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MONTOWESI (?) HOTEL

Branford, CT, site of the Indian Neck Folk Festivals


Dylan as part of the crowd, Indian Neck Folk Festival, 1961 (Stephen Fenerjian).


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HAPPY TRAUM:
The Indian Neck Festival was organized by people from Yale, that's New Haven, halfway between New York and Cambridge... The whole festival almost exclusively consisted of people who performed, hardly any audience, and it was sort of an 'invitation only' festival...

A musicians' festival... Most of us, at that time, were semi-professionals or amateurs... It was held in a big old mansion, possibly a hotel... I think that if you were invited as a performer, you didn't have to pay admission but you weren't paid either -- you were fed and they let you perform...
I met Jim Kweskin there for the first time... And Bob Dylan was there and a guy named Mark Spoelstra, and several others...

Bernhard Hanneken, Happy Traum Interview, 1982, first printed (in German) in "Michel Folkzeitung", No. 32, Mar/Apr 1983; translated by Manfred Helfert.

BOB NEUWIRTH: I met Bob Dylan at the first Indian Neck Folk Festival in May 1961....

I remember running into Dylan because he was the only other guy with a harmonica holder around his neck. I remember standing around the beer barrel, and Kweskin and Robert L. Jones and I were singing some Woody Guthrie song. Bob came up and started playing along with it, and he had another Woody Guthrie song, and it went from then until dark -- obscure Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams songs.

It never came apart after that between Dylan and me. Laughed all day. Laughed so hard. That was when Dylan used to get on stage and talk a lot. He'd do more talking than playing. And he was really great. I told him at Indian Neck that he should really come up to Cambridge.

Eric von Schmidt and Jim Rooney, Baby, Let Me Follow You Down, Garden City, 1979, p. 86.


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