Skip to main content
  1. AXS Entertainment
  2. Arts & Entertainment
  3. Music

In focus - Bob Dylan content in new Mike Bloomfield box set

See also

(For an overview of "From His Head To His Heart To His Hands,” please see my review, Michael Bloomfield box sets the record straight.)

The new Al Kooper-curated box set, “From His Head To His Heart To His Hands: An Audio/Visual Scrapbook,” features Mike Bloomfield playing on a few tracks with Bob Dylan, as one would expect. The three songs, plus one introduction, are all rarities for Dylan fans to devour. However, they are just a small part in Bloomfield's musical journey.

You can read below how the material is listed in the booklet, along with some comments from Al Kooper. I included some additional notations as well.

Disc 1/Track 6: “Like A Rolling Stone (Instrumental)” 6:35 (B. Dylan)

  • Recorded 1965
  • Produced by Tom Wilson
  • Previously unreleased backing track from Highway 61 Revisited session reels
  • Remixed here by Al Kooper and Magic Dave Roberts

MUSICIANS

  • Guitar & Harmonica: Bob Dylan
  • Lead Guitar: Mike Bloomfield
  • Organ: Al Kooper
  • Piano: Paul Griffin
  • Bass: Joe Mack
  • Drums: Bobby Gregg
  • Mr. Tambourine Man: Bruce Langhorne

I wanted everyone to hear the subtleties and shades of Michael’s contribution to this track. I also made the drums and pianist Paul Griffin’s best licks louder because I could. (Kooper)

June 16, 1965: This version is more than 30 seconds longer than the official release. Includes count-in, the finish unfaded, and about six seconds of reactions from the musicians at the end of the track. Expect a lot of karaoke versions to appear on You Tube using this as backing. (BDE)

Disc 1/Track 7: “Tombstone Blues (Alternate Chambers Brothers Version)” 5:58 (B. Dylan)

  • Recorded 1965
  • Produced by Bob Johnson
  • Previously unreleased outtake from the Highway 61 Revisited session reels

MUSICIANS

  • Same as Track 6, Disc One except:
  • Bass: Russ Savakus
  • Background Vocals: The Chambers Brothers

This is some of the most scathing raw lead guitar that had ever been played since Link Wray. It sent many young hopefuls back to their bedrooms to practice. I thought the Chambers Brothers background vocals were a nice touch, but I didn’t produce this - I just barely hung on playing organ on an album for the first time in my young life. But NOW - have a listen. (Kooper)

July 29, 1965 (Original track): Complete “Highway 61” album version with the Chambers Brothers background vocals added. Differs from the incomplete take included on “No Direction Home: The Soundtrack (The Bootleg Series Vol. 7).” (BDE)

Disc 3/Track 14: “Spoken Intro (Live)" 2:02 (Bob Dylan)

  • Recorded 1980 at the Warfield Theater, San Francisco, CA
  • Previously unreleased

November 15, 1980. Bloomfield also played on “Like A Rolling Stone” earlier in the show. Below is a hybrid of two introductions by Dylan, now included in the box set:

All right, I was playing a club in Chicago and I guess it was about 1959 or 1960 and I was sitting .... Uh, I was sitting in the restaurant. I think it was probably across the street or maybe it was in front of the club, I'm not sure. But a guy came down and said that he played guitar. So he had his guitar with him and he began to play. I said ,“Well, what can you play? “He played all kinds of things, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of them. Does Big Bill Broonzy ring a bell?. Or Sonny Boy Williamson and that type of thing? Anyway, he just played circles around anything I could play and I always remembered that. Anyway, we were back in New York, I think it was 1963 or 1964 and I needed a guitar player on a session there I was doing. And I called up, I did remember his name and he came in and recorded an album, at that time he was working in a Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Anyway, he played with me on a record and I think we played some other dates. I haven't seen him too much since then. Anyway, he played on “Like A Rolling Stone” and he's here tonight ... Michael Bloomfield! (Introduction before “Like A Rolling Stone”) Anyway, this one’s called “Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar.” Can't seem to find Mike so we're gonna start anyway. (Off mic) Is he here?

For the record, Bloomfield met Dylan in 1963, and played on “Highway 61 Revisited” and at Newport in 1965. (BDE)

Disc 3/Track 15: “The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Alter (Live) 5:50 (B. Dylan)

  • Recorded 1980 at the Warfield Theater, San Francisco, CA
  • Previously unreleased
  • Produced by Bob Dylan

MUSICIANS

  • Guitar and Vocal: Bob Dylan
  • Lead Guitar: Mike Bloomfield
  • Electric Guitar: Fred Tackett
  • Organ: William “Smitty” Smith
  • Bass: Tim Drummond
  • Drums: Jim Keltner
  • Backing Vocals: Clydie King, Carolyn Dennis, Regina Harris

November 15, 1980: Early version with different lyrics. You can almost hear Bloomfield run to the stage and plug in. His solo is all fire and brimstone, ragged but right. Great sound. One of Bloomfield’s final appearances, the track ends with an echo added in post production. (BDE)

"SWEET BLUES" DVD / BOOKLET:

There’s a brief clip of Dylan, which can be seen in the trailer above, at the start of the DVD “Sweet Blues: A Film About Mike Bloomfield,” included in the set. His 1965 sessions are also discussed in the documentary, with some music and images, but without any additional input from Dylan. A photograph of Dylan and Bloomfield is also included in the booklet, and, of course, their work together is discussed.

However, it must be remembered that “From His Head To His Heart To His Hands” is about Bloomfield, not Dylan. Please read my review, posted yesterday, for additional information.

Keep up with Bob Dylan Examiner news. Just click on Subscribe above, or follow @DylanExaminer on Twitter. Harold Lepidus also writes the Performing Arts column for Examiner.com. Thanks for your support.

Advertisement

Today's top buzz...

  • Coachella
    The set times you need to know have been announced for Coachella
    Festival Buzz
  • Lamar Odom
    The New York Knicks are giving Lamar Odom another shot in the NBA
    Video
    NBA Buzz
  • Porsha Williams
    See why 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star Porsha Williams posed for this mug shot
    Video
    TV News
  • NHL tickets
    If you're looking to catch an NHL playoff game in NYC, don't expect to do so on a budget
    NHL Buzz
  • Transcendence
    Review: ‘Transcendence’ fascinates, but does it rise above the field?
    Movies Buzz
  • Kobe Bryant
    Kobe Bryant has agreed to cooperate with an all-access documentary about his life
    Video
    Sports Buzz

Related Videos:

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!