Wednesday, 18th March

VISUAL OF THE WEEK

Dylan Batman

SOMETHING WAS DELIVERED
Following a week where I wrote nothing about Dylan, it’s time for some more! Thanks to Mick Gold for this fine accompanying graphic… Barney sends me a copy of his soon-to-be-published epic on Woodstock, Small Town Talk: Wild Times & Bad Blood in Woodstock, 1963-1986, and a link to a site, PopSpotsNYC. Now here’s what the internet was invented for. A madly obsessive geographical quest to find the locations of famous rock photographs. Tell me what’s not to love about this. With a thoroughness matching a JFK assassination researcher with a  first-gen copy of the Zapruder film, Bob Egan, pop-culture detective, heads out with his camera, or peruses Google Street View and, with the aid of Photoshop, removes the mystery from the history. I was inspired by his tracking of Jim Marshall’s shoot of Dylan, Suze, Terry Thai & Dave Van Ronk in Greenwich Village (the famous tyre-rolling shot comes from this morning) to order a copy of Proof, a book of Jim Marshall’s contact sheets.

Dylanwalk

The great detectiveness that pinpoints the famous Elliot Landy “civil war” shot of The Band is just mind-boggling. Way to go, Bob!

Band

A COUPLE MORE BOB THINGS
1) A strange advert using Wigwam, from Self Portrait, as its soundtrack. Clash of Clans? I wonder which creative thought of that? It actually – strangely – kind of works.
2) A great article in The New York Review of Books by Dan Chiasson, reviewing both a date on the Never Ending Tour, at the Beacon Theatre in New York, and Christopher Ricks’ new $299 book, The Lyrics: Bob Dylan. “The opening verses of “Tangled Up in Blue” are among the most famous in Bob Dylan’s repertoire. Readers who know them will find themselves singing along: “Early one morning the sun was shining, I was laying in bed/Wondering if she’d changed at all, If her hair was still red.” Pronouns matter in Dylan, especially his “I” and “you,” whose limitless friction, wearing each other away year after year, Dylan’s songs have often so beautifully expressed. But there’s no “you” in “Tangled Up in Blue,” which is, in a way, the point: the unnamed “she” is lost, out of earshot, beyond conjuring, a creature who haunts Dylan’s dreams.

CRITICAL MISS
Grace Dent reviews restaurant West Thirty Six in ES Magazine: “Gentrification will eventually chase off all the cool that the initial gentrifiers were in search of. I’d get more het up about this, except records show that Londoners have been moaning about ‘bloody other people coming to spoil things’ since around 1611. West Thirty Six is a rambling great restaurant serving bistro fare – grill, burgers, cocktails – over many floors, led by chef Rex Newmark. Rex’s Twitter bio reads: Rex Newmark the Rock & Roll chef. Celebrity Executive Chef of Beach Blanket Babylon & West Thirty Six. Now call me a stick in the mud, but I don’t particularly want my chefs to be rock’n’roll. I’ve never looked once at Bobby Gillespie staggering around a stage sweating and thought, ‘Gosh, I bet he can knock up a delicate smoked haddock soufflé.’ Heading up a new restaurant – new menus, staff, clientele, dealing with snags and curveballs – requires ball-breaking, round-the-clock devotion to the dance of hospitality for months. It’s the opposite of rock’n’roll. It’s like setting off on tour with the Bolshoi Ballet… [after a dismal experience she concludes…] Maddeningly, our choice of roasted cauliflower turned out to be a small plate featuring two florets of cauliflower, some fresh pomegranate seeds and an overpowering taste of chopped celery – a testament to GCSE Home Economics – for the bargain price of £8.50. That’s the problem with being a rock’n’roll chef. You set out to be Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction era; you end up with food that tastes like it was cooked, circa 2003, by Pete Doherty.

ON THE PLAYLIST THIS WEEK
I’ve been listening to lots of instrumentals lately, inspired by rediscovering the wonderfully vivid King Curtis Live at Fillmore West. This led to making an instrumental playlist. Here’s one of the quieter songs on it – “On October 4, in the wee hours after the band cut Nick Gravenites’ “Buried Alive In The Blues”, Janis injected some heroin in her room at the Landmark Hotel. Combined with the cocktails she’d sipped earlier, the lethal combination killed the 27-year-old singer. Her stricken band returned to the studio a few days later to finish the recordings they’d started, while there started improvising a new song., the elegiac “Pearl”. Of the track, [reissue producer] Bob Irwin says, “You could just feel on the tape the unbelievably somber and sad mood when the guys started playing this pretty ballad. Every tape before that was lively and bubbly. This is an edited version of a jam that goes on for 12 to 14 minutes.” Though the heartbreaking song was not issued on the original album, “the band named that track Pearl” says Irwin, “and it was assigned a matrix number and held as a recording”. Of course, Pearl was the Full Tilt Boogie Band’s nickname for Janis. Naturally it became the album title as well.” – from Holly George-Warren’s excellent liner notes to The Pearl Sessions.

Comments

  1. mick gold says:

    Martin, Thanks for mentioning the King Curtis album “Live At The Fillmore West”. I was watching Withnail & I for the 987th time late night on TV and was suddenly seized by curiosity. What was the opening piece of music which plays over shots of Paul McGann’s horrified face contemplating the squalor of their flat in Camden Town, 1969? A bit of a search revealed it was King Curtis performing “A Whiter Shade of Pale” from the album you mentioned. What does that honking full-bodied tenor sax solo over washes of organ fills have to do with the domestic chaos and anguish we’re seeing? It’s totally counter-intuitive yet it works

  2. halgeirolsen says:

    Actually the Batman comic was put together at alldylan.com…

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