Fender, Telecaster, 1968 - Tony Brown (Bob Dylan, Arlen Roth)


Serial Number: 
The Story Behind

This is another fine example of a great guitar having been part of the rock 'n' roll history.

Born Anthony S. Brown, he is an american bassist and songwriter. Brown was a member of Bob Dylan's band at the 1970s New York Sessions.

This guitar was owned by Tony. Here is a short bio provided by Tony himself :

" In summer of 1969 at age 20, I moved along with a group of musicians to Woodstock, NY which at that time was the most important center of popular music on the East Coast. Among the major musicians living in Woodstock were Bob Dylan, the members of The Band, Van Morrison, Paul Butterfield, Maria Muldaur and Happy and Artie Traum to name a few. Frequently visiting and seen around town were Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John, Hendrix and Janis Joplin.

The group I was with, The Montgomeries, quickly started playing at clubs in Woodstock and among our earliest friends and boosters was Van Morrison who would come to our gigs, join us onstage and play both his and our songs. This was shortly before his album Moondance was released which sent his career to a whole other level. Later I became friends with the folk duo Happy and Artie Traum. I started playing bass for them and went on a number of tours around the USA starting in early 1971. They were recording an album for Capitol records and included one of my songs on it. Around this time I met Arlen Roth, an exciting young guitarist who I introduced to the Traum brothers and soon joined us for performances and we all collaborated on a number of recording projects. I continued working for them until early 1973 when I was invited by the great banjo player Eric Weissberg (who had a weekend home in Woodstock) to play bass for a band he was forming to promote his smash hit Dueling Banjos. He called the band Deliverance after the movie that featured Dueling Banjos. Since Dueling Banjos was such a major hit, we were playing much higher profile venues that what I was used to with Happy and Artie. Numerous television appearances and a performance at the original Grand Ole Opry in Nashville were among the highlights. We recorded an album in 1973 called Rural Free Delivery on which I sang several songs I wrote. I continued to perform those songs in our live appearances.

In September 1974 Weissberg was contacted by Bod Dylan, his old friend from the early 60s Greenwich Village days. Dylan was in New York recording a new album and suggested Eric come in with Deliverance to do some recording with him. The story of those sessions is now well known and the subject of many articles and books. Dylan and Deliverance did not work well together and the members of the band were told one by one to stop playing until I was the only one left. He and I did some takes together and Dylan seemed pleased. I alone was called back for 2 more sessions during which he and I recorded all of the songs that were part of Blood on the Tracks. On a few takes, there were a couple other outside musicians, but mostly it was just Dylan and I. About half of the songs we did were included on the final release, but everything we did in New York came to be called the “New York Sessions’. Portions of these sessions were released both authorized and bootleg over the years. A little over a year ago the complete New York sessions were released in a boxed set called “More Blood, More Tracks”.

By this time (1974) I had moved to New York City to take advantage of more recording and accompanist work on bass. By 1975 Deliverance was breaking up and I signed on with the noted singer-songwriter Eric Andersen to play bass on his USA tours which lasted for 2 years. Again I brought in Arlen Roth to meet Eric which worked out well with Arlen joining us for live performances and in 1976 we both played on his Arista album “Sweet Surprise.” I continued back up work, along with some recording for a few years thereafter but gradually became more focused on writing, recording and performing my own work. Again Arlen joined me for both live gigs and demo recordings of my music."

The guitar presented here has intensively lived through that period and Tony remembers :

" Obtained in a trade with Rick Danko of The Band for a Danelectro short-necked bass I wasn’t using. It is modified with a humbucking pickup and Schaler tuners. I used the Tele in live performances and recording my songs with Eric Weissberg and Deliverance. (Weissberg would switch to bass in live performances.) I also brought it to the first Blood on the Tracks session at Weissberg’s request. He used it on several of the early takes with the full band."

The instrument is has been modified several times and in this process the neck-plate with the serial number was lost. Nevertheless this instrument is still sounding great and has been a good companion to its former owner.



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