Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Friday, July 09, 2004

My Bay Shore homeboy and fellow Dylanologist Ron Rosenbaum has some interesting things to say about "Blood on the Tracks" this week. As is usual with Rosenbaum, he thinks that there is a secret "key" to the album; typically, the key is not even on the album. I pulled down my copy of "Biograph" last night to listen to "Up to Me". He's right, of course, it's a pretty terrific song. (He's always right about stuff like that.) I don't know what "Up to Me" tells us about "Blood on the Tracks", but it is always a pleasure to re-discover a Dylan song. It is also nice to see that Rosenbaum and I agree that, "great songs are a different (not lesser) sort of art than poems; like theater, they are meant to be heard as well as read, heard as music, and it can be reductive to think of them only as poetry."

I've been meaning to burn a CD of the "Blood" NYC versions available on "Biograph" and "Bootleg Vols. I-III", but haven't got around to it, probably hoping that Dylan will get around to releasing the alternate version. I'm sure he will, in his own good time, but now Rosenbaum, who set me off on the idea that the New York takes offer some sort of secret coded insight into the album in the first place, now says, "One of the great disappointments of my life was to finally hear the New York "test-pressing" and find myself underwhelmed by the hype, under-impressed by the differences." Oh. Oh, I see. (I also think Rosenbaum is being unfair to "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts", but we can save that discussion for another day.) Oh, and I ordered Mary Lee Kortes' tribute today-- I had meant to, actually, when I first heard about it.

As long as we are discussing "skeleton keys", I wish I could find Rosenbaum's great column on "I'll Keep It With Mine" somewhere. I read it in the Observer on the train from New York to Buffalo years ago, and it re-ignited my long dormant Dylan interest. How about it Ron? Let's have a collection of your Dylan articles and interviews.

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