Published On: Wed, Jul 23rd, 2014

Dylan Recording Session Discs Discovered in 124 W. Houston Studio


Most of them had labels with Bob Dylan’s name, the address of Columbia Records, and a song title.

bob dylan getty images

It’s what I love most about my work as a music historian, collector and dealer, wrote Jeff Gold in his blog, recordMecca.com. “Nothing matches the rush of discovering something previously unknown and historically significant, which adds to the collective understanding of a great musical artist.”

Three months ago, Gold made what he calls “one of the great finds in a lifetime of looking.” – an astonishing collection of 149 unknown Bob Dylan acetate records, meaning these were discs Dylan himself was using during the making of the albums “Nashville Skyline, ” “Self Portrait, ” and “New Morning.”

Jeff Gold used to be Executive Vice President/General Manager of Warner Bros. Records, where he worked with Prince, REM, Madonna and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and oversaw the Jimi Hendrix catalog.

Rolling Stone claims Jeff Gold is one of five “top collectors of high-end music memorabilia.” Gold travels around the world in search of the finest music collectibles.

His book “101 Essential Rock Records: The Golden Age of Vinyl, From The Beatles to the Sex Pistols” (Ginkgo Press) was one of eight books selected in 2012 by Rolling Stone as “The year’s best reading material.”

His Dylan discovery started with a referral from a friend, whose sister had died and left him a building at 124 W. Houston Street, the southern border of Greenwich Village. Rummaging through his sister’s stuff, Gold’s friend discovered two boxes labeled “Old Records” in a closet. The boxes were filled with 10″ and 12″ acetates—a gramophone record they used in the 1930s through the late 1950s the way we tape content today.

The friend had never seen an acetate before, reports Gold, he recognized they were records, but didn’t really know what they were.

Most of them had labels with Bob Dylan’s name, the address of Columbia Records, and a song title.

124 W. Houston Street

Dylan, who was living two blocks away, at 94 McDougal Street at the time, rented the ground floor of the friend’s building in the late 60′s and early 70′s as a studio space, and Gold’s friend figured Dylan had either left the boxes when he moved out, or thrown them away and his sister rescued them from the trash.

“Those records had been sitting, boxed up in the closet, for more than forty years, ” Gold writes excitedly.

“After some discussion, I flew to New York to inspect and hopefully buy the collection, ” he relates. “The executor didn’t have an inventory and wasn’t even sure that all the acetates were by Dylan, but I’m a fanatic Dylan collector and love rare records, so I made the trip.

“When I opened the boxes and took a quick look at the contents, I was blown away. They were indeed all by Dylan, all were in excellent condition, and many had handwritten notes on the sleeves”

“These acetates were for the most part cut in Nashville and sent by Johnston to Dylan in New York for his comments and approval, ” Gold explains. “This kind of collection is very unusual; usually an artist and producer would make decisions about takes, mixes and overdubs while together in the studio. But Dylan was living in New York and Johnston headquartered in Nashville–so acetates were a simple way for Dylan to monitor what Johnston was doing.”

To check out Jeff Gold’s story, and possibly inquire about purchasing some of the Dylan discs, go to: “A Major Discovery — 149 Unknown Bob Dylan Acetates From His NYC Studio.”

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