My favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 1973: The Pat Garrett sessions
“Even by the standards of Dylan bootlegs, this is one for the obsessives”
– Richie Unterberger (allmusic)
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid is the twelfth studio album and first soundtrack album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on July 13, 1973 by Columbia Records for the Sam Peckinpah film, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Dylan himself appeared in the film as the character “Alias”. The soundtrack consists primarily of instrumental music and was inspired by the movie itself.
The Pat Garrett sessions has also been released under other names, Lucky Luke, Blood on the saddle and Peco’s Blues. I think the “release”, The Pat Garrett sessions sounds best. So hit Google, people, and find it.
Dylan’s first session for the Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid soundtrack was on January 20, 1973 at CBS Discos Studios in Mexico City. The only song from that day that was included on the album was “Billy 7”; also recorded were multiple other takes of “Billy”, and the outtakes “Under Turkey”, “Billy Surrenders”, “And He’s Killed Me Too”, “Goodbye Holly” and “Pecos Blues”. The following month, Dylan recorded two days at Burbank Studios in Burbank, California. The rest of the album’s songs were recorded, as well as the outtakes “Sweet Armarillo” and “Rock Me Mama”
This bootleg is a collection of Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid outtakes. It has good to great sound quality and features a haunting instrumental ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’, several great and very different takes of Billy, the fabulous ‘Rock Me Mama’, and loads of studio banter (for us obsessives), including Bob asking the band to help him create a great song (‘Billy Surrenders’) right on the spot. It’s so great to get a little window into that world. To see the development of a song like Billy is fascinating to witness.
It may be a bootleg for the obsessives but so is the original Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid album. I love them both.
Tom Turkey(TurkeyII)(Billy) a slow bluesy build-up to a fine version of Billy, Billy 4, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (instrumental), Sweet Amarillo, Billy 7 (song6, disc2) but I think there are so many good tracks here that I usually just put on the whole set and runs through it.
Other entries in this series:
My favourite Bob Dylan bootlegs
The Burbank sessions yielded a few spontaneous recordings, including a jam titled “Sweet Amarillo” and a simple, improvised song titled “Rock Me Mama.” Although neither were seriously considered for the soundtrack (as they were born more out of leisure than actual work), they were eventually completed and recorded by the Nashville band Old Crow Medicine Show; “Wagon Wheel” was released in 2004 (and subsequently covered by many other artists, including Darius Rucker) and “Sweet Amarillo” was released in 2014, so check out the stories behind these songs:
The Roots of Wagon Wheel aka Rock Me Mama
The Roots of Sweet Amarillo
Billy (song 5, disc1):
Peco’s Blues (Grooveshark):
Disc1: 20 January 1973 CBS Studios, Mexico City, Mexico:
1. Billy (instrumental) [0:43]
2. Billy (instrumental) [2:27]
3. Billy (instrumental) [1:35]
4. Billy [8:29]
5. Billy [6:46]
6. Turkey (instrumental) [1:19]
7. Turkey (instrumental) [1:02]
8. Turkey (instrumental) [3:54]
9. Tom Turkey (Turkey II) (Billy) [6:55]
10. Billy Surrenders (instrumental) [3:49]
11. Billy Surrenders (instrumental) [3:28]
12. And He’s Killed Me Too (instrumental) [2:55]
13. And He’s Killed Me Too (instrumental) [0:08]
14. And He’s Killed Me Too (instrumental) [0:08]
15. And He’s Killed Me Too (instrumental) [4:51]
16. Goodbye Holly [2:20]
17. Pecos Blues (instrumental) [0:46]
18. Pecos Blues (instrumental) [4:04]
19. Billy [5:10]
Complete circulating material from this session.
Terry Paul (guitar, bass, vocals)
Mike Utley (organ)
Sammy Creason (drums)
and Stephen Bruton (guitar)
Disc2: February 1973 Burbank Studios, Burbank, California
1. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door [4:44]
2. Sweet Amarillo [1:10]
3. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door [3:52]
4. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (instrumental) [8:17]
5. Rock Me Mama [3:46]
6. Billy 7 [1:33]
7. Billy 7 [1:10]
8. (instrumental) [2:11]
9. (instrumental) [2:02]
10. Final Theme (instrumental) > Ride Billy Ride [4:18]
11. (chatter) [0:16]
Terry Paul (bass, vocals)
Roger McGuinn (guitar, banjo)
1-5 Jim Keltner (drums)
Carol Hunter (vocals and guitar), Donna Weiss (vocals), Brenda Patterson (vocals)
Gary Foster (flute)
Carl Fortina (harmonium)
Fred Catz and Ted Michel (cellos)
Bruce Langhorn (guitar)
Booker T (bass)
Russ Kunkel (tambourine, bongos)
Byron Berline (fiddle & vocal), Priscilla Jones (vocal)
BONUS TRACK [00:40]
November 1972 – January 1973 Sam Peckinpah’s House, Durango, Mexico
1. Billy [0:40]
Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal) with a male voice accompanying Bob in the background (could be Kristofferson or Peckinpah)
Mono recording, original 3 minutes (the segment included here is only a 40″ sample)
This is a must have disc for all fans of studio outtakes, and/or the Pat Garrett material. As with the released version, there is a lot of instrumentals. There’s also a lot of Bob talking and interacting with the engineer. The songs are direct from the studio mixing consoles, in incredible quality. The cover is Rex Features’ classic ‘Alias’ photo. The photo on the back is the ferrotype that is believed to be of Henry McCarty who would change his name to Bill Bonney aka ‘Billy The Kid’. The CD title is the result of a grammatical error. The true title of the song does not include an apostrophe. Also released as ‘Lucky Luke’.
6 thoughts on “My favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 1973: The Pat Garrett sessions”
do you know that dylan had nothing to do with the writing of sweet amarillo? it was written by Donna Weiss.
I hugely love this album♂☺☺☺ it’s one of the albums i could happily listen to forever if i was forced to listen to just one☺☺☺ it’s so great to hear him talk,i love when he’s coaching james coburn☺☺ Thank the heavens for bob!
great post as always.
Thanks for the kind words, Tom!
…I completely agree about the album 🙂
found it!! Thanks for the impulse 🙂
“Peco’s Blues” resp the bootlegs from the Pat Garrett-sessions are on No.1 of my album-wishlist… but couldn’t find it so far… tried to order it on losttunes.com, but they just took the money and the CD never showed up. Any hints where else I might be able to find?!
Thanks in advance,
If you mean the actual physical disc(s), I have no idea.
If a download is ok, you need to search the web (I just did and I found it)
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