Like a Rolling Stone

The first time I listened to Bob Dylan was after seeking him out. I was a junior in high school and had been in a serious Beatles phase for a few years. I had listened to every Beatles song multiple times, even buying bootleg Beatles albums with murky sound quality and murky origins with myContinue reading “Like a Rolling Stone”

Just Like a Woman

The song “Just Like a Woman” was recorded in Nashville in March 1966 for the album Blonde on Blonde: As recounted previously on Recliner Notes, Blonde on Blonde was primarily recorded in Nashville with the first-call “A-team” of Nashville musicians. The masterful utility of this group of musicians has been explored best by Tyler MahanContinue reading “Just Like a Woman”

Romance in Durango

The film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum set the parameters for Acid Westerns as a film genre in his review of Jim Jarmusch’s 1995 film Dead Man. Rosenbaum writes in this seminal piece that Acid Westerns “confound much of our mythology about the western — reversing some of its philosophical presuppositions by associating a westward journey withContinue reading “Romance in Durango”

If You See Her, Say Hello

Since the release of Blood on the Tracks in 1975, it has been one of Dylan’s most acclaimed and loved albums. Detailing the ins and outs of a relationship, many critics and fans thought that  Dylan was embracing the California confessional singer/songwriter style and musical approach, exhibited most beautifully and successfully on Joni Mitchell’s 1971Continue reading “If You See Her, Say Hello”

I’ll Keep It with Mine

The great English writer Geoff Dyer was asked to provide advice for writers. He gave 10 different tips, and, in typical Dyer fashion, the tips are funny, self deprecating, self contradictory, instructive, and inspirational. The eighth tip, in particular, stands out: “Have regrets. On the page, they blossom into desire.” This is a beautiful concept,Continue reading “I’ll Keep It with Mine”

The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar

Nick Tosches writes in his book Where Dead Voices Gather: “Some people are so cool, so lie-down hip, that they can steal the right breezes simply by breathing…inhale one vision, exhale another. To steal consciously is the way of art and of craft. To steal through breath is the way of wisdom and of artContinue reading “The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar”

Every Grain of Sand

In 1985, Cameron Crowe asked Bob Dylan about the song “Every Grain of Sand” for the Biograph box set. Dylan said: “That was an inspired song that came to me. It wasn’t really too difficult. I felt like I was just putting words down that were coming from somewhere else, and I just stuck itContinue reading “Every Grain of Sand”

Copper Kettle

Released in 1969, the Great White Wonder was the first bootleg album of an established recording audience to gain widespread popularity and sales. In 1985, Bob Dylan told Cameron Crowe for the Biograph liner notes about 1970’s Self Portrait: “[It] was a bunch of tracks that we’d done all the time I’d gone to Nashville.Continue reading “Copper Kettle”

Abandoned Love

Officially released nearly 10 years after the studio recording, this song of doomed love marks a transition between Blood on the Tracks, released in January 1975, and Desire, which came out exactly a year later in January 1976. “Abandoned Love” demonstrates traits from both projects. The only known performance of the song was July 3,Continue reading “Abandoned Love”