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The day Bob Dylan gave Post Malone lyrics to record, but things ‘got weird’

A collaboration between the legendary songwriter and the streaming-era pop star seemed to be paying off. So how did it fail?

A few years ago, the producer Michael Cash had an idea that he thought could be great. cash lives in Woodstock, New York, a city rich in the history of bob dylan. At the beginning of the pandemic, he started thinking about a relatively obscure project related to dylan mid-2010s: Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapesin which artists like elvis costello, Marcus Mumford It is Rhiannon Giddens recorded songs based on newly discovered lyrics by dylan.

cashwhose background is primarily hip-hop, was friends with the album’s producer, T-Bone Burnett, and thought he could take the concept even further. He envisioned an album of songs by dylan recorded by artists such as Kendrick Lamar, J Cole It is post malone. “So I told T-Bone“, remember cash. “‘Would you mind if I played the MP3s from The Attic or something like this? I want to f*** this whole archetype.’ And he said, ‘Run with it.’”

cash reached out to the longtime representative of dylan, Jeff Rosenand presented the idea of post malone record a song from dylan. malone is known to be a big fan of dylan — he even claimed to have had some friendly chats with the veteran artist — and boasts huge streaming numbers, a fact that, says cashdrew the attention of Rosen. cash says he sent the Rosen a photo of the tattoo dylan on the left biceps of maloneas well as a link to the pre-fame cover of malone in “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” in dylan.

After several weeks, cash received good news. “It was about two o’clock in the morning,” he says. “jeff text me: ‘Bob is going to write something for you. He has something in mind that he wants to create specifically for that.’” (A source close to the group of dylan says dylan I already had the lyrics out there.)

cash remember the date – November 18, 2020 – when Rosen sent the lyrics to a song called “Be Not Deceived”. “I was talking about the loss of innocence,” says cashsumming up the words of dylan. “And what people are going through – masses of disenfranchised children with no leadership, no parents, guardians, pastors or anything. She talked about leaving and going her own way. And when you read it, honestly, it’s poetry. It’s beautiful.”

After Rosen sent the lyrics of “Be Not Deceived”, cash connected with malone by phone. “I read [as letras] for him,” he says. “post I was literally in tears.”

start at big pinkthe famous Saugerties, New York, home where dylan and the band recorded The Basement Tapeshead east on route 212 and cross the river Hudson. Drive a few more kilometers and turn onto a quiet country road and you will find Michael Cash. Built in a former barn and set on 10 acres, it is a large, bright space with five pianos, a moogone roland and a bass Hofneramong other equipment.

“This is like an amazing bed and breakfast for rock stars,” he says. cash. “You can come, you can lock up the house, you can go for a walk, you can get lost and not see anyone. At the same time, you can come into the studio whenever you want – just tell the engineer, like, ‘execute‘.

cash took a winding path to get there. he grew up in Yonkersnorth of New York City, and spent much of his youth working on hip-hop projects, with stints on well-known rap labels SRC It is Loud Records. he collaborated with DJ Whoo Kid, who produced and performed mixtapes for 50 Cent It is GUnit, between others. “I was working with [Whoo Kid] on your mixtapes wall before 50 Cent get shot,” he recalls. cash. “I was responsible for so many songs that I am unknown to.”

Fascinated by the history and aura of woodstock, he moved there in 2014. “I would do this whole hip-hop thing, and eventually you start listening to other music,” he recalls. “Music in the Hudson Valley is my thing because there’s a scene there, man. There are a lot of great musicians who live there.”

Some years later, cash worked with Burnett on an unfinished project called The Covenantwhich brought together artists such as Black Thought of the Roots, elvis costello, Nathaniel Rateliff, Cassandra Wilson, DJ Premier and others in the studio of cash at Woodstock. This stagnated during the pandemic, but generated the idea of ​​collaborations of dylan.

In March 2021, malone visited the studio of cash for record “Be Not Deceived”. According to cash, malone brought his mother, girlfriend, and a film crew; he also rented a place nearby – a “palatial palace”, as he puts it cash. The producer claims that malone spent part of his time “chasing ghosts”. “No, really,” he says. cash. “He was like, ‘Hey, man, I’m chasing ghosts. There are ghosts.’”

According to cash, malone believed that the famous recluse dylan would attend the sessions. “They say, ‘Yes, we heard that bob would be there,'” says cash. “Yeah, right, hey… Salman Rushdie will be there with Edward Snowden?” (Through a representative, malone declined to comment for this article.)

Even so, it says cash, the sessions were fruitful: “We had a lot of fun. AND post he’s a really nice kid, man.” cash, malone and a team that cash says to include the producer of malone, Louis Bellcreated a version of the track.

By the estimate of cashthey completed about 40% before malone leave. “We finished the stencil, he put in some color, but he’s definitely not finished,” he says. cash. “I needed talent. She needed more layers. It wasn’t a full piece of music, but it was definitely a song. It had a beginning, middle and end. There was a bridge, there was a choir. It just needed to be completed.”

It still isn’t. “[Rosen] heard the music cash. “He liked it, and then everybody came out of the studio and it was…look, all I can say is it stopped being something to be excited about and turned into a circular figure-eight pattern. No one had an answer.”

Despite your best efforts, cash had trouble doing malone finish the track. “I was like, ‘Dude, he’s going to finish this track. bob dylan he wrote.’ I am wrong. I’m an idiot. This thing was just never going to come off.”

Eventually, the team dylan got tired of waiting. As you remember cash: “Rosen told me at one point, ‘Well, let’s just take the lyrics out’.”

bob and the Mr Rosen do things in a specific way”, explains cash. “They do things one minute in New York, and then it started to become… Honestly, they just said, ‘This should be over.’

So what happened? malone not saying, and cash doesn’t go into specifics, but says how “it seems like nobody really managed expectations and it seems like nobody communicated. A really cool song was made and then it got weird. It got really weird.

cash has been busy with other projects, including curating music as part of a collaboration between dodge It is Motor Trend. He is working with the widow of Hunter S. ThompsonAnita, to manage the writer’s legacy, and with the famous illustrator of Thompson, Ralph Steadmanwhose art cash was co-curator of a recent exhibition.

He envisioned an entire album of collaborations from dylanwith even more big-name artists noting “bob love drake”. He hasn’t even finished a track, but he’s philosophical about the experience. “This is like a fever dream, man,” says cash. “[É como] we all die in the pandemic. This is not real. Because it all started, honestly, sitting down and saying something, and it was a good idea, but it just didn’t end up being one of those ideas that actually… is disappointing too, right?

cash still waiting to completeBe Not Deceived” someday. “My hope is that the mr dylan and the Mr Rosen give back the right to use the lyrics,” he says. “I would like the record to be finished. That’s basically my final thought from Jerry Springer. So maybe it felt weird, but these are two really important musicians that I feel worked on and need to be shared.”

*Text originally published on the Rolling Stone USA website

Source: Rollingstone

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