Tom Constanten

Tom Constanten

Woodstock alum
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Happy birthday
March 19, 1944
(above: Tom playing “Mountains of the Moon” at Wofford College on Jan 13, 2009)
Tom Constanten
On Wednesday, August 29, 2012, former Grateful Dead keyboardist, composer and piano instructor Tom Constanten told stories from his long career and performed as part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Hall of Fame Series.

Tom Constanten

                   According to the Grateful Dead site, "Phil Lesh was standing in line at Cal Berkeley's music department in 1961 when he overheard a young man, Tom Constanten by name, remark that Music stopped being created in 1750 and began again in 1950. They shook hands, and became friends for life. Shortly after, T.C. persuaded Phil to apply for a special class in electronic composition at Mills College with Luciano Berio, which would become one of the touchstones of Lesh's life. As the Grateful Dead emerged and began to create, Phil returned the favor to T.C., who became the Dead's advisor/keyboard creative spirit, altering normal piano sounds by inserting combs, Dutch dimes, and a gyroscope into the body of the keyboard, as they recorded the masterpiece avant garde albums Anthem of the Sun and Aoxomoxoa. He joined the touring band in November 1968, and amicably departed in January 1970, feeling that he was underamplified ... and in so doing avoided the curse of the Dead keyboard seat."
 
                   Curse of the Dead keyboard seat?  Four of the Grateful Dead’s keyboardists – Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Keith Godchaux, Brent Mydland and Vince Welnick – died prematurely.
                   From the All Music site: "After the Dead, Constanten  spent the '70s, '80s, and '90s mostly in the Bay Area, creating odd compositions, teaching piano, and playing shows around the periphery of the Dead scene. He composed for the theater with some success, including the off-Broadway play Tarot... ultimately winning a silver medal in the New York Critics' Circle Poll. In 1986, he was an artist in residence at Harvard University. 
                   He tours and has released five albums: Nightfull of Diamonds (1992), Morning Dew (1993), Grateful Dreams (2000), 88 Keys to Tomorrow (2002), and Moved to Stanleyville (2006).

Tom Constanten, Tom Constanten, Tom Constanten, Tom Constanten

Please follow and like us:

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Happy Anniversary to the album
Released on March 19, 1962
“You’re No Good” (Jesse Fuller) 

Dylan awaits

Bob Dylan had arrived in New York City in January 1961. He had visited Woody Guthrie. He'd played his first solo gig when he opened for John Lee Hooker in April.
He played harmonica on a Harry Belafonte recording and received his first money for as a recorded musician.
He met Suze Rotolos. Albert Grossman became his manager.
On September 29, 1961, Robert Shelton of the New York Times wrote of Dylan that he was, “A bright new face in folk music... Although only 20 years old, Bob Dylan is one of the most distinctive stylists to play in a Manhattan cabaret in months.” [click for >>> NYT article]
He'd played Carnegie Chapter Hall.
And then he recorded his first album: Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan
album cover
And in it's first year it sold 5,000 copies.
Here is it's track list and notice how few song this supreme song writer wrote for this album:
Side one               

  1. “You’re No Good”  (Jesse Fuller)
  2. “Talkin’ New York”
  3. “In My Time of Dyin'”  arr. Dylan
  4. “Man of Constant Sorrow”  arr. Dylan
  5. “Fixin’ to Die”  (Bukka White)
  6. “Pretty Peggy-O” arr. Dylan
  7. “Highway 51” (Curtis Jones)
Side two               

  1. “Gospel Plow”  arr. Dylan
  2. “Baby, Let Me Follow You Down”  arr. Eric von Schmidt
  3. “House of the Risin’ Sun”  arr. Dave Van Ronk
  4. “Freight Train Blues”  (Roy Acuff)
  5. “Song to Woody”
  6.  “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean”  (Blind Lemon Jefferson)
That number would be two: Talkin' New York and Song to Woody.
The All Music site sums it up well: Bob Dylan's first album is a lot like the debut albums by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones -- a sterling effort, outclassing most, if not all, of what came before it in the genre, but similarly eclipsed by the artist's own subsequent efforts. (>>> All Music review)
Please follow and like us: