Description"Mr. Tambourine Man" Bruce Langhorne's Historic Tambourine, Inspiration for Bob Dylan's Recording. Peter Fonda called him a "virtuoso," director Jonathan Demme described him as "genius," and Bob Dylan, well he simply called him "Mr. Tambourine Man." Dylan also happened to write a legendary, eponymous song about him.
The man garnering such high praise is Bruce Langhorne, who played guitar and percussion on many of Bob Dylan's greatest recordings, including The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963) and Bringing It All Back Home (1965).
Dylan elaborates on the inspiration for "Mr. Tambourine Man" in the liner notes to Biograph: "Bruce was playing with me on a bunch of early records... And he had this gigantic tambourine... It was as big as a wagon wheel. He was playing and this vision of him playing just stuck in my mind." Langhorne recalls: "He did write that song about me. I used to have this drum -- a kind of huge Turkish tambourine... He saw me playing it at a party. It's in a museum now."
No longer in the confines of a museum, that 17" Turkish tambourine is now proudly offered by Heritage, along with Mr. Langhorne's cherished 1920 Martin 1-21 guitar (opposite page), used in multiple Dylan recordings. In fact, the guitar solos on "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" and "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" are Langhorne on this Martin.
With a history like that, it's no wonder the instruments were included in the museum exhibition Bob Dylan's American Journey, 1956-1966, which which opened at The Experience Music Project in Seattle, and traveled to the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis.
Langhorne describes the celebrated Turkish tambourine as unique not only because it was the inspiration for Dylan's recording but also "because it had a bass tone, and
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