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Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, the Band, and the Basement Tapes [Paperback]

Sid Griffin
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £14.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Sep 2007
(Book). Million Dollar Bash tells for the first time the whole story of the Basement Tapes, recorded in summer 1967 when Bob Dylan's career was at a crossroads. Recovering from a mysterious motorcycle crash, he gathered together a few musician friends in Woodstock, New York, and informally recorded a bunch of songs intended to be heard by no one but themselves. Instead, they changed music forever. In this new book, musician and author Sid Griffin examines the recordings in detail, demonstrating on every page a musician's insight into the Basement Tapes, the men who recorded them, and the times in which they were made. Every Dylan fan needs this book.

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Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, the Band, and the Basement Tapes + The Basement Tapes Raw: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Jawbone (30 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906002053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906002053
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


4 stars '...Griffin tells a thorough, entertaining tale in a style thats part conversation, part journalism, part heroically detailed linernote.' Mojo, December 2007 --Mojo, December 2007

3 out of 5 stars '…Sid Griffin points the way forward for future authors… Griffin examines the story in admirably forensic detail, which should leave hardened devotees more than satisfied.' Q, December 2007 --Q, December 2007

'...Griffins informality is light years away from the high-falutin , impressed-with-themselves style that many Dylan scholars feel compelled to use in order to get their point home. As such, he captures the relaxed nature of the Dylan-Band recordings made at Big Pink... As a look into what Griffin posits as Dylans most creative year, its invaluable.' Record Collector, December 2007 --Record Collector, December 2007

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some new information, at least to me 2 Nov 2007
As a somewhat obsessive researcher of written information and comments on the Band, I am familiar with a lot of the sources Sid Griffin used for this book. However, he does seem to have managed to get new talk about what went on in the basement - there is considerable information about the recording process Garth Hudson used and comments from experienced recording engineers about what was done. There are also some detailed notes, sometimes speculative, about who played what when, and who sang various backup vocals. I appreciate having this from skilled musician ears rather than my own guesses.

This book complements Greil Marcus's work on the topic. Marcus usually focuses on the history of Dylan's possible sources; Griffin concentrates on Dylan's results, and what went down on tape. One hopes that readers of this book have managed to track down some of the more recent bootlegs of the Basement Tapes; otherwise the book will only cause sadness and frustration.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Is it Rolling Bob" 27 Jan 2010
Million Dollar Bash is a well crafted look at one of the most talked about and speculated about periods in Bob Dylans recording career.The background to how Dylan and The Band came to be in Woodstock is dealt with first. A map and descriptions of the area set the scene and capture the atmosphere of this most productive, protracted recording session. Dylan recuperating from his motorcycle accident sits down with probably the best band on the planet at the time, the result was The Basement Tapes and as is detailed here much, much more. A good half of the book analyzes the brilliant music they made with a track by track study much in the vein of Ian McDonalds 'Revolution In The Head' The detail is incredible but not boringly so as the author Sid Griffin of The Long Ryders and more recently The Coal Porters fame manages to inject humour(very funny at times) and his knowledge of the song writing/recording process into the mix. If you want to read about Bob Dylan and The Band making some fantastic music that influenced the whole Americana scene look no further.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, we're allowed into the Basement... 24 Oct 2007
By Ms. Felicia Davis-burden VINE VOICE
At last we have the fullest possible guidebook to the legendary Basement Tapes. Griffin shines an often witty light on who sang and played what in the Basement of Big Pink, West Saugerties, NY 1967-68.

This is a fascinating book for Dylan fans (BobCats), Band fans (we're BandHeads) and all music-lovers curious to learn more about this wonderful episode in rock history.

If you have any of the music but feel hindered from listening further through 'mixed-up confusion', you can now make sense of these often chaotic pieces with help from Sid Griffin's detailed notes. The music becomes more enjoyable and more remarkable. We learn that the musicians (soon to be known as The Band) were so much more than just Dylan's back-up guys. And as The Band, they were one of the greatest groups ever.

Thanks to Sid Griffin, for a wonderful book. All music-lovers: Enjoy!
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