Like another famous Minnesota musician – *ahem* Prince – Bob Dylan can be ever so particular about with who and how his voice is heard. More literally, Dylan has specifically stuck to print as the outlet to any interview he’s done since 2004.
With the month of November being a bountiful one for his Basement Tapes era, Dylan has broken his ten-year audio interview silence to highlight two new releases. The first comes from Dylan himself, called The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11, and the other from the supergroup The New Basement Tapes, who created a 20-song album from the same sessions.
Take a listen to the tobacco-caked voice of Dylan as he recollects the period where he wrote songs that “weren’t tailor-made for anybody. [He] just wrote what [he] felt like writing.”
As for a quick history lesson on rock bootlegs, the first one appeared in California in July 1969, entitled Great White Wonder. It was a double album split by seven songs from Dylan’s Woodstock basement sessions, along with some early recordings Dylan made in Minneapolis from December 1961, and one song of his recorded while on The Johnny Cash Show. Eventually, this process was expedited until hundreds of live and studio recordings were published, subsequently making Dylan described as “the most bootlegged artist in the history of the music industry,” according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Then, suddenly, online piracy came along, and bootlegging is more celebrated than it ever was by the thickly-lined pockets of collectors with an ever-raging hunt for rare bootleg prints.