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”

Foot of Pride

Like “Blind Willie McTell,” “Foot of Pride” was originally recorded in 1983, left off of Infidels, and finally released on The Bootleg Series, Vol 1-3: Rare & Unreleased 1961-1991. The song has a slinky groove with minimal instrumentation; the only musical solos are occasional harmonica flourishes by Dylan. The song maintains this spare sound throughoutContinue reading “Foot of Pride”

Floater (Too Much to Ask)

Who is Jack Frost? According to Wikipedia, he is a “variant of Old Man Winter who is held responsible for frosty weather…leaving fern-like patterns on cold windows in winter.” Jack is depicted as “a sprite-like character, sometimes appearing as a sinister mischief-maker or as a hero.” Starting in 1990, a certain Jack Frost appeared inContinue reading “Floater (Too Much to Ask)”

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”

Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again

In 1966, Dylan was in the midst of his insane tour with The Hawks, welcomed as heroes in some cities, while defiantly fighting off boos in others. Sometimes they would have to deal with both at the same time in the same city. Concurrently, Dylan was attempting to record his follow up album to HighwayContinue reading “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”

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”

Changing of the Guards

Jonathan Cott asked Dylan the following question about songs on his recent release Street-Legal during a November 16, 1978 Rolling Stone interview: “As in a dream, lines from one song seem to connect with lines from another. For example: ‘I couldn’t tell her what my private thoughts were / But she had some way ofContinue reading “Changing of the Guards”

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Unlike “Billy 4” which was written before the movie Pat Garret & Billy the Kid went into production, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” was inspired by the movie itself.  The song plays during the death scene of the sheriff who dies in a shootout alongside his wife. The sheriff is played by cowboy movie character actorContinue reading “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”

Ballad of a Thin Man

“Who is Mr. Jones?” Nora Ephron and Susan Edmiston asked Dylan in an August 1965 interview. Dylan responds: “He’s a real person. You know him, but not by that name….He’s actually a person. Like I saw him come into the room one night and he looked like a camel. He proceeded to put his eyesContinue reading “Ballad of a Thin Man”