Blue Boot Trinkets
Bob Dylan’s, ‘The Bootleg Series, Vol.1-3 [rare & unreleased] 1961-1991’ is a fantastically succinct title if ever I heard one. It’s a beautiful collection of rarities on 5LP, featuring some songs you know, some songs you don’t and very little of anything you may have heard before. Back in the day, being a Dylan fan simply meant buying the records and waiting forever to hear mouldy, month old news after the fact if he did anything. These recordings have something of the mysterious, of the forbidden about them and at the time, that was entirely the point.
The accompanying booklet would be informative even if it was as wonderfully put together as it has been, with photographs of Robert Dylan’s passport and mystery brand cigarettes. [Reyno?] There’s also an excellent shot of The Hawks - backing band formidable - aka The Band. Yep, that The Band. Laid out here are the whens, wheres, whys and hows of each thirty-eight never before officially released recordings. If the assertion that Dylan almost certainly arrived in New York on at Tuesday, January the 24th 1961 to be precise, does not grab you by the lapels, then the piano demo tape of ‘The Times They A Changin’ shall lift you off your feet, like unto a column of air.
The photos, too are amazing. There are those of Mr. Zimmerman at home with family and friends, there are those featuring the wiry-headed star of electricity that sang weird songs about your newly purchased animal print accessory a la tete, and then there are the barely/one time totally unattributed windows into the life of a chameleon who has oft shied away from the cameras, fleeing across rooftops and disappearing behind pyramids. It is essential listening and reading and consuption for you, Dear Reader, if you are a fan of Bob’s or of music in general and I would be more than happy to have an excuse to spin up the Rosita once more time before I wear away the groove in its entirety.
The Big R and I both attended T’s set with Blue House at Folklore in East London, courtesy of the excellent Incredible Society. Proceedings started late because of the feetballs that was also occurring that night but all was well and good because Folklore is the best of late night watering holes and has a stellar reputation for live music. Also, we bumped into Ms. Lucky Herself from New York Waste and we made our own fun, as is our custom. Blue House are a tight, lo-fi outfit and our wayward drummer is a great fit for that school of things. The light, while not ideal, was more than fit to nab one or two snaps of their machinations and I present them accordingly for your perusal. The eagle-eyed of you may spot those telltale signs of a 35mm disposable and you would be correct. My usual go-to for sourcing the necessaries had absolutely no Kodak colour and so I opted for the Ilford HP5 Plus 400, a black & white film of legendary renown. For over-bright conditions or seedy interiors, it remains unmatched for maverick use.
Following a certain lady’s assertion that there was not quite enough going on for those of her most particular persuasion in our strange little cave, I came across a copy of Ken Haak’s ‘Summer Souvenirs’ (St Martin’s Press, 1984) and flourished it wildly and with zest. It is a fantastic, spirited collection of photography - much in the same vein as that collection of best budgie smugglers that found its way indoors recently - and by chance, a veritable first edition. Yay, the dust cover has seen slightly better days but the interior is complete and unmatched in terms of condition over time. My suspicion is that it shall not be with us long. Fear not, there are a good few more such souvenirs on their way to Chiltern Street with all haste and you can get that satisfaction, should you feel so inclined.
Quota: Amply filled.
JD - TACOCAT