Thursday, December 18, 2008

Long Shadows

Two little bits of Dylan today:

1. In an interview in Uncut, Chris Shaw, an engineer on Dylan's last several albums, talks about recording "Moonlight," a song from Love and Theft. As part of that discussion, he relates this anectdote:

The thing was, there’s a lyric on the song where Bob sings, "The leaves cast their shadows on the stones," and, when he was singing it live, he was reading his lyrics off a piece of paper, and, I guess, for a split-second, he got dyslexic, because on the live take, he actually sang, "The leaves cast their stadows on the stones." So, the only time I did any editing on that song, was when I heard this word "stadows" go by, I knew he meant shadows, because I had the lyric sheet in front of me. So, when I tried a remix, I took the vocal, and I found a "sh" from somewhere else, and I chopped the "st" out and put that in, so he was singing "shadows," y’know. And Bob was listening to all these mixes, and he kept saying, "Nah, man, I really wanna use that rough mix." Finally, I said, "Well, you know, on the rough mix, you don’t sing 'shadows,' you sing, 'stadows.'" And he took a long hit on his cigarette, and he kind of looked at me deadpan, and he went, "Well, you know: stadows." So, at the final mastering, we figured that we really couldn’t let that stadows go by, because everybody would give him shit about it, so we did sliver edit, literally just for the "sh," like a 15 milisecond edit.

I love that, the image of Dylan sitting for a second, taking a drag of his cigarette, and then saying, "Well, you know: stadows." Perfect. Poetry.

The whole interview is here at Uncut.

2. This longish piece on recording Blonde on Blonde, which includes a fair amount of discussion of the New York sessions for the album. Well worth reading.

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