As we get ready for the release of Bob's 33rd studio album next week, I am thinking about all of the great music Bob has produced over the years. There are many classic official albums as well as so many great songs that would never have seen the light of day without the bootleg industry.
This has all become very commonplace today. Bob plays a live show and within a week or two, you can buy it on a bootleg CD. Ah, the modern world.
This was not always the case. Before September 1969, the only unofficial Dylan material I had ever heard was on the tape featured in a post from March 16th. During the summer of 1969, word filtered out through Rolling Stone that a bootleg album of unreleased Dylan material had been released in California. In September, I went to a record store in downtown Philadelphia and came home with a copy of The Great White Wonder.
It is hard today to describe my excitement at the time to own a double album of Dylan music that was all new to my ears. After playing all the official albums to death over the previous years, it was a big event to have some new Dylan material.
The four sides of the double album were filled with a curious collection of Dylan material. Two sides contained songs from the legendary 1961 Minneapolis Hotel Tape. There was also a sampling of mid-60's outtakes and of course the seven songs from the Basement Tapes.
Although at the time it was a treat to have any new Dylan material, the real joy of the record for me came from the seven tracks from the Basement Tapes that were found on the end of side two and all of side four. These were:
- Mighty Quinn (Take 1)
- This Wheel's On Fire
- I Shall Be Released
- Open the Door, Homer (Take 1)
- Too Much of Nothing (Take 2)
- Nothing Was Delivered (Take 1)
- Tears of Rage (Take 2)
TEARS OF RAGE
The Great White Wonder made an impressive debut as the first of many bootleg albums. I am proud to still have my original copy.