Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nick at Big Pink

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Here's a photo of Nick Regine at Big Pink, the legendary house in West Saugerties, New York, near Woodstock, where the Band lived and recorded the Basement Tapes.

Music from Big Pink is also the name of their first album, and features a photo of the house on the cover, with a painting by Bob Dylan on the back.

Music from Big Pink is said to be one of the most revolutionary music albums of all time, and helped develop the legend of Bob Dylan, the Band and Woodstock, years before the festival.

The original Basement Tapes were a two record 33 1/3 LP of plain white cover, like the Beatle's White Album, but there was no cover art or even liner notes.

The sound was pretty grainy too, but you could make out the sound of the Band and Dylan's distinct voice, and unlike the officially released version of the Basement Tapes, there was a lot of laughing and joking around between songs, parts exxed out of the version released by the label.

I remember one of the stories Dylan told between songs was the story of the Checkmate Coffee House of East Orange New Jersey.

Now I think Dylan went to East Orange in the first place, to see Woody Gunthrie, who was in the hospital there, and the story goes that, "I went into the Checkmate Coffee House of East Orange New Jersey and ordered a cup of coffee and paid him with a rook, and I got two pawns for change.

Stupid stuff like that, which made the original Basement Tapes sound real, like you were right there with them, passing around a bottle of wine and a joint.

Some of the songs from the original Basement Tapes were early versions of songs that were included on other albums, like "This Wheels On Fire," "Long Black Veil," and "I Shall Be Released."

As can be seen in Nick's pix, they kept the pink color, and I understand that a hip dude actually bought the place and has maintained it, so maybe it can even be included on the Rock & Roll Historic Trail.