On the morning of July 29, 1966 Bob Dylan became distracted while out riding his Triumph motorbike. Writing about the incident later in Chronicles Volume 1, Dylan rather gnomically recalled, “I had been in a motorcycle accident and I’d been hurt, but I recovered.” Of course, there is more to Dylan’s accident than that. After a period of retreat and convalescence at his Woodstock home, he began recording songs with his touring band, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Levon Helm. The material they recorded – in Dylan’s house and in the basement of another property nearby – has been the subject of much conjecture in the years since. But the true extent of the motorbike accident and the entire outlandish saga of the Woodstock recordings is finally revealed in this month’s Uncut, as Dylan’s biographer Clinton Heylin digs deep into the Basement Tapes for our exclusive cover story.
There are more exclusives elsewhere in the issue. In a rare interview William Reid – along with his brother Jim and original band mates Douglas Hart and Murray Dalglish – recall the early days of The Jesus And Mary Chain. Among many fascinating revelations perhaps my favourite is William’s surprising admittance that, in his pre-band days, he worked in a cheese warehouse. Meanwhile, we visit Sharon Van Etten at home in New York – just down the road from Dylan’s old gaff, natch – and I tried to make sense of the labyrinthine career of Genesis, with a little help from Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Steve Hackett and more.
Our albums pages, meanwhile, are predictably busy with new releases from Pink Floyd, Neil Young, Bryan Ferry, Ariel Pink, the Thompson dynasty and also the T-Bone Burnett-produced project, Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes, which takes its cue from our cover story. In reissues, we take stock of a major new Captain Beefheart set, The Jam’s deluxe edition of Setting Sons and plenty more, including Sleater-Kinney, the Afghan Whigs, Hendrix, Terry Reid, Led Zeppelin and The Who. Over in our Film and DVD pages, you’ll find reviews of Dexys, Edwyn Collins, the Rolling Stones, Björk and Johnny Thunders. Live, we report on this year’s Austin City Limits – with performances from The Replacements, Pearl Jam and Outkast – plus Lauryn Hill in London and an all-star tribute to George Harrison in Los Angeles. John Lydon’s latest memoir and Hunter Davies’ study of The Beatles’ lyrics are reviewed in our Books section.
In our regulars, Yusuf Cat Stevens answers your questions in An Audience With…, Big Star’s “September Gurls” is the subject of this month’s Making Of… story, Robert Wyatt looks back on his marvellous career in Album By Album and Bonnie “Prince” Billy talks us through the records that shaped him in My Life In Music. In Instant Karma, we preview a new anthology by seasoned rock photographer Danny Clinch, welcome Future Islands to our pages and explore a rich, neglected history of native North American folk rock.
I should also bring you up to speed with our CD covermount which this month features tracks by Julian Casablancas, Sleater-Kinney, Deerhoof, These New Puritans, Willy Mitchell and more.
And before I forget… the new issue is in shops today.
It only remains for me to do some light plugging, if you’ll permit. As Christmas looms, I should mention the many benefits of a subscription to Uncut. This month, we’re offering a year’s subscription at a substantial 44% discount. As well as the magazine itself, you’ll also receive a free trial of Uncut for your iPad or iPhone. Click here for more details, and don’t forget to quote the reference code: BYZ4.
Enjoy the rest of your week – and don’t forget to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!