Two Riders Approaching


Top Ten of 2004

by The Two Riders

Masked & Anonymous DVD
Not the greatest film of all time but with the official release of the movie on DVD we gained some interesting additions with some cut scenes but the most rewarding addition was a wonderful and complete version of Standing In The Doorway. Why did this not make the final cut of the film? 

The Bootleg Series volume 6 - Live 1964: Concert At Philharmonic Hall
This isn’t much to be added about this show, it has always been a firm favourite. How the original soundboard tape missed part of Silver Dagger, especially as there is some Dylan involvement with two harmonica breaks, is a mystery. The only complete version was from an audience tape but now to have the complete show in this sound quality is fantastic. 

TV Appearances
During 2004 there were a variety of TV appearances. Two of the memorable ones were the one broadcast on the 31st May (recorded on the 5th May) from The Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles which was dubbed, ‘Willie Nelson and Friends: Outlaws and Angels’. There was an extensive guest list but somehow Dylan was not included but he appeared to give an excellent performance with Willie on Hank Williams’ You Win Again. Another which was broadcast on 19th June (recorded on 28th March) from the Apollo Theater for the ‘Apollo at 70: A Hot Night In Harlem’ where Dylan performed a very powerful version of A Change Is Gonna Come. Both good performances and worth seeing, it is a pity that such things are rarely broadcast here!! 

An ALD recording of the show at the United Center, Chicago on 25 October 1998 emerged in 2004 and is a welcome addition to the collection. Nothing unusual in the set list but a good show in very good sound quality. 

During 2004 an acetate circulated for the first time and although for the most part it wasn’t too exciting there were two gems which made it a major find. These were Mr. Tambourine Man (with slightly different lyrics) and Eternal Circle (the first ever live version to circulate) and they both came from the Royal Festival Hall concert of May 17th 1964. What was also interesting was that the track listing of the acetate was exactly the same as that for the unreleased album list by Columbia as ‘In Concert’! 

Keys To The Rain – The Definitive Bob Dylan Encyclopedia
This book by Oliver Trager is a treat to read with loads information ranging from critical pieces to trivia. It is ideal to pick up and browse the put down to return later or as a reference work to answer queries. It is published by Billboard Books and well worth obtaining. 

Chronicles – Volume 1
Something which few ever thought would appear. One friend commented after finishing Chronicles that he very much enjoyed reading a well written book and then said, “I wonder who wrote it”!! At time this seems a fair comment! It is a ‘good read’ and there is little to add other than to say read it if you haven’t already! 

Chronicles – Volume 1 - Sampler
Other unexpected gems emerged this year on this sampler, they included The Cuckoo released officially for the first time but the real find was the demo version of Dignity. Very nice to get especially as a ‘freebie’! 

US NPR Radio Interview
On 12th October US NPR radio broadcast a short interview with Dylan where he was talking to host Steve Inskeep about the publication of Chronicles Volume 1. The whole broadcast lasted approximately seven minutes with the Dylan content just over one minute! 

60 Minutes
The final event of note in 2004 for Dylan fans was the first TV interview since ‘Getting To Dylan’ in 1986, broadcast on the BBC in 1987. As part of the 60 Minutes show the slot was less that 20 minutes and not much more revealing than the earlier radio interview. Considering that the filmed interview was over 90 minutes a little more was hoped for but maybe this time next year (or some time in the future!) we will be discussing the outtakes!!! Dream on!!!!

2004 wasn’t the most outstanding or memorable year in the Dylan world but there were some very welcome additions to the collection. These aren’t in any order, just highlights from the past year, what a shame the concerts didn’t demand inclusion. There were many other books which could have been included not least ‘Lyrics’ if only the publishers could work out which version should be marketed throughout the world! As usual interviews reveal very little. Let us hope that the rumours of a new Dylan album in 2005 are true!

Restless Farewell

Mike and John