All those crazy things I had to try
Well, I tried them all, and then some
And if you’re lucky maybe you’ll find out
Where it is you’re really coming from
- The Band, “Bessie Smith” (from the 1975 LP The Basement Tapes)*
In the summer of 1967 Bob Dylan and the Band transcended time in the wilderness of Woodstock. They smoked, drank, relaxed, and created some of the most enduring music of all-time. The result, what are now referred to as the Basement Tapes, essentially created the alternative country genre.
Until now the 150+ songs recorded during this time have only been available on scattered releases and iffy sounding bootlegs. But it was announced this week that we mere mortals were receiving the ultimate gift from the Dylan gods: a remastered, complete 6-CD box set of every salvageable Basement Tapes song.
Just when I thought my excitement couldn’t get any bigger it was also announced that he’d be touring theaters this fall including three stops at Minneapolis’ Orpheum Theater. I’ve seen Dylan twice in the last two years, but the Xcel Energy Center (which I love…) and Midway Stadium simply don’t fit his timelessness like the Orpheum does. There aren’t many musical legends left, folks. Catch them while you can, especially in their element.
*I’d have a link to this song but the greedy bastards who own Dylan’s music don’t allow it to stream online anywhere. Not even on YouTube. You’d figure that free advertising when people share your songs would be a good thing but evidently Dylan’s people disagree. The saddest thing is that this is a BAND song, not a Dylan song, but since it appears on an album credited to Dylan and the Band all versions of it are still all deleted. Pathetic.
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He is also a contributor for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik’s music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.