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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 05, 2010


Today is the 5th anniversary of the death of Link Wray. He died from heart failure at home in Copenhagen. He was 76. 'Rumble', his first record, was his biggest hit and a strong influence on a generation or two of musicians. It was released on the Cadence label - the small label run by Archie Bleyer that was also responsible for the early Everly Brothers records.

Wray was born in Dunn, North Carolina and grew up there and then in Norfolk Virginia. He had four wives and nine children.

Wikipedia's Link Wray page is excellent. The photo above (photographer unknown) was given to me by Rob Stoner for use in The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia and shows Stoner, Link Wray, Robert Gordon and Anton Fig. (The photo wasn't used in the end; I used one of Stoner as a child, taken by his father, of Rob sitting on Trigger with Roy Rogers.)

About Rory Gallagher: sometimes people come to this site by finding something in its Archives, and so if they then leave a Comment, it's automatically glued to the bottom of the archived posting - which means that even though the Comment is new, no-one looking at the new posts sees it. So this is just to say that several interesting Comments about Rory Gallagher and Dylan have arrived in the last two or three days. Worth searching back to find them.


Anonymous Wee Tommy said...

Searching for Rory Gallagher (using Blogger's search box) only produces the present post. Other than looking back through every post, I can't think of how to find any others. Am I missing something? Sorry if I'm being dense.

7:59 pm  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

You're right. I don't understand that. I find myself in the position of the bloke who comes to fix your computer, telling you it's a doddle and then saying "Oh. Hang on a minute. It doesn't normally do that."

11:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Rory Gallagher quotes are on:

They are on a post about Stevie Ray Vaughan

7:14 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought I could add the Gallagher posts here, if people are interested.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thought these quotes from Rory Gallagher, the great Irish guitarist, about Bob might interest you.

Rory: That would be brilliant. I worked with JERRY LEE LEWIS as well, which was great. - I want to work with some of the Irish musicians and some English players. My dream is to play with MARTIN CARTHY, who to me is a supreme acoustic player, BERT JANSCH as well and DAVY GRAHAM. You can`t play with them all. And I`m very inspired by BOB DYLAN`s new album (the equally all-acoustic "Good As I Been To You" which just came out). Even though the critics didn`t like it. I think it`s a fantastic project. I would like to work with BOB DYLAN, that would be my absolute maximum at the moment. That song "Could Have Had Religion" that I do, it`s not my song. I re-wrote it, it`s an old song. He was considering that for his acoustic album. But I would love to do an album and be his MlKE BLOOMFlELD for him, like on the "Highway 61"-song, on "Blonde On Blonde", I`d love to work with him. I`d also like to work with JOHN HAMMOND, the New York Blues singer and guitar player and a million other people I`d like to work with.

Rory: I met BOB DYLAN, I was very fortunate. I met him once, he came to a show in Los Angeles in 1976, and it was the end of a tour and it looked like our spirits were kind of a bit low. It was a great tour, but we met at the end of it. He walked into the dressing room and I nearly collapsed. He came in with his kids and he was talking about BLIND BOY FULLER. It was very interesting - Country Blues, you know. But I`m still a school boy: I still hero-worship people, it`s a terrible thing for a man of my age to be like that. But if I`d work with DYLAN, that would be my dream. I know some people in Gerrnany don`t like him, cause some of his shows are good, some are bad, but you either respect him or you don`t, and I do.

11:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is also a superb version of I shall be Released by Rory on:

This was recorded not long before he died & maybe this accounts for the passion behind it.

11:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see that Rory is in long list of great guitar players that idolise Dylan.

Hendrix,Clapton,Zappa, Townsend,Young,Richards,Lofgren, Harrison,Winter,Garcia,West(who covered " This Wheel's On Fire " in 1970 and produced an album of Dylan covers called 'Masters Of War' a couple of years ago), Howe,Knopfler,White,etc. B.B.King wooed Dylan at Farm Aid for the opportunity to play with Dylan (alas despite a tremendous performance in which B.B. changed a guitar string whilst performing a song, he did not get the call ).

I am intending to go to see Les Hunt ( Hunter, Demon,Climax Blues Band ) tonight and watch him perform an acoustic set. Les is a world class guitar player and a master of different guitar styles.
He performs an exquisite " Make you Feel My Love ", an absolute tour de force which is usually the highlight of his set.

Dylan, of course, had the insight to call on Bloomfield and Robertson to assist him in getting his vision on vynil and on stage.

Some of his great albums ( Bringing It All Back Home, John Wesley Harding ,Basement Tapes, Blood On The Tracks, Desire, Streel Legal, Saved, Oh Mercy,Time Out Of Mind,etc,etc, ) have hardly any guitar solos or ,in some cases, a guitar player.

This demonstrates that despite the greatness of the songs, Dylan's greatest gift is his voice and his ability as a performer/music maker.


PS Looking forward to the 'new' Hendrix cover of " Tears Of Rage".

9:33 pm  
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5:53 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Irish influences on Bob, thought this might interest you:

This comes from the Austin
Chronicle (4/26/96), the local weekly, and an excerpt of an article about
Louisiana guitarist/songwriter Mason Ruffner titled "Series of Dreams"
(Raoul Hernandez, author). Mr. Ruffner, as many of you will recall, played
on the "Oh Mercy" sessions:

. . . Writing had never come easy to Ruffner, who'd always spent much of
his free time in the local library reading classics; everything from Ovid
and Dante to favorites like Rimbaud and Baudelaire. And though Ruffner now
insists he's never suffered from writer's block, inspiration was nowhere
to be found, not even in Daniel Lanois' studio where the guitarist came
face to face with his favorite author, Bob Dylan.
"Dan called me out of the blue, and I'd heard that Dylan was in
town, and thought, 'this must be the Dylan session.' When he asked me, I
could feel my face changing colors and everything. 'I'll be right
there.'Bam, zoom. I was out the door. . . When I got there Dylan was
giving everyone a hard time. He would stop in the middle of a song, if he
didn't like what was going on, and say, 'Dan, where'd you get these guys?
They can't fucking play this shit.' Right in front of them.
"So Dan takes me and Glen [Fukunaga] and Roddy [Colonna] before we
start the session and says, 'Look, if he doesn't talk to you, if he acts
rude or something, just be cool, and keep playing.' So we're expecting the
worst. But he comes in, and says [to me] 'Man, I heard your tape.'
Which tape?
"Well, I didn't know what he was talking about at the time. 'Yeah,'
he says, 'you know that 'Baby, I Don't Care No More' [from "Gypsy Blood"].
That's some good shit.' And he started reciting some of my lyrics. He
says, 'Guns 'n' Roses need a song like that. They need a good song.' He
really opened up to me, really liked me."
Dylan liked Ruffner enough, in fact, that when the guitarist wrote
the king of songwriters a note of thanks, he got back the same. For
Ruffner, it is the Holy Grail of notes, and he knows just where to find
it: at the top of his desk drawer (there's also a copy of it tacked up in
his rehearsal space). It reads:

Dear Mason
The note you wrote meant a lot to me, you played
right on the end of the song ["Series of Dreams"].
was the only thing to do. Eric Clapton thought it
Mark Knopfler. Keep at it. A poet you might want to
check out is Thomas Moore. Probably the library
would know. You don't need to check anybody out
on the guitar.


9:29 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was wondering if you know of any direct influence from Thomas Moore's work in Dylan's songs.

Have a feeling that he did record a song called "Mistrel Boy' at one point.

Like Dylan, Moore has suffered from the fact that literary critics tend to examine his poems simply as texts to be read rather than as songs that are designed to be sung...

There is a good new biography of Moore by Ronan Kelly.

11:02 pm  
Anonymous Elmer Gantry said...


Was reading your discussion of the lyric of John Wesley Harding in song & Dance man recently & it struck me that the line about 'a gun in every hand' is vaguely reminiscent of some lines in Woody's Guthrie's "Ranger's Command":

Come all of you cowboys all over this land
I'll sing you the law of the Ranger's command.
To hold a six-shooter and never to run
As long as there's bullets in both of your guns.

When the rustlers broke on us in the dead hour of night
She rose from her warm bed a battle to fight.
She rose from her warm bed with a gun in each hand
Saying, "Come all you cowboys, and fight for your land."
Come all of you cowboys, and don't ever run
As long as there's bullets in both of your guns."

7:51 am  

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