James Porteous : Clipper Media
If you enjoyed 1971: The Year Music Changed Everything you will love Bo Carter’s story of life on the road.
The Last Record Album is a fictional biography, based on the ‘career’ of a fictional singer/songwriter who, until now, has remained… largely unknown. Even to me.
In truth, Carter is sort of a fictional version of the author, had I managed to pursue that singer/songwriter career so many years ago.
As you will soon see, it all began when I first heard Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone in the summer of 1965. I was 11-years-old and I knew something was happening, but I really did not know what it was.
By the time I was 14-years-old I was writing music and concert reviews for national magazines.
It was not quite ‘Almost Famous,’ but man, I grabbed everything they offered me, from free concert tickets, records by the score, and the never-ending supply of free beer tickets.
By the time I was ‘legal,’ I was often attending two or three ‘free’ concerts a week, whether at Massey Hall, the El Mocambo, or The Riverboat, and then the tons of barely named clubs and bars in Canada and the US.
The original yearning – to be the next Bob Dylan- remained in the background, but it soon became clear to me, and then to Bo Carter, that there was never going to be a ‘next Bob Dylan’ because there was only ever going to be The Bob Dylan.
I continued to write songs, but the consensus remained that one of my first songs – Coal Miner’s Blues- might indeed turn out to be the best song I would ever write.
Still, nothing could kill my love of music. Indeed, I loved finding new music, and when I ‘discovered’ a new genre, whether big band or blues or country, I would study it for weeks or months at a time.
I continued to write about the music I liked and the songs I thought would not likely receive wide coverage.
As I traveled along this long road I interviewed, talked to, and read about many artists, including my singer/songwriter son, and studied what they did, how they did it, and, more importantly, why they did what they did.
I discovered that most writers rely on particular tricks, or mind-games, when the word-well runs dry or the sacred narrative speeds straight off the tracks.
So this is for the ones who never give up.
The book includes live Bandcamp links to a number of songs ‘written’ by Bo Carter (well, actually, James Porteous), a list of my favorite Bob Dylan songs, ‘interviews’ with Bo Carter and more live links to dozens of songs I have enjoyed over the years.
So sit back, crack open a cool one, put on some expensive vinyl, and let the good (and bad) times roll.