Sonntag, 13. Februar 2011

Happy Traum (Email) Interview, 1996

Questions asked and answers received from Happy Traum (HappyT), Feb 22, 1996: 

Dear Happy,
I really liked the opportunity to get your Email address to thank you for an extremely enjoyable concert with you and band at Rudolstadt, Germany, a few years back (1992 or 1993? - time is flying).

I especially liked the Dylanesque version of "Bessie Smith" and my questions to you concern Bob Dylan and I wonder if you could clarify some details as to the following sessions/tapes (any personal recollections that come to mind):

Are Heylin (on p. 85 of his latest book, The Recording Sessions) or Krogsgaard (The Telegraph 53, pp. 116-117) correct about the following songs being recorded during the Sep 24, 1971 session?

  • 5 takes (takes 2-5 complete) of "Only A Hobo"
  • 6 takes (takes 1, 2, 5 & 6 complete) of "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" (Take 6 being the officially released track; one other take in circulation among collectors)
  • 2 takes (both complete) of "Down In The Flood" (Take 2 being the officially released track); Krogsgaard: either take 1 or 2
  • 4 complete takes of "I Shall Be Released" (Take 4 being the officially released track according to Krogsgaard)
Do you recall any other songs being recorded during that session?
Dear Manfred, glad you liked our performances at Rudolstadt. I can't answer all your questions accurately, as there is much I can't remember from so long ago. However, maybe these will help:
  • 5 takes (takes 2-5 complete) of "Only A Hobo"
I only remember two (or maybe three?) complete takes of this, but none of them were very good in our (Bob's and mine) opinion.
  • 6 takes (takes 1, 2, 5 & 6 complete of "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" (Take 6 being the officially released track; one other take in circulation among collectors)
There were only two complete takes of this that I remember, and we used the second one.
  • 2 takes (both complete) of "Down In The Flood" (Take 2 being the officially released track)
Sounds right.
  • 4 complete takes of "I Shall Be Released"
I only remember one take of this. There were no other songs recorded that day.
Do you recall the Broadside session of Jan or Feb 1963, where you recorded "Let Me Die In My Footsteps" with Dylan on guitar/backing vocals? 
Were any other songs recorded by Dylan and yourself during that session?
HAPPY TRAUM: There were no other songs recorded by Bob and I during the Broadside sessions.
The (in)famous "Banjo Tape": Where was that tape recorded?  

In "Stolen Moments", Heylin quotes Stefan Grossman and attributes the tape to Feb 8, 1963, recorded in the basement of "Gerde's Folk City" (which would make this the first of Dylan's "Basement Tapes" :-). 

Krogsgaard attributes this tape to late Jan 1963 and the home of Gil Turner. Which version is true, as far as you recall?
HAPPY TRAUM: At Gil Turner's apartment in the East Village, NYC, not Gerde's Folk City basement.

[NOTE: Taper Peter K. Siegel contradicts Happy Traum rather convincingly}
Who came up with the different songs ("Lonesome River Edge", "Back Door Blues", "You Can Get Her", "Keep Your Hands Off Her", "Honey Babe", "Stealin'" or "Goin' Back To Rome")? What is the "instrumental" (between "Masters..." and "Keep your Hands...")?
HAPPY TRAUM: These are mostly traditional songs that we were just singing at the time. "Keep Your Hands Off Her" and "Stealing" were in the New World Singers' repertoire, and we recorded them later that year for Atlantic.
Were the Dylan "originals" ("Masters Of War", "Bob Dylan's Dream", "Farewell" and "All Over You") already familiar to you (possibly from Broadside sessions or Witmark & Sons demos)?
Is the circulating tape complete to your knowledge?
HAPPY TRAUM: I assume so -- I really have no idea.HTML bearbeiten
Regards, Happy Traum

Bob Dylan/Happy Traum official collaborations can be found on:

Broadside Ballads, Vol. 1  (FW05301)
(track NOT AVAILABLE for digital download).

The Best of Broadside 1962-1988 (SFW 40130)

Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. 2

For a Happy Traum album featuring a Bob Dylan composition ("Buckets of Rain"), please check out the expanded CD/DVD edition of American Stranger (originally released in 1977) available from Happy's Homespun Tapes website.

Happy Traum's 1979 album Bright Morning Stars features Dylan's "I Shall Be Released".

The "Banjo Tape" remains officially unreleased....

Related Post:
The 1963 "Banjo Tape" -- convincingly dated by taper Peter K. Siegel to February 08, 1963

 Any copyrighted items are included here for "nonprofit educational purposes" (one of the criteria of "fair use", Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107) only.

1 Kommentar:

  1. great interview. Happy is one of Americana's hidden treasures and continues to bless us with wonderful music. He is a humble and gifted teacher as well.
    Peter Hyatt