July 30: Bob Dylan: 4th recording session for Highway 61 Revisited 1965
“I never wanted to write topical songs,…. Have you heard my last two records, Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61? It’s all there. That’s the real Dylan.”
~Bob Dylan (to Frances Taylor – Aug 1965)
“Dylan had not only changed his sound, but his persona, trading the folk troubadour for a streetwise, cynical hipster. Throughout the album, he embraces druggy, surreal imagery, which can either have a sense of menace or beauty, and the music reflects that, jumping between soothing melodies to hard, bluesy rock. And that is the most revolutionary thing about Highway 61 Revisited — it proved that rock & roll needn’t be collegiate and tame in order to be literate, poetic, and complex.”
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)
Wikipedia: On July 30, Dylan and his band returned to Studio A and recorded three songs. A master take of “From a Buick 6” was recorded and later included on the final album, but most of the session was devoted to “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?” Dylan was unsatisfied with the results and set the song aside for a later date; it was eventually re-recorded with the Hawks in October.
May 14: Legendary producer the late great Bob Johnston was born in 1932
“Is it rolling, Bob?” – Bob Dylan at the beginning of To Be Alone With You (Nashville Skyline)
“Johnston had fire in his eyes. He had that thing that some people call ‘Momentum.’ You could see it in his face and he shared that fire, that spirit. Columbia’s leading folk and country producer, he was born one hundred years too late. He should have been wearing a wide cape, a plumed hat, and riding with his sword held high. Johnston disregarded any warning that might get in his way. … Johnston lived on low country barbecue, and he was all charm.”
– Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One
“I had the best in the world in my hand – there was no place I couldn’t go with him, so that’s where I went. I think Blonde On Blonde is the best record Dylan ever cut… Blonde On Blonde was the first symphony cut in Nashville!” – Bob Johnston (Uncut magazine)
Donald William ‘Bob’ Johnston (born May 14, 1932, Hillsboro, Texas, died August 14, 2015) was an American record producer, best known for his work with Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, and Simon and Garfunkel.
The Best Dylan Covers: Dave Alvin – Highway 61 Revisited
Highway 61 Revisited is the title track of Bob Dylan’s 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited. It was also released as the B-side to the single “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?” later the same year.
I’ve read somewhere that Dave Alvin recorded it at the Ashgrove sessions, that makes sense. His cover of Highway 61 Revisited would fit that album very nicely. The Groove and overall feel from Ashgrove is very present in his interpretation of Highway 61 Revisited. The song is not on the album (not the release that I have at least) but check out the album, it’s a classic (June 15, 2004)
Highway 61 Revisited by Dave Alvin was however included on a CD that came with an issue of Uncut Magazine, Highway 61 Revisited Revisited (2005).
In 1969, Johnny Winter covered “Highway 61 Revisited” on his second Columbia release, Second Winter. Winter’s rendition is regarded as “a career-defining track,” and the song continued as a live standard of his. A 10-minute version of the song appears on his 1976 live album, Captured Live !, and he also performed it live in 1992 for the The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration album, which saluted Dylan’s three decades as a recording artist. (wikipedia)
From “Second Winter” (1969) album:
Oh, God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”
Abe said, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”
God said, “No” Abe say, “What?”
God say, “You can do what you want, Abe, but
The next time you see me comin’, you better run”
Well, Abe said, “Where d’you want this killin’ done?”
God said, “Out on Highway 61”