It’s time for another Musical Monday on Robert Frost’s Banjo, & that means another Bob Dylan cover—I’m featuring Dylan songs this month on Monday mornings.
I’ve always had the highest admiration for Dylan’s 1966 release, Blonde on Blonde. Musically & lyrically, it’s a high achievement, & has been justifiably praised as one of the best rock albums ever released. Dylan himself likes the album—according to journalist Jules Siegel, who was present when Dylan first listened to the initial pressing, Dylan exclaimed, "Now that is religious music! That is religious carnival music. I just got that real old-time religious carnival sound there, didn't I?"
Obviously, Blonde on Blonde, like its precursor, Highway 61 Revisited, is of great interest to anyone who likes blues music, since Dylan performed a masterful transformation of the blues in the music on both albums. But today’s song is one of the least blues-based numbers on Blonde on Blonde. Interestingly, Dylan proclaimed it his favorite song on the album. I’ve always loved “Visions of Johanna.” There’s something stark & haunted & true about the song, even when the lyrics occasionally seem mean-spirited, as in parts of the “museum” verse.
I’m playing slide style on my Gold Tone dobro, tuned as always to an open D chord; I did capo this one, so the actual key is Eb. Hope you enjoy it!