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You are in: Hereford and Worcester > Places > Places Stories > Ghost hunting with Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan in front of Witley Court

Bob Dylan in front of Witley Court

Ghost hunting with Bob Dylan

The story of how the legendary Bob Dylan went ghost hunting in Worcestershire in the 1960's, told by one of the people who was there with him.

Kevyn Gammond has spent a lifetime rubbing shoulders with rock legends.

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

"He always had a kind of cherubic look."

Kevin Gammond on Bob Dylan

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.

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 sixties.

"We were 17 or 18 and he was in his 20’s 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."

Bob Dylan appears on the BBC in 1965

Bob Dylan appears on the BBC in 1965

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.

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

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."

Kevyn now runs MAS records, the Kidderminster based label dedicated to uncovering and recording new talent from this area.

Robert Plant is the patron of the label, and still meets Bob Dylan on his Never Ending Tour:

"Each year our patron, Robert Plant, often bumps into Bob Dylan on the road and he says that at the start of the year Dylan gets out a pin, sticks it in the map, it can be anywhere in the world, and he goes and plays in that area."

Maybe he should play a gig at Witley Court - that might flush out any ghosts there are in the vicinity.

It all depends where the pin lands I suppose.

last updated: 28/11/2008 at 12:22
created: 26/09/2005

Have Your Say

Ever met Bob Dylan or had a close encounter with a megastar? Let us know.

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Chris Brown
I have just finished supervising the Civil Engineering repairs to the Engine House at Witley Park, now a private house, it was badly damaged by the floods in summer 2007. The steam engine which pumped the water to power the huge fountain and to water the gardens was housed in the Engine House which is about half a mile away over the hill towards Great Witley.Water was collected in a brick lined tunnel and then pumped by the steam engine across the fields and grounds of the house through a cast iron pipe.

john richards
Went ghost hunting the same evening,and got spooked by the guys there.

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