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26 June, 2017

Bob Dylan’s US summer tour has obviously progressed since last Monday’s blog. So far there have been ten one-off performances at the first ten shows so Bob is mixing it up a little. He played guitar on the second song of the set at four of the first six shows but hasn’t played it at all during the past four concerts. Reports coming in to us are that the very strong performances that we enjoyed in Europe recently are continuing in the States.

I mentioned last Monday that we would soon have full details about Clinton Heylin’s new Dylan book “Trouble In Mind: Bob Dylan’s Gospel Years — What Really Happened.” Published in the UK by those nice people at route publishing, the book will be issued in paperback to coincide with the next official Bootleg Series box set release. Due for publication in the UK during the first week of November, we expect to have copies of this exciting title a month before publication and as was the case with Clinton’s previous Dylan book, “Judas!”, ISIS will have author signed copies. Click here to pre-order your signed copy.

For those of who have haven’t seen a copy, there is a LIFE special magazine now out entitled “Bob Dylan: Singer. Songwriter. Revolutionary.” Produced to celebrate Dylan’s Nobel Prize in Literature, the magazine, price £7.99, contains 96 pages and is packed with a good selections of photos. Unfortunately none of the photos are new to me.

Nonetheless, for a “retrospective” type mag this one is well put together. It is, however, very noticeable that the later part of Bob’s career is hardly covered. This one shouldn’t be too hard to find as I’ve even seen it in Tesco. It also has a long shelf life as it is listed as being on sale until September 7.

I’m hearing rumours that Bob spent time in a studio while in Ireland at the end of his European tour. I mentioned in the latest issue of ISIS some weeks back that Dylan spent several days in Ireland after his concert at the 3Arena in Dublin on Thursday May 11. I heard he was in Dublin until the Monday after the show, which at the time seemed a little strange to me. Well, it appears that during this time he spent three days at Ardmore Studios in Bray. There are rumours that he might have been recording an album there but this would seem extremely unlikely. Ardmore Studios in Killarney, Bray, are used almost exclusively for recording film, television and video. Irish band The Corrs has recorded two albums there but both of those involved filming: “The Corrs Unplugged” was part of MTV’s Unplugged series and “The Corrs, Live In Dublin” was part of the VH1 Presents series.

With its five sound stages, all geared up primarily for film work, Ardmore Studios is just 12 miles south of Dublin city. The recording is said to have been carried out with Irish engineers but also possibly with US personnel flown in for the duration. Dylan’s tour band was present throughout.

The Old Crow Medicine Show is currently on tour in Europe. To celebrate 50 Years of Blonde On Blonde the band is performing the entire album live on this tour. They have already played gigs in Manchester and Glasgow but still have concerts to come at Bristol, Trinity Centre (June 27) and London’s, Shepherd’s Bush Empire (June 28). There is also a concert in Amsterdam, NL but this show is sold out.

I’m pleased to say that I caught John O’Connell’s “Simply Dylan” last evening at his gig at the Kitchen Garden in Kings Heath, Birmingham. I’m ashamed to say that apart from catching part of John’s performance before Dylan’s recent show in Nottingham I haven’t got around to checking out Simply Dylan until know! Big mistake; they really are worth going to see and it was a great night. If you haven’t seen the band yet, or even if you have,  I can recommend their big upcoming show at Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. The concert is on Sunday August 27 (August Bank Holiday weekend) and tickets are still available HERE.

Monday has come round again and the ISIS “Pre-used” page has again been updated. We probably won’t be updating next week as Tracy and me are taking a long overdue short break away.


19 June, 2017

With Bob Dylan’s US summer tour now underway I thought this would be a good time to write a short blog.

After a one-month break from the road Bob opened his North American tour with three shows in Port Chester, New York. The first thing that struck me about the opening shows is that for the first time in almost five years Bob played guitar! The last time this happened was during the North American fall tour of 2012***.

The “guitar slot” appears to be the “change” song which is in the number two position. On the opening night in Port Chester this song was ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’ which had Bob seated at the piano. The following night, however, when Bob played ‘To Ramona’ in the second slot he played guitar. On the third and final night in Port Chester Bob reverted to ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’ but this time on guitar.

The Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware saw a truncated 15-song setlist that contained five songs from the Sixties and nothing at all from the American Songbook. Last evening’s show in Wallingford, Connecticut (June 18) saw the setlist revert back to the more usual 20-song set with Bob back on guitar, but this on the newly introduced ‘It Ain’t Me, Babe’.

The July 18 concert in Medicine Hat, Alberta was cancelled a while back but now there has been a cancellation in Victoria, British Columbia (July 27). This is the third show of late to be called off “due to scheduling issues.” The concert in Victoria was intended to be the final show on the tour and there was already a scheduled one-day break between Victoria and Vancouver so it is hard to imagine how a scheduling problem could arise. I said in the new issue of ISIS that I take “scheduling issues” to mean poor ticket sales and this cancellation would seem to confirm that supposition!

On the subject of the new ISIS, I would think that most magazine subscribers should have received issue 192 by now. If any of you feel moved to put pen to paper then as ever we are very interested in seeing articles and contributions from you for upcoming magazines.

Last week saw the opening of an art exhibition in Berlin, Germany. “Kuss. Von Rodin bis Bob Dylan” runs from June 15 through to October 3, 2017. This is the first time we’ve seen this particular piece of Dylan art.

Due for release June 20, “Bob Dylan FAQ” by Bruce Pollock has been short printed by the publisher and retailers’ orders have been cut back until more books arrive from the printer. We only received part of our order and to be fair to all our customers we have decided not to send these out until the rest of our order arrives, which will be sometime in early July.

We have had a number of enquiries from subscribers asking if we will be stocking Scott Marshall’s new book, “Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life.” Unfortunately, Scott doesn’t have a publisher for this title outside of North America and neither is there a European distributor! Although we have talked at length with both Scott and his US publisher we have encountered a number of obstacles and have therefore reluctantly decided not to import this title. Sorry.

On the flip side, we hope very shortly to be in a position to take advance orders for Clinton Heylin’s “Trouble In Mind: Bob Dylan’s Gospel Years — What Really Happened.” Due for publication in the UK during the first week of November, we expect to have copies of this exciting title a month before publication and as was the case with Clinton’s previous Dylan book, “Judas!”, ISIS will have author signed copies.

Finally, it’s Monday so it must be time to update the ISIS “Pre-used” page.

***Angus Gibson emailed to remind me that Bob played guitar on ‘Simple Twist Of Fate on October 13, 2016.

 


5 June, 2017


 17 April, 2017

Most of you will have received your copy of ISIS issue 191 by now. If any of you feel moved to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, then as ever we are interested in seeing articles and contributions from you.

With the British shows now close, Tracy and I hope to see some of you along the way.

We now have in stock from America the new MoFi Mono Dylan releases, “Bob Dylan” and “Bringing It All Back Home” on Hybrid SACD. These titles are both Numbered Limited Edition’s of 3000 only worldwide.

Also from MoFi, we now have further stocks from the States of “Bringing It All Back Home”, “Highway 61 Revisited” and “John Wesley Harding” on 45-RPM, deep groove, 180grm vinyl. These Double Mono LPs are also in Numbered Limited Edition’s of 3000 only worldwide.

We also have three new book titles to mention:

New from the publisher of the long standing beat magazine, Beat Scene, is another in their series of ‘chapbooks’. Billed as an ‘investigation and memoir,’ “Bob Dylan and the Beats: Magpie Poetics” by poet Anne Waldman is available in a limited edition of just 125 numbered copies. This chapbook is an essay of just over 7,500 words in which Waldman invokes Keats, Kerouac, William Carlos Williams, Greil Marcus, Michael Gray, Michael McClure, Clark Coolidge, Allen Ginsberg et al. Waldman was of course on the Rolling Thunder Tour with Dylan. Due the second week in May, we can only obtain 50 copies of this title. Pre-order your copy now.

“Grown-Up Anger: The Connected Mysteries of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Calumet Massacre of 1913” is a very interesting hardback book by Daniel Wolff.

Published July 27, 2017, the book is a dual biography of two of the greatest songwriters ever, Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie. The book is, however, also a murder mystery and a history of labour relations and socialism, big business and greed in twentieth-century America—woven together in one fascinating saga. Pre-order your copy now.

“Why Bob Dylan Matters” by Harvard Classics professor Richard F. Thomas is a celebration of Dylan’s genius that explores his music in the context of the last half-century and puts his work in the tradition of classical poets like Virgil and Homer. Hardback 208 pages. Not published until November but pre-orders are being taken now.

As we now do every Monday afternoon, our Pre-Used section has been updated today with many more Bob goodies. As of today we have 130 items still for sale in our used Dylan store with lots more due next Monday afternoon. Take a look here.

 


03 April, 2017

ISIS magazine issue 191, the first of the new subscription year, is currently with our printer.

SVT (Swedish national public television) has confirmed that Bob Dylan received his medal and diploma on the afternoon of Saturday April 1, 2017, under great secrecy. The Academy agreed to present Dylan with the Prize backstage at Stockholm Waterfront (the venue for the fist gig on his current European tour). This was the Prize presentation only. At this point in time the matter of the ‘lecture’ and the eight million kronor (£727,000) still has to be resolved.

Bob Dylan has begun his spring 2017 European tour with two shows at Stockholm Waterfront. The setlist is very similar to the ones played near the close of his 2016 tour. Although guitarist Stu Kimball was noticeable by his absence from the “Triplicate” album, the band remains unchanged for the opening two shows of the current tour.

 

April 1, 2017 April 2, 2017
1. Things Have Changed
2. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
3. Highway 61 Revisited
4. Beyond Here Lies Nothin’
5. Full Moon And Empty Arms
6. High Water (For Charley Patton)
7. Melancholy Mood
8. Duquesne Whistle
9. Love Sick
10. Tangled Up In Blue
11. Pay In Blood
12. Standing In The Doorway
13. Scarlet Town
14.  I Could Have Told You
15. Desolation Row
16. Soon After Midnight
17. All Or Nothing At All
18. Long And Wasted Years
19. Autumn Leaves
(encore)
20. Blowin’ In The Wind
21. Why Try To Change Me Now
1. Things Have Changed
2. To Ramona
3. Highway 61 Revisited
4. Beyond Here Lies Nothin’
5. Full Moon And Empty Arms
6. Early Roman Kings
7. Melancholy Mood
8. Duquesne Whistle
9. Love Sick
10. Tangled Up In Blue
11. Pay In Blood
12. Sprit On The Water
13. Scarlet Town
14.  I Could Have Told You
15. Desolation Row
16. Soon After Midnight
17. That Old Black Magic
18. Long And Wasted Years
19. Autumn Leaves
(encore)
20. Blowin’ In The Wind
21. Why Try To Change Me Now

Bringing It All Back Home and Bob Dylan’s first album (“Bob Dylan”) are being released by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MoFi) as Numbered Hybrid Mono SACDs. Each edition is limited to 3000 copies Worldwide. ISIS is now taking orders for these two albums.

Coming soon: Bob Dylan’s Great American Songbook. A 2-CD set containing 40 cover tracks.

Simon & Schuster will be publishing what they term as “a portable abridged” version of “Lyrics” on October 31, 2017. Entitled “100 Songs”, the songs have been personally chosen by Bob Dylan as his 100 favourites! More about this item nearer the time.

As we now do every Monday afternoon, our Pre-Used section has been updated today with a more Bob goodies.

 


27 March, 2017

We have received our consignment of Bob Dylan’s “Triplicate” (release date Friday March 31) and I have to say that the packaging is very smart indeed; especially the gorgeous Deluxe bound numbered Limited LP book set. The promo photos of this album really don’t do it justice. The packaging is a very deep metallic purple. If anyone is familiar with the old purple Fry’s Turkish Delight chocolate bar wrapper, it’s quite like that, but more classy.

As we now do every Monday afternoon, our Pre-Used section has been updated today with a few more goodies.

We also have two new Bob books to mention: “Light Come Shining: The Transformations of Bob Dylan” is by Andrew McCarron and published by Oxford University Press. A 232-page hardback, originally scheduled for March 30, this title has been put back until July 6, 2017. You can nevertheless pre-order your copy now from ISIS.

ISIS readers may well be familiar with Backbeat’s “FAQ” series of books; a Band title was recently published. In any event, June 20 sees the publication of “Bob Dylan FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Song and Dance Man”. A 400-page paperback by Deems Taylor Award winning music journalist Bruce Pollock — a record producer at Sony/BMG for 12 years — this title can now be pre-ordered from ISIS.

Finally, anyone who ordered concert tickets for the upcoming UK Dylan dates from ISIS/Desolation Row should receive them by the end of this week.


06 March, 2017

UK Priority Fan Tickets Allocation

This message applies to all those who bought their upcoming Bob Dylan Concert Tickets via ISIS and Desolation Row:

The Promoter has advised John Baldwin that tickets for the UK shows will be sent to him by the various venues over the next 7-10 days. It will then take Jane and John at least 7 days to process all orders and start sending them out. He does not like sending any tickets out until all orders have been processed and double checked for errors. His local post office can only handle 100 special delivery envelopes per day so that adds another 5 working days to the process. The upshot is that, if you expect to be away on holiday or something similar during the last part of March/early April; if you’ve changed address since ordering and haven’t notified John, or have any other reason to want your order handled in a special manner, please notify John as soon as possible on:

johnabaldwin@btinternet.com

Best Wishes, Derek & Tracy Barker


08 February, 2017

Desolation Row & ISIS Ticket Allocation

Bob Dylan will be performing at the 2300-seat capacity London Palladium on April 28th, 29th and 30th – yes, 3 shows. The shows will be all seated. Desolation Row and ISIS have managed to obtain just 100 tickets for each of the shows and these are now being offered to fans who currently subscribe to one or other of the Desolation Row Information Service or ISIS magazine (ISIS by post as a printed magazine). If the allocation is not taken up by subscribers, tickets will be offered to other fans.

Tickets cost £95 each with a £1.50 venue restoration fee and a £2.50 ITB handling charge, making a total of £99 per ticket. Tickets will be strictly limited to 2 per person per show; please do not ask for more. Tickets go on general sale Friday February 10 and we are trying to give you advance opportunity, as you will see.

We have the best category seats. In addition to the ticket cost, and ITB’s (the promoter) booking fee, John will be adding handling/postage charges as usual and costs will certainly be no more (and probably considerably less) than through other outlets depending on how many tickets / shows you require.

All we ask you to do now is to email John at johnabaldwin@btinternet.com telling him how many tickets you want and for which night(s). To allow everyone a chance to see and respond to this offer, do NOT do that until after 6:00 pm this Wednesday (8th). Earlier requests will go to the back of the queue.

Please do not ask for specific seats or areas as this cannot be guaranteed. Tickets will be reserved on a first-come-first-served basis. You will get an email back from John as soon as possible telling you whether you have been successful or not and this will also include a booking form with full ordering details. You may not get a reply immediately as there will be an initial rush but John will respond with as much haste as possible and certainly well before tickets go on sale at the Box Offices.

Please only ask for tickets if you really want them. John will presume that you do and will order them from the Promoter and will need to pay for them. He does not want to order tickets and be left with ones that people have ordered but then decided that they don’t want and neither does he deserve to be treated this way as some fans did with the last ticket allocation.

These tickets must be for your own personal use. Steps will be taken to ensure that they are not re-sold and you are invited to purchase them through this fan allocation on the express understanding that they must not be re-sold other than via the allocation using John Baldwin as middle man. He will not charge a fee and will attempt to ensure that tickets are sold on at face value to deserving fans.

John & Derek

Please note that neither ISIS nor Desolation Row make any profit from the sale of these tickets.

***

Also, we now have a new section featuring articles. You can read the first article entitled Some Of These Bootleggers, They Make Pretty Good Stuff & Copulating Blues: an interview with William Stout HERE


31 January 2017

BOB DYLAN’S FIRST THREE-DISC ALBUM – TRIPLICATE – SET FOR MARCH 31 RELEASE
COLLECTION TO FEATURE 30 BRAND NEW RECORDINGS OF CLASSIC AMERICAN SONGS

Each disc to be presented in a thematically-arranged 10-song sequence, illuminating compositions from great American songwriters interpreted by Dylan through his artistry as a vocalist, arranger and bandleader.

triplicatecd(Columbia Records; New York, NY; January 31, 2017) A three-disc  studio album from Bob Dylan, Triplicate, will be released on March 31, featuring 30 brand-new recordings of classic American tunes and marking the first triple-length set of the artist’s illustrious career.  With each disc individually titled and presented in a thematically-arranged 10-song sequence, Triplicate showcases Dylan’s unique and much-lauded talents as a vocalist, arranger and bandleader on 30 compositions by some of music’s most lauded and influential songwriters.  The Jack Frost-produced album is the 38th studio set from Bob Dylan and marks the first new music from the artist since Fallen Angels, which was released in early 2016.

Triplicate will be simultaneously released in several configurations, including a 3-CD 8-Panel Digipak , a 3-LP vinyl set and a 3-LP Deluxe Vinyl Limited Edition packaged in a numbered case.  One of its recordings, “I Could Have Told You,” can now be streamed via a “Vinyl Video” on YouTube.

For Triplicate, Dylan assembled his touring band in Hollywood’s Capitol studios to record hand-chosen songs from an array of American songwriters including Charles Strouse and Lee Adams (“Once Upon A Time”), Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler (“Stormy Weather”), Harold Hupfield (“As Time Goes By”) and Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh (“The Best Is Yet To Come”).  The titles of the individual discs are ‘Til The Sun Goes Down, Devil Dolls and Comin’ Home Late.

Bob Dylan has sold more than 125 million records around the world.

The complete vinyl track listing for Triplicate is as follows.  The CD sequence and track listing is identical to the vinyl version. The vinyl versions come complete with a download card.

Disc 1 – ‘ Til The Sun Goes Down Disc 2 – Devil Dolls
       Side 1:        Side 1:
1.       I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plans
2.       September Of My Years
3.       I Could Have Told You
4.       Once Upon A Time
5.       Stormy Weather
1.       Braggin’
2.       As Time Goes By
3.       Imagination
4.       How Deep Is The Ocean
5.       P.S. I Love You
Side 2: Side 2:
6.       This Nearly Was Mine
7.       That Old Feeling
8.       It Gets Lonely Early
9.       My One and Only Love
10.   Trade Winds
6.       The Best Is Yet To Come
7.       But Beautiful
8.       Here’s That Rainy Day
9.       Where Is The One
10.   There’s A Flaw In My Flue
 Disc 3 – Comin’ Home Late
       Side 1:
1.       Day In, Day Out
2.       I Couldn’t Sleep A Wink Last Night
3.       Sentimental Journey
4.       Somewhere Along The Way
5.       When The World Was Young
Side 2:
6.       These Foolish Things
7.       You Go To My Head
8.       Stardust
9.       It’s Funny To Everyone But Me
10.   Why Was I Born