--it's very very powerful stuff.

    Jonathon Katz - Thanks for the great references, vis-a-vis the "genuine" Basement Tapes, I'll definitely check out those sources. Any preference on who to do the buy from? Since this will be mail-order deal, I don't want to purchase from someone that will take my money and run, or send me some 80th generation version.

    Regarding the criticisms on the "official" release. #2 doesn't really bother me much either. Who actually gets producer credits? Generally, especially something like this, the producer has the loudest voice on the order of songs. Clearly, the decision to intermingle was a calculated marketing manuever. However, given the timing (1975, on the heels of Planet Waves and Before the Flood, it smells like a label trying to cash in with a 1-2-3 punch. Since Planet Waves was Dylan's biggest selling album to date, the label (Columbia?) would press hard to present "The Basement Tapes" as a collaborative effort to capitalize on the popularity of both Dylan and The Band. In all liklihood, even if Robbie did protest, the song order was probably none-negotiable, or at least heavily influence, with the label's marketing strategy. As much as it pains some folks, this is still a business, and the bottom line to the label is whether the album or a group makes money. Lord knows they don't hesitate to mass market crap--just because the material is brilliant, doesn't mean the label gives a damn if it doesn't sell.

    Regarding #1, I totally agree. Clearly a label will always look to sell the "slicked up" version of anything, even if it compromises the work.

    A secondary, but maybe most cogent point to both #1 and #2: You can't overlook the influence of Dylan and his team on the slickness and song order. This was released on Dylan's label, and there is no way in hell any song got out that was first approved by Bob and probably re-engineered to his spec. Remember, Dylan wanted to destroy the tapes at the time they were made. RR and Co. were convinced these would never see the light of day, anyway, so why destroy them. Of course after the genie got out of the bottle, I have to imagine that Dylan demanded significant creative control over what was finally released--for him not to would be counter to his established behavior, particularly at the time. This is the same Dylan era, remember, where Dylan was very savvy and protective about how his music and himself were marketed (anyone unfamiliar with the battles waged backstage at TLW should check out Bill Graham's autobiography--there's a whole chapter on TLW; let's just say that the whole Dylan piece was nearly not filmed at all due to Dylan's petulance regarding a film Dylan himself was making at the time).

    Great insights though.

    cheers

    Matt


    Thu Apr 1 18:14:45 MET DST 1999

    Greg T. Walker

    From: Utah
    Home page

    Hey Robbie,

    I was a member of the group Blackfoot for seventeen years.Like most bands we mixed original and cover songs to get through the five sets a night years until we released our first album and began touring. "The Band" was among our list of cover songs at that time.

    I have been aware of your connection to Native American music and related projects for a long time but just today found out the source. Just two weeks ago I had Douglas Spotted Eagle play a flute part on the one and only ballad on my new CD. My new project is NDN and the CD is titled "Warrior's Pride". I refer to it as Native American rock and release date is scheduled for May 1st.

    I hope you will take a moment to look at my website and let me know what you think about it. My new site will be up on or before April 7th and will include soundbites of all the new material. The current site has the old songs which have all been replaced. I also have a video being released with the CD.

    My wife is also a Jewish/Mohawk and thought she was the only one. I hope to hear from you soon. If not, I wish you continued success and want you to know you have my support and respect for your contribution to our "People". And may you always walk on a trail of song. Later....Greg T.


    Thu Apr 1 17:48:10 MET DST 1999

    Dave Z

    From: Chaska, MN

    Matt K: I am reading "Invisible Republic" too. I kinda like his wanderings from past to present as well as his take on things versus maybe some documented story from Bob or the boys himself (Although I'd like to get that too). Is this one of the writers that has been critisized for re-inventing the past after not really being there in the first place? In any case, I am liking this book a little and hopefully more when I'm done.

    David P: Maybe the soul of the Band lives on somewhere. I personally don't differentiate between the BAND and solo efforts, and like to think of anything touched by the Band as being the Band. But I am not a purist involved in the Band business or academia. I am however glad a lot of others are, arguing about this and that, publishing stuff in 1997, creating webpages in 1996, doing VH1 stuff, meeting their heroes in airports, etc,... all to keep something alive in the fans consciousness at least. I still think the Band "concept" is alive out there if only in a marketing mode. Heck, I love to hear Robbie do Dixie, and I'll probably drink a beer at Levon's place next time in NO, and may even buy a BAND cap when my current golf one wears out. And hopefully more records will be made. I love Contact. I guess I still maybe naively believe that the BAND can create or cause some new magic. And I am jealous every time I read in this Guestbook about the next NY gig or NO after hours jamboree, knowing that I can't just hop to my next door bar to listen in.


    Thu Apr 1 16:29:28 MET DST 1999

    David Powell

    From: Georgia

    Today I'll continue with my assessment. The concept of The Band seems to be past history. Various individual projects are current events. What the future holds is anyone's guess. The group lost drive & ambition when Robertson left. When Richard died, the soul of The Band died also. At present there's seems to be no sense of direction. That's just my opinion; I could be wrong. What do you all think?


    Thu Apr 1 16:00:15 MET DST 1999

    Just Wonderin'

    From: Texas

    Hi: Can someone please tell me whose voice is on "Further on up the Road" on the boot "Crossing the Great Divide"? Been listening to that because I just got it. Great collection! Richard on "You Don't Know Me" is heart wrenching. Thanks!


    Thu Apr 1 05:55:29 MET DST 1999

    Jonathan Katz

    From: Columbia, MD

    MattK -

    If you haven't already, check out:

    http://www.punkhart.com/dylan/reviews/basement_tapes.html

    http://theband.hiof.no/articles/mixed_up_confusion.html

    In my opinion, the Genuine Basement Tapes are indespensible. They link "Live 1966" with "John Wesley Harding," which before I heard them was completely beyond my abilities. Not that I can say that I understand that artistic jump even now, but its more comprehensible now. They also link the Hawks with the Band, another quantum leap, in my opinion. The official release is sanitized, overdubbed and very selective. There are gems in the Genuine Basement Tapes that have never been and never will be officially released. You're reading Greil Marcus so you know what he says about their value. Regarding the official release, Clinton Heylin was incensed by what was done to them along two parameters: 1) the "cleaning up" and over-dubbing of the tracks for official release made them a less than genuine article [hence the name: Genuine Basement Tapes], and 2) the juxtaposition/intercalation of Band tracks with "Dylan" tracks. I'm not so concerned about #1 - Robbie had to do that to make them comercially viable, and frankly some of them were helped by the process, albeit deprived of their historical pedigree. On #2 Heylin burns Robbie on promulgating a myth [yes, another one Scott!] that Dylan and the Band got together and "traded" songs. Evidence is that it was considerably more one sided, with Robbie and the Band more on the receiving end.


    Thu Apr 1 02:45:14 MET DST 1999

    Mitt Stampler

    From: so far down the crazy river I'll never get back
    Home page

    Stan Landau and Don Joseph and Little Bro--Where did you go? I miss your posts, and what's more, as of May I'm out of Marketing and into law school. Yippy skip! Any advice? BTW--I thought I had every Greil Marcus book ever written. What's the title of the one about the Basement Tapes? More on the Beanie-Baby Bandandys: I discovered that one of the Beanies in my beloved goddaughter's collection (an owl named Wise, who wears a mortarboard that says Class of '98) is a former grad student at Oxford who went nuts after portions of his doctoral dissertation were rejected by his college, but who's been doing pretty well on a heavy regimen of Prozac and now makes pilgrimages to Levon's Cafe and Rick Danko concerts in between working as a temp at the "Night Owls" agency. I'd like to think that if I'd had that kind of imagination when I was seven, I might not have spent the better part of my adult life in cubicles with Catbert and Dogbert. For some reason, I keep thinking of the line, "Why do the best things always disappear?" Sigh. They grow up so fast. PS--Diamond Lil and Catbalu, you must be so proud of your teens. Best wishes!


    Thu Apr 1 00:59:16 MET DST 1999

    MattK

    From: Maryland

    Subject: The Basement Tapes

    Ok, so I'm reading Griel Marcus' book on the Basement Tapes. I don't own a copy of the official release, and before I go and pick it up, I've see a few references indicating that getting the "complete" set based on the boots might be the better (or at least a complimentary) way to go.

    Can someone set me straight? Also, if I should up the full "unofficial" releases, which one should I get?

    Feel free to respond here or via e-mail.

    thanks in advance for the help.

    Matt


    Thu Apr 1 00:41:10 MET DST 1999

    MattK

    From: Maryland

    RE: Robbie and "Dixie"

    I think the hard part in hearing RR sing old Band tunes is in part due to what makes him such a brilliant songwriter. In this day and age, it's so unusual to find a distinctive songwriter who can write so well for other voices and performers.

    Perhaps due to his fascination and exposure to the Brill Building gang, RR seems to have appropriated the last of that dying breed who can write so well for other folks, even where his own talents would limit him from performing outright.

    My take is that with Levon (apparently until recently, if Mr. Viney is correct) staunchly refusing to perform what was one of the group's most recognizable songs, folks want to hear it done by SOMEONE connected to the original (personally, Joan Baez makes me itch).

    So if RR wants to hear it performed, and Levon won't do it, and if people keep asking...

    Aesthetically, I agree that RR does not do this song as well as Levon. Particularly when you consider the sheer RAGE he sang it with on TLW--that to me is the seminal version of that song. However, with age and that smokey voice, the song does take on a certain ethereal quality, as if Virgil is singing to us from under his tombstone. It's positively eerie and not without merit, IMHO.

    On a personal note. I think you should all feel badly for me. My first exposure to this song (along with Let It Be among others) was via John Denver's "Whose Garden Was This" album. My parents were big JD fans, and being a tot myself (born 1966--the irony does not escape me)what did I know? Anyway for 20 years I hated that song 'cause I associated it with Baez and JD, both of which lack a certain "authenticity," shall we say.

    Another factor was my dad, a southern boy himself (I grew up in Colorado), would inevitable lift the needle over JD's version--I think it offended him to hear this yankee sing the a song about the fallen South. I wonder how he would take to that version from TLW. Next time I visit, perhaps I'll bring the tape.

    Cheers

    Matt


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