A visit to an historic Manhattan apartment uncovered "Heaven's Door" and 149 rare Bob Dylan recordings hiding behind it.
The discovery was made in an apartment building that once housed Dylan's recording studio. The boxes of acetate vinyl, marked "Old Records," contained early cuts and recording sessions from Dylan's "Nashville Skyline," "Self Portrait" and "New Morning" LPs. The acetate recordings were a quick way for Dylan to send and share his ideas with his producer in Nashville, Bob Johnston. The records haven't been played in more than four decades. (Via YouTube / Bob Dylan, Flickr / Sheraz Sadiq, Google)
Jeff Gold is the man who identified the Dylan demos. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he explained how he flew out from Los Angeles to New York after getting a call from a man who found two boxes of records in his late sister's Greenwich Village apartment.
Gold cautiously admitted he paid "multiple times" more than he expected for the box after realizing who recorded the tracks. Among the pile are records with Dylan's own notes scribbled on the sleeve and unheard covers of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and "Folsom Prison Blues." (Via U.S. National Archives, 101essentialrecords.com)
Gold told New York Daily News: "The sound quality is unbelievably great. These are first generation recordings, cut directly from the master tape."
So when will Dylan lovers out there get to hear the records?
According to his website Recordmecca, Gold has spent the past three months converting the acetate recordings to a digital collection and sent copies to Dylan's manager, Jeff Rosen. No word on whether there are any plans to release the music, but Gold notes the mixes might not exist anywhere else.
Coincidentally, the last set of music released by Dylan's office was a similar collection of demos and unreleased tracks called "The Bootleg Series."
For any truly loyal Dylan fans: Gold is selling some of the records online, with the rarest going for $7,000. However, he plans to add most of the recordings to his own collection.