The original demo for “Wanted Man,” a song from Johnny Cash’s 1969 live album At San Quentin, has emerged from the archives of Bob Dylan’s music vault. Originally written by Dylan for Cash in the late 1960s, the song is featured on the upcoming box set Bob Dylan (Featuring Johnny Cash) — Travelin’ Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15.
On the charmingly unadulterated, unedited recording, you can hear their jumbled singing and lyrical mess-ups during the session, Cash and Dylan laughing as they keep the song going. The demo even begins with Cash asking his wife, “June, did you like that?” and her responding with, “Honey, I don’t want to interrupt your train of thought, but be sure that Bob puts the melody to that song, that ‘Wanted Man’…you forgot the melody.”
According to Rolling Stone, Cash had only learned the song a week prior to the Nashville meet-up with Dylan and rockabilly singer-songwriter Carl Perkins — who played guitar for the song — captured on this original demo, which explains why Cash didn’t have the lyrics completely memorized.
Now that the song is out, you can listen to the rough counterpart to the song’s studio version, which was produced by singer/songwriter/producer “Cowboy” Jack Clement with Mercury Records. The new Bootleg Series set will be released on Nov. 1.