Sunday, November 1, 2020

The Bob Dylan Archives of Tony Glover to be Up for Auction Beginning November 12

The Minnesota music scene has produced some sensational talent through the years. Rock, folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass and even gospel music circles have developed exceptional performers and recording artists. One of these was David Curtis Glover, better known as Tony "Little Sun" Glover. A harmonica player with the folk group Koerner, Ray and Glover (inducted into the MN Music Academy Hall of Fame in 1983) he was also a notable rock critic who wrote for many of the best-known music mags including Crawdaddy, Sing Out, Creem and Rolling Stone.

When young Bobby Zimmerman left Hibbing to "attend" college in the Twin Cities, Tony Glover's friendship there in the Dinkytown music scene made an impression on the kid from the North Country, so much so that Dylan dedicated a prose poem to Glover at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival, calling Glover "a best friend in the highest form." 40 years later Dylan made note of Glover's importance in his life by referencing him in Chronicles: Volume One‘I couldn’t play like Glover or anything and I didn’t try to. I played mostly like Woody Guthrie and that was about it. Glover’s playing was well known and talked about around town, but nobody commented on mine.’ 

All this to say that the late Tony Glover (1939-2019) had a real connection to Dylan, as can be seen in the kind of material that is going up for auction on November 12 at the RR Auction House in Boston.

Rolling Stone, on October 21, published a story about Tony Glover and this collection to be auctioned off. The article is designed to whet the appetites of collectors while simultaneously giving Dylan fans a glimpse of still another side of Bob Dylan. The article, by Douglas Brinkley, begins like this:

On March 18th, 1971, Bob Dylan sat down in his Manhattan office, put his feet up on a table, strummed a guitar, and opened up like he rarely, if ever, had before. He was talking to his old friend Tony Glover, the first of four interviews they conducted that year. At various moments Dylan reacts to being booed at Newport in 1965 (“It was a strange night”), recalls writing “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (“story of a mad kid”), remarks on his craft (“My work is a moving thing”), and dismisses his honorary doctorate from Princeton (“a strange type of degree — you can’t really use it for anything”). Feeling unfairly dissected by dimwitted critics who milked his lyrics for autobiographical information, he fired back. “Do you think Johnny Cash shot a man in Reno?”

The actual title of this auction is Marvels of Modern Music. 169 of the items fall under the sub-category Tony Glover Archives. Posters, original photos, hand written and typed/autographed documents, and reel-to-reel tape recordings of interviews and various other valuables. 

It was especially fun to see all these Scotch reel-to-reel tapes because I had an old Estey tape recorder that my father went to Manhattan to buy for me on my 12th birthday. He saw an ad in Pop Mechanics and driving into the City after supper we managed to locate this little electronics store. I recorded all kinds of music on these 7-inch reels and forty years later made a CD of the mid-60s hits I'd recorded from the radio. All this to say that seeing Glover's tapes brought back warm memories. 

Tony Glover's tapes have more value than mine, obviously. He has recorded interviews with Dylan and other contemporaries, including a Jimi Hendrix concert and aftermath. But for most collectors it's my understanding that original documents have the greater value.

Glover's interests and connections were vast, so the collection offers a nice cross-section of what was happening in the 60s music scene. Rolling Stones memorabilia, Allman Brothers, the Doors (whom he shared the stage with at one time), Bowie, Robbie Robertson, and so on. 

The 12th is when they open things up for bidding; November 19 is the culmination. 

Most of what we see her is affordably priced, unless you get into a bidding war with someone who's "gotta have it." We're not talking about the original lyrics to Like A Rolling Stone, for example, which went for a cool two million.

To give you an idea, here are some examples.
1998 Western Union telegram from Bob to Tony Glover. Starting bid: $200
21 original photos of The Doors by Mike Barich. Starting bid: $200.

I would share more examples, but then I'd be drawing attention to them and collectors like Bill Pagel would prefer to have less competition. I have my eye on something, too, so let's do some misdirection at this point. 

OK, here's the description for one more: Desirable 1/4-inch reel-to-reel tape marked on the box, "Hendrix Interview + Concert / Noel Redding Int. - Nov. 2, 1968," containing audio of Tony Glover's backstage interview with Hendrix plus a recording of the concert at the Minneapolis Auditorium on November 2, 1968. Includes Glover's five-page transcript of the interview, in which he and Hendrix discuss audiences in America and Europe ("They're the same, once you get into it"), the production of Electric Ladyland.  $400-$600 

I may have to hawk my silver dimes from my childhood paper route days. 

For sure it's a veritable stew of memories here. Post cards from Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone archives, a letter to Tony from Donovan, letters from Joan Baez, a Jimmy Reed 45... There's even one lot of 20 Marlon Brando photos and booklets that someone is sure to snatch.

* * * 

The recent article in Rolling Stone focuses on Dylan's "lost letters" among other things. You can rummage through the listing here, though, simply for the personal nostalgic value, as you lift the lid and peer into your past.

HERE's the link:

And finally, Tony Glover's Obit from the NY Times last year. 

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