By Tony Attwood
I guess Bob Dylan likes telephones – wasn’t there a Theme Time Radio Hour on telephones one time?
Anyway, here is a snippet about telephones – it really is no more than that; just a snippet of a song being tried out, with a telephone theme…
If you really know your obscure Dylan songs you might by chance get a quick flashback to Long Distance Operator which has the opening lyrics
Place this call, it’s not for fun
Please, place this call, you know it’s not for fun
I gotta get a message to my baby
You know, she’s not just anyone
This is of course a different song, but to add to the confusion, the lyrics printed on the site that carries the video above have nothing to do with the song – but are in fact from “Long Distance Operator”. Funny how people put stuff up without checking!
Incidentally I have also seen a site with this video on it called “Telephone Line”. And elsehwere it is also known on at least one site as “Las Vegas Blues” but I suspect that was just the site owner trying to think of a name for the extract.
Anyway this snippet was reputedly recorded on 1 May 1970 as part of the George Harrison sessions. And these I think are the actual lyrics…
Wondering, I'm wondering when will my swamp catch on fire Wondering, I'm wondering when will my swamp catch on fire Sitting here looking at that bad old telephone wire Going to Las Vagas going by the evening sun Going to Las Vagas going just as fast as I can run Gonna win some money and give it to my hun
It is, as you can hear, a simple 12 bar blues with the guys just playing the standard three chord format and Dylan making up some lines as he goes along.
I must add a word of thanks to Aaron Galbraith who found this extract, and indeed has just sent me notes on a few more such missing Dylan songs which I hope to get to in the coming days and weeks.
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