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Saturday, January 15, 2005; Page C03

Hey, Mr. History Man

Bob Dylan aficionados can all breathe a sigh of relief: Not only does the ever-desired "Minnesota Party Tape" exist, it also has finally become public domain.

What's that, you ask? Well, the "Minnesota Party Tape" is one of Dylan's very first recordings thanks to fellow Minnesotan Cleve Pettersen, who as a teenager had the foresight to record the folk icon-in-training, a mere university student at the time who just hummed and strummed in neighborhood coffeehouses and such. Recorded in Pettersen's apartment in 1960, the reel-to-reel tape includes ditties such as "Blues Yodel No. 8," "San Francisco Bay Blues" and "Johnny I Hardly Knew You."

Though the tape has remained in Pettersen's hands ever since, it has become legendary in the Dylan world. Now Pettersen has decided to donate it to the Minnesota Historical Society. It has been copied onto CDs and cassettes so Dylan lovers can listen free at the Minnesota Historical Center library in St. Paul. And that'll be the only place you can hear the tracks -- copies will not be allowed. Imagine all the Dylan'ers who'll be trekking to St. Paul!

Bush Pup Off-the-Cuff Comment

If President Bush's suit bottoms look a little ragged lately, blame Miss Beazley. The First Doggie is adapting to her new home at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. like any pup would: eating, sleeping and . . . chewing.

"She's chewing," Laura Bush's spokesman, Gordon Johndroe, informs U.S. News & World Report's Paul Bedard. "Primarily on shoe lacings and pant legs." And though Barney's cohort is housebroken, newspapers are placed throughout just in case. Jokes Johndroe: "She knows what to do with the papers, which is a prerequisite for all Bush appointees."

Surely not this paper!

Noted . . .

Things seem to be looking up for doomed rocker Courtney Love. After a 15-month battle with Los Angeles Juvenile Court, Kurt Cobain's widow has won back custody of her 12-year-old daughter, Frances Bean Cobain. The singer for Hole lost her daughter when she overdosed in October 2003 and was arrested on drug charges. . . . R&B'er Lou Rawls, 69, is a daddy for the fourth time. His manager-wife, Nina, 34, gave birth to a baby boy earlier this week . . . . You know you've made it in the music industry when a university offers an entire course about you. Gals at Salem College in Winston-Salem, N.C., can now sign up for "Happy Girl/Broken Wing: Martina McBride as Text" -- a month-long tutorial focusing primarily on the country crooner's songs, performances, videos and even her interpretations of other people's work. . . . And Willie Nelson has a new day job: selling biodiesel fuel to truckers. The 71-year-old turned into an energy company exec when he formed Willie Nelson Biodiesel, a company that sells clean-burning fuel made from vegetable oils. (Perfect for the singer of "On the Road Again," eh?) "There is no need going around starting wars over oil," says the Texas rebel. "We have it here at home. We have the necessary product, the farmers can grow it."

. . . and Quoted

"But Michael if you ever show up at my front door with a camera -- I'll kill you . . . I mean it."

-- Clint Eastwood, on filmmaking nemesis Michael Moore during a National Board of Review of Motion Pictures awards dinner in New York, as reported by the New York Daily News.

-- Compiled by Anne Schroeder

from staff and wire reports

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