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the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

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Friday, November 20, 2009


Remember this, from a blogging of November 4?:
I'd wanted to see whether this blog was a good forum for auctioning Dylantiques, rarities, collectors' items etc - and asked anyone interested in this item to send in their bid, the idea being that a week later the highest bid received would win it. Well, er, nobody was interested. Nobody bid. So now I know. I shan't be using this blog when I come to sell my 1978 Earls Court Dylan concert tickets or my first-printing copies of Stephen Pickering's Dylan: A Commemoration and Praxis One, then...


Blogger psteve said...

Was there a second printing of that Pickering book?

5:05 pm  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

I believe so. When I googled this morning I found a good, detailed site that listed these things very scrupulously, but now I can't find it to answer you. Perhaps someone else can?

8:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how many there are like me?
No interest at all in collectibles.
Wouldn't care to have an autograph, couldn't care less about pictures, or
novelties. Hadn't even the remotest interest in the recent movie with with the various actors.
Love everything the man has ever sung.
I do like reading about Dylan, and ass kissing aside Michael's book is the best there is.
Another thing I wonder. How many didn't know Michael, and hearing of The Dylan Encyclopedia pegged it as some stupid fan collection of common knowledge. I never thought to buy the book until one day killing time in a book store picked it up and started reading, couldn't put it down, and walked out with it. Paid of course. Pat Ford

6:16 am  
Anonymous Maria said...

I have just found this blog - I was delighted to meet you today (at Manciet) and when I got home thought of loads I wished I had asked you. Thank you again, for writing that marvellous book.

3:32 pm  
Anonymous dave said...

I remember following a copy of Commemeration on ebay recently hoping my yellowing copy might be worth something, but if my memory serves me well it didn't go for much. Maybe now we are awash with Dylan related stuff with the net & all the demand aint what it was

1:39 am  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

Good question, Pat. I'd be interested to hear from other blog readers on it: in general - ie nothing to do with the "Lennie" Bruce objet - are you interested in collectibles or not?

It was a real pleasure to meet you too. A very unexpected place to meet a reader of my work! And glad you subseqently found the blog. If you'd like to make sure you hear about it if I can organise a talk around here, then please "Comment" again giving me your e-mail address. I won't publish it but can retain it for the future.

I suspect you're right - although clearly in the right circumstances the online ubiquity of info makes it easier to ensure that all potential bidders for an item get to hear about its being up for auction. Thus a hotel owner from Hong Kong was the successful bidder for Michael Jackson's white glove at an auction in New York last night at which people were bidding in the room, on the phone and online.

3:18 pm  
Blogger ptervin said...

Unfortunately, putting Michael's glove up on display in a hotel lobby at this time will definitely garner more interest than a typo on a Lenny Bruce single. Shelve the Dylan record and blame it on the world economy. It'll be worth it in the long run.

6:49 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a very minor interest in collectables. I would love to own one of his harmonicas or a hand written Caribbean, Idiot Wind.

I have saved all my concert tickets going back to opening night Earls Court 1978 ( why!?!) and a few programmes.

I do envy people such as Michael and Homer because they have met Dylan ( I know in the case of Homer it was an agonising delight!)I do not think Michael has written about meeting Dylan backstage in 1978...I would love to know about that meeting.

I got as far as Dylan's dressing room corridor in Cardiff in 1997 without seeing or meeting him ! I would like him to autogragh a vynil such as Highway 61 or Blood on The Tracks.

I am happy though to continue to listen to Dylan ( most recently the Infidels outtakes - what an album that could have been ).


12:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Paul,

Homer here, yes I am one of the lucky ones, agonizing or not.Ta for reminding me of it!

I've heard Michael tell the tale of his meeting with Dylan at one of his talks (a particularly sparkling one) and it is a crime it wasn't recorded - it'd have made a great podcast addition to the blog.

Anyway, your comment re Infidels is indeed true. Is it the album that could be *most* improved by a different choice of tracks from the sessions though - do you (and Michael and others) think?

I think I've gone through most of the last quarter of a century (gulp) believing so, but recently I've pondered whether Shot of Love could actually be the most dramatically improved. Just a thought.....but I'm looking at a "second side" of Caribbean Wind, Angelina, Groom and Every Grain of Sand; and a first side..etc. You get the idea!

10:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Homer

I believe that the Infidels album is flawed because of the selection of songs and because of the sound of the album which to my ears has not improved on the SACD issue in 2003 ( that damn drum !)

It is really difficult to choose between Infidels and Shot of Love in terms of the " greatest lost album " as the sessions for both albums obviously produced some of his greatest songs and performances. I feel that the sound on SOL is far better than the sound on Infidels ...I much prefer listening to the Rough Cuts bootleg over the album itself because I think the sound and performance/lyrics are better than most of the official releases eg Bootleg Series 1 to 3.

I have resisted compiling my own versions of both albums ...I cannot decide on the final track listing ! I understand the " problem " Dylan has in deciding on the final song selection ( how he could replace Blind Willie McTell and Foot of Pride with Union Sundown though is difficult to understand ).

I believe that the minor songs on SOL eg Dead Man Dead Man were terrific when he performed them live. I was at the NEC Birmingham in 1981 when he performed a number of the songs of the greatest Dylan concerts I have witnessed - arguably his greatest singing voice.

Sorry...I am digressing. I apologise for reminding you of your agoninising meeting ! However, your account of events in Razor's Edge is terrific. I look foward to Michael's account of his meeting at some piont in the future.


1:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree re the comparative sounds, Paul.

I find Infidels - like so much mid 80s music - very off-putting.

I'm not sure if 81 was his greatest singing voice ever (1980's is quite something too apart from anything else); but I do think it was the last year you could put that claim forward for, as I am sure it is the last year he had his full range. Something happened in the break between then and 84 as far as live singing went.

PS I was genuinely thanking you for the remembrance!


12:14 am  

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