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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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Saturday, January 23, 2010


Today is the 100th birthday of Europe's greatest jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt (though he died in 1953). The first real UK Reinhardt Festival is happening this year in London - indeed it's nearly over - at Battersea's Le QuecumBar, 17–25 January.

In Fort Worth, Texas, Arts Fifth Avenue opens its seventh annual Django Reinhardt Festival tonight. It runs for three nights.

My mother's cousin Don Clarke was a drummer and the leader of a small combo that played in the 1950s in the lounge of the old Birmingham Airport. He died in 2007. His last dog was called Django. It was a tribute. Django was a nice, funny, misshapen, spirited dog. He died too, not so long ago. That's my tribute.

What's this to do with Bob Dylan? Well, that could be a Dylan quiz question. The answer would be that when Bob brought Slash into the studio for a session for Under The Red Sky, he pissed him off and mystified him by asking him to "play like Django Reinhardt".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was it Bob who brought in Slash?
Maybe Bob was confused and though he was asking for The Edge?
God I'd hate to think Dylan asked a clown like that into a session, it would make one of my all time favorite Dylan comments, and about the funniest thing I've ever heard in my life, look instead ungracious.
Pat Ford

6:57 am  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

What comment?

By coincidence I was thinking only yesterday of writing a post asking people for their favourite Bob ripostes to people. May still do it. But perhaps the one you have in mind wasn't a riposte at all?

11:32 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love jazz, but take issue with rock guitar solos. It's interplay with a concentration on a band groove which I like. A long solo in rock, makes me want to laugh. Chuck Berry had it about right. Is there anyone here that hates the solo tag on "Where Are You Tonight" as much as I do.
Dylan's comment (play something like Django Reinhardt) almost certainly was a put on. Slash seemed to take it as an insult, and I assume he was correct.
There aren't even any Jazz guitarists who play like Reinhardt.
If it was Dylan's idea to have him there, rather than a Don Was confection, then I'm wrong.
How about this: What is your least favorite Dylan frosting?
70's guitar solo on Where Are You Tonight.
Crickets on Man in the Long Black Coat.
Arthur Baker the lot.
Brendan O'Brien's bombastic guitar on Series of Dreams.
Pat Ford

4:56 am  
Anonymous Kieran said...

Hey Pat,

You just dissed all the things I like! Seriously, I love those songs, and those effects don't bother me a single bit. I even like Arthur Baker's cheesey machine-play on Empire Burlesque.

I recently bought a disc of Django and Stefane Grapelli & the Quintette du Hot Club de France. It's incredible! They even take Hollywood show tunes and whisk them around a little. Sounded like it could have been recorded only yesterday, it was that fresh.

Great guitarist...

4:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kieran, I love Django and Stephane, and Dylan fronting the Hot Club would have been grand. One thing about Dylan he could fit with anyone I think playing patterns like Thelonius Monk as Freddy K. described it.
If Lanois had brought real live crickets into the studio instead of having them supplied by Malcom Burns I would have been fine with that.
I think one reason Blonde On Blonde
is so exceptional is the musicians were very schooled seasoned pros who were able to hang with Dylan's
metrics. I think when Dylan is pissed on stage it's because his band isn't following him with attention. Pat Ford

1:15 am  

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