Big Pink, West Saugerties, NY

Big Pink

The legendary Big Pink is WAY off the off ramp, but it’s still a pilgrimage for lovers of certain music, a certain era. The year was 1965. Bob Dylan, the voice of a generation, was preparing for a U.S. tour and hired a group of musicians who had previously worked together as the backup band for another singer as well as recorded on its own. That group, which was frequently referred to by their frontmen as “the band,” would later become known as The Band: Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, and Robbie Robertson.

After the U.S. tour, and a world tour the following year, members of The Band followed Dylan to Woodstock, N.Y., where Dylan lived. They moved into a big pink house at the end of a winding dirt road with a view of Overlook Mountain in the Catskills between Woodstock and Saugerties, N.Y., and nicknamed their rental Big Pink. It was around this time that Dylan would have his famous motorcycle accident, resulting in him retreating from the public eye. During his recovery, Dylan and The Band recorded music in Dylan’s house as well as the basement of Big Pink. These recordings were formally released as “The Basement Tapes” in 1975.

Another equally, if not more, important outcome of this time was the 1968 release of The Band’s first album, “Music from Big Pink.” The now critically acclaimed album, the cover of which was illustrated by Dylan, included such hits as “The Weight.” The album is said to have strongly influenced other artists like George Harrison and Eric Clapton (click here for an interesting blog post on the latter), who, according to some sources, may have even visited Big Pink.  Visited July 2013.

Related post:  The Barn (Levon Helm Studios), Woodstock, NY

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