DURING the course of a long life in and around the popular music business, record producing and music journalism, Karl Dallas - 84 later this month - has accumulated a huge archive of interview cassettes, transcripts and other materials, featuring everyone from Bob Marley to Ewan McColl.

These archives have been deposited with Liverpool University's Popular Music Archive along with material about The Beatles, Pete Seeger, Billie Holliday, Dave Brubeck, American journalist Robert Shelton, The Who and Bob Dylan and many others.

Karl and his Bradford-born wife Gloria came to live in Bradford in 1989. As a freelance contributor to Melody Maker from 1957, an occasional reviewer from the Morning Star and a regular contributor to BCB radio, he's got fascinating tale to tell about his life and times You can get a taste of this in My life and good times: Memoirs of a rock 'n' roll survivor, on his website.

A fair chunk of this has to do with Bob Dylan, whom Karl met backstage on one occasion in the mid-1960s. He told me: "The first person who spoke to us about Bob Dylan was James Mellor, who was at Bradford Regional College of Art with Gloria. He became an actor and was in a television play in the early Sixties. Dylan was in it."

The play in question was Madness on Castle Street, written by Evan Jones, which went out on BBC TV on January 13, 1963, during the worst winter weather since 1947. Dylan was brought over from New York to play the part of Lennie, a man who withdraws from the world behind the door of his flat in a London boarding house.

But the producer changed his mind and contracted David Warner for the role. Dylan, in the role of Bobby, acted as a kind of narrator/chorus; he also sang four songs, one of which was Blowin' in the Wind.

On his website Karl says: "The crucial watershed, for me and I think for many of the rest of us, was Dylan's May 1964 tour, immortalised in the Don't Look Back movie. I caught him at the Royal Festival Hall, and my wife Gloria did a brilliant drawing of him from our seat in the stalls.

"My friend Ken Pitt, who wrote a monthly cabaret column in a magazine I was editing at that time was involved in the tour in some capacity. So there was I getting what could turn out to be an exclusive interview with a young man I wouldn't have given the time of day to eighteen months previously.

"In his account of our meeting in his generally excellent biography, No Direction Home, Robert Shelton is less than fair to Dylan, describing him as 'sometimes a boxer without grace'. His report of our conversation is accurate and complete - Dylan: 'Are you for me or against me?' Dallas: 'I don't know you.' After that I was given the bum's rush.

"But not by Dylan. He was charm itself (bear in mind he was supposed to be resting between sets), offering us a drink, making polite conversation. I think his question was a response to the fact that I said I was going to write about him for the Daily Worker...

"But it wasn't he who gave us the bum's rush. It was my friend Ken Pitt, who'd been told in no uncertain terms by Dylan's manager, the dreadful Albert Grossman, to get me out of there, and he did it, very politely, as I told Shelton."

However, there's far more to Karl Dallas than Bob Dylan. If he ever gets round to finishing his autobiography it will be a fascinating read.