Date of Defense





To hear that a group of stoned musicians is cutting tunes in the basement of a country house would rarely be of interest, except, of course, when that band involves Bob Dylan. In 1967, the singer would record a summer's worth of bizarre material with his backing band The Hawks. "Listen here you bunch of basement noise," he casually crooned to his partners in crime, as if he knew exactly what that summer meant. Holed up away from the media spotlight, these infamous characters would develop a sound rooted in their escapism that hearkened back to the folk music of the 1920's. All of the material that was created there would remain a mystery for decades, and to many it remains as such. Songs about drinking, lost love, loneliness, and faith would be lost to the archives of time, buried under cobwebs of drunken memory, and never garner the formal full release they deserved. It would take decades for obsessive fans to hoard away whatever precious trinkets from these sessions leaked out. Fans and collectors were further fueled by critically acclaimed books such as Greil Marcus's Invisible Republic and Sid Griffin's Million Dollar Bash. The mythology surrounding these musicians would continue into the Internet age, thus creating entire forums and web pages dedicated to the history and material. Both Bob and his basement noise would grow into celebrities as a result of both their solo recordings and music made together. While The Band would crash and burn within a decade, Dylan has managed to reinvent himself many times over and remains one of America's most celebrated artists.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only