Tuesday, 20 January 2015


 Genius offers no thanks and Bob Dylan has never acknowledged any collaborators save those dead at the bottom of the creative well-spring but aside from his touring and recording bands there have been several contemporaneous artists hugely influential upon his writing and playing styles; one of these was Mr Bruce Langhorne, a session guitarist and occasional Tambourine Man

 - he played a huge, Turkish instrument and their collaborations inspired Dylan  to plead, Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me.......
More importantly to the musicologist, Mr Langhorne, while playing sessions with Carolyn Hester, the Farinas, Judy Collins and Gordon Lightfoot,
 Langhorne, guitar; Hester, vocals and guitar; Dylan, mouth-organ and Bill Lee, bass, CBS Studios, New York 1961

played on Dylan's Freewheeling album and is said to have suggested or played the electric parts on Bringing It All Back Home, notably Mr Langhorne is credited by cognoscenti with the subtle framing of two of Dylan's most perfectly realised songs, Love Minus Zero, No Limit and She Belongs To Me,  as well as with teaching Baby Blue, himself,  the demotic, dropD accompaniment to the almost Satanic, It's Alright, Ma, I'm Only Bleeding.  The complex double-timed finger-picking on the earlier, Don't Think Twice It's Alright - a song, incidentally, about which a plagiarism charge was settled out of court - is also Mr Langhorne's, 

as is the memorable, second guitar part on Corinna, Corinna,  a Dylan reworking of a Robert Johnson song, although there are other traditional sources, too.

There is no Langhorne solo recording of Corinna, Corinna and today
 he modestly claims not to remember too much about it but I came across this, by Steve Gillette, which I had never heard and which  among Bobsessives, here and further on up the road, maybe down New Zealand way,  deserves a wider audience.


mongoose said...

Ah, Freewheelin', eh?

call me ishmael said...

I thought it exquisite and I still do, mr mongoose, a sound, a feeling, a muted, if confident radicalism, wrapped in silver strings and ancient tunes. Who were these guys?

inmate said...

Just litenin to the Pete Nose of the Oo version,sorry I ever bothered. You are right as usual, MrI this is exquisite.

call me ishmael said...

Christ, mr inmate, isn't it awful, that Pete Nose version; somebody bought me the Amnesty album on which it appears and even amongst a lot of similar dross, Townsend's effort is just dreadful. It's not as though he's an inept musician, just that he's lost if the song isn't about angry boys, like himself.

For extending copyright purposes, SOny have recently released a limited edition - 100 copies - set of early Dylan out-takes and concert performances and his solo performance of Corinna, Corinna is among them, it's charming enough but lacks Langhorne's added grace. Worth a look, Bob Dylan Extended Copyright youtube, should you be up one night, leaning on the window sill, there's about a dozen tracks, at the moment, although the set has hundreds.

inmate said...

Thanks for that MrI will take look at the youtube stuff.
I bought the Amnesty album, as I think I mentioned back down the road awhile. I do like most of the tracks, for Bob's poetry, but don't have to put up with his grating.
BTW finished the Leibowitz book, well worth the hard work.

call me ishmael said...

Somehow, he has managed to overshoot any reasonable Trajectory of Merit, our Bob; seven amazing albums in the 'sixties, one in the 'seventies, one in the 'eighties and precious little since then, to the point where I now think that anyone attending his concerts is little better than a graverobber. It amazes me, a long-time admirer, that the old fraud's ancient career is still sufficiently lustrous as to fill auditoria all over the world, his audience so undiscerning.

Poor, mad Michael Jackson sold more copies of Thriller than Bob Dylan has of his entire recorded output, in sales terms, therefore, Bob is Nobody, in mythologising himself, however, he is without equal.

As for the grating, once I thought him the finest singer in popular music but that was before before, maybe his last hurrah was, Infidels, maybe Oh, Mercy; tomorrow is a long time.

I hope Liebowitz doesn't weigh too heavily on your soul, always been a touchstone for mine.

mongoose said...

Infidels wasn't last week though, was it, Mr Ishmael? And he made a somewhat of a trade out of two-decent-tracks-and-alot-of-dross albums.

BTW ddin't I write soemthing very similar yesterday? I think the blogger two-click idiocy is back again. Ho hum.

mongoose said...

(Found the start of it - sitting in an unclosed browser tab. Too many windows, too many doors. It's not very interesting but you may as well have it, Mr I.)

Now that my wonderful music server is redundant and dusty, except for the fat Terabyte hard-drive full of yesterday - any of our music can spring out of the wall at any time and unsettle the urchins. You just have to play it loud. The idea of random-playing though does not come naturally to such systemed and engineered souls. Freewheelin' has an order and should be played in it. I thought that everybody knew this. And haven't we smoked enough of this weed that I am excused standing up to skip the needle over? Although this would be - and was - a trial with some of Our Bob's more uneven stuff.

Oddly, or perhaps not, the older the music is, the more the kids are likely to accept it. It's the ten-year's-old stuff they will not abide.

call me ishmael said...

Yes that's what I meant, Infidels was a Dire Straits of a time ago and since then it has
been as you say, apart from Daniel Lanois' Oh, Mercy. I have found that the older I grow the easier I find it to give up stuff, often, as with fags, there's nothing to give, just stuff to get back and I freely and easily gave up buying Bob Dylan stuff at Millenium's Turn.. My hard drivestuff and my old.fashioned discs and vinyl are 'neath the stairs these three or four years and what. I do now is just follow wherever the youThing takes me, grateful for all the sharing, not quite random, partially. As for the NewPeople, anyone who can, ignorant of Lonnie Johnson, celebrate Seasick Steve, well, it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe.

I heard Lady Sir Paul McVeggie, the other night, doling-out advice to new entrants to his industry, sounded like Alan Sugar, he did.

The best things in life are free
but you can keep them for the birds and bees
I want money, that'sssss what I want
that's what I want, that'ssss what I want
that's what I wa-a-a-a-a-a-a-ant, yeah,
that's what I want
that's what I want

And when, glasshoppa, you can type that accurately on a ouija-pad, then you will have learned.

But what about Mr Gillette, isn't he just so James Taylor, sat like some old tribal Obeha man, in the dust outside the kraal, drinking mealie beer, and while the women do the work he keens his old songs, from the old times, in the old ways; him got a bird what whistle, him got a bird what sing. You and me, mr mongoose you and me, soon come.

mongoose said...

Yes, the Gillette was v fine. It was necessary to go and play Bob's version too and it was man v toddler. I wonder if that collective musicianship and fertilisation happens in the samee way in these X-Bollocks days.

call me ishmael said...

I am glad you liked it, I thought much the same. As for the state of the art, at least the novitiate is now tutored by that great blues man, Sir Tom Tom Jones, great, great, blues man, Sir Tom Tom - What's New Pussycat, It's Not Unusual, gimme the blues way down inside, they do. And that snufflers beard, if only Blind Willie McTell had known such grooming. Christ, I fucking loathe that shouty Welsh git, I wish he'd fuck off and die.

I have never seen him or Cowell or Strictly Come Dancing, just knowing about Cruelty TeeVee is bad enough.

mongoose said...

There is a girl not far from here who sang in all the same choirs and such as my lot. She is a properly nice kid and is blessed by being prettier than the average bear. And so it was that she became a part of one of those manufactured teenage outfits. Recordings were made, TV shows were appeared upon, hope and wonder and everybody happy and - Over. Finished and the caravan moved on. Not a thought or indeed an anything. The phone stopped ringing. He loves me not. And so it is with all of those shows.

Last I heard the word was she had enough money to pay her college fees. So that is a good thing but multplying out that still puts not quite the price of a house around here - shared among all of them. So where did the rest of the money go? If there ever was any money outside of the inside.

call me ishmael said...

Almost, Don't out your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington. Showbiz, eh, beasts and crooks.

mongoose said...

And there was another piano on Freecycle the other day.

call me ishmael said...

I know what you mean. Twenty five years ago I bought at auction, a Victorian pedal harmonium, in red walnut, for a pound, if I had't bought it it was going on the fire, been wrapped up in the byre, here, for fifteen years. I will break it up and make a bench from the carved sides; keep the ivory keys for I know not what, I used to use them to make replacement little escutcheon plates for Georgian chests of drawers, although I'm fucked if I know when I'll ever do another one of those; I'm working, mind, on a mid-nineteenth century mahogany dressing chest which I bought myself for Christmas or maybe for the ghosts of Christmas past. Given the sound you can obtain from a decent Yamaha and given how utterly Blunkettish are most piano tuners, it.s no wonder they get junked.