MUSIC
© 2017 Gary Green Productions, Inc.

The Infamously Notorious  Bob Dylan Album

Gary Green's Musical Adventures After Folkways

With the suicide (or murder, according to some) of Gary's friend folksinger Phil Ochs and the death of his mentor, Folkways Records owner Moe Asch, Gary Green left the music world. However before his departure there were several Gary-esque adventures that shaped his music.   While still recording and touring for Folkways Records and acting as associate editor for three issues of Broadside Magazine, Gary also co-produced three albums for Folkways and Broadside (including Phil Ochs Sings For Broadside Volume 2, a compilation of New York street musicians called Streetsounds, and the now-infamous album Bob Dylan vs. A.J. Weberman  

The Infamously Notorious  Bob Dylan Album

With the death of Phil Ochs and the subsequent demise of the I Hear America Singing Topical Music Project, Gary worked with Sis Cunningham and Gordon Friesen to plan a Madison Square Garden fundraising concert to revitalize Broadside Magazine to continue its publication and to fund Sis and Gordon. Gary called on old Broadside friends Pete Seeger, Janis Ian, Bob Dylan, Fred Kirkpatrick, Sammy Walker, Tom Paxton, and others) As  a fundraising prelude to  pay for renting Madison Square Garden (and associated expenses), to help save and revitalize the magzine and its founders, Sis Cunningham and Gordon Friesen. To raise the funds to rent the Garden, Friesen contacted Bob Dylan and obtained permission to release an "interview" album based on recordings of telephone conversations with Dylan from January 6 and January 9, 1971. The men agreed that the interview album would be a great insight for Dylan fans. Despite the taped interview being conducted by Dylan nemesis, Alan Weberman, Bob Dylan told Gordon to go forward with the project as a fundraiser for the magazine. The music superstar turned the project over to his then-assistant Naomi Saltzman and Friesen turned his side of the project over to Gary Green.   Gary took control of the project producing and editing "Broadside, Vol. 12" (Catalog #FB 5322) for Folkways Records. He also wrote the liner notes, and an eight-page booklet inserted into the LP jacket.   Edited from a telephone interview between Bob Dylan and notoriously obsessed “Dylanologist” AJ Weberman, the album was released with Dylan's permission as the fundraiser for Broadside. But the negative publicity for Dylan (at the time he was going through a divorce) was unexpected. The day after Moe Asch released the album, Dylan and his record label (CBS) brought a $636-million lawsuit against Friesen, Folkways, Broadside, Weberman, two record chains and Gary Green. The troublesome album was best described in this excerpt from the Swan Fungus website: Folkways originally pressed the album, but it was very, very quickly taken off the market. I don’t know how many were sold, but the number must be very small considering how much dealers charge for it. We’ve asked between $400-$600 for the copies that have passed through the store. The “interviews” took place a few weeks after a demonstration outside of Dylan’s apartment that was organized by Weberman. Weberman was a self-proclaimed Dylanologist who was just a tiny bit obsessed with the guy. He thought some of Dylan’s songs were written for him. He used to rummage through trash to gather evidence that could support his zany theories. Even after Dylan and his wife started putting dog shit in their garbage, he kept digging. He apparently used a lot of acid, too. Anyway, after this radical demonstration spearheaded by Weberman — the purpose of which was to rally against early ’70s rock musicians for not being political enough anymore — the two had some phone conversations. Weberman taped them, and Dylan found out about halfway through the recording process, and he wasn’t too happy about it. Both guys sound like morons at times. Dylan expresses his dislike for Roger McGuinn, telling Weberman, “Fuck him” multiple times. He calls Creedence Clearwater Revival “faggot shit,” and dares Weberman to name a better songwriter than him. John Lennon? “Never”. Whether it was the timing of the release (Dylan's divorce came about around the same time and during the interview he said some pretty bad things about his then-wife) or second thoughts about the rant against other performers, or the on-going feud between Dylan and Weberman ... whatever the reason, despite the verbal "okay" that the star gave Broadside's Gordon Friesen, the lawsuit was filed. One of the contentions of the suit was that Green's liner notes were offensive and implied that Dylan was schizophrenic, split between the "star", a poet, and a man. The suit also claimed that the list of album tracks implied that the recording was of performances (songs) rather than interviews. Below is the original one-paragraph liner note that Gary wrote. Producer's Note: Several people have asked "Why would you want to release an album like this?" The important thing to realize is that beyond the "star" syndrome that has been cast around Bob Dylan, is the fact that Dylan is one of the major poets of our historical time period. This is a record which will give a rare insight into the workings of Dylan the man, rather than Dylan the "star." This is a historical album. --Gary Green Tracks on the Album: Bob Dylan Vs A.J. Weberman: A Phone Interview 3:53 Part One 3:31 Part Two 15:29 Part Three 2:39 Phone Conversation With Naomi (Dylan's Secretary) 0:21 Part Four 9:37 Father Bruce written & performed by Grace Slick 3:03 Part Five 3:43 A.J. Weberman written and performed by David Peel 4:13 With the Broadside fundraiser on the rocks,  and  the I Hear America Singing topical music project gone, Gary felt that he had failed in New York. His close friend and mentor Phil Ochs had been at the helm of the board of I Hear American Singing (with Gary as Executive Director) and Gary and Gordon and jointly plotted the Dylan album as the savior of Broadside. Phil Ochs had been found dead, hanging from a light fixture in his sister Sonny's Far Rockaway New York home. Ruled a suicide, the death created a cult mystery and Friesen always maintained that Ochs was murdered in a follow-up on an attack in Afghanistan that had crushed his vocal chords two years earlier. Friesen conspiratorially maintained that it was a CIA attempt to silence the grammy-award winning protest singer much the way they had silenced Ochs' friend and counterpart during the Chilean coup, Victor Jara.   Devistated by the death of his dear friend Phil s, and now with the burden of the Dylan lawsuit, Gary Green left New York  to return to the South as a newspaper journalist and only an occasional musical gig until the 1980s. He felt he had failed Broadside. To settle the lawsuit out of court, Moe Asch agreed to pull the record from circulation and destroy the master tape. A few days later, Asch Fedexed the 12-inch master tape to Gary Green, who (as of 2017) still had it. Meanwhile, thousands of bootleg pressings of the lp, internet downloads, and even a feature film about the interviews have surfaced over the years. Dylan and Green made peace in the 1970’s after Gary filed a much-publicized counter suit against Dylan and without the benefit of lawyers the two men settled. Weberman and Green never met, though they had several somewhat heated phone conversations. Four years later, in 1981, Moe Asch asked Gary to return to Folkways and record a third album, which they decided to title “Gary Green: Still At Large”. In 2005 Dylan and Gary Green met again in Oklahoma City where Dylan was on tour with WIllie Nelson, another friend of Gary’s. They met backstage, were cordial, and never mentioned the album nor the lawsuit.