Hard Travelin’ Too – The Dylan Connection 

Tight connection to my ‘Art?

So Andy never won a Nobel prize & Dylan never slept in the back of the Sweeney van with Johnny Moynihan, there are so many differences…..But apart from a deep love of folk music are there any other connections these two great men share?

Dylan On Planxty

Bono: Have you heard of an Irish group that are working now in this middle ground between traditional and contemporary music called Clannad? Clannad is Gaelic for family, and they’ve made some very powerful pieces of music, including a song called Theme From Harry’s Game, it’s from a film, and it knocked over everyone in Europe. It didn’t get played in the US. It’s just vocal and they used some low bass frequencies in it as well – it’s just beautiful. They’re a family, they come from Donegal, and have worked from that same base of traditional music.

Dylan: There’s a group you have here, what’s it called, Plankston?

Bono: Planxty.

Dylan: They’re great!

Bono: Another rock’n’roll band!

Dylan: Yeah, but when I think of what’s happening – I think they’re great.

Bono: There’s another group called De Dannan. The name De Dannan has something to do with with the lost tribes of Dan. You heard of the disappearing tribe of Dan? They say they came from Ireland.

Dylan: Yeah, I’ve heard that, I’ve heard that.

Bono: I’m not a musicologist or expert in this area, but it would appear that this is true. Also, you know they say the Irish musical scale has no roots in Europe whatsoever, rather it comes from Africa and India. The Cartesian people, the Egyptian people, what gave them supremacy in the Middle East was the sail they developed. I forget what they call it, I forget the name of the sail, but this sail allowed them to become successful sea farers and traders and they dominated as a result of their reading, and that same sail which was used on those boats, is used on the West of Ireland.

Dylan: Is that right?

Bono: Bob Quinn made a film called Atlanteans in which this theory was elaborated. He suggests that the book of Kells, which is a manuscript, part of it has it’s roots in Coptic script, not in Europe. It’s not a European thing at all – it’s linked from Africa, Spain, Brittany and Ireland, because that was a sea route. I’m not an expert. I shouldn’t be talking about it really. But it’s of interest when you think of it.

Dylan: Sure it is.

Bono: I might be able to send you over some tapes of that actually.

Dylan: I’d like to have them. You know Planxty? I also like Paul Brady a lot.

THE BONO VOX INTERVIEW – Hotpress – JULY 8, 1984.

(What was it you wanted? #6)

Bono Interview Conducted at Slane Castle, Ireland, prior to Dylan’s show.

Source: http://expectingrain.com/dok/who/p/planxty.html

Andy Plays Dylan

Tribute to Woody (Song To Woody) – Prosperous (1972) – Christy Moore

Christy Moore recorded “Song To Woody” on a “solo” album called Prosperous. This album is widely regarded as the start of Planxty, as the ensemble of musicians assembled for this album eventually formed Planxty. Andy plays mandolin & harmonica on the album.

My Back Pages – Parallel Lines (1982) – Andy Irvine & Dick Gaughan

In 1982 Andy Irvine released an album with Scottish Folk singer Dick Gaughan, one of the songs Dick chose to record was Dylan’s “My Back Pages” from 1964’s Another Side Of Bob Dylan LP.

I Pity The Poor Immigrant – Words & Music (1983) – Planxty

In 1983 Planxty recorded the album “Words & Music” featuring “I Pity The Poor Immigrant” from Dylan’s 1967 John Wesley Harding LP. Featuring Christy Moore on vocals.

Let Me Die In My Footsteps – Summers Lonesome Tale (2007) – Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton

Andy’s Australian mates Kate & Ruth recorded Dylan classic “Let Me Die In My Footsteps” from Dylan’s “The Bootleg Series, Vol 1-3”. Their arrangement featured guest appearance from Andy Irvine on mandolin.


Dylan Plays Andy

Arthur McBride – Good As I Been To You (1992)

Dylan recorded his version of this classic Solo Acoustic in 1992. Ok, so the source of Dylan’s recording is from Paul Brady solo version on the “Andy Irvine / Paul Brady” 1976 album rather than Andy’s Planxty version, which Andy doesn’t actually play on, but the connection is there nonetheless.

Mary & The Solider – The Bootleg Series Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs – Bob Dylan

Outtake from “Good As I Been To You” sessions 1992. Dylan’s source is the “Andy Irvine / Paul Brady” 1976 album.


Lest We Forget Woody!

Not to forget the obvious Woody Guthrie connection Dylan & Andy share! Both men are lifelong Woody Guthrie fans and have been compared to Woody numerous times & regarded as the rightful carrier(s) of Guthrie’s torch.

Guthrie is an enduring influence on Andy’s music, on his choice of instruments (mandolin and harmonica) and general outlook on life.

Both play harmonica like Woody with Andy going the extra mile of learning it upside down just like his hero. Both as young men impersonated Woody’s voice & at times insisted on being called Woody such was their level of devotion/obsession!

Dylan & Irvine both conversed with Woody Guthrie in his later years. Irvine wrote letters to Guthrie, while Dylan with a geographical advantage visited Woody in person.



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