Page last updated at 14:59 GMT, Monday, 19 October 2009 15:59 UK
Looking for ghosts with Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan at Witley Court
How Bob might have looked at Witley Court

The story of how Bob Dylan went ghost-hunting in a ruined stately home in Worcestershire comes from Kevyn Gammond.

Kevyn has spent a lifetime rubbing shoulders with rock stars, and shared a stage with Robert Plant and John Bonham in the group Band Of Joy.

A jam session at a Birmingham club led to a meeting with Dylan, and a trip to Witley Court to look for ghosts.

He says they didn't find any, but had a wild time looking for them.

As part of the music scene in Kidderminster in 1960, Kevyn Gammond played in the legendary Band of Joy, alongside Robert Plant and John Bonham, who went on to conquer the world in Led Zeppelin.

He also played with many other musicians who went on to form famous bands, including Jim Capaldi and Dave Mason, founder members, with Steve Winwood, of Traffic.

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan playing on the BBC in his folk days

A jam session with Capaldi and Mason at a Birmingham club led to a meeting with the legendary Bob Dylan, and a trip to a ruined stately home in Worcestershire to look for ghosts:

"I was in a group called The Shakedown, and Dave Mason and the gang used to come and jam at a club called The Elbow Room, until about three in the morning.

"I think it was about the time of the first tour Dylan came over, in the mid 60s.

"We were 17 or 18 and he was in his 20s, and he was a good pal of Steve Winwood.

"He turned up at the Elbow Room, and we'd all been jamming - Dylan didn't actually join in - and when we'd finished playing we all headed off to Witley Court to go ghost hunting."

Witley Court
The ruined Witley Court - it burned down in the 30s

The ruins of the stately home, which was gutted by a fire in 1937, are the ideal place to go hunting for spooks, particularly at four in the morning.

Forty years on he can still remember his encounter with the young Bob Dylan:

"From what I can remember he looked a bit like he did on that first album - the corduroy cap, sheepskin coat.

"He always had a kind of cherubic look."

Witley Court has other connections with the world of 60s rock - Procol Harum filmed the video for their famous song A Whiter Shade Of Pale in the ruins.




SEE ALSO
The Sistine chapel of the north
07 Oct 09 |  Arts & Culture
Mystery buyer for country house
16 Dec 08 |  Hereford/Worcs
Royal restart for historic fountain
24 Nov 03 |  Hereford/Worcs

OTHER RELATED BBC LINKS


BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific