As Bob Dylan’s masterpiece Highway 61 Revisited turns 50 this weekend, now’s your chance to take the Dylan-themed vacation of a lifetime. Big Pink, the revered house in West Saugerties, New York where, in 1967, Dylan and The Band recoded over one hundred demos — some of which later becoming Dylan’s The Basement Tapes and The Band’s Music From Big Pink — is now available as a vacation rental.
Somewhat cyclic, the house was actually originally a rental property when Dylan and The Band’s bassist Rick Danko discovered it and turned it into their own creative haven. Reviews on the vacation listing swear that current owners, Don and Sue, have done a fantastic job of maintaining the house’s mid-century feel.
Following a mysterious motorcycle accident in Woodstock, New York on July 29th, 1966, Dylan shut himself off from the public at Big Pink and would not tour again for nearly eight years. It was during this period that members of The Band, at that time working as his supporting tour band, joined him at Big Pink. Taking its name from the pink siding along the exterior, the house is most notable for also being the origin of The Band’s debut album Music From Big Pink – which not only features the name in the title, but also a photograph of the house on the back cover. Though the album would actually be recorded at studios In Los Angeles and New York, most of the material would be written in Big Pink’s basement during those demo sessions. Early basement demos of The Band’s “This Wheel’s on Fire” and “Tears of Rage” from Music from Big Pink can be heard on Dylan’s The Basement Tapes.
Renting Big Pink will cost you $650/night, with a minimum of a two night stay, or $2,750 for the week. The house will sleep you and eight friends (as long as none of them are kids or pets). Unfortunately, if you’re a musician, don’t get your hopes up about renting the house for recording purposes. The rental ad specifically states “Note: the Basement is not included in the rental.” Oh well, it probably wouldn’t have sounded nearly as magical anyway.
Read the full property description below, provided by the rental advertisement at VRBO:
“Big Pink, the house where Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes were recorded with his back-up band, later know as The Band, whose first album was called Music from Big Pink. The updated Dormer unit was Levon Helm’s bunk area back In the late ’60s. The Central Staircase opens mid-unit to a dining table & chairs; to the right is a desk-bar; the kitchen, with stone counter-top; bathroom with tile shower, and a futon-couch-sitting area. To the left, in the bedroom area, there’s a sitting area with TV ( limited cable ) and a queen sided bed with a quality mattress set. The Dormer has air-conditioning, and views of Overlook Mountain, fields and forest. Outside is the lawn with out-door furniture & original stone fireplace/bbq area nestled beneath the pines. The Dormer can sleep 4, and has WiFi.
The main floor is a 2 bedroom unit with a sunroom ( Rick’s room – was Rick Danko’s quarters), living room with sofa, writing table & chairs at the picture window, wood-stove/fireplace. It opens into the Dining Room, which has a antique dining table & chairs for 6. The kitchen, as does much of the house, maintains the mid-century period look, with forest views east. The main bedroom has a queen-sized bed, desk, sitting area & full closet. The second bedroom has 2 twin beds, dressers and side tables. The sunroom had a futon twin couch ( which folds down to become a sleeper). The sunroom has it’s own back entrance, and opens to the lawn and old out-door fireplace for campfire evenings. All told, upstairs has a queen bed and full futon – can sleep 4 people max. The Main Floor has a queen-sized bed, 2 twins and a single ‘twin’ futon on the sunporch -and so can sleep 5 max.
Note: the Basement is not included in the rental.”