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

Vids from the Vault - Dylan - What Kind of Friend is This?

See also

From the movie "Eat the Document," this clip has been widely viewed but still remains remarkable as a never recorded Dylan song seen being played for what is probably the first time ever, except by Bob himself when he was writing it. He plays it in a hotel room for Robbie Robertson, showing Robbie the basic song structure and singing some sort of lyrics, whatever he's got so far, to keep the rhythm going. The repeating title is, What Kind of Friend is This?, though if he had recorded it, on the record itself it could just as easily have been titled Inappropriately Ubiquitous Blues or something like that. It's about a girl who's a plaything of sorts (could be about Edie Sedgewick) who doesn't understand the rules, which of course are Bob's rules. She seems to have the nerve to see other guys and show up when he doesn't want her to. My god! In any event, she's pushing for his time - to borrow a line from Boston singer/songwriter Bart Caruso, in his song Don't Push for My Time where you can hear his song's lyrics. "Don't call me all of the time, don't go out and buy the books I've read..." It's the age old male dilemma - you want her, sure, but... not right now, baby. Dylan dubs her a friend, meaning if she was really his friend she'd get it - but she obviously don't.

When I said it's never been recorded I didn't mean just by Dylan, who hasn't obviously, but by anyone, apparently. Seems like a golden opportunity to me for some hip band to cover it. The cool thing is, they could even make up their own words to fill in the garbled spots. Or just mimic what Dylan does, (I would have used the word approximately here, but I use it right below, to, I believe, better effect.) like Jimi did on Watchtower.

Painfully Transcribed, Approximately

or

Tell Me What Kind of Friend is This?

What kind of friend is this?
Who loves me behind my back
What kind of friend is this
Shows up every place I've been
you carry your load,
you know she don’t
your laying low,
but you know she won’t

She gonna lay in the morning
with a man there on my bed
Aw, what kind of friend is this?

What kind of friend is this
makin' every _______ ____ ______
What kind of friend is this
Losing at everything
Back off, boy,
When she goes down
Lay down your pay,
She's walking around

Well, she ain't got nothin'
but the teedle toodle tummin' on a
pack of beans (I'm not responsible for transcribing this part, but I don't have anything better...)
Tell me what kind of friend is this?

Well she don't lean if she don't man
You know she's gonna do the dog.
She done gone, She's no ho'
Heart stopped a-beating and she _____ _____ ____

Well, what kind of friend is this
make me holler to and fro
who wants to go everywhere I wanna go
back off - she
don't care for me
I got my own lady
if she could only see

I'd give her everything
then she comes back around with this
Tell me what kind of friend is this?

Advertisement

Related Videos:

  • Dirtyland from Symbol Six
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Xs8HrMDyejI?VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • David Bowie Is...
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518387708" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518387708&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Diplo and Skrillex set to perform at Madison Square Garden
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CkZcXehT4xg?VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>