The Whole Wide World is watching

The best of the web
(with thanks to Expecting Rain)

by Martin Stein


Read all about it! I hope you find these new news pages interesting, as I do wonder whether you all knew it all anyhow. 

1.  The Song Remains The Same – BBC Radio 2’s song library asked voters to select their favourite version of Blowin’ In The Wind.  Last I looked Bob’s original was way ahead (74%) of Peter, Paul and Mary and Neil Young (both 11%), Johnny Nash (3%) and Elvis Presley (1%). 

2.  Talkin’ Bob Dylan - A Bob Dylan symposium titled "1964: The Times They Are A-Changin'" was held at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City on March 23rd.

3.  Rockin’ Robbie – Robbie Robertson has been talking about Dylan in a Rolling Stone interview, see 

4.  Cashing In - Dylan's legendary producer Bob Johnston is interviewed in the latest Record Collector about the unreleased Cash-Dylan album from 1969. Johnston reveals he is still trying to persuade Columbia to release the sessions, 35 years after the event. 

5.  Play A Song For Me - Everything changed for Al Kooper (below) in June 1965, when a producer friend, Tom Wilson, invited him to sit Al Kooperin on a recording session with Bob Dylan. He wound up supplying the quirky organ chords that so strongly characterised Like a Rolling Stone.  Kooper says that he was so anxious about doing a good job on the Dylan track that he didn't realise at the time that they were making a groundbreaking recording. "I was playing with one of my heroes, and that was momentous personally, and I was fighting for my life at that moment because if I fucked-up it would be very bad for me and for Tom Wilson, the producer," he said.

6.  However there was more of a sense of participating in something momentous when he went to Nashville the next winter to record Dylan's Blonde on Blonde album. "I can't believe what I played on it," said Kooper, talking about his part on the song Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again.  "If I had to play that today, I couldn't play it any better than I played it then," he said. "Also, I did a lot of the arrangements, and I was, like, twenty-two. It's ludicrous. I'm sixty now. It's just amazing for me to hear that. There are other things I hear and go, OK, you were only twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four. But Blonde on Blonde just really sticks out to me. When I hear Child Is Father to the Man (the first album by Blood, Sweat and Tears) all I hear is the mistakes. But there aren't many mistakes on Blonde on Blonde."

7.  Walking ‘Round Heaven All Day – A guided tour of Greenwich Village and its place in the Bob Dylan Story can be found at

8.  True Confessions? - "Songwriting?" "What do I know about song-writing?" Bob Dylan asked, and then broke into laughter. He was wearing blue jeans, a white tank-top T-shirt, and drinking coffee out of a glass. "It tastes better out of a glass," he said, grinning. His blonde acoustic guitar was leaning on a couch near where we sat. Bob Dylan's guitar. His influence is so vast that everything that surrounds him takes on enlarged significance: Bob Dylan's moccasins. The article continues in Boulevard Magazine’s March/April issue. 

9.  Jazz Mags – Selected performances form the Montreux Jazz Festival 1967-2004 are to be released on DVD, according to Eagle Vision. Although listed as a performer, there is no direct reference to Dylan being featured. 

10. Lights, Camera, Action – The story of Dylan’s life is to be made into a film, according to Paramount Pictures.  The Viacom Inc.-owned studio has struck a deal with producers to develop a biographical feature film about the famed singer-songwriter with Dylan’s co-operation.  The project, the brainchild of Todd Haynes and tentatively titled I’m Not There: Suppositions on a Film Concerning Dylan is in the earliest stages of development. 

11. I’d Like To Introduce A Very Good Friend Of Ours - On the last night of a three-date stint at Detroit's State Theatre, Dylan invited young Jack White to perform with him on the second encore. Together with Dylan's band, the two played a version of Ball And Biscuit from The White Stripes' most recent album, Elephant.

12. Good Grief – A reminder of the strange company we fans keep can be found in the complete pile of shite that has been posted on the web “explaining” the connection between some of Bob’s lyrics and the fact that he was once abducted by aliens.  This guy should really get some rest.

13. Unmasked - Masked And Anonymous is due to be released on Region 2 DVD on 10th May priced £15.99 (though you may be able to get it cheaper!!). 

14. Pharts of Fire – The Cash family have understandably blocked attempts by US advertisers to use Johnny’s song Ring of Fire to promote haemorrhoid-relief products. 

15. STOP PRESSES: Bob is to appear at Finsbury Park on 20 June. The Victoria’s Secret bra and knickers ads are now being broadcast in the USA.