Bob Dylan – 4 Dylan Owned, Alternate “Self Portrait” Acetates With Dylan’s Handwritten Notations (Dylan titles “Wigwam” For The First Time)

Four 12” acetates of an unreleased version of Bob Dylan’s album Self Portrait, previously owned by Dylan and used by him during the making of that 1970 album.  Two of the sleeves have Dylan’s handwritten notations, in one case a particularly important note.

These four single-sided discs were made for Dylan by the album’s producer, Bob Johnston.  After the Nashville sessions for Self Portrait, Dylan returned to his home in New York.   Johnston remained in Nashville and would periodically send Dylan work-in-progress acetates of the recordings they’d made.  Dylan would listen and phone in changes to Johnston, who would make Dylan new acetates reflecting his wishes.  Dylan used these particular discs while working on the final sequence of the album.  They feature the released versions of the songs, but are sequenced in a different order than on the final album (see below).

Above the hole on the Disc 3 sleeve Dylan has written two telephone numbers, with a small doodle.  On the Disc 4 sleeve, Dylan has written the song title “Wigwam” in a circle.  This is particularly important, because the acetate label lists the third track only as “New Song #1”.  Writing “Wigwam” on the sleeve, Dylan is here almost certainly marking the moment when he decided to title “New Song #1” as “Wigwam.” (A few other songs have preliminary titles on the labels and sleeves in an unknown hand).

These acetates were part of a collection of Dylan acetates discovered in 2014 in a five story brownstone at 124 West Houston Street in Greenwich Village.  From approximately 1969 through 1972, Dylan rented the ground  floor of the building for use as a studio (at the time, he lived two blocks away at 94 McDougal St.)  When the owner of the building died in January 2014, her executor found the acetates in two boxes labeled “Old Records,” in a a loft closet above the bedroom (read the complete story and see more photos on the Recordmecca blog.)

The Houston St. Studios acetates originally belonged to Bob Dylan, who either discarded them or left them when he moved out of the building in the early 1970’s. For more than 40 years, they were carefully stored by the building’s owner, and only discovered by chance by before the building was put up for sale earlier this  year.  Each disc is in EX condition; disc 4 has a small chip to the extreme edge, where the acetate has flaked off exposing the metal surface before the run in grooves.  It plays perfectly with just a few light clicks at the very beginning.  The original sleeves have the expected minor chips and tears, but are in very good condition.

Included is a letter of authenticity and lifetime guarantee from Recordmecca’s Jeff Gold, an internationally recognized Dylan authority and expert in Dylan handwriting.  In 2015/2016 Gold appraised The Bob Dylan Archive for Dylan’s management. Also included is a copy of a letter of authenticity from the estate’s executor detailing how he discovered the acetates.

A set of museum quality Dylan artifacts, formerly owned by Dylan himself. (Inventory #67-70)

Disc 1: Alberta/I’ve Forgotten More/Days of 49/Early Morning Rain/Take a Message to Mary/It Hurts Me To

Disc 2: Gotta Travel On/Blue Moon/The Boxer/The Mighty Quinn/Take Me As I Am/Copper Kettle

Disc 3: Let It Be Me/Ball & Stripes (In Search of Little Sadie)/Boogie Woogie Boogie (Woogie Boogie)/Living the Blues/Bell Isle/Like a Rolling Stone

Disc 4: Minstrel Boy/She Belongs to Me/New Song#1 (Wigwam)/Alberta/All the Tired Horses

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