Minnesota Hotel Tape

December 22, 1961

Candy Man
Baby Please Don't Go
Hard Times in New York
Poor Lazarus
I Ain't Got No Home
It's Hard to Be Blind
Dink's Song
Man of Constant Sorrow
East Orange
Omie Wise
Wade in the Water
I Was Young When I Left Home
In the Evening When the Sun Goes Down
Baby Let Me Follow You Down
Sally Gal
Gospel Plow
Long John
VD Waltz
VD Blues
VD City
VD Gunner's Blues
See That My Grave is Kept Clean
Ramblin Round
Black Cross
This is the classic party tape that made up the bulk of the famous Great White Wonder bootleg, widely regarded as the first of its kind. Supposedly recorded in a hotel room in Minnesota, it has an informal air about it that finds Dylan in a very relaxed mood among friends. At the same time the tape acts as a sort of demo tape and represents the entire spectrum of Dylan's song catalog at the time. Hardly any original songs here, and those that do appear are very derivative, but he hadn't yet approached his true writing years yet. At this point he is a performer of folk, blues, and country standards and the influence of Woody Guthrie and others is especially strong.

Highlights are Poor Lazarus, Dink's Song, Black Cross, Ramblin' Round, It's Hard To Be Blind, I Was Young When I Left Home, etc. Many people will quibble with the quality of some of his blues numbers such as Long John and In the Evening, but I find them entertaining. There can be no doubt that this is one of his most historic tapes, though, and is a must for anyone interested in Dylan's formative years. The sound is very good, but on some vinyl bootlegs the quality is less than stellar. The best vinyl boot I've heard yet is Blind Boy Grunt where the sound is second only to official album quality. The worst I've heard is actually on that famous Great White Wonder bootleg where the sound is muddy. All of this material is available, with the exception of one song for some odd reason, on the Ten of Swords 10-record bootleg set. Most recently, all of this material appears in excellent sound quality on the 3-CD set The Minnesota Tapes, along with the entire Minneapolis Party Tape.

An anonymous reader provided this information, which I believe is accurate:

It was recorded at Bonnie Beecher's Apartment in Dinkytown. Dinkytown is a small 'student-centric' shopping and entertainment area just off of the campus of the University of Minnesota. This is the area of town where Bob played his earliest shows in the city, at a coffee house called the 10 O'clock Scholar, in front of people like 'Spider' John Koerner and Tony 'Little Sun' Glover. Tony is the person who recorded this tape. Bonnie Beecher's apartment was called "The Minnesota Hotel" because it was a revolving door for 'musician types' and a well known 'place to crash'. Thus the title; "The Minnesota Hotel Tape"


  • The Minnesota Tapes [Wanted Man]


  • Ten of Swords (nearly complete)
  • Great White Wonder (about half complete)
  • GWW Talkin' John Birch Society (a few songs - does not duplicate material on GWW)
  • Blind Boy Grunt (about half complete - does not duplicate material on GWW)
  • The Kindest Cut (same as above)
  • Bob Dylan volume 1-3 (Joker label - duplicates material on GWW)
  • Little White Wonder volume 1-3 (essentially the same as above)
  • VD Waltz (contains the VD Medley only - no duplication with GWW but does duplicate BBF)
  • Stealin' (just a few songs - does not duplicate material on GWW but does duplicate BBG)
  • many others no doubt...

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