These tracks started circulating in June 2016 when the bootleg After The Empire became available.
Keeping within the brief, Dylan who was still bubbling with ideas, re-entered the studio on halloween 1985 at Cherokee Studios – It has been assumed that the players were Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar), Vito San Filippo (bass), Raymond Lee Pounds (drums), Carolyn Dennis, Madelyn Quebec, Elisecia Wright (backup vocals) but that doesn’t make up for the harp playing and electric piano that you hear through these tracks – and, possibly entertained by the idea of Neil Young’s “Everybody’s Rockin’” album, Bob threw around a few ideas that seemed to be based around rock and roll, the sessions still have the nuance of a little 80’s production, and like “Empire Burlesque”, these sessions can be a lot of fun. These recordings are a heck of a lot of feeling, Dylan’s muse, while not burning like it had or would again, directs him to dismissing any worries of seriousness and instead let him and his band have a bit of fun.
Los Angeles, California
31 October 1985
Let’s keep it between us
These people meddlin’ in our affairs, they’re not our friends
Let’s keep it between us
Before doors close and our togetherness comes to an end
They’ll turn you against me and me against you
’Til we don’t know who to trust
Oh, darlin’, can we keep it between us?
This great song was only tried once in the studio – Santa Monica, October 1980. It was played at every show (19 times) during the “1980 A Musical Retrospective Tour”, debuted on November 9, 1980 & last performance was on December 4, 1980.
Santa Monica, California
You mistreat me, baby, I can’t see no reason why
You know that I’d kill for you, and I’m not afraid to die
You treat me like a stepchild
Oh, Lordy, like a stepchild
I wanna turn my back and run away from you
but oh, I just can’t leave you babe
Interview – 2 December 1978 – Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Q: Do you do any new songs in concert now?
BD: Once in awhile we do some, yeah.
Q: How have they been responded to?
BD: Ah, fine.
Q: Will you be doing any tonight?
BD: We’ll probably do one or two, maybe one.
Q: What is your favorite one?
BD: Well, I don’t know if I’ll record it. But I have a song called “Baby, Am I Your Stepchild?”
Q: Is that different from a lot of the songs on Street Legal?
BD: No. Umm, content-wise, it’s not. It’s a more simplified version of, ah, just a man talking to a woman, who is just not treating him properly.
Am I Your Stepchild?
Words and music Bob Dylan
Played around 50 times during the fall 1978 tour, with constantly changing lyrics.
One of Dylan’s best love songs, co-written with backing singer Helena Springs. It was performed only once, at a concert in October 1978. It would be left to the Searchers to put it in the public domain.
-Clinton Heylin (The gems that Bob Dylan discarded – The Telegraph)
COMING FROM THE HEART (THE ROAD IS LONG)
Written by Bob Dylan & Helena Springs
Rundown Studios Santa Monica, California April 10, 1978 Rehearsals for the European Tour