Bob Dylan for Sale

A local auction house gets its hands on a differet sort of basement tapes

Then he asked to interview Kangas for the documentary he was working on--Rosen actually did most of the shooting for No Direction Home, which Scorsese was hired to essentially edit in 2003 and '04--and made a deal to use the tape. Kangas got the entire Dylan back catalog on CD, some upfront money paid against advance sales of the soundtrack and a brand-new Fender Stratocaster. He had asked for a guitar used and signed by his old pal, but Rosen told him that wasn't gonna happen. (When reached via e-mail for his account of what happened, Rosen wrote only, "I prefer not to comment. Sorry.")

Kangas had hoped to come to Dallas for the auction next month, but a recent ankle surgery will keep him on the sidelines; besides, he has no job to pay for a trip like this at the moment. Which, no doubt, is why he's choosing to sell the tape at this late date. The investment is due to pay off at long last.

"George [Gimarc] made me a CD, so I have a copy of the songs," Kangas says. "A lot of it's garbage. We would play our guitars and open our mouths, and garbage came out. A couple of years after we made the tape, I was mature enough to try to sell my songs. I moved to New York and Nashville but never made a living. During that time Bob was starting to formulate as a songwriter. He matured earlier than I did and turned out to be a pretty good songwriter. But, yeah, I wanna sell it now. I will leave that in the expert hands of Doug and Garry. I think it'll do quite well. But it's a card game now, and the hand has not been dealt."

Ric Kangas, using the same instruments and equipment on which he made the Dylan tape in 1959
Ric Kangas, using the same instruments and equipment on which he made the Dylan tape in 1959
Kangas is also selling his Hematite yearbook featuring Robert Zimmerman.
Kangas is also selling his Hematite yearbook featuring Robert Zimmerman.

Kangas pauses for a moment. "Hey," he says. "That sounds like a Bob Dylan song, doesn't it?"

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