Rare ALS, one page, 8.5 x 11, postmarked July 26, 1975. Letter to musician Debbie Green Andersen, in full: "I don't think I meet you before the other night but somehow I feel like I know you and don't know why huh. Anyway my ears hear you say the magic name and I respond like the fireworks in my head goes off. Sure it's only natural. We come down a long road together and now I don't like to see it going to the dogs or the bullshit pattern in which those vehicles can usually go. That's my trip tho and I am not about to hear about it from out of the 'BLUE' [Dylan creatively writes "out of" in blue ink]—Of course this man is dear to me and nothing can cause this relationship to go asunder? Us under—I just go off like a time bomb when anybody talks to me or gives me messages about that side of things. There's so much there. I'm sure you understand. You understand. Anyway, it was nice seeing you for a few brief moments. There seems to be a few of us left. This letter is not I hope incoherent so that you don't sense I'm trying to communicate something. Usually I write songs and put it all there so I don't write too many letters. Are you still in New York? I am. If you are, I am making a record starting Monday. You can sing on it if you want. Columbia Studios. 50th and Madison. Studio E. If not maybe next time. Eric is doing fine. I heard that song True to You and he's doing fine. I send you all my love and kisses." In fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, with Dylan adding Green's address on the front and his own on the reverse, and a letter of authenticity from Dylan handwriting expert Jeff Gold, the owner of Recordmecca who appraised The Bob Dylan Archive for Dylan’s management.
The recipient, Debbie Green (1940-2017), was a talented folk musician who taught Joan Baez the guitar and later toured and recorded with her husband, singer-songwriter Eric Andersen, as part of the Greenwich Village folk scene during the 1960s. The couple moved to California in 1970, had a child, and then separated. In early 1975, after a dinner with Eric Kaz in the Village, Green made an impromptu vocal performance at The Bitter End in what turned out to be a surprise audition for Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue concert tour. When Green returned to her Mill Valley home for the summer, she found this letter from Dylan, who, impressed by her performance, inquired if she wanted to sing on his forthcoming Columbia Records album Desire. In spite of the flattering offer, Green had to refuse: ‘I couldn’t have gone on tour for that long anyway. Sari was in school and I was a mom.’ The recording of Desire pushed ahead, as did Dylan’s historic Rolling Thunder Revue tour, which played a total of 57 shows from October 30, 1975 to May 25, 1976, and was highlighted by a benefit concert for imprisoned boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter on December 8th in Madison Square Garden.
An excerpt from Don Graham’s interview with Debbie Green, ‘Debbie Green Out of the Shadows,’ published in Cashbox Magazine Canada:
In 1974, after dinner in the village with Eric Kaz, ‘We were walking east on Bleeker Street. Not a soul in sight, a big wind picking up street debris, papers swirling in the air like ghosts of the Village in the 60’s. It was sad, all that life gone. We were walking past the Bitter End and suddenly the big metal stage door burst open and Bobby Neuwirth popped out and ushered us right up onto the stage.’
‘He introduced us as the greatest harmony singer that ever lived and Eric Kaz the famous songwriter. Kaz was playing the piano at the back of the stage and singing one of his new songs that I had never heard. Hard to sing backup harmony when you don’t know what chords are coming. I was on mic at the front of the stage, spotlight blasting so you could only feel the audience there behind the blackness. To cover not knowing the song I would move my lips and pretend the mic was intermittently on the blink. But the odd thing was there was this electricity in the air. A vibrating nervous energy! I’m looking out on a black house and after a few minutes I realized that Dylan must be out there. It was always like that when Dylan was around. You could feel the vibe before you knew he was there. It turned out to be a show that Neuwirth was putting on for Dylan so he could hear a bunch of people - like an audition - for the Rolling Thunder Review that they were putting together.’ The ghosts of the village were very much alive inside that room.
When Debby got back to the Mill Valley house that summer, she got a letter from Dylan inviting her to sing on the record they were making to take on the Rolling Thunder Review. But it was too late. ‘I couldn’t have gone on tour for that long anyway. Sari was in school and I was a mom.’”
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.