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The Travelling Wilburys Back

The story of Dark Eyes and Patti Smith

Bob Dylan has described how he got the idea to write Dark Eyes. In his 'autobiography', Chronicles Volume One, he writes about recording Empire Burlesque:

"All the songs were mixed and finalized except Baker kept suggesting that we should have an acoustic song at the end of the record, that it would bring everything to the right conclusion. I thought about it and I knew he was ight, but I didn't have anything. The night the album was being completed, I told him I'd see what I could come up with, saw the importance of it. I was staying at the Plaza Hotel on 59th Street and had come back after midnight, went through the lobby and headed upstairs. As I stepped out of the elevator, a call girl was coming towards me in the hallway - pale yellow hair wearing a fow coat - high heeled shoes that could pierce your heart. She had blue circles around her eyes, black eyeliner, dark eyes. She looked like she had been beaten up and was afraid that she'd get beat up again. In her hand, crimson purple wine in a glass. She had a beautifulness, but not for this kind of world. Poor wretch, doomed to walk this hallway for a thousand years."

Bob Dylan met Patti Smith for the first time when her group played at The Bitter End on June 26, 1975. In an interview with Sonic Youth in 1996 she was asked whether she knew Bob Dylan was in the audience. She answered:

"No. Somebody told us he was there. My heart was pounding. I got instantly rebellious. I made a couple of references, a couple of oblique things to show I knew he was there. And then he came backstage which was really quite gentlemanly of him. He came over to me and I kept moving around. We were like two pit-bulls circling. I was a snot-nose. I had a very high concentration of adrenaline.

"He said to me, "Any poets around here?"

And I said, "I don’t like poetry anymore. Poetry sucks!"

I really acted like a jerk. I thought: that guy will never talk to me again."

Read the rest of this intriguing story, click here.

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