Unreleased Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell Emerge Today
From upcoming box sets, of course.
Greg Mitchell is the author of a dozen books and now writer/director of award-winning films. He was also the longtime #2 editor of the legendary Crawdaddy. And see his popular new newsletter devoted to The Bomb in the wake of “Oppenheimer.” His book "Atomic Cover-up” just updated and expanded. His latest PBS film and companion book: “Memorial Day Massacre, Workers Die, Film Buried.” His two newsletters remain free if you subscribe.
Out of nowhere today we got a new/old Joni song from an upcoming box set—and word of yet another Dylan box plus release of first cut. Of course, many consider them the two greatest songwriters of the postwar era, although Joni at times has famously tossed some barbs Bob’s way (look it up).
First, Joni’s song here, with this material from a publicist.
Joni Mitchell explains to Cameron Crowe in the Archives Vol. 3 liner notes: “[‘Like Veils Said Lorraine’] was a piece of dialogue that happened with the real-estate woman. I had almost found the land where I would build my little (stone-cabin) house. Lorraine was the real-estate woman who showed me properties. She had a Marlene Dietrich kind of look. She was a platinum blond and she was elegant. She had lived in China with her husband, so she was kind of worldly… and glamorous. It’s an account of our conversation. At some point, I switched to another realtor, and found the property where I would live. It was a piece of an old lumber-jack town. It wasn't on the market, but it called out to me. Houses are important to me, and I know how to pick them. I investigated it and I found out who owned it. I paid what she wanted, and she thought she took me. I thought I got a deal. (laughs) So we were both happy.”
And re: the box, coming in October, with acoustic demo of “Help Me” below.
As Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967) — which won a 2022 GRAMMY Award for Best Historical Album — and Vol. 2: The Reprise Years (1968-1971) did, Vol. 3 boasts an embarrassment of riches. The collection begins with an early cut of “Cold Blue Steel And Sweet Fire,” one of two songs (along with “For The Roses”) test-driven during a visit to a Graham Nash David Crosby recording session at Wally Heider’s in Hollywood.
From there, listeners are treated to early demos and alternate versions from sessions from For The Roses, Court & Spark, and The Hissing Of Summer Lawns; historic live show recordings, including the entirety of Mitchell’s triumphant 1972 return to Carnegie Hall and a definitive gig with her Court And Spark backing band Tom Scott & the L.A. Express; and tracks from sessions cut alongside James Taylor, Graham Nash, and Neil Young.
Meanwhile, Columbia announced the latest addition to Dylan’s archival releases with possibly the least anticipated to date, a massive enlargement of his 1978 “Live at Budokan” lp (that’s Japan). I saw that tour at MSG in New York and let’s just say, not a career highlight, even though my friend Rob Stoner played bass and added vocals and helped on the usual Dylan re-arrangements. Rob tells me today that one issue for the tour was that their drummer, formerly in McCartney’s Wings, had to be replaced at the last minute because Japan would not let him in the country due to a pot bust and his replacement was less than stellar.
Surprised to see the track list with many classics and very few cuts post-Blood on Tracks even though he had a new album, Street-Legal. They released today one song, “Man in Me,” not one of his classics (from New Morning), to say the least. Never dug the use of backup singers. Here it is:
Have posted before, but here’s Bob and Joni together at Gordon Lightfoot’s in Toronto during Rolling Thunder tour. Joni had joined tour only to get to know Bob better and have some longs chats and then, she complains—they barely spoke!
Update: Just came word that the great jazz bass player Richard Davis has died. Among his many career highlights: recorded my favorite bass parts in history of rock ‘n roll, for Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, such as for “The Way Young Lovers Do.” Listen here.
Thanks for reading Between Rock and a Hard Place ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.