The May tape has never enjoyed the same popularity [as the December tape – The Minnesota Hotel Tape]. Partly because of the low quality of the original recording, and partly due to a remarkably uninspired performance. One of the first times that a young Bob would hear himself on tape, nerves, inexperience, and limited repertoire would result in, at best, this mediocre offering. The tape is significant, however, not only for its historical importance, but also as a standard to compare the December tape. A short seven months that separate the two. A lifetime that separate the two. The interim shows the explosive growth from a kid with a guitar to a Folk Phenomenon.
Unidentified coffeehouse Minneapolis, Minnesota May 1961
…the most famous of Dylan’s many “home” tapes, the so-called “Minneapolis Hotel Tape.” Recorded by Tony Glover at Bonnie Beecher’s apartment in Minneapolis, whimsically dubbed The Beecher Hotel by Dylan (hence the title of the tape), large portions of this tape appeared on the first Dylan bootleg album, the legendary Great White Wonder.
~Clinton Heylin (Bob Dylan: A Life in Stolen Moments Day by Day 1941-1995)
The December tape has been in wide circulation for many years. It was actually the first bootleg ever produced. It was released on a 2 LP set in 1969, and went by the title ‘Great White Wonder’ It has been available under various titles a countless number of times in the decades that followed. The quality has generally been very good, and the performance tells the story of a fresh faced boy just out of high school, who had the energy and natural ‘world-traveled weariness’ quality that would forever change the world. It is absolutely required material for even the smallest collection.
The Home Of Bonnie Beecher Minneapolis, Minnesota 22 December 1961