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PETER STAMPFEL


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Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1997 21:12:43 -0500
From: Harvey Bojarsky (hbojarsky@compuserve.com)
Subject: Peter Stampfel Interview On Dylan (c. 1970)

I was just listening to an old tape of Peter Stampfel on the Bob Fass radio show on WBAI in NY. The interview is from somewhere around 1970.
Stampfel, of course, is co-founder of the Holy Modal Rounders.

This transcription begins after Fass says Love-Zero/No Limit (while discussing Stampfel and his partner in the Rounders, Steve Weber):

Stampfel:
Dylan's one of the few people that's written straight love songs. They're harder than anything else to write... a real love song and Dylan's written some real love songs. Couldn't have more admiration, man, hard to do.

Fass:
You ever do any Dylan songs?

Stampfel:
I've fooled with a couple... I don't have any worked out but there's a number of them that I'm fooling with, but I can't think of any off hand that I do good enough to just rip right off. There's a lot of his songs I like an awful lot. I sang with him in '61. It was incredible man, we did a couple of things like, uh... I played fiddle behind him and then sing harmony... It was a gas because we've both got the same kind of voices...

Fass:
Where'd you sing?

Stampfel:
The Gaslight. It was incredible. I was working there and Dylan was working there and Jim Kweskin was working there.

Antonia:
He's easy to work with...

Stampfel:
He's very easy to play with, Dylan is, and, uh, we did a couple of things. He did a lot of things with Jim Kweskin which were... it's just a screaming pity that... maybe somebody... somebody must have tapes of him and Kweskin singing together, man. They were doing things like "The Long Black Veil"...

Fass:
I'd love to hear some of those...

Stampfel: ...and like the songs that were... hippie... folk-hippie 1961 tunes like "Long Black Veil" and "San Francisco Bay Blues" when hardly anybody was doing it, and they did like the best of that I've ever heard.... I play kazoo. Wow, it was just mind blowing. Dylan would flatpick and Jim would fingerpick, and they'd play like in... they'd use capos so that they would both play in different configurations so they wouldn't get on each other. They were so gas...

Fass:
Yeah, I heard there was a time when, a very brief time, he and Jack Elliott and Dave Van Ronk sang together...

Stampfel:
Yeah, yeah, I just heard a tape of him and Van Ronk doing the "Car Car" song, it's one of the best things I ever heard in my life. It's a gas. Dave has it. Dave also has the dry run that Dylan made for "Tambourine Man," he just played it on piano and sang, I like it better than the album, I like it better than any piece of music I've ever heard in my life. He does it slower, in gospel time, double beatin' it more. It isn't so 4/4 time, skippy-hoppy....


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