Outside his lyrical work Dylan hasn published very little in terms of prose or other written work. In fact he didn’t want his 1966 stream of consciousness work Tarantula published at all….Prior this this title the holy grail for Dylan fans is the ‘Off the Top of My Head’ piece published inside the Newport ’65 programme – now an expensive piece of ephemera from his first electric show.
He wrote Tarantula in 1966 but it remained unpublished until bootleg edition started appearing circa 1970 printed by the underground press, such as Brain Butler’s Unicorn Press in Britain and the White Press Dutch edition plus several editions across the USA….This prompted an official edition, published in 1971 in the USA by Macmillan and MacGibbon & Kee in Britain.
The US hardback is the most desirable of the official editions since it looks like an artefact from 1966…. whereas the cover graphics on the British counterpart are quintessentially 1970s. Both went to through at least 4 printings before appearing in paperback in 1972 and 1973, and finding clean 1st edition / 1st printings can be difficult….and they’re starting to get expensive.
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