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June 26, 2021


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Steve Diamond

Not sure the electric clip counts as "early" Dylan - more like "revolutionary" or, at least, "transformational," don't you think?

Steve L.

Thanks for the observation, Steve. It was a pretty early transformation. Dylan's first album was released in 1962; the Newport show backed by the Paul Butterfield Band was in 1965, so I would say that was still qualifies as early in a 56 year career (and counting).

But yes, it was certainly transformative. I wrote my senior year term paper on Dylan in 1966. Side two of the fifth album presented a challenge.


Steve Diamond

Don't forget to mention fellow Trevian Mike Bloomfield, of whom Dylan said, "he was just the best guitar player I had ever heard."

Steve L.

Yes, Bloomfield on lead guitar, Al Kooper on organ, Jerome Arnold on bass, Elvin Bishop on rhythm guitar, and Sam Lay on drums. Butterfield himself didn't play behind Dylan, nor did Mark Naftalin, Butterfield's usual keyboardist.

In 1967, as a Northwestern undergrad, I hired Sam Lay to play at the SDS-sponsored anti-Navy ball, on the same night as the annual NROTC event. I am embarrassed at how little we paid them, although I think it must have been the going rate. Sam did the vocals including, of course, "Mojo Working."

For those who know the campus, it was in Patten Gym, which had also been the site of the first NCAA men's basketball tournament in 1939.

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