Ask me anything... within reason
“Dear Mrs. Roosevelt,” Bob Dylan and The Crackers (The Band), Jan. 20, 1968 at the memorial concert for Woody Guthrie (Dylan’s first public appearance after his Aug. 1966 motorcycle accident).
Written (though never recorded) by Guthrie shortly after FDR died in office on April 12, 1945 while having his portrait painted.
He took office on a crippled leg, and he said to one and all
“You money changin’ racket boys sure ‘nuff got to fall”
“Hobo’s Lullaby,” Arlo Guthrie after Woody Guthrie.
And if you are in New York City tomorrow night, Sunday July 15 and think you have something better to do than attend the FREE Guthrie Family Reunion concert in Central Park at 7pm with Arlo Guthrie and other family members celebrating Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday, all I can say is “look at your life, look at your choices”!
Bob Dylan, “Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie,” poem (April 12, 1963, Town Hall)
…And where do you look for this hope that yer seekin’
Where do you look for this lamp that’s a-burnin’
Where do you look for this oil well gushin’
Where do you look for this candle that’s glowin’
Where do you look for this hope that you know is there
And out there somewhere
And your feet can only walk down two kinds of roads
Your eyes can only look through two kinds of windows
Your nose can only smell two kinds of hallways
You can touch and twist
And turn two kinds of doorknobs
You can either go to the church of your choice
Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital
You’ll find God in the church of your choice
You’ll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital
And though it’s only my opinion
I may be right or wrong
You’ll find them both
In the Grand Canyon
Bob Dylan recorded “Song To Woody” on his first album in 1962. He had been visiting the ailing songwriter, whose mind was being eaten by Huntington’s disease, playing Guthrie’s songs for him like a juke box in the hospital.
Thirty-eight years later, on his Never Ending Tour, Dylan recorded and released this rare live version, made more fantastic by the crowd response. (Got to love the guy who shouts “Leadbelly!!”)
The clumsy but poetic lead guitar on the instrumental verses is Bob, of course. The song uses the tune to Guthrie’s “1913 Massacre,” covered by Arlo Guthrie.
“Oklahoma Hills,” Jack Guthrie, who had a No. 1 hit in 1945 with his rewritten Western Swing version of this song by his cousin Woody.
Woody Guthrie plays for subway riders at the 59th Street station in 1943, back when the MTA knew how to book top talent, via Life.