Uncut Editor's Diary

Dylan, Sinatra And A Restless Farwell

Allan Jones

I was talking recently to fellow Uncut Bob fanatic Damien Love, ostensibly about a feature we are working on together for Uncut’s looming 10th anniversary issue. Pretty soon, however, the conversation had drifted somewhat in the direction of Dylan bootlegs – the alternative Bob universe, if you like – and what might be the best of them.

Damien typically had loads of suggestions – the sprawling 4CD set A Tree With Roots (the ‘real’ Basement Tapes), Deeds Of Mercy (the original, un-Lanoised Oh mercy recordings), Going, Going, Guam (the staggering 4CD set of the Rolling Thunder band in rehearsal), Paint The Daylight Black (Dylan and The Band together again in 1974), Contract With The Lord (the first, truly apocalyptic gone-Christian concerts) and The Tell Ol’ Bill Sessions (the most recent leaked glimpse of Dylan in the studio, working through 10 ever-changing and often radical takes of the same song).

The enxt thing you know, we’re talking about performances of single songs only available on bootleg – like the 1994 version of “Ring Them Bells” from the Great Music Festival in Nara, Japan, with Bob fronting a full orchestra, and the version Dylan performed of “Restless Farewell”, again with strings, at Frank Sinatra’s 80th birthday party.

I’m sure you have your own thoughts on what the best available Bob bootlegs are, so why not share them with the rest of us?

Either email me at allan_jones@ipcmedia.com or post your comments below.

Meanwhile here’s a link to great YouTube footage of Bob at Franks 80th bash.



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