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The Witmark demo’s

In 1969 the Dutch radio had a Dylan special. They had acquired the tapes of a basement session Bob Dylan held in 1962 to try out new songs for what possibly could be the first real contract with a record company. I remember taping the radio on an old spool taperecorder. A recording with lot’s of noise and unintelligible songs. The next day a government institution fined the state radio station for broadcasting illegal bootlegged songs. Three years later, also illegal,  the little White Wonders records of these sessions appeared for sale,  simply in the streets.

I never forgot those Witmark tapes. Many of the songs where never officially published by Dylan. ” Tomorrow is a long time” – the best song I know about rejected  Love:  ” I can’t see my reflections in the mirror, I can’t see the signs that show no pain, I can’t hear the echoes of my footsteps, nor remember the sound of my own name”.

The Witmark tapes 1962-1964 have been published on CD. Digitally cleaned, perfectly and beautifully clear. Listen to “Don’t think twice”, as Dylan sung it in that basement,  while the song hadn’t been published yet. A young man with pitch perfect sound and all the energy of the yet unspent youth. Not the protest singer of a generation, but the Poet of our generation, which he still is: ” If love is a sin, then beauty is a crime….” ( Scarlet Town – 2012).

Click the link to listen to : Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right