“One More Night”

That’s the name of one of my favorite Dylan songs, off of Nashville Skyline (my favorite of his records), which was released in 1969.

Caveat: I am not a Dylan-acolyte, and am actually in a state of more-or-less permanent dismissal of all things 1960’s. This may have to do with living in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the Beats, The Hippies, the 1960’s and all related cultural memory is worshiped ad nauseum.

I do however love the film I’m Not There by Todd Haynes, and the soundtrack plays in my house a lot. Maybe that’s why I found myself humming “One More Night” and then learning the chords via the internet.

The whole Nashville Skyline record is excellent, and must have been a serious move for Dylan to make in 1969. The media had dubbed him The Spokesman Of His Generation (much as he claimed to hate the attention it brought him) and here he was going to Nashville Tennessee to make a country record!

This was at a time when Nashville Country Music was engaged in a full cultural counter-revolution, loathing the folk music and rock music of the day. Nashville’s music industry was moving away from its roots and embracing bloated string sections, huge backup choirs and all sorts of other syrupy crap along with decidedly right-wing sensibilities. They were crooning to The Generation Gap while the hippies were running naked at Woodstock…and now no less a counterculture icon than Bob Dylan comes to town to record and even cuts a duet with Johnny Cash! The guy had guts, I’ll give him that.

Which brings me back to the film – I really wish that Haynes had put in a section about Dylan’s country period. If someone throws a few hundred thousand dollars my way, I’ll even do it for him and he can put it in the DVD Extras.

There’s so much great material there, besides re-creating the meeting of Dylan and Cash which would be awesome. Later on, in 1973, Dylan was called to New York to record with his old friend San Antonian country-rocker Doug Sahm for his Doug Sahm And Band album. Also in attendance were a veritable who’s who of 1970’s Texas/Southern roots and soul players: Dr. John, Fathead Newman, Augie Meyers, Flaco Jimenez, David Bromberg and others. There’s a couple of photos from those sessions on the website of bassist Jack Barber, also from San Antonio. That album is a classic, a sort of a big loose soul-country record.

And it’s on that record that Dylan played the song that Patty Smith reportedly called a work of genius and which gave his son the name of his own outfit: a beautiful little country waltz called “Wallflower”, featuring Sahm and Dylan on vocals.

Whaddaya say, Haynes? You down? Maybe I’m Not There will be a film like The Matrix, in which people keep adding to it.

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One Response to “One More Night”

  1. hmg says:

    soon listen to New Morning, learn a few chords and come on over and play the red K.

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