The Holiest Grail: Dylan’s Long-Rumored Secret Archive Surfaces

by Peter Wendel
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BobDylan3It’s like unsealing King Tut’s tomb, but better – that is, if you’re a fan of Bob Dylan.

Long-swirling rumors have proven true that America’s preeminent rock-poet stashed a personal archive of his work dating back to the ’60s – and, according to the New York Times, the contents of that cache promise “untold insight into the songwriter’s work.” More from Ben Sisario of the New York Times:

There have long been rumors that Mr. Dylan had stashed away an extensive archive. It is now revealed that he did keep a private trove of his work, dating back to his earliest days as an artist, including lyrics, correspondence, recordings, films and photographs. That archive of 6,000 pieces has recently been acquired by a group of institutions in Oklahoma for an estimated $15 million to $20 million, and is set to become a resource for academic study.

BloodOnTheTracksDylanTest3 SongMango.comThe crown jewels of Dylan’s private archive are two “Blood on the Tracks” notebooks, which are reportedly unknown to anyone outside Dylan’s most inner circle. Those spiral notebooks contain pages of tiny script offering a glimpses into how Dylan wrote some of his most treasured songs.

According to the Times, “Classics from the 1960s appear in coffee-stained fragments, their author still working out lines that generations of fans would come to know by heart.”

It is in essence the long-sought Holy Grail of Bob Dylan’s song-writing process, and after years of work cataloging and digitizing, the material will take its place in Tulsa, OK, alongside the papers of Woody Guthrie; an extremely rare copy of the Declaration of Independence; and a priceless collection of Native American art.

Read the full article in the New York Times here.

Peter Wendel is a journalist and PR consultant. He's attended hundreds of concerts and festivals, including the Peach Mountain Jam, The All Good and Lockn'. He's ridden legendary Grateful Dead runs from Ventura County Fairgrounds to Irvine Meadows (CA) from the Nassau Coliseum (NY) to the Boston Garden (MA). Peter is a former U.S. Marine who – after running into trouble with every last one of his commanding officers – received an honorable discharge and a direct order never to return. Born in California and raised in New Jersey, Peter lived in Boston and Joshua Tree (CA) before settling in the nation's capital. Find him on tour at PWendel@SongMango.com.

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