A few thoughts triggered by a TV programme about the early Dylan albums

I seem to be drifting back to this blog a little more frequently now that I have finished and published my novel, The Hexington Hex, as an e-book on Amazon. It has freed up more time for writing. I’m sorry that this blog got neglected for such long stretches of time these past two years. Still, that is water under the bridge.

I have just watched a fascinating programme on my cable TV about Bob Dylan. The programme focussed on his early albums, played tracks in the background and used a handful of insightful pundits to provide analysis and comment. After the programme finished, I rummaged through a bunch of old sheet music books I have on the bookshelf and found a couple of my earliest Dylan songbooks. They are so old, they are priced in old money (GBP when we had 20 shillings to a pound, and 12 pence to a shilling). One cost 8/6 and the other 10′- (that is: 8 shillings and six pence, and 10 shillings). Both books have the copyright date expressed in Roman numerals. The dates are as follows:

MCMLXIV   MCMLXV1

I don’t know how good you are with your Roman numerals but the clue from early Dylan is that the years are probably going to be in the 1960s. So that takes care of the common stem MCMLX, leaving IV and VI to be decoded.  So, yes, we have 1964 and 1966. Times they are a-changing features, as does Blowin in the wind. I learned to play those on guitar in the 60s but now I occasionally play them on my Internet shows using piano. Another couple that I still play, from time to time, are Girl of the North Country, and A hard rain’s a gonna fall (although the latter does go on a bit). I think I was playing at one of my virtual venues on Dylan’s birthday last year and they were making his songs a theme for the evening. I managed to fill the whole hour, just playing Dylan. I have to admit that I was a bit ropey on some of old songs. I still love to play a couple of his later tracks in my regular Internet shows:  If you see her, say “Hello” and Simple twist of fate. They were on the Blood on the tracks album which I think came out in 1974.

My head cold is gradually getting better, but I am still not back to normal. I did once hear that Dylan liked to record when he had a head cold because it made his voice more nasal. I don’t know how true that is, of course. Anyway, I am hoping that I will be able to manage my gig at Ragged Edge on Thursday. Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.

 

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