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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy birthday, Bob Dylan

Raymond Foye has generously provided us with this account (that first appeared in the 1998 Dylan anthology, Wanted Man (edited by John Bauldie). The Allen Ginsberg Project today celebrates Bob Dylan's 72nd birthday 

The Night Bob Came Around 

Late one night I sat in Allen Ginsberg's East 12th Street apartment with Allen and Harry Smith, the eminent ethnomusicologist and folklorist. We were looking at a new batch of photographic prints delivered that day by Brian Graham, a freelance printer who had been working for Robert Frank. I had proposed editing a volume of Allen's photographs for the  publisher Twelvetrees Press, and we had set about making an initial selection.

Allen proudly displayed a recent portrait of Harry. "You know you're a real menace with that camera," Harry whined in his nasal drawl, and then announced that, as it was 11 o'clock, he was going to bed. Allen and I resumed work, though we were interrupted a few minutes later when the telephone rang. It was Bob Dylan. Could he come over and play Allen the tape of his new album? Of course, Allen replied, and repeated the address, instructing Dylan to yell up from the street, as the doorbells were all out of order. About 20 minutes later, Dylan stood in the street, shouting Allen's name, as a yellow taxi sped off into the darkness. Allen opened the window and dropped down the keys tied up in an old sock. Dylan let himself in and walked up four flights to the tenement apartment. "Is this sock clean?" he asked in italics.

Dylan carried a six-pack of beer under his arm, and was accompanied by an attractive middle-aged black woman who spoke only with her eyes. 

Continue reading HERE

[Francesco Clemente - Illustration from White Shroud - Allen Ginsberg & Francesco Clemente, Kalakshetra Publications Press, 1983]

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