One of the songs Bob Dylan and the group that would soon call itself The Band recorded during the “Basement Tapes” sessions in 1967 was an Ian Tyson (of Ian and Sylvia) composition, “The French Girl.”
Was Dylan thinking of Françoise Hardy, who he met in Paris the year before, when he chose to record the song?
During the “Basement Tapes” sessions Dylan and his band did two takes. And then the song was dropped for 20 years until Dylan resurrected it in 1987 during rehearsals with the Grateful Dead in San Rafael, Ca.
I particularly love the “Basement Tapes” version. Dylan’s interpretation of the song is amazing — he turns it into a Bob Dylan song. But the version with the Grateful Dead is a good one too. Jerry Garcia on pedal steel!
Below are a version of the song played with The Band, and a version with the Dead.
Bob Dylan and The Band play “The French Girl,” “Basement Tapes” sessions, 1967:
Video about Bob Dylan rehearsing “The French Girl” with The Band and the Grateful Dead with portions of both versions:
Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead play “The French Girl,” 1987:
For more on “The French Girl,” head here.
-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –-