It Could Even Be A Myth [ Lone Hearted Mystic LM 001 ]
I’d Hate To Be You On That Fateful Day / Oxford Town / Paths Of Victory / Walkin’ Down The Line / Playboys And Playgirls / Talkin’ Devil / Farewell – Bob Dylan ( Vocal & Guitar ), Gil Turner ( Background Vocals ) / Masters Of War / Let Me Die In My Footsteps – Happy Traum ( Vocal ), Bob Dylan ( Background Vocal & Guitar ) / Only A Hobo / John Brown / I Shall Be Free / Train-A-Travellin’ / Cuban Missile Crisis [ Broadside Office, New York City, 1962 – ’63 ]
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright ( Joan Baez ) / Joan Baez introduces Bob Dylan / Only A Pawn In Their Game / A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall / Troubled And I Don’t Know Why / Blowin’ In The Wind [ Forest Hills Stadium, New York, 17th August, 1963 ]
Mr. Tambourine Man / Eternal Circle / Only A Pawn In Their Game [ Royal Festival Hall, London, UK, 17th May, 1964 .. Possibly ] ( 74:21 )
With what may be the second biggest Dylan find in 2012 ( Other than finding out that there is an official album about to drop in mid September .. ), this new label “Lone Hearted Mystic” have put together a single disk that draws from some of the lesser noted history of Bob. The main draw to this disk is the recently auctioned “Forest Hills” acetate, a new, full show to disk that had previously seen partial release on Mainstream’s “Baez Years” ( Mast 91 ) and the Italian release “Dr. Zimmerman’s Original Old Time Hooternanny” ( Archive Productions AP 89003 ) but even then, those disks only included two or three songs each from the set and at least one track was abbreviated.
Beginning in late 1962 thru early 1963 the publishing demos recorded at the Broadside offices appear first on the disk. These appear to be upgrades on the previously released versions from various other compilations, most notably Gunsmoke records “Broadside”. The material isn’t crystal clear now, a lot of these still seem to be sourced from hissy tapes or acetates but they are a little clearer sounding than before with the exception of “Talkin’ Devil”, “Let me Die In my Footsteps” & “John Brown” which always sounded great anyway.
The second section of the CD reveals the acetate source from Forest Hills. According to the excellent “Skipping Reels Of Rhyme” blog; “This 12″ 33rpm acetate turned up on eBay in the early summer and sold for $2,750.00 on June 2nd 2011. The recording comes from Forest Hills 17th August 1963. ‘Only A Pawn In Their Game’ and ‘A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall’ are not in circulation.” The tracks included on the acetate are suggested as being; “Only A Pawn In Their Game”, “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”, “Farewell”, “Troubled And I Don’t Know Why”, “Blowin’ In The Wind”. Of the songs included on the acetate then the first three were uncirculating either on acetate or on tapes.
A following post clears up more of the mystery;
“SIDE 1. Begins with a 2:50 min. interview with Joan Baez. Introduction: “Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with pleasure, that we present the young lady that Look magazine recently adjusted [?] the greatest Folksinger: Miss Joan Baez.”
Baez: [‘Oh Freedom’, ‘Tomorrow Is A Long Time’, ‘She’s A Trouble Maker’, ‘In The Pines’, ‘We Shall Overcome’, ‘What Have They Done With The Rain’, ‘Pilgrim Of Sorrow’.] ………. [ ] indicates songs played.
SIDE 2. Baez: “I’m gonna sing you another song, that Bobby Dylan wrote, and the only thing this is protesting is a love affair, that went on too long. It’s called [‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’].”
Baez: “For some of you, who don’t … (inaudible) … For those of you, who don’t know anything or much about Bobby Dylan. He is sort of, what I would call, a phenomenal young man, who’s been writing songs, beautiful songs, beautiful poems, beautiful stories, anyhow he wrote that one and it just so happens that he came here with me tonight and he’s gonna come and sing a couple of … (applause)”. (Inaudible conversation between Baez and Dylan)
Dylan: “This is a song called [‘Only A Pawn In Their Game’] and that’s what it’s about.”
(Applause after this song is either not recorded or edited out). Dylan talks during the start of [‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’] (inaudible …”last time”). Baez joins in the last line of each verse. Beautiful powerful performance. Baez: [‘All My Trials’]
Now that the acetate is in wider circulation ( from this disk ) we can add sound to the information that was originally posted. Firstly, the acetate shows signs of wear as you might expect from a less than specifically reliable source that’s ( at time of writing ) nearly 49 years old. It still sounds more than appealing though and the scuffed swooshing of the surface helps with the ambience that we’ve become accustomed to with a bootleg recording.
Secondly, The Baez side of the acetate was not included, possibly for time constraints, realistically it would take a hardened bootlegger to release a full half hour of a Joan Baez tape to an audience nowadays. The expensive truth is that it would be an costly remainder to the main part of the disk. “Farewell” is missing from this source for whatever known reason. “Blowing In The Wind” is still, unfortunately, incomplete. This is still a vital part to the jigsaw of Dylan’s early career and a very good recording to boot.
Finally we have three tracks from one of the final known shows from the sixties that still evades a full presentation, The Royal Festival Hall, London, 1964. Previously two tracks appeared on the CD “More From The Vaults” ( SC BD 63 03 ) – “Mr. Tambourine Man” & “Eternal Circle”. Here we’re given an extra track, “Only A Pawn In Their Game”, though not from the same source that the Scorpio disk took theirs from – a rather scratchy acetate. Here we have a tape recording and while the slight echo of the hushed theatre is still apparent we’re missing the wear of the disk and so the recording is a beautifully bright experience.
“Only A Pawn .. ” begins with the sound of Dylan tuning his guitar briefly before Dylan introduces his harp to the track. His habitual speeding up towards the end of a line is still apparent and Dylan ends the song swallowed up by rapturous applause.
The packaging used for this set is close to the recent “Crossroads” release. A glossy trifold digi-pack close to the Godfather’s set up using period correct photos and a nice eyecatching tri-colour swirl effect to tie the project together.
Lone Hearted Mystic have unearthed a fantastic set of recordings for this, their first foray in the bootleg world and also present us with a recession proof running time. Here’s hoping they use some of their persuasive muscle now to unearth more of that Festival hall tape.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)