Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

I'm Not There 1956

1967 West Saugerties, New York

Note: 1956 is part of the title, not the date it was created or recorded.

 I'm Not There by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark
"Perhaps the most mythical of all Dylan’s unreleased gems, “I’m Not There” is an absolute mystery. A long, extended meditation built around a four-chord acoustic-guitar strum, it was recorded only once by Dylan and never finished or revisited. Lyrics and lines float by, some discernible, others elusive. Among Dylan fanatics, it’s a kind of Rosetta stone because it seems to capture the artist in the midst of his creative process. The magic of “I’m Not There” is its lack of definition. Critic Greil Marcus devotes five pages of The Old, Weird America to the song, writing that “?‘I’m Not There’ is barely written at all. Words are floated together in a dyslexia that is music itself, a dyslexia that seems meant to prove the claims of music over words, to see just how little words can do.”

True, but what’s most engaging about the song is the revelation it provides about Dylan’s creative process. Unlike many outtakes and bootlegged tracks, “I’m Not There” feels like someone channeling, speaking in tongues, handling snakes, conjuring out of the mist the blueprint of a song." Randall Roberts  
The above article is excerpted from Bob Dylan's Most Mysterious Recording by Randall Roberts in LA Weekly

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

God and Music

Read What Life Means To Einstein by George Sylvester Viereck, Saturday Evening Post, Oct. 26,1929
(and don't miss the very interesting and funny Hanes underwear ad.)

“If… I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. I cannot tell if I would have done any creative work of importance in music, but I do know that I get most joy in life out of my violin.”

Oh what dear daughter ’neath the sun

Tell me, my daughters … which of you shall we say doth love us most?”, King Lear, W. Shakespeare. (Cordelia Disinherited by John Rogers Herbert. - See more at:
Tell me, my daughters … which of you shall we say doth love us most?”, King Lear, W. Shakespeare. (Cordelia Disinherited by John Rogers Herbert. - See more at:
Cordelia Disinherited by John Rogers Herbert
Tell me, my daughters … which of you shall we say doth love us most?”, King Lear, W. Shakespeare. (Cordelia Disinherited by John Rogers Herbert. - See more at:

We carried you in our arms
On Independence Day
And now you’d throw us all aside
And put us on our way
Oh what dear daughter ’neath the sun
Would treat a father so
To wait upon him hand and foot
And always tell him, “No?”
Tears of rage, tears of grief
Why must I always be the thief?
Come to me now, you know
We’re so alone
And life is brief

We pointed out the way to go
And scratched your name in sand
Though you just thought it was nothing more
Than a place for you to stand
Now, I want you to know that while we watched
You discover there was no one true
Most ev’rybody really thought
It was a childish thing to do
Tears of rage, tears of grief
Must I always be the thief?
Come to me now, you know
We’re so low
And life is brief

It was all very painless
When you went out to receive
All that false instruction
Which we never could believe
And now the heart is filled with gold
As if it was a purse
But, oh, what kind of love is this
Which goes from bad to worse?
Tears of rage, tears of grief
Must I always be the thief?
Come to me now, you know
We’re so low
And life is brief
Lyrics, bob Dylan; Melody, Richard Manuel 
Andy Gill likens the song to King Lear's soliloquy on the blasted heath in Shakespeare's tragedy: "Wracked with bitterness and regret, its narrator reflects upon promises broken and truths ignored, on how greed has poisoned the well of best intentions, and how even daughters can deny their father's wishes." He suggests that Dylan is linking the anguish of Lear’s soliloquy to the divisions in American society apparent in 1967, as the Vietnam War escalated: "In its narrowest and most contemporaneous interpretation, the song could be the first to register the pain of betrayal felt by many of America’s Vietnam war veterans . … In a wider interpretation [it] harks back to what anti-war protesters and critics of American materialism in general felt was a more fundamental betrayal of the American Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights."  Wikipedia
"A strong Biblical theme runs through the song, according to Sid Griffin, who also notes that "life is brief" is a recurrent message in the Old Testament books Psalms and Isaiah.  As a father, Dylan realizes now that "no broken heart hurts more than the broken heart of a distraught parent." Griffin calls the four minutes of this song "as representative of community, ageless truths and the unbreakable bonds of family as anything in The Band's canon—or anyone else's canon." Wikipedia
Greil Marcus suggests that the "famous beginning"—"We carried you/In our arms/On Independence Day"—evokes a naming ceremony not just for a child but also for a whole nation. He writes that "in Dylan's singing—an ache from deep in the chest, a voice thick with care in the first recording of the song—the song is from the start a sermon and an elegy, a Kaddish."  Wikipedia
Robbie Robertson
"You know the punky attitude that had to do with music - hate your mother and stab your father. It’s kind of a trend of some sort, and this
(the next of kin photo)was a statement that we weren’t there. We don’t hate our mothers and fathers. It (Tears of Rage)’s from a parent’s point of view. So what if your parents did you wrong? Maybe they did, but so what? Everybody’s doing what they can do, right or wrong. I’m just tired of hearing all this - that little girl, Janis Ian. You know, Jim Morrison and all those people. I just think that they’re a drag. Even if that is their situation, who cares?"
 Read more opinions and interpretations:  excellent notes and commentary  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Train of Love is comin'

and don't you dare miss it !

Photograph by Leigh Weiner


Monday, September 22, 2014

I love you but you're strange

I can hear the turning of the key
I’ve been deceived by the clown inside of me
I thought that he was righteous but he’s vain
Oh, something’s a-telling me I wear the ball and chain

My patron saint is a-fighting with a ghost
He’s always off somewhere when I need him most
The Spanish moon is rising on the hill
But my heart is a-tellin’ me I love ya still

 Bob and Sara Dylan at Shack, Woodstock, 1965 Daniel Kramer

I come back to the town from the flaming moon
I see you in the streets, I begin to swoon
I love to see you dress before the mirror
Won’t you let me in your room one time ’fore I finally disappear?

Everybody’s wearing a disguise
To hide what they’ve got left behind their eyes
But me, I can’t cover what I am
Wherever the children go I’ll follow them

I march in the parade of liberty
But as long as I love you I’m not free
How long must I suffer such abuse
Won’t you let me see you smile one time before I turn you loose?

Dylan, metaphysically teleported from Paris 1966 to Greenwich Village 1975.  In this case, he foresees not only the breakup of his marriage to Sara in 1968 but also that he will write a song about that love's demise called "Abandoned Love".  In this image he is in actuality, sitting on a balcony in Paris, thinking of Sara and Greenwich Village. In his flight of fancy he manages to travel forward and back at the same time.  The lyrics of Abandoned Love allow for this kind of thing, naturally, and bi-location is part of the gig. 

The Other End, NYC, July 3, 1975)  "During a surprise appearance in NYC  on the eve of his Rolling Thunder Revue tour, the songwriter debuted “Abandoned Love” for a tiny, obviously thrilled crowd, who probably assumed that this brilliant tune would be the centerpiece of Dylan’s next LP. And indeed, he attempted laying it down in the studio for Desire, but not to his satisfaction — that version wasn’t released ‘til the mid-80s on Biograph. Listening to the fire in his voice on this tape, you can see why; the studio version is positively watered down. “My head says that it’s time to make a change,” he sings, somehow sounding tortured and delighted all at once. “But my heart is telling me: I love you but you’re strange.” Story goes that the taper took a punch from one of Dylan’s buddies when his rig was discovered. We all owe that taper a beer."  t wilcox

Abandoned Love (The Other End '75) by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

I’ve given up the game, I’ve got to leave
The pot of gold is only make-believe
The treasure can’t be found by men who search
Whose gods are dead and whose queens are in the church

We sat in an empty theater and we kissed
I asked ya please to cross me off-a your list
My head tells me it’s time to make a change
But my heart is telling me I love ya but you’re strange

Bob Dylan, Paris 1966 by Claude Azoulay

One more time at midnight, near the wall
Take off your heavy makeup and your shawl
Won’t you descend from the throne, from where you sit?
Let me feel your love one more time before I abandon it

Coming and Going

Original Photo by Daniel Kramer
(special effects added by Leo)
"Dylan’s continuing link to the Beat generation, though, came chiefly through his friend and sometime mentor Allen Ginsberg. Dylan’s link with Ginsberg dated back to the end of 1963, a pivotal moment in the lives and careers of both men. Thereafter, in the mid-1960s, the two would complete important artistic transitions, each touched and supported by the other. On and off, their rapport lasted for decades. And in 1997, in New Brunswick, Canada, Dylan would dedicate a concert performance of “Desolation Row” to Ginsberg, his longtime comrade, telling the audience it was Allen’s favorite of his songs, on the evening after Ginsberg died." Sean Wilentz
Read more about Dylan and the "Beats"
 Penetrating Aether - The Beat Generation and Allen Ginsberg's America

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Yes, I received your letter yesterday

Yes, I received your letter yesterday
(About the time the doorknob broke)
When you asked how I was doing
Was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they’re quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
Right now I can’t read too good
Don’t send me no more letters, no
Not unless you mail them
From Desolation Row

Ballad In Plain D

Snow laden branches dance in the wind Beneath a bare light bulb the plaster did pound
Music by Bob Dylan. Image by Myron Adams.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I'll Keep It With Mine

Bringing It All Back Home recording sessions, January 1965.

photo by Daniel Kramer

When in Rome

 Hotel Porta Maggiore, Rome, Italy
I like where he takes this version of "Make You Feel My Love" performed in Rome Italy,  Such a nice surprise here and there throughout the song, like walking through a city you've never been to before. I like the high notes at the end of phrases, up one street and down another.  Lucky the fan that was there in the flesh. I was in Rome once, during Easter week.  This is the hotel where we stayed.  It was a joyful, magical place and time of my life. 




Art and Reality

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rainbow and Seth - American Travelers

Thank you to my fellow blogger Trelo Giannis (Τρελο-γιάννης) for sharing this marvelous story.  Thank you also to the source Nun Nectaria (McLees)

Seth Haskins - Riding the Rails

"Twentieth-century readers knew Kerouac’s On the Road and Jack London’s earlier hobo classic, The Road, but how many of us know what the 21st-century counter-culture is up to, their life-styles and aspirations? We see the tattoos, nose-rings, attitudes, but do we hear the cries of the heart from young people searching for truth? In the following interview Rainbow (Xenia) Lundeen and Seth (John) Haskins, both baptized Orthodox after this conversation, share the by-ways they’ve taken in trying to live out the Gospel in their lives."
: Baptism of Rainbow (Xenia) Lundeen by Fr. Paisius Altschul 
at St. Mary of Egypt Serbian Orthodox Church, Kansas City, Missouri.

  ‘So, the train was going too fast and I got off with the leading foot and was instantly on the ground. As I was going down, I thought, “This is how people die on trains, this is how it happens.” It happened too fast to be scared, but I also knew it was too late. I didn’t die, of course, but I’d broken my back and my pelvis. Learning saw me go down and jumped off behind me with the dog and the mandolin. He helped take my pack off, then picked me up and tried to help me to the road. I couldn’t walk all the way, so he ran into town and got an ambulance. I had surgery, of course, and now I have a whopping hospital bill.

So riding trains is largely over-romanticized and I want to make sure that our lifestyle doesn’t come across like that in this article. It is a wonderfully freeing way to live, but it’s a dangerous way to live. It’s not for everyone and it’s not just a cool thing to do. Riding trains can be a status thing for some people. They think, “I’m cool because I ride trains, but you only hitch-hike. You’re not a real traveler.” I once met a kid who boasted of having ridden fifty trains in the past month. That’s like twice a day of doing nothing but riding trains for the sake of riding trains. For us it was a way to get somewhere. seth: If anyone reading this wants to be free, we’re telling them right now that they don’t have to go out and ride trains. In fact, if they feel drawn to it, I’d say “Don’t.” That’s not how it works. It’s too dangerous. “

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Exaltation of the Cross

The cross is today the universal image of Christian belief. Countless generations of artists have turned it into a thing of beauty to be carried in procession or worn as jewelry. To the eyes of the first Christians, it had no beauty. It stood outside too many city walls, decorated only with decaying corpses, as a threat to anyone who defied Rome's authority—including Christians who refused sacrifice to Roman gods. Although believers spoke of the cross as the instrument of salvation, it seldom appeared in Christian art unless disguised as an anchor or the Chi-Rho until after Constantine's edict of toleration.

 Early in the fourth century St. Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ's life. She razed the second-century Temple of Aphrodite, which tradition held was built over the Savior's tomb, and her son built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher over the tomb. During the excavation, workers found three crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a dying woman.

The cross immediately became an object of veneration. At a Good Friday celebration in Jerusalem toward the end of the fourth century, according to an eyewitness, the wood was taken out of its silver container and placed on a table together with the inscription Pilate ordered placed above Jesus' head: Then "all the people pass through one by one; all of them bow down, touching the cross and the inscription, first with their foreheads, then with their eyes; and, after kissing the cross, they move on." 

 To this day the Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox alike, celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the September anniversary of the basilica's dedication. The feast entered the Western calendar in the seventh century after Emperor Heraclius recovered the cross from the Persians, who had carried it off in 614, 15 years earlier. According to the story, the emperor intended to carry the cross back into Jerusalem himself, but was unable to move forward until he took off his imperial garb and became a barefoot pilgrim.


 "How splendid the cross of Christ! It brings life, not death; light, not darkness; Paradise, not its loss. It is the wood on which the Lord, like a great warrior, was wounded in hands and feet and side, but healed thereby our wounds. A tree has destroyed us, a tree now brought us life" (Theodore of Studios).

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Incredible Stigmata

Eddy and Edna by Leo
What grim machinery
enters august
bites the dust arises
wearing only hair
alone aloft and regal
speaking off the wall
of kingdom-come?

What plot thickens
and lewdly displays
incredible stigmata
as gone gone girls
dance redemptive circles
around a shard of moon?
What snake charmer
defies apprehension
mashes our potatoes
fills all our gravy boats
with iron-poor blood
and toots on his flute
“come and get it”?
What stock broker
persuades us to invest
in products of the future
while armies inconspicuous
adorn themselves for war
feeding on our disbelief
growing like a tumor
stuck in the craw of tomorrow?
by Leo (CTC)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert - Jan 1968

 This photo and all others on this blog post are by Elliott Landy

 The Woody Guthrie Memorial concert was a charity fund raising concert at Carnegie Hall, January 20, 1968, held in memory of Woody Guthrie's then-recent death after years of illness. The Band performed with Bob Dylan on riveting versions of "I Ain't Got No Home," "Dear Mrs. Roosevelt," and "The Grand Coulee Dam." This was Bob Dylan's first public performance after the motorcycle accident. The Band were announced under some weird name (The Crackers?) because they still did not have an official name.
By Sue Clark, Rolling Stone.
February 24, 1968
"Bob Dylan finally emerged from 18 months of self-imposed seclusion at the Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert in Carnegie Hall on January 20. His appearance had been announced and the two performances were sold out weeks in advance. Scalpers were reportedly getting $25.00 per ticket, and at the concert itself people were standing on the sidewalk and in the lobby begging, "Extra tickets? Any tickets for sale?"

In addition to Dylan, the memorial concert also featured Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Woody's son Arlo Guthrie, Tom Paxton, Jack Elliot, Odetta and Richie Havens, all performing songs written by Guthrie. Before and after each song, Robert Ryan, the program's narrator, and Will Geer did readings from Guthrie's work, accompanied by slides and still photographs of his art.

The performers sat in a row across the stage, most of them resplendently dressed. Odetta wore an orange and gold striped floor-length caftan, Judy Collins sported a red rose at the neck of her long-sleeved white blouse, while Richie Havens had on a purple silk Indian shirt beneath a black Nehru suit with a long jacket. But Bob Dylan, in a gun-metal grey silk mohair suit, blue shirt with green jewels for cuff links and black suede boots as well as his new beard and moustache, was the center of attention.

Most of the artists accompanied themselves on guitar while they sang, and the others played behind them. Dylan, however, sprawled in his chair with his eyes closed, seeming to be somewhere else entirely until it was his turn to play.

The crowd had been roused by Richie Haven's rendition of "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water," after being mesmerized by Odetta.

Then Dylan came on to do "Grand Coulee" and the reaction broke all previous bounds even before he began to sing. Playing acoustic Fender guitar and backed by another acoustic guitar — this one with an electrical pick-up — Fender bass and drums, he performed the number with a strong rock beat that had some girls in the audience boogalooing in their seats. On this and the other tunes the group performed the bassist sang harmony on the choruses — producing a unique combination with Dylan's singular voice.

"Mrs. Roosevelt" was a slower arrangement, and the "I Ain't Got No Home" was very swinging, and brought everyone to his feet, applauding as the cast went off. Dylan smiled in spite of himself at the great reaction he got to each song, but wasted no time between numbers. In spite of the opening announcement forbidding cameras and taping, there was at least one flash when Dylan began to sing. '"

 Elliott Landy

"The first time I photographed Dylan was at the Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1968. It was his first public appearance since his motorcycle accident a year earlier. He was playing with The Band, who were unknown at that time.

I was just starting my photographic career and wanted to see the show as well as take some pictures that I could sell. So I called up Dylan's office, identified myself as a photographer for an underground newspaper, and asked for two press tickets.

I brought my cameras to the concert, assuming that since they'd given me tickets as a photographer, I could take photographs. But when I got to Carnegie Hall, there were signs posted stating "No Photographs Allowed," and the ushers insisted that I check my cameras. I argued, showing my press pass and the tickets from Dylan's office, but to no avail. So I said, "OK, no pictures allowed," and checked half my cameras, but kept the other half -everything that would fit into my pockets and my date's bag.

I had a good seat near the front of the hall. Dylan came on stage, and I started snapping away, clicking my shutter only during the loud passages in order to be as discreet as possible.

After a couple of songs Arlene Cunningham, who worked for Dylan's manager, Albert Grossman, spotted me taking photographs. Soon she and Albert, whom I did not know at the time, and a guard were all waving to me from the side of the hall telling me to stop taking photographs. I pretended not to see their increasingly frantic waving.

Then Albert gestured to the guard to get me out of the seat. Meanwhile Dylan was playing with The Band, and it was very exciting. The guard came toward me. I knew what was going to happen next. They always go for your film.

So I rewound the film I had shot and gave it to my lady friend, with instructions not to give it up under any circumstances. I quickly put another roll of film into the camera. I didn't want to create a scene and disrupt the concert, so we followed the guard out into the posh, carpeted, chandeliered lobby where Albert, Arlene, and a few other people quickly surrounded us.

Albert demanded the film, and I adamantly refused, acting as if it were gold. "There's no way I'm gonna give you this film." But Arlene had seen me switch and was trying to tell him, but he was too engrossed in the mock battle I was staging. Every time I heard Arlene say, "She's got the film!", I raised my voice a bit, repeating, "You're not gonna get this film! You have no right to do this," and so on. I really carried on -I wasn't violent or nasty, just loud, to distract him from her.

While I argued with him, I held the camera in front of me, presenting it to him without being obvious about it, knowing he would grab it. Finally he did and ripped the film out, exposing it and making it even blanker, I guess. After that we left, with the film safely hidden away."