Tag Archives: Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan’s best songs – A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – #16, released version

The hard rain is gonna fall is in the last verse when I say “when the pellets of poison are flooding the waters”. I mean, all the lies, you know, all the lies that people get told on their radios and their newspapers which, all you have to do is
just think for a minute, y’know, try and take peoples brains away, y’know, which maybe’s been done already. I dunno, maybe, I hate to think it’s been done, but all the lies, which are considered poison, y’know, er…
Bob Dylan (to Studs Terkel, April 63)

‘Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’… I wrote the words of it on a piece of paper. But there was just no tune that really fit to it, so I just sort of play chords without a tune. If all this comes under the heading of a definition, then I don’t care really to define what I do. Other people seem to have a hard time doing that.
~Bob Dylan (to Max Jones, May 64)

From “The Witmark Demos” (Bootleg Series 9):

@ #16 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. The original version from “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” was recorded on December 6 – 1962…. 50 year’s ago today. The Witmark version above was recorded sometime in December 62.

‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’, recorded December 6, 1962, is another song whose genius and power are so great that our analytical minds (not our hearts) may have difficulty accepting and recognizing it’s simplicity.
~Paul Williams (Performing Artist 60-73)

from 1964:

 

Continue reading Bob Dylan’s best songs – A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – #16, released version

Today: Albert Ammons passed away in 1949 – 63 years ago

Chicago in mind:

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Albert C. Ammons
Born September 23, 1907
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died December 2, 1949 (aged 42)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Jazz, blues, boogie-woogie
Occupations Pianist
Years active 1920s–1949
Labels Vocalion, Blue Note, Delmark,Mercury

Albert Ammons (September 23, 1907 – December 2, 1949) was an American pianist. Ammons was a player of boogie-woogie, abluesy jazz style popular from the late 1930s into the mid 1940s.

 

In 1938 Ammons appeared at Carnegie Hall with Johnson and Lewis, an event that helped launch the boogie-woogie craze. Record producer Alfred Lion who had attended John H. Hammond’s From Spirituals to Swing concert on December 23, 1938, which had introduced Ammons and Lewis, two weeks later started Blue Note Records, recording nine Ammons solos including “The Blues” and “Boogie Woogie Stomp”, eight by Lewis and a pair of duets in a one-day session in a rented studio.

Shout of Joy (1938):

Ammons’s played at President Harry S. Truman’s inauguration in 1949. He died on December 2, 1949 in Chicago  and was interred at the Lincoln Cemetery, at Kedzie Avenue in Blue Island, Worth Township, Cook County, Illinois.

Album of the day:

The First Day (1992):

Other December 02:

Odetta Holmes (December 31, 1930 – December 2, 2008), known as Odetta, was an American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a civil and human rights activist, often referred to[who?] as “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement”. Her musical repertoire consisted largely of American folk music, blues, jazz, and spirituals. An important figure in the American folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s, she was influential to many of the key figures of the folk-revival of that time, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, and Janis Joplin. Time included her song “Take This Hammer” on its list of the All-Time 100 Songs, stating that “Rosa Parks was her No. 1 fan, and Martin Luther King Jr. called her the queen of American folk music.”

-Egil & Hallgeir

Bob Dylan songs covered by Jimi Hendrix

“Sometimes I do a Dylan song and it seems to fit me so right that I figure maybe I wrote it. Dylan didn’t always do it for me as a singer, not in the early days, but then I started listening to the lyrics. That sold me.” – Jimi Hendrix, Beat International 1969

Though they were not close friends, Jimi Hendrix was a huge fan of Bob Dylan and covered five of his songs (to my knowledge), both live and in the studio. These tracks are “Like a Rolling Stone,” “All Along the Watchtower,” “Drifter’s Escape” , “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?” and “Tears of Rage” (by Dylan and Richard Manuel)

From Seven Ages of Rock (BBC):

“First time I saw him, he was playing with John Hammond. He was incredible then. I’d already been to England and beyond, and although he didn’t sing, I kinda had a feeling that he figured into things. The last time I saw him was a couple of months before he died. He was in that band with Buddy Miles. It was an eerie scene. He was slouched down in the back of a limousine. I was riding by on a bicycle. I remember saying something about that song “Wind Cried Mary,” it was a long way from playing behind John Hammond. That was my favorite song of his – that and “Dolly Dagger”… I don’t know, it was strange, both of us were a little lost for words, he’d gone through like a fireball without knowing it, I’d done the same thing like being shot out of a cannon…” -Bob Dylan (Biograph liner notes)

Like a Rolling Stone:

“I love Dylan. I only met him once, about three years ago, back at the Kettle of Fish on MacDougal Street. That was before I went to England. I think both of us were pretty drunk at the time, so he probably doesn’t remember it.” – Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stone Magazine

A tender cover of Bob Dylan and The Band‘s classic Tears of Rage from the 4cd set “West Coast Seattle Boy” (Spotify):

Continue reading Bob Dylan songs covered by Jimi Hendrix

Bob Dylan’s best songs – It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) – #7, released version

Well, I still do that song [It’s Alright Ma]. It’s still very relevant to me.
~Bob Dylan (June 1985)

“I’ve written some songs that I look at, and they just give me a sense of awe,… Stuff like, It’s Alright, Ma, just the alliteration in that blows me away. And I can also look back and know where I was tricky and where I was really saying something that just
happened to have a spark of poetry to it.”
~Bob Dylan (to John Pareles, Sept 1997)

Ironically, this song, which Dylan performs unaccompanied on the “folk-side” of his half-folk, half electric album, is more of a rock and roll performance than anything else on the record.
~Paul Williams (Performing Artist 60-73)

@ no.7 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs.. comes this acoustic masterpiece with lyrics that still makes me shiver in awe…

While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked

best of the best:

Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words, proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying

original version:

Lyrics:

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child’s balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying

Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words, proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying

Temptation’s page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover that you’d just be one more
Person crying

So don’t fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It’s alright, Ma, I’m only sighing

As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don’t hate nothing at all
Except hatred

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Make everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It’s easy to see without looking too far
That not much is really sacred

While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked

An’ though the rules of the road have been lodged
It’s only people’s games that you got to dodge
And it’s alright, Ma, I can make it

Advertising signs they con
You into thinking you’re the one
That can do what’s never been done
That can win what’s never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you

You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear
That somebody thinks they really found you

A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit
To satisfy, insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not forget
That it is not he or she or them or it
That you belong to

Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to

For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Cultivate their flowers to be
Nothing more than something they invest in

While some on principles baptized
To strict party platform ties
Social clubs in drag disguise
Outsiders they can freely criticize
Tell nothing except who to idolize
And then say God bless him

While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society’s pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he’s in

But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it’s alright, Ma, if I can’t please him

Old lady judges watch people in pairs
Limited in sex, they dare
To push fake morals, insult and stare
While money doesn’t talk, it swears
Obscenity, who really cares
Propaganda, all is phony

While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer’s pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death’s honesty
Won’t fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes must get lonely

My eyes collide head-on with stuffed
Graveyards, false gods, I scuff
At pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say okay, I have had enough, what else can you show me?

And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
But it’s alright, Ma, it’s life, and life only

….and proceeded to record the final versions of “Mr. Tambourine Man”, “It’s Alright, Ma” & “Gates of Eden” in a single take, with no playback between songs! ….. It is as though all three songs came out of him in one breath, easily the greatest breath drawn by an american artist since Ginsberg & Kerouac exhaled “Howl” & “On the Road” a decade earlier.
~Paul Williams (Performing Artist 60-73)

Continue reading Bob Dylan’s best songs – It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) – #7, released version

Today: The late Duane Allman was born in 1946 – 66 years ago

“I will take love wherever I find it and offer it to everyone who will take it.., seek knowledge from those wiser than me and try to teach those who wish to learn from me.”
― Duane Allman

Nice tribute:

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Howard Duane Allman
Also known as Skydog
Born November 20, 1946
Nashville, Tennessee
Died October 29, 1971 (aged 24)
Macon, Georgia
Genres Southern rock, blues, blues-rock, soul, rock, jazz
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1961–1971
Labels Mercury, Capricorn
Associated acts The Hour Glass, Wilson Pickett,The Allman Brothers Band,Derek and the Dominos, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Mann, Gregg Allman, The Allman Joys
Website AllmanBrothersBand.com

Howard Duane Allman (November 20, 1946 – October 29, 1971) was an American guitarist, session musician and the primary leader and co-founder of the The Allman Brothers Band, until his death in a motorcycle accident in 1971 at the age of 24.

The Allman Brothers Band was formed in 1969 and, unusual for the time, based in the Southeastern United States. In the early 1970s the band was hugely successful. Duane is best remembered for his brief but influential tenure in the band, and in particular for his expressive slide guitar playing and inventive improvisational skills. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Allman at #2 in their list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, second only to Jimi Hendrix and in 2011 he was ranked #9. His tone (achieved with a Gibson Les Paul and two 50-watt bass Marshall amplifiers) was named one of the greatest guitar tones of all time by Guitar Player.

Allman Brothers – Whipping Post, 9/23/70:

A sought-after session musician both before and during his tenure with the band, Duane Allman performed with such established stars as King Curtis, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and Herbie Mann. He also contributed heavily to the 1970 album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and the Dominos.

Duane Allman’s skills as a guitarist were complemented by personal qualities such as his intensity, drive and ability to draw the best out of others in making music. He is still referred to by his nickname “Skydog”.

Allman Brothers – In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, 9/23/70:

From rollingstone.com (100 greatest guitarists):
If the late Duane Allman had done nothing but session work, he would still be on this list. His contributions on lead and slide guitar to dozens of records as fine and as varied as Wilson Pickett’s down-home ’69 cover of “Hey Jude” and Eric Clapton’s 1970 masterpiece with Derek and the Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, constitute an astounding body of work. But Allman also transformed the poetry of jamming with the Allman Brothers Band, the group he founded in 1969 with his younger brother, singer-organist Gregg. Duane applied the same black soul and rebel fire he displayed as a sideman to the Allmans’ extended investigations of Muddy Waters and Blind Willie McTell covers and to his psychedelic-jazz interplay with second guitarist Dickey Betts in live showpieces such as “Whipping Post.” Although Duane and Gregg had played in bands together since 1960, Duane did not learn to play slide until shortly before the start of the Allmans. In his only Rolling Stone interview, in early’ 71, Duane said that the first song he tried to conquer was McTell’s “Statesboro Blues.” Allman’s blastoff licks in the recording that opens his band’s third album, At Fillmore East, show how far and fast he had come — and leave you wondering how much further he could have gone. In October 1971, eight months after the Fillmore East gigs, Allman died in a motorcycle accident in the band’s home base of Macon, Georgia.  -> Read more: rollingstone.com

 Album of the day:

Stepehen Thomas Erlwine (allmusic.com):
Whereas most great live rock albums are about energy, At Fillmore East is like a great live jazz session, where the pleasure comes from the musicians’ interaction and playing. The great thing about that is, the original album that brought the Allmans so much acclaim is as notable for its clever studio editing as it is for its performances. Producer Tom Dowd skillfully trimmed some of the performances down to relatively concise running time (edits later restored on the double-disc set The Fillmore Concerts), at times condensing several performances into one track. Far from being a sacrilege, this tactic helps present the Allmans in their best light, since even if the music isn’t necessarily concise (three tracks run over ten minutes, with two in the 20-minute range), it does showcase the group’s terrific instrumental interplay, letting each member (but particularly guitarist Duane and keyboardist/vocalist Gregg) shine. Even after the release of the unedited concerts, this original double album (single CD) remains the pinnacle of the Allmans and Southern rock at its most elastic, bluesy, and jazzy.

Other November 20:

Continue reading Today: The late Duane Allman was born in 1946 – 66 years ago