Under The Red Sky Bob Dylan's Music, Art, Life And Collectibles Thu, 03 Mar 2016 09:10:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 Bob Dylan 1965 Royal Albert Hall concert poster /bob-dylan-1965-royal-albert-hall-concert-poster/ /bob-dylan-1965-royal-albert-hall-concert-poster/#respond Thu, 03 Mar 2016 09:10:42 +0000 /?p=115 Here’s an interesting Dylan concert poster that appeared on eBay recently. It claims to be a poster from the 1965 show in London, England at the Royal Albert Hall.

Yes, 1965 is that tour. The ‘Judas… I don’t believe you… Play it f***** loud’ tour where Bob was booed at every show.

While the Judas shout came at the Manchester Free Trade hall show, the bootleg is called Live At The Royal Albert Hall.

So this poster that has been listed on eBay wasn’t from the iconic show.

Bob Dylan concert poster claiming to be from the 1965 show at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England

But still, it would have a fair bit of historical value, having been at the last shows of the tour in London on May 9th or 10th.

Is it genuine?

The design is strange – no date, no time and printed in a 19th century Victorian style. It also refers to Bob as ‘Robert Dylan’. No other posters do this. And it’s a strange thing to print – he was either Robert Zimmerman in the very early days, Bobbby Dylan, or after 1961 exclusively Bob Dylan.

The seller is a reputable LP and record dealer with 15,000+ positive feedback. Though he himself admits he is no expert in Dylan or concert posters.

The poster sold on eBay for £400 after being reduced from £1000

‘Quite possibly the RAREST EVER Bob Dylan item ever to be offered for sale,’ he writes on the listing. Well, that’s untrue. There are thousands of items that are much rarer.

He adds: ‘Clearly 100% GENIUNE on rough textured paper. It is also of the CORRECT typesetting and design of similar 1960s posters on rough paper. Just like ‘proof’ covers of the time – it is obvious that each letter has been ‘hand set’ and the printing has been done manually with ink. It also SMELLS OLD – I know that sounds strange, but it another VERY important detail people should look out for! THIS IS 100% GEINUNE – NOT SOME LATER FAKE OR LATER COPY – IT IS THE REAL THING.’

Personally I don’t believe anything can be ‘clearly 100% genuine’ as there are so many fraudsters and fakes kicking around.

And the sheer difference of the poster from any others from that period put me off showing interest in acquiring it.

As it probably did many others.

The poster was listed originally for £1,000, reduced to £600 then sold finally for £400. For a 100% genuine 1965 tour poster, they should be selling for a lot more.

That isn’t to say it’s not a great poster, and also a genuine. It could be a nice addition to somebody’s collection.

Unfortunately there will never be a way of proving it is a 100% genuine Bob Dylan concert poster from the 1965 tour.

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Bob Dylan Don’t Look Back UK Release Film Poster /bob-dylan-dont-look-back-uk-release-film-poster/ /bob-dylan-dont-look-back-uk-release-film-poster/#respond Sun, 27 Dec 2015 15:07:13 +0000 /?p=94

The promotional poster for the UK release of the Don’t Look Back documentary

The film poster for the UK release of the Bob Dylan documentary Don’t Look Back is one of the most recognizable images around.

It features a Dylan caricature holding a guitar shaped like a woman – one breast popping out and a leg hitched up to reveal white stockings.

Quite how such a striking image came about though has remained something of a mystery – until now.

The poster was designed by Alan Aldrige and Harry Wilcox to promote the UK release of the hit movie, which had been put out three years earlier in the U.S. in 1967.

A company called Docurama were responsible for distributing the film in the U.S.

But what few people know is that in the UK the film was distributed by one Miss Rita Jarvis. 

It was she who commissioned the well-known designer Alan Aldridge to create the poster. He joined up with Harry Wilcox and they both came up with the distinctive image.

‘I was the distributor for Don’t Look Back,’ she told undertheredsky.com.

I commissioned this poster when the film was released about 45 years ago.

I knew Alan Aldridge when we both worked at the Sunday Times. He and Harry Wilcox designed the poster.’

The film was first screened at the Roundhouse theater in Chalk Farm, London. On that night in xxxx rock band The Pretty Things performed.

‘The Dylan topped the bill,’ Rita added.

‘Then I showed it at various musical venues and subsequently on the Rank and EMI circuits.’





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The story of the Milton Glaser psychedelic Bob Dylan poster /the-story-of-the-milton-glaser-psychedelic-bob-dylan-poster/ /the-story-of-the-milton-glaser-psychedelic-bob-dylan-poster/#respond Mon, 03 Aug 2015 20:41:20 +0000 /?p=84

Milton Glaser’s psychedelic Bob Dylan poster from the Greatest Hits album

One of the most collectible Bob Dylan posters is the iconic psychedelic image designed by Milton Glaser. It shows a silhouette of Dylan with multicolored hair. The word ‘Elvis’ is also spelled out in Dylan’s hair. (Dylan was a big fan of Elvis as a child, and it’s possible that Milton Glaser was aware of this, or saw an artistic parallel between the two music stars).

These sell for between £50 and £200 depending on the condition of the poster, age and the place where it is sold. They also one of the most copied and reproduced of all Dylan images and posters.
Now, despite all of that… there’s very little information online about the history of the poster. Or it’s scattered around on different sites. In fact, there are a lot of conflicting dates and misinformation kicking around.
So here I’m gonna try and set out a few facts about the poster.
  • Milton Glaser’s poster first appeared to the public inside the sleeve of the Greatest Hits vinyl album in 1967 released by Columbia
  • The catalogue numbers for the original 1967 vinyl are KCS 9463 for the Stereo version, and KCL 2663 for the Mono version

Now, some history of the poster….

  • The poster was created by Push Pin Studios for Columbia in 1966 (hence why the poster is often given both 1966 and 1967 dates). Milton Glaser was designer and one of the founding members of Push Pin Studios
  • Milton Glaser had met Dylan briefly and only in passing in the early Greenwich Village days of New York
  • The poster was actually originally designed several years before in black and white for the cover of a Dylan book, but this image was rejected by Dylan.
  • The inspiration for the poster came from  1957 self-portrait by Marcel Duchamp
  • The poster was later commissioned by John Berg, art director at Columbia records and published as the poster to be included in Greatest Hits. With Berg being art director at Columbia he would have been in regular contact socially and professionally with designers in New York, and it’s likely that he was shown Glaser’s earlier poster, or already knew about it. When releasing Greatest Hits he decided to include this and contacted Milton Glaser
  • The new design that Milton Glaser came back with included a harmonica in rack but this was removed at the suggestion of the art director
  • Milton Glaser re-released the poster in 2008 and it’s available from their website for $100

Now, here’s where things get interesting, as this can make a big difference to the value and price of individual posters… 

The poster was included inside every release of the vinyl album right up until the 1980s. That means that if you bought the record in 1967 and again in 1980, there will have been an identical poster inside.

They look IDENTICAL and there are no date stamps, or other printing dates included on the poster. But there could be almost two decades in age between them.

An original 1967 Mono release of the Greatest Hits vinyl that first contained the Milton Glaser poster

So how to tell the difference between an original poster and one that came in a later release? And does it even make any difference?

Well, it’s not easy. And it’s made harder by people selling the posters who always claim it is an ‘original 1967 poster’ despite having no proof whatsoever.

Plus, telling the age of the poster from the condition of the paper is not easy either as some may have been kept in perfect mint condition, while others may have been  ripped, torn or faded over the years, giving a false appearance of age.

It may even be possible that Columbia did an ENORMOUS print run of posters, and kept them all in storage, and included them in future releases until the posters ran out – which would mean that all the posters were printed in 1967. Or they may have done several print runs. There has never been any clarification from Columbia on this issue.

So what so look for and how to find a genuine 1967 Bob Dylan Milton Glaser poster?

1. Condition – always start by narrowing down the search for a poster that is in as close to mint condition as possible

2. Buy one that comes with the original vinyl. As mentioned above, you’re looking for Columbia U.S. releases KCS 9463 or KCL 2663

3. It’s easy for someone to take a poster and match it up with an early vinyl… so look for copies of the 1967 vinyl that are still shrink wrapped. These are harder to find, but are worth more

4. Make sure the shrink wrap still has the sticker on the front that says ‘Giant Full-Colour Dylan Wall Poster Included’. The stereo releases have purple bumper stickers and the Mono releases have a black sticker.

Bonus points!

Also included in the album was an offer for new orders of the poster. These are larger versions that were made available after the 1969 in various LPs. These are much rarer to find. What’s more, these posters were mailed out rolled in tubes without being folded, so they did not have the creases like those that had been put inside the record sleeve. Very few people have these, and even fewer in mint condition. Why? When was the last time you ordered one of the posters from the ads inside a CD? Exactly. The number of people who took up the promotion (sales conversion rate if you were in music industry marketing) was probably around 1% – 2%. The number of those that kept the poster over the years is even less. More information about the poster offers is here.






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Bob Dylan performance on Late Show with David Letterman /bob-dylan-performance-on-late-show-with-david-letterman/ Sun, 31 May 2015 10:00:18 +0000 /?p=55 Bob appeared on the penultimate Late Show with David Letterman for a performance of The Night We Called It A Day.

A video of the performance is shown below, and it marks the third time Dylan has been on the iconic talk show – first was in 1984 and again in 1993.

The performance is a little awkward, with Dylan pacing up and down the stage to begin with and again in the middle of the song and at the end. He seems a little doddery and shaky physically, and seems to eye the audience suspiciously – but his rendition of the song is as good as ever.

Bob Dylan vinyl released for Record Store Day 2015 /bob-dylan-vinyl-released-for-record-store-day-2015/ Sun, 10 May 2015 12:58:04 +0000 /?p=47 Bob Dylan has taken part in Record Store Day 2015 – releasing two vinyl versions of The Basement Tapes and The Night We Called It A Day.

The international event is in support of independent record stores and labels with dozens of top artists making releases.

Dylan’s UK contribution is limited to the 7” track from latest album Shadows In The Night with Stay With Me as the B Side. There’s also a video to accompany Night We Called It A Day, which is on YouTube below, and chalks up another hit for themes of violence in Dylan’s music in recent years.

The U.S. releases are  The Basement Tapes (180g mono) Other Peoples Music 12″ 2500 and The Basement Tapes Other Peoples Music 12″ 2500 .

There were 4,000 pressings in the UK of the disc The Night We Called It A Day. I picked up one from the Rough Trade store in Nottingham.

Bob Dylan The Night We Called It A Day, released for Record Store Day 2015


Bob Dylan Europe tour dates 2015 /bob-dylan-europe-tour-dates-2015/ Sun, 10 May 2015 12:32:57 +0000 /?p=44 Bob Dylan is still touring – and has now announced his European dates for 2015.

The shows begin in Germany on June 20, hitting along the way Slovenia, Austria, Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, German, Denmark and finishing in the UK with seven dates in England and one final show of the leg in Wales.

Five of the UK shows are in London at the Royal Albert Hall – a favourite  venue of Dylan’s – and two in Manchester at the O2 Apollo before the last at Cardiff at the Motorpoint Arena.

It’s an incredible tour of Europe and sure to produce some stunning shows packed with old favourites along with new tracks from latest album Shadows In The Night.

Below is the full list of shows of you can visit the official Dylan site for tour dates.

June 21, 2015 Tübingen, Germany Sparkassen – Carré
June 23, 2015 Bamberg, Germany Brose Arena
June 25, 2015 Ljubljana, Slovenia Arena Stožice
June 26, 2015 Wiesen, Austria Ottakringer Arena Wiesen
June 27, 2015 Udine, Italy Aria di Friuli Venezia Giulia
June 29, 2015 Rome, Italy Terme di Caracalla
July 01, 2015 Lucca, Italy Lucca Summer Festival
July 02, 2015 Torino, Italy Pala Alpitour
July 04, 2015 Barcelona, Spain Festival Jardins de Pedralbes
July 05, 2015 Zaragoza, Spain Pabellón Principe Felipe
July 06, 2015 Madrid, Spain Barclaycard Center
July 08, 2015 Granada, Spain Palacio Municipal De Los Deportes
July 09, 2015 Córdoba, Spain Teatro de la Axerquia
July 11, 2015 San Sebastián, Spain Donostia Arena 2016 (Illunbe)
July 12, 2015 Albi, France Festival Pause Guitare
July 13, 2015 Saint-Malô-du-Bois, France Festival De Poupet
July 15, 2015 Locarno, Switzerland Moon & Stars Festival
July 16, 2015 Lörrach, Germany Stimmen Festival
October 08, 2015 Copenhagen, Denmark Falconer Salen
October 09, 2015 Copenhagen, Denmark Falconer Salen
October 21, 2015 London, England Royal Albert Hall
October 22, 2015 London, England Royal Albert Hall
October 23, 2015 London, England Royal Albert Hall
October 24, 2015 London, England Royal Albert Hall
October 25, 2015 London, England Royal Albert Hall
October 27, 2015 Manchester, England O2 Apollo
October 28, 2015 Manchester, England O2 Apollo
October 29, 2015 Cardiff, Wales Motorpoint Arena

Bob Dylan’s Top Five Awards Speeches /bob-dylans-top-five-awards-speeches/ Sun, 23 Nov 2014 15:23:37 +0000 /?p=37 1991 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Jack Nicholson presented Dylan with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1991 Grammy Awards show. After a long introduction and video clips of Dylan’s greatest hits, Dylan played an almost unrecogniseable rock version of Masters Of War. Vocally it was slurred, and poor. It couldn’t have been more different to the acoustic folk ballads he became known for in the 1960s But the political statement was timely, considering that the U.S. was mired deep in the Gulf War.

Dylan finished the song, staggered awkwardly on stage, adjusting his hat and clearly drunk. He was stepping backwards and forwards, and looked confused and he listened to Nicholson. Taking to the microphone, he looked awkwardly at the award, and said: ‘Thank you… Well, erm… alright… yeah. Well my daddy he didn’t leave me touch, you know, he was a very simple man, and, er, he didn’t leave me a lot but what he told me was this, he did say ”Son,” he said, er… he said so many things… (laughter). He said ”You know it’s possible to become so defiled in this world that your own mother and father will abandon you, and if that happens, God will always believe in your own ability to mend your own ways.” Thank you’.

And with that Bob turned and shuffled off the stage.

1998 Grammy Awards Album Of The Year

Dylan’s record Time Out Of Mind won album of the year at the Grammy Awards in 1998. The performance of Love Sick at the same show made headline’s when a bizarre stage crasher named Michael Portnoy with ‘soy bomb’ scrawled across his chest ran on set and began girating next to Bob. But Dylan’s acceptance speech was still a good one.

He thanked a string of people, before changing tack. ‘I just wanted to say that one time when I was about 16 or 17 years old I went to see Buddy Holly play at Duluth National Guard Armoury,’ Dylan said lowering his voice. ‘I was three feet away from him and he looked at me, and I just had some kind of feeling that he was, I don’t know how or why, but I know he was sith us all the time we were making this record in some kind of way.’ After a silence, perhaps in which Dylan was expecting an appluase, he then goes in a different direction. ‘In the words of the immortal Robert Johnosn ”The stuff I got will bust your brains out” and I would try to get that across.’ Dylan then hands over to the album’s producer to continue.


Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Induction 1988

Dylan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 1988. After appearing on stage in a long black jacket, he thanks people, say’s hello to Mohammed Ali (Dylan has always been a massive fan of boxing) and leaves the audience with a few short words of wisdom. ‘Peace, love and harmony is greatly important indeed, but so is forgiveness and you gotta have that, too.’


2001 Golden Globe Award 

Dylan’s ‘songs Things Have Changed won the Academy Award, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. His acceptance speech at the ceremony was pretty brief! He thanked a few people and his family and left the stage.


Dylan  received the Polar Music Prize in 2000 from the Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf. There was a lengthy speech from a woman, and then Dylan gets the award from the King, along with a big bunch of flowers. Dylan doesn’t actually say anything, but the looks on his face say a lot…


Violence in modern Bob Dylan music videos /violence-in-modern-bob-dylan-music-videos/ Sun, 19 Oct 2014 11:03:52 +0000 /?p=31 It struck me last night that there are recurring elements of violence in modern Bob Dylan music videos. Videos for Beyond Here Lies Nothing, It Must Be Santa, Duquesne Whistle and most recently The Night We Called It A Day, all have pretty rough bust ups.

Beyond Here Lies Nothing shows some pretty disturbing domestic violence, Duquesne Whistle follows sees an obsessed lover get a beating from gangsters, while It Must Be Santa depicts a merry party that descends into a fight. The video for The Night We Called It A Day from Shadows In The Night shows Dylan shooting a pretty blonde dancer, then making a getaway from the cops.

If you look at some more recent songs there’s also some pretty gruesome scenes. One listen to Tempest and you’ll see. ‘I’ve got dogs that’ll tear you limb from limb,’ Dylan croaks menacingly in Pay In Blood.

Dylan in the elevator with a hot blonde dancer in the video for Night We Called It A Day

The woman pulls a pistol on Bob but he responds with a revolver and shoots her first

Getting back to the music videos, it makes me wonder how much input Dylan has in directing them. They’re on some remix type videos on Dylan’s YouTube that VEVO that seem to have been churned out by his or his label’s creative team.

But surely he would have a big say in major videos, such as Duquesne Whistle.

So what it with his apparent pre-occupation with violence. Well, it’s known that Dylan has always been a big boxing fan – he himself used to spar to keep fit and visited Manny Pacquiao at a gym in LA.

A scene from the music video for Duquesne Whistle

A party descends into chaos in the video for It Must Be Santa

And in book Down The Highway: The Life Of Bob Dylan By Howard Sounes, it’s revealed that Dylan kept a rifle that he referred to as ‘the great equalizer’ in the hallway at his former home in Woodstock. The same book also talks about Bob’s ambivalence to the Vietnam war, and to some degree his support of an artist who was in favour of the war.

So what can we glean from all this?

Mainly that the images from the 1960s still emblazoned in the general modern day perception of him Dylan as a hippy-dippy peace-loving folk singer that are pretty far from the mark.

He seems to have developed a taste for scenes of violence in recent years. Can we explain that? No. Only he could…. and there’s no way he’s discussing with anybody soon.

Five great Bob Dylan versions of Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door /five-great-bob-dylan-versions-of-knockin-on-heavens-door/ Sat, 11 Oct 2014 18:53:58 +0000 /?p=27 Knockin’ On Heave’s Door is just about the one Bob Dylan song every pub band has in the repertoire of covers. Every time I see an average live band they’ll always do this one. Some of them are doing the Guns n Roses version and probably knock it’s a Dylan song from the movie Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, but hey! It’s all good. Here are five great versions by Dylan each one different of Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.

1. With Tom Petty

This is a full on rock version with Dylan in leather trousers, biker boots and waistcoat at the height of his Christian period. Love the lengthy harmonica solo at the start, and note the way he reaches an arm out behind him to stop the band when they’re expecting the song and vocals to start. Raspy voice, improvised third verse. Brilliant!

2. Unplugged

Laid back setting at the MTV studios for this Unplugged session. Starts slow with just acoustic guitar, but by the end there’s a dozen instruments all going at it. The drummer is throwing everything he’s got. Dylan’s singing crazy, seems to be making up a new melody.

3. Original movie version

The original version for the 1973 film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Super clean production and voice. The laid back, tired version that started it all.

4. Live in 1974

Ok, this isn’t a particularly great version. And the quality of the video is pretty poor. But I included it because it’s a live show from 1974 a year after the original was released and it’s nteresting to look at how the younger Dylan sings the song compared with the videos above where he is older. I would say he’s less confident in this one.

5. In Italy with the Pope watching

This is a nice clean live version in Italy in 1997 at the World Eucharistic Conference with 200,000 people in the crowd – including Pope John Paul II. Interesting because of how important religion is to Dylan to see him performing here. I’m sure he would have known the Pope was round, too.

Bob Dylan ‘Tarantula’ 1971 Promotional Poster Sells For £240 /bob-dylan-tarantula-1971-promotional-poster-sells-for-240/ Fri, 01 Aug 2014 16:36:51 +0000 /?p=23 A rare promotional poster from 1971 for Bob Dylan’s Tarantula book has sold at auction for £240.

The wall print – described as ‘possibly the only one of its kind in existence’ was taken from the Tottenham Court Road tube station.

It is believed to have been pinned on the wall there to promote Dylan’s first book Tarantula, which was released in 1971.

The advertising poster for Bob Dylan’s Tarantula book taken from Tottenham Court Road tube station in 1971 and has now sold at auction for £240

Gerrards Auction Rooms, in Lancashire, England, sold the poster in a frame at their auction on August 1 for £240.

They described it as ‘Bob Dylan ”Tarantula” Wall Poster, 50c, x 76 cm. Possibly the only one, of its kind, still In existence. Retrieved from the wall of London’s Tottenham Court Rd. Tube Station In 1970/71‘.

Analysis: This was a really rare poster and I searched extensively online to find examples of it, but could not see anything similar anywhere. The auctioneer described the condition to me as having been creased along the centre where it had been folded twice, and with pin marks in each corner.

This leads me to believe that this poster had been pinned onto a notice board either in the tube station entrance, or on the walls inside the station.

There are some questions though…. namely where did the posters come from and why were more of these posters not kept?

There are two I have.

The first is that the publisher printed them (presumably MacGibbon and Kee as their logo is on the poster and book). We can assume that most of the posters would have been pulled down by workmen putting up new posters. But surely some would have been kept.  A publisher would surely print at least 200…. though why more weren’t made is strange.

Bob Dylan was not super-famous in England and he’d been pretty low-key on the music scene after cooling off in Woodstock then re-emerging for the Isle of Wight festival in 1969. So maybe only a small number were printed and put up at a few tube stations in central London. And given that the public – and even fans – at the time would not have been aware of the future and just how collectible Dylan would become, and how collectible advertising posters would be, they would not have been likely to pull down posters.

The second theory is this…

What if this poster was not made by the publishers? But by a fan. There were so many bootleggers around at the time, and crazed fans that saw Dylan as some sort of cult, that they could have made a few of their own posters.  Or perhaps the poster even came from within the Dylan camp itself. Could one of his group slapped up a few posters around the place?

In either case, it’s clear that only a very small number were made. It would explain why there is no other examples of the poster online. Surely people who had kept them would have sold them online by now.

In conclusion

There is no conclusion! The mystery about this poster is not solved. Perhaps another will be put up for sale soon…