Childhood Friend To Sell Dylan Tape

As teenagers in northern Minnesota in the late 1950s, Ric Kangas and Bobby Zimmerman would spend hours playing guitar and singing. During one of those sessions, Zimmerman asked his friend to record it

As teenagers in northern Minnesota in the late 1950s, Ric Kangas and Bobby Zimmerman would spend hours playing guitar and singing. During one of those sessions, Zimmerman asked his friend to record it.

Kangas had no idea he was recording the man who would soon become Bob Dylan. Years later, he came across the tape, which features Dylan singing three songs and playing guitar on another.

On Oct. 6-7, Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas will offer the tape at auction. Kangas said one Dylan expert appraised the tape at about $100,000, but Kangas has no idea if it will fetch that much. A publicist for Dylan, 65, had no comment.

Kangas said Dylan, who was two years behind him at Hibbing High School, was impressed by Kangas' performance at a school talent show. "Not long after that we met on the street. He said, ‘Hey, I understand you write songs,'" Kangas recalled. For the next few months, he said, they often sang and played songs for each other.

Within a few years, Dylan was off -- first to Minneapolis, then to New York, then to international stardom and acclaim.

Kangas, who now lives in Santa Barbara, Calif., bounced around the country for many years, working as a photographer, actor and Elvis impersonator. He saw Dylan a few more times, the last backstage after a show in Memphis, Tenn., in 1974.

He came across the tape a few years ago but couldn't play it until he found the right kind of old tape recorder at a garage sale. Kangas said Dylan sings three songs, two of them in a much more melodic voice than what would later become his trademark. The third, Kangas said, gives a better hint of the later Dylan style: "He kind of sings like a frog."


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