the song goes, “Regrets. . . I’ve had a few”.
You could write a book about these sessions (and maybe someday
We were babes in the wood hitting the big city. At first the record
company put us up at The Chelsea Hotel, and when we checked into
the rooms and saw cockroaches scurrying up the walls, we freaked
out. The hip cachet of Dylan writing “Sad Eyed Lady of the
Lowland” there ceased to matter. We gradually got moved
uptown to The Alamac Hotel, across from Needle Park (immortalized
in the Pacino movie, “Panic In Needle Park.”) Junkies
used to set fire to the floor we were on so that we would hear
the fire alarm , smell the smoke, and start scrambling down the
stairs, at which point they would sneak into our rooms (left open
in panic) and steal all of our stuff (usually limited to our cash
and our stash!)
The sessions weren’t much better. It was somebody’s
bright idea to record us “live” at Electric Lady Land
by having us set up like a gig, with a PA system, and invite burned
out hippies in off of 8th Street and offer them the buffet of
cocaine and bourbon we had laid out for audience, band and producer.
Needless to say, after an hour or two the sessions degenerated
into drunken revelry, with the band out of tune and oblongatto.
Even Stevie Wonder’s surprise entrance and resulting jam
session with us wasn’t able to rouse us from our stupor.
And that became the recorded “legacy” of one of the
greatest live acts ever. Our fans were hugely disappointed.