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    Bob Dylan 1963 Town Hall, New York Handbill for His First Major Concert An original paper flyer advertising the first major concert of Bob Dylan's career, at Town Hall in Manhattan on Friday, April 12, 1963.

    It's hard to overstate the attractiveness and importance of this Dylan handbill. It's a double-trophy piece in that it gets an A+ in both history/importance and appearance.

    Which do we address first? How can one just not love the looks of this advertising flyer. A full 50% of it shows Bob in his typical 1963 garb of work shirt, acoustic guitar and harmonica around his neck (we know, the same thing we said about his CORE poster in this auction). The other half, with words, has every bell and whistle imaginable. The famous promoter and early Dylan advocate at the top; Dylan's name in that fantastic font; a New York City venue; the full date, including year; ticket information; and then...

    My goodness, take a look at those press quotes. Just amazing stuff. Remember, Dylan had not released the Freewheelin' yet; the public still saw him as the cherub-cheeked, corduroy-capped choir boy from his first album, Bob Dylan. He had to be hyped to get butts in seats. And the funny things found in those quotes... "ragamuffin minstrel"? "Citybilly"? "He's so goddamn real"? It's a tour de force of Greenwich Village coffeeshop-speak by folk-circuit insiders. (FYI: the Little Sandy Review was a Minneapolis-based folk music circular published in tiny numbers by later-renowned music critic Paul Nelson.)

    Nice to see Columbia Records plugged in small letters at the bottom, too.

    And then there's the history of what it represents; what it was selling tickets to. Simply put, Bob Dylan's first major concert. Promoter Leventhal was taking a flyer on this charismatic folk singer who was the talk of Greenwich Village. As Dylan scholar and author Clinton Heylin writes, "Some 900 hip souls attend Bob Dylan's first solo concert at a major New York venue. Billboard and the New York Times have both sent reviewers. For the first time, Dylan [plays] nothing but his own material." Columbia rolled tapes for a possible live album which never materialized, but Bobcats have enjoyed hearing tracks from the show on bootlegs since the 1970's, and of course Sony Legacy has by now released a few of the tracks themselves.

    So when you combine the importance of this show, the appearance of this handbill AND its rarity (you just don't see it come up for sale often), it's easy to see why Heritage sold the only one we've ever had three years ago for $4,125. We're very pleased to have our second one in this auction, from the collection of Paul Prince. It's just a must-have piece for early Dylan collectors, and we hardly ever say that about anything.

    The flyer measures 7 3/4 x 10" and graded a strong Very Good Plus. It has a good amount of what we'll call "small invisible handling creases" to its glossy surface. Viewable only when the item is held at an angle to the light, they're virtually invisible when the piece is viewed straight-on, but have to be accounted for. Upper left corner has a crease of the same nature. COA from Heritage Auctions.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2019
    16th-17th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 22
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 931

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