Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan: Jimmy Berman (1971)

Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan: Jimmy Berman (1971)

Given they had so much in common -- a love of words, counterculture cachet, Jewish upbringing and so on -- it is a surprise poet Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan didn't write and record together more often.

There was a session with poet Anne Waldman in 1968 (which had Arthur Russell on cello), others in '71 with a similar group (and a sitar player) and another in '81. Oddly enough it seems there was nothing recorded when Ginsberg joined Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour in '75-76 alongside that huge cast which included Roger McGuinn, Joan Baez, Kinky Friedman, people from the Desire sessions (including violinist Scarlet Rivera), Ramblin' Jack Elliot and others.

At least, nothing has appeared.

This ramshackle piece -- Dylan on guitar -- appeared on one of John Giorno's Dial-A-Poem poetry albums but wasn't included on the four CD Holy Soul Jelly Roll collection of Ginsberg's poems and songs (where a couple of other tracks with Dylan do).

It has charming surface noise which rather suits the mood and tone (I took this from an old cassette which had been recorded from the original album some time in the late Seventies) but you can download a better version free from here.

Maybe you want to listen to it first?

You may conclude that not everything free is worth having.

It gets usefully bawdy however.

You have been warned there, on two counts.

There is more and better Ginsberg at Elsewhere starting here. And of course oceans of Dylan

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section

Leon Russell: Back to the Island (1975)

Leon Russell: Back to the Island (1975)

Leon Russell is like the Kevin Bacon of rock: there are six degrees of separation between him and anyone else. Actually, that's not true. There are about three. Leon to the Beatles? Well he was... > Read more

The Viscounts: Harlem Nocturne (1959)

The Viscounts: Harlem Nocturne (1959)

In the final month of the Fifties, the Viscounts covered this piece which Ray Noble and His Orchestra had introduced two decades previous. But to it the Viscounts brought a sleazy menace in the... > Read more

New Elsewhere

Various Artists: A Day in My Mind's Mind; The Kiwi Psychedelic Scene (Frenzy/Real Groovy)

Various Artists: A Day in My Mind's Mind; The Kiwi Psychedelic Scene (Frenzy/Real Groovy)

A few months ago a friend and I were discussing prog-rock -- it had been a long lunch, this topic doesn't come up often -- and I observed there had been very few great prog statements by Kiwi... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE REGGAE QUESTIONNAIRE: Logan Bell of Katchafire

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE REGGAE QUESTIONNAIRE: Logan Bell of Katchafire

Elsewhere has long held the view that Hamilton reggae band Katchafire have been the hardest working band in the country. Three gigs on one Waitangi Day alone tells you how committed they are.... > Read more