March 3, 2021 – 8:56 am

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The McKenzie Tapes, Home Recordings 1961-1962 [BDA 2013, 1CD]

Shortly after Bob Dylan arrived in New York in January 1961, he met Eve and Mac McKenzie at Gerdes Folk City, introduced to him by Woody Guthrie’s wife, Marjorie. Folk enthusiasts, the McKenzie’s had an apartment north of the Village where some of the young would-be folk musicians often met up. Dylan became a regular visitor and soon a houseguest too, sleeping on the couch in the family’s living room. This release features the best of all three of the recordings Bob completed at the apartment all of which were made on a vintage reel-to-reel tape machine in the informal setting of the McKenzie apartment. The audio quality of these tapes is not in line with modern and consideration should be given to the circumstances in which these recordings were created.

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Thanks to 1960Mila for sharing the tracks on the net.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (320 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

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Track 01. Hard Times In New York Town 1:01
Track 02. Wayfaring Stranger 0:46
Track 03. Makes A Long Time Man Feel Bad 0:22
Track 04. (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle 3:22
Track 05. Worried Blues 0:52
Track 06. Baby Of Mine 1:02
Track 07. Instrumental One 0:24
Track 08. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down 1:59
Track 09. Fixin’ To Die 1:11
Track 10. San Francisco Bay Blues 1:55
Track 11. You’re No Good 1:26
Track 12. House Of The Rising Sun 6:48
Track 13. Instrumental Two 2:20
Track 14. Roll In My Baby’s Arms - Bells Of Rhymney 0:40
Track 15. Come All You Fair And Tender Ladies 1:59
Track 16. Roll In My Baby’s Arms 1:46
Track 17. Bells Of Rhymney 3:07
Track 18. Instrumental Three 1:29
Track 19. Highway 51 4:27
Track 20. This Land Is Your Land 3:16
Track 21. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean 1:02
Track 22. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall 7:23
Track 23. Instrumental Four 2:20
Track 24. James Alley Blues 2:45
Track 25. Hard Times In New York 1:58
Track 26. The Death Of Emmett Till 4:28
Track 27. I Rode Out One Morning 2:59
Track 28. House Of The Rising Sun 3:25
Track 29. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean 1:09
Track 30. Ballad Of Donald White 4:41
73 mins

Notes on the recording dates:
First McKenzie Tape
*tracks 01-15 - The November 23, 1961 date (Thanksgiving) has been confirmed, amongst others by Eve McKenzie (The Telegraph #36, p.29-40).
*tracks 16-22 - The December 4, 1961 date was established by Michael Krogsgaard, though, according to Clinton Heylin, A Life In Stolen Moments, p.24, “there is no evidence such a seesion took place”.
*GBS_01 and GBS_02 are dated January 29, 1962 in the sleeve notes of  “The Genuine Bootleg Series, Vol.3″. That date is backed by Heylin, A Life In Stolen Moments, p.26, nontheless ‘Hard Times In New York Town’ is almost certainly the version that already circulated as fragment, dated November 23, 1961!
*It could well be that both segments were recorded on that Thanksgiving dinner, surely the mood near the end of the first part hints at the more collaborative efforts of part two. It’s not unlikely that ‘This Land Is Your Land’ was performed twice. Who knows…
*’The Death Of Emmett Till’ was clearly not written by November 1961, but rather in January 1962, so the January 29 date seems as good as any other. If so, no other recordings from that date seem to circulate right now.

Second McKenzie Tape
*commonly, tracks 01-07 are dated September 1962 and the remainder April 12, 1963 (or April 18, see below) with ‘I Rode Out One Morning’ attributed to the second part. I do think, however, that ‘I Rode Out One Morning’ belongs to the first segment because to my ears, 01:55 to 02:10 of d2t03 has Dylan toying with the picking of the same song without adding vocals. I think it’s highly unlikely that the only two existing fragments of  the song were recorded months apart, both at the McKenzie’s home.
*It has long been assumed that the second part of the tape was recorded in the afternoon of April 12, 1963, just a couple of hours before his important solo appearance in New York’s Town Hall. This seems to be highly unlikely, also in light of Columbia’s files, which mention a 4:00 pm soundcheck at Town Hall. Indeed, Heylin (p.43) now gives April 18, 1963 as the probable date. Alas, no evidence is provided with this information.

Notes on the musical content:
*some of the tracks named ‘instrumental’ are in fact doodles and endless tunings. Additionally, d2t10 and d2t16 are merely sketches of ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’ and ‘Cocaine Blues’, respectively.
*Bjrrner names d2t15 ‘Two Trains Runnin”, Dundas d2t15 ‘Still A Fool’ and d2t16 ‘Worried Blues’. I can’t hear any of this but I might me wrong.
*GBS_01 ‘Hard Times In New York Town’ is almost certainly the version that already circulated as fragment d1t02
*Until now, all reference books mention two versions of both ‘Katy Cline’ and ‘Bells Of Rhymney’ at the start of the second part of the first tape. But a close listen revealed that these version are just fragments of the longer tracks d1t17 and d1t18. I think t that ‘Katy Cline’ (Dundas) fits that track better than ‘Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms’ (Bjrrner, Krogsgaard).
*d2t07 is sometimes referred to as ‘Times Ain’t What They Used To Be’ by Clarence ‘Tom’ Ashley. In fact, that is the first line of  ‘James Alley Blues’… Either way, this seems to have been an inspiration for his own ‘Mixed-Up Confusion’.

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  1. 24 Responses to “BOB DYLAN - THE McKENZIE TAPES: HOME RECORDINGS 1961-1962”

  2. Meh

    By MrSmith on Mar 3, 2021

  3. True HISTORIC material !
    Also glad to post the first comment, before that troll named ULE comes round and starts commenting on big and lil’ uns.

    By Theo on Mar 3, 2021

  4. True historic material !

    By Theo on Mar 3, 2021

  5. I guess it won’t be very long before that lil’ troll named ule, appears once again.

    By Theo on Mar 3, 2021

  6. Rumor has it Bob gots a Big Un

    By U L E on Mar 3, 2021

  7. Bob is a Jew

    By U L E on Mar 3, 2021

  8. Jews have Big Pricks Noses and Ears

    By U L E on Mar 3, 2021

  9. Also long pockets short arms

    By U L E on Mar 3, 2021

  10. Thanks Big O - always appreciate some more Bobby in all his formats and this is nice to have collected in one place like this. It gets scattered around by some ROIO producers somehow. (see notes)

    By swappers on Mar 3, 2021

  11. Since there is no differentiation with respect to Tape 1 and Tape 2, I find the notes on the recording dates to be, rather, confusing.

    By Sneadhurn on Mar 3, 2021

  12. So, the last time we went down this road, Big O shared a compilation called I WAS SO MUCH YOUNGER THEN, with mostly the same tracks in entirely different orders…doesn’t somebody have an idea of what songs were on what tapes? I don’ t understand how these have gotten so jumbled up over the years…?

    By anon-y-mouse on Mar 3, 2021

  13. Appears U L E can only get an erection if posting disgusting comments on here. Sad person. Truly sad.

    By BigLou on Mar 3, 2021

  14. Hola amigos y amigas,

    Es verdad - para follar una gorda como Srta. Novak, se necesita una polla larga, como la mia. Yo tengo tambien una circumferencia de 20cm.

    Supera eso, gringos.

    By Juan 30cm on Mar 4, 2021

  15. You’re such a rude one Juan 1cm!!

    By Madame Phoot on Mar 4, 2021

  16. Always a Bob Dylan fan . The dude is a fuckin legend. I try to overlook the fact that he’s also a motherfuckin, Dic suckin Jew Bastard

    By Derrick on Mar 4, 2021

  17. Juan my amigo, this website is full of maricones

    By rOBERTO dURAN on Mar 4, 2021

  18. And gringos

    By rOBERTO dURAN on Mar 4, 2021

  19. Big O doesn’t stop the trolling, but it’s quick to eliminate any posts that disagree with its stupid editorials.

    By Eric on Mar 4, 2021

  20. Derrick, you are a piece of shit.

    By THE ANTICHRIST on Mar 5, 2021

  21. Thanks for His Bobness!!!

    By frank on Mar 7, 2021

  22. Derrick you are a сock sucking piece of shit. Your little two inch diсk isn’t with a diddle. But your momma used to suck it when you were a little tyke. She was hoping your pathetic little diсk might get just a little bigger. Of course she was wrong.

    By THE ANTICHRIST on May 18, 2021

  23. I raped your Mom’s corpse, Anti.

    By Derrick on May 18, 2021

  24. Derrick you are a сock sucking piece of shit. You begged me to let you suck my сock but I just kept shoving it up your ass.

    By THE ANTICHRIST on May 18, 2021

  25. Thanks for the historic Bob. I love hearing him in this period of his career.

    By Matt on Jun 19, 2021

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