Bob Dylan Wanted to Make an Album With the Beatles + Rolling Stones
Talk about the holy trinity of 1960s rock and roll!
In his new autobiography, 'Sound Man,' producer Glyn Johns talks about a union that never came to be. Johns tells how he ran into Dylan at the airport once, and as the two exchanged compliments on each others work, Dylan told him about his idea. "He said he had this idea to make a record with the Beatles and the Stones," writes Johns. "He asked me if I would find out whether the others would be interested. I was completely bowled over. Can you imagine the three greatest influences on popular music in the previous decade making an album together?"
He went ahead and contacted the others, but the yays and nays came quickly to a head. "John [Lennon] didn't say a flat no, but he wasn't that interested. Ringo, Charlie [Watts] and Bill [Wyman] were amicable to the idea as long as everyone else was interested."
Perhaps it was simply a case of bad timing; this would have been at the tail end of 1969. The Beatles were in the midst of falling apart, and the Stones, with new recruit Mick Taylor having just replaced the late Brian Jones, were looking ahead to the new decade. Dylan, in the meantime, was in a period of trying to redefine himself as the '60s came to a close.
Oh, and the list of albums Johns worked on is staggering: classics by the Band, Neil Young, the Clash, The Faces, the Who and the Band, as well as the aforementioned Beatles and Rolling Stones. That's one helluva resume!
'Sound Man' hits bookstores on Nov. 13.