37 Music Urban Legends Revealed

This is an interesting series … with, so far, 37 x 3-legend articles.

For example: #19 MUSIC LEGENDS #2 of 3:

The violinist for Bob Dylan’s album, Desire (as well as the accompanying tour), was hired off of the street.


Folks tend to love stories of people being plucked from the streets from obscurity and made a “star,” but they’re almost all made-up stories, the inventions of PR flacks.

The story of Scarlet Rivera, though, is as odd as it is true.

In 1975, Bob Dylan was getting set to record his latest album.

One day, while driving in New York City with a female acquaintance (Named Sheena – she played tambourine and congas on the album), Dylan was struck by an attractive woman walking down the street carrying a violin case. Dylan asked her to come into the car. She eventually agreed and Dylan took her to his apartment and began playing her a new song he had just written called “One More Cup of Coffee.”

She played her violin along with the tune and Dylan hired her on the spot.

The woman was named Scarlett Rivera, and she played violin on Dylan’s album, Desire.

She also went on the famous Rolling Thunder Revue tour with Dylan and his band.

Rivera has gone on to have a long and notable career in music. Here’s a more recent photo of her…

But for once, at least, a person actually WAS picked off of the streets to become a star (of sorts)!



Village Voice interview with the lady herself (Jan. 28, 2011)