As a kid I had a postcard of a saxophone player standing outside New York’s Birdland. It was taken by William Claxton and I found out recently that it’s a still from the John Cassavetes 1959 film, Shadows. The subject is the raccoon-eyed actor Ben Carruthers (who later played screen-busting character parts in The Dirty Dozen and Riot with Gene Hackman). It’s the same Ben Carruthers who was friends with Bob Dylan, introduced Bob to Nico in Paris, which in turn inspired “I’ll Keep It With Mine”.
In mid-’60s London, Carruthers decided to record a 45 and used a poem lifted from the liner notes of Another Side Of. The single was called “Jack O’ Diamonds” backed with a jazzy blurt called “Right Behind You”. Shel Talmy producing, Jimmy Page and Nicky Hopkins playing. They play like Them, Carruthers sings like Richard Hell. It was released then quickly withdrawn because of the illegitimate nature of the Dylan-Carruthers co-write. It was later covered by Fairport Convention on their debut album, but they dropped the fabulous handclap part. words / c hollow