What's the deal with Al Kooper?

May 3, 2023: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces that Al Kooper will be inducted! Visit their new Al Kooper page.

You know his defining Hammond organ sound on classic Dylan.

And you may know Flute Thing, just one of the lyrical works he created with The Blues Project.

And then there is the haunting French horn on the Stones' You Can't Always Get What You Want. That's also Al.

There is the powerhouse rock of Lynyrd Skynyrd, whom he discovered and produced.

And along the line, Al played on recordings by Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Paul Butterfield, BB King, Tom Petty and dozens more.

And, if you are old enough, you walked along singing This Diamond Ring, which went to number one in 1965. Al co-wrote that in his days as songsmith at 1650 Broadway, in New York City.

Al's autobiography is a compelling look into the life of a rock star who was there at countless history-making moments. Read about the latest, updated version, which is available at Amazon and other stores.

Al did two terrific interviews with John Kruth on Kill Me Now: Part 1 and Part 2.

What They Say About Al

Read what other music biz people say about Al, including Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, BB King, Pete Townshend, and Mavis Staples. Some of these folks inspired Al, he then inspired and mentored others on this list. And don't miss what author Amy Tan says. There are 29 testimonials here, and you'll be surprised at some of the names. Check it out.


Al Kooper in Headphones

Announcing a NEW Al Kooper podcast, with the surprising title "KooperKast". Hear Al tell stories like nobody else.

Some of these stories are in Al's book, but hearing Al tell them brings them to life in 3D: adventures with Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, and much more.

Check it out.

A NEW Photo Gallery

Al with Elton

Here is a new photo gallery with BIG images! Unlike the 50 Years / 50 Photos with many small images, this page has fewer, but BIG photos you can climb right into, with Al, Jimi, Elton, Joan and others.

Check it out.

Bob Dylan’s 40 Favourite Books:

  1. ‘The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club’ by Sonny Barger
  2. ‘War and Peace’ by Leo Tolstoy
  3. ‘Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63’ by Taylor Branch
  4. ‘Tropic of Cancer’ by Henry Miller
  5. ‘Stories’ by Anton Chekhov
  6. ‘On War’ by Carl von Clausewitz
  7. ‘Victory’ by Joseph Conrad
  8. ‘The Complete Poetry and Prose’ by John Donne
  9. ‘The Anchor Anthology of French Poetry’ by Angel Flores
  10. ‘Jerry Garcia: The Collected Artwork’ by Jerry Garcia
  11. ‘One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding’ by Robert Gover
  12. ‘The White Goddess’ by Robert Graves
  13. ‘Ringolevio: A Life Played for Keeps’ by Emmett Grogan
  14. ‘Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley’ by Peter Guralnick
  15. ‘Bound for Glory’ by Woody Guthrie
  16. ‘The Odyssey’ by Homer
  17. ‘Mexico City Blues’ by Jack Kerouac
  18. ‘On The Road’ by Jack Kerouac
  19. 'Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards’ by Al Kooper
  20. ‘The Land Where the Blues Began’ by Alan Lomax
  21. ‘Mister Jelly Roll: The Fortunes of Jelly Roll Morton, New Orleans 'Creole and “Inventor of Jazz”’ by Alan Lomax
  22. ‘Girl from the North Country’ by Conor McPherson
  23. ‘Moby Dick’ by Herman Melville
  24. ‘The Blues Line: A Collection of Blues Lyrics’ by Eric Sackheim
  25. ‘Naked Lunch’ by William S. Burroughs
  26. ‘Woody Guthrie: Radical American Patriot’ by Bill Nowlin
  27. ‘Deep Blues: A Musical and Cultural History of the Mississippi Delta’ by Robert Palmer
  28. ‘All Access: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Photography of Ken Regan’ by Ken Regan
  29. ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ by Erich Maria Remarque
  30. ‘The Oxford Book of English Verse’ by Christopher Ricks
  31. ‘A Season in Hell & The Drunken Boat’ by Arthur Rimbaud
  32. ‘Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems’ by Allen Ginsberg
  33. ‘Confessions of a Yakuza’ by Junichi Saga
  34. ‘The American Songbag & Selected Poems’ by Carl Sandburg
  35. ‘Honkers and Shouters: The Golden Years of Rhythm and Blues’ by Arnold Shaw
  36. ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ by John Steinbeck
  37. ‘The Dave Stewart Songbook: The Stories Behind The Songs’ by Dave Stewart
  38. ‘Thucydides: The War of the Peloponnesians and the Athenians’ by Thucydides
  39. ‘Poems’ by Henry Timrod
  40. ‘The Conscience of the Folk Revival: The Writings of Israel “Izzy” Young’ by Scott Barrett