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My favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 1973: The Pat Garrett sessions


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.

lucky luke  Peco's Blues

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

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