Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes: it sounded like nonsense, says his ‘cover girl’

Dylan
Bob Dylan before his motorbike crash. Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex Features

Woodstock insider Sally Grossman recalls star’s ‘throwaway stuff’ as complete recordings of legendary sessions are released

Bob Dylan before his motorbike crash.
Bob Dylan before his motorbike crash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was summer 1967, midway through the era of drugs, promiscuity and rock’n’roll rebellion. But in the basement of a small house – Big Pink – near Woodstock in upstate New York, Bob Dylan was holed up with his backing band, a group of mostly Canadian dropouts known as the Hawks, inadvertently creating history.

A year earlier he’d been in a motorbike accident, the facts of which are much disputed. Now the arch self-mythologist was in semi-seclusion. He no longer toured. But he and his band recorded daily, sometimes 10 songs in a session.

Nearly half a century later, the complete 138-song archive of Dylan’s exploration into American roots music is set to be released on Tuesday. The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol 11 will provoke a fresh appraisal of the rock giant’s work. But it will also prompt bittersweet memories for one of the closest members of his entourage, whose appearance alongside Dylan on the cover of an early album provided one of modern music’s most enduring images.

Read the full article by Edward Helmore at the Guardian

You can order the deluxe 180g vinyl reissue from eil.com for despatch on the 17th November

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