NOTE: This is Part 1 of a 3 Post Series – Tribute To Bob Dylan
It was early September 1965…..when a group of eight incoming freshmen boys at the University of Texas Austin from Midland, Texas began meeting on Sunday mornings to play Bob Dylan albums…..and expounded on the world around them that had expanded significantly since back in their days in High School….which seemed like years ago…..as their world was changing rapidly around them. I remember it as if it were yesterday….as we called ourselves Dylanists (now referred too as Dylanologists)….for we were probably some of the original “adventurists in the world of Bob”…..cuz here was a group of conservative young men from West Texas….who were experiencing having the doors of conservatism kicked open by the musical verses of a word merchant of the highest order…. as we began our journey into the exciting new world of “Sex, Drugs and Rock N Roll”…..which became a generational transformation with the “Reverend Bob Dylan” as the flagbearer and spokesperson…..for the times that were changing. Our group would get together every Sunday morning at 11am during the school year at UT….and we would put on The Rev’s albums like “Bob Dylan”, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan”, “The Times They Are A Changin'”, “Another Side of Bob Dylan”, “Bringing It All Back Home” and Highway 61 Revisited”….while opening our minds to the new things to come in our thinking and our lives. So, here it is, a mere 57 years later….and Bob Dylan is still performing his magic as the world’s best musical word merchant and melodic poet laureate ….while I have the honor of being one of Reverend Bob’s first disciples paying tribute to his life and legend with this video library and story of his finest works…..for which I hope that not only you enjoy immensely…..but also that this collection of Bob Dylan videos brings back as many fond and memorable memories for our viewers…..as it has for me the composer of this post.
Music – 1962 To 2022 – Special – Bob Dylan Documentary – “The Voice Of His Generation”
Robert Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter…..who often is regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time….while being a major figure in popular culture during a career spanning more than 60 years…..as a great deal of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960’s…..when songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1963 and “The Times They Are a-Changin'” in 1964 became anthems for the civil rights and antiwar movements…..when his lyrics during that period included a range of political, social, philosophical and literary influences…..while defying pop music conventions and appealing to a burgeoning counterculture.
Music – 1962 To 1970 – Amplified Special Documentary – How Bob Dylan Catapulted Folk Music – “Roads Rapidly Changing”
Following his self-titled debut album in 1962…..which comprised mainly traditional folk songs….that’s when Dylan made his breakthrough as a songwriter with the release of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan the following year …..as the album features “Blowin’ in the Wind” and the thematically complex “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall“….as many of his songs adapted the tunes and phraseology of older folk songs. He went on to release the politically charged The Times They Are a-Changin’…..along with the more lyrically abstract and introspective Another Side of Bob Dylan in 1964. In 1965 and 1966, Dylan drew controversy when he adopted electrically amplified rock instrumentation…..and in the space of 15 months recorded three of the most important and influential rock albums of the 1960’s….with Bringing It All Back Home…..Highway 61 Revisited (both 1965)…..and Blonde on Blonde in 1966…..then his six-minute single “Like a Rolling Stone” in 1965 expanded commercial and creative boundaries in popular music.
Music – 1965 – Special – Rare Unseen Footage Of Bob Dylan Behind The Scenes Of The 1965 Tour
Music -1961 – Bob Dylan Recorded On The “Timeless” Album – As He Covers Hank William’s Song “I Can’t Get You Off My Mind”
Music – 1962 – Bob Dylan & Cynthia Cooper Live Radio Show Recording – “Long Time Man Feel Bad”
In July 1966, a motorcycle accident led to Dylan’s withdrawal from touring….. when during this period, he recorded a large body of songs with members of The Band…..who had previously backed him on tour….when these recordings were released as the collaborative album The Basement Tapes in 1975. During the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Dylan explored country music and rural themes in his albums John Wesley Harding in 1967…..Nashville Skyline in 1969…..and New Morning in 1970…..then in 1975, he released Blood on the Tracks…..which many saw as a return to form. During the late 1970’s, Dylan became a born-again Christian and released a series of albums of more contemporary gospel music before returning to his more familiar rock-based idiom in the early 1980’s. Dylan’s 1997 album Time Out of Mind marked the beginning of a renaissance for his career…..when he has released five critically acclaimed albums of original material since then…..with the most recent being Rough and Rowdy Ways released in 2020. He also recorded a series of three albums in the 2010’s comprising versions of traditional American standards….which showcased several songs recorded by Frank Sinatra. Dylan has toured continuously since the late 1980’s on what has become known as the Never Ending Tour.
Music – 1967 – Recorded On John Wesley Harden Album – Bob Dylan: “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”
Music – 1967 – Recorded On John Wesley Harden Album – Bob Dylan: “All Along The Watchtower”
Music 1969 – Recorded On Nashville Skyline Album – Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash: “Girl From The North Country”
Music – 1969 – Recorded On Nashville Skyline Album – Bob Dillan: “Lay Lady Lay”
Music – 1970 – Recorded On New Morning Album – Bob Dillan: “The Man In Me”
Music – 1970 – Recorded On New Morning Album – Bob Dylan: “If Not For You”
Since 1994, Dylan has published eight books of drawings and paintings…..as his work has been exhibited in major art galleries around the US and beyond. He has sold more than 125 million records….which makes him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom….ten Grammy Awards….a Golden Globe Award…..and an Academy Award. Dylan has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…..the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame…..and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2008. the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded him a special citation for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power”. In 2016, Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.
Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman in St. Mary’s Hospital on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota…..and was raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, on the Mesabi Range west of Lake Superior. Dylan’s paternal grandparents, Anna Kirghiz and Zigman Zimmerman were immigrated from Odessa in the Russian Empire (now Ukraine) to the United States, following the pogroms against Jews of 1905…..while his maternal grandparents, Florence and Ben Stone, were Lithuanian Jews who arrived in the United States in 1902. In his autobiography, Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan wrote that his paternal grandmother’s family was originally from the Kağızman district of Kars Province in northeastern Turkey. Dylan’s father Abram Zimmerman and his mother Beatrice “Beatty” Stone were part of a small, close-knit Jewish community…..who lived in Duluth until Dylan was six….when his father contracted polio….and the family returned to his mother’s hometown of Hibbing…..where they lived for the rest of Dylan’s childhood…..while his father and paternal uncles ran a furniture and appliances store. In his early years he listened to the blues and country radio stations from Shreveport, Louisiana….then when he was a teenager, to rock and roll.
Dylan formed several bands while attending Hibbing High School…..and while in the Golden Chords, he performed covers of songs by Little Richard and Elvis Presley…..when their performance of Danny & the Juniors’ “Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay” at their high school talent show was so loud that the principal cut the microphone. In 1959, Dylan’s high school yearbook carried the caption “Robert Zimmerman: to join ‘Little Richard'”. That year, as Elston Gunnn, he performed two dates with Bobby Vee….while playing piano and clapping. In September 1959, Dylan moved to Minneapolis and enrolled at the University of Minnesota….where his focus on rock and roll gave way to American folk music…. as he explained in a 1985 interview saying: “The thing about rock’n’roll is that for me anyway it wasn’t enough … There were great catch-phrases and driving pulse rhythms … but the songs weren’t serious or didn’t reflect life in a realistic way. I knew that when I got into folk music, it was more of a serious type of thing. The songs are filled with more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings.”
Living at the Jewish-centric fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu house, Dylan began to perform at the Ten O’Clock Scholar….which was a coffeehouse a few blocks from campus….when he became involved in the Dinkytown folk music circuit. During this period, he began to introduce himself as “Bob Dylan”. In his memoir, he wrote that he considered adopting the surname Dillon before unexpectedly seeing poems by Dylan Thomas, and deciding upon that less common variant. Explaining his change of name in a 2004 interview, he said, “You’re born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free.”
In May 1960, Dylan dropped out of college at the end of his 1st year. In January 1961, he traveled to New York City to perform there….and visit his musical idol Woody Guthrie…..who was seriously ill with Huntington’s disease in Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. Guthrie had been a revelation to Dylan…..and had influenced his early performances. Describing Guthrie’s impact, he wrote: “The songs themselves had the infinite sweep of humanity in them… [He] was the true voice of the American spirit. I said to myself I was going to be Guthrie’s greatest disciple”. As well as visiting Guthrie in the hospital, Dylan befriended Guthrie’s protégé Ramblin’ Jack Elliott….as much of Guthrie’s repertoire was channeled through Elliott….after which Dylan paid tribute to Elliott in Chronicles: Volume One. Dylan later said he was also influenced by African-American poets he heard on the New York streets, especially Big Brown.
From February 1961, Dylan played at clubs around Greenwich Village…. while befriending and picking up material from folk singers there like Dave Van Ronk , Fred Neil, Odetta, the New Lost City Ramblers and Irish musicians the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. He often accompanied other musicians on harmonica…..which led to Dylan filling in for the ailing Sonny Terry on Harry Belafonte‘s 1962 album Midnight Special…..as Dylan later described this session as “my professional recording debut.” In September, The New York Times critic Robert Shelton boosted Dylan’s career with a very enthusiastic review of his performance at Gerde’s Folk City….while saying, “Bob Dylan: A Distinctive Folk-Song Stylist”. That month, Dylan played harmonica on folk singer Carolyn Hester’s 3rd album….which brought him to the attention of the album’s producer John Hammond…. who signed Dylan to Columbia Records. Dylan’s 1st album, Bob Dylan, released March 19, 1962, consisted of familiar folk, blues and gospel songs with just two original compositions…..when the album sold 5,000 copies in its 1st year….which was just enough to break even.
Music – 1995 – Bob Dylan Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony – With Bob Dylan & Bruce Springsteen Performing “Forever Young”
Music – 1961 – Influence Vol. 2: Bob Dylan, I Was Young When I Left Home Album – “Naomi Wise”
Music – 1962 – Bob Dylan Live At Gerdes Folk City – “Ballad Of Donald White”
In August 1962 he legally changed his name to Robert Dylan….and signed a management contract with Albert Grossman….who remained Dylan’s manager until 1970….as Grossman was known for his sometimes confrontational personality and protective loyalty. Dylan said, “He was kind of like a Colonel Tom Parker figure … you could smell him coming.” Tension between Grossman and John Hammond led to the latter suggesting Dylan work with the young African-American jazz producer Tom Wilson…..who produced several tracks for Dylan’s 2nd album without formal credit….then Wilson produced the next three albums Dylan recorded.
Music – 1963 – Bob Dylan Live At New York Town Hall – “Dusty Old Fairgrounds”
Music – 1961 – From The East Orange Tape At Tthe Gleason’s Household – Bob Dylan: “Remember Me (When The Candle Lights Are Gleamin’)”
Music – 1961 – Bob Dylan Live Town Hall Concert – ” Ramblin’ Through the World”
Dylan made his 1st trip to the United Kingdom from December 1962 to January 1963…..as he had been invited by television director Philip Saville to appear in a drama, Madhouse on Castle Street which Saville was directing for BBC Television. At the end of the play, Dylan performed “Blowin’ in the Wind”…..which was one of the song’s 1st public performances. While in London, Dylan performed at London folk clubs….which included the Troubadour, Les Cousins, and Bunjies…..where he also learned material from UK performers, including Martin Carthy.
Music – 1963 – Bob Dylan Live At The Free Trade Hall In Manchester, England – “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”
Music – 1963 – Bob Dylan Live At The Newport Folk Festival – “North Country Blues”
By the release of Dylan’s 2nd album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, in May 1963, he had begun to make his name as a singer-songwriter…..when many songs on the album were labeled protest songs…..which were inspired partly by Guthrie and influenced by Pete Seeger‘s passion for topical songs. “Oxford Town” was an account of James Meredith‘s ordeal as the 1st black student to risk enrollment at the University of Mississippi….while the 1st song on the album, “Blowin’ in the Wind”, partly derived its melody from the traditional slave song, “No More Auction Block”….while its lyrics questioned the social and political status quo…..then the song was widely recorded by other artists…..while becoming a huge hit for Peter, Paul and Mary. Another song, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall“, was based on the folk ballad “Lord Randall“…..which with veiled references to an impending apocalypse, it gained resonance when the Cuban Missile Crisis developed a few weeks after Dylan began performing it. Like “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” marked a new direction for Dylan in songwriting…..while blending a stream-of-consciousness, imagist lyrical attack with traditional folk form.
Music – 1963 – Peter Paul & Mary Live At The March On Washington – Singing Bob Dylan’s “Blowing In the Wind”
Music – 1983 – Bob Dylan Live On Stage – “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall”
Dylan’s topical songs led to his being viewed as more than just a songwriter. Janet Maslin wrote of Freewheelin‘: “These were the songs that established [Dylan] as the voice of his generation—someone who implicitly understood how concerned young Americans felt about nuclear disarmament and the growing Civil Rights Movement: his mixture of moral authority and nonconformity was perhaps the most timely of his attributes. Freewheelin‘ also included love songs and surreal talking blues…. plus, humor was an important part of Dylan’s persona….and the range of material on the album impressed listeners….which included The Beatles….. when George Harrison said of the album: “We just played it, just wore it out. The content of the song lyrics and just the attitude—it was incredibly original and wonderful”.
Music – 1964 – Bob Dylan Live At The Newport Folk Festival – “Mr Tamborine Man”
Music – 1963 – Bob Dylan On Live TV – Singing “Blowing In The Wind”
The rough edge of Dylan’s singing unsettled some…..but was an attraction to others….as novelist Joyce Carol Oates wrote: “When we first heard this raw, very young, and seemingly untrained voice, frankly nasal, as if sandpaper could sing, the effect was dramatic and electrifying”. Many early songs reached the public through more palatable versions by other performers, such as Joan Baez…..who became Dylan’s advocate and lover…..for Baez was influential in bringing Dylan to prominence by recording several of his early songs and inviting him on stage during her concerts. Others who had hits with Dylan’s songs in the early 1960’s included the Byrds, Sonny & Cher, the Hollies, Peter, Paul and Mary, the Association, Manfred Mann and the Turtles.
Music – 1965 – Special – Bob Dylan San Francisco Live Press Conference
“Mixed-Up Confusion“, recorded during the Freewheelin’ sessions with a backing band, was released as Dylan’s 1st single in December 1962….but then it was swiftly withdrawn. In contrast to the mostly solo acoustic songs that were performed on the album, the single showed a willingness to experiment with a rockabilly sound…..as Cameron Crowe described it as “a fascinating look at a folk artist with his mind wandering towards Elvis Presley and Sun Records”. Dylan said of The Times They Are a-Changin’: “This was definitely a song with a purpose. I wanted to write a big song, some kind of theme song, with short concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way. The civil rights movement and the folk music movement were pretty close and allied together at that time.”
Music – 1962 – Bob Dylan – “Mixed Up Confusion”
Music – 1962 – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Outtakes – Featuring “Corrina Corrina” + “Lonesome Whistle” + “That’s Alright Mama” + “Going To New Orleans”
In May 1963, Dylan’s political profile rose when he walked out of The Ed Sullivan Show. During rehearsals, Dylan had been told by CBS television’s head of program practices that “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues“ was potentially libelous to the John Birch Society. Rather than comply with censorship, Dylan refused to appear.
Music – 1963 – Bob Dylan Live At Carnegie Hall – “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues”
Music – 1962 – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Outtakes – Featuring “Whatcha Gonna Do” + “Solid Road (Rocks and Gravel)”
By this time, Dylan and Baez were prominent in the civil rights movement….. while singing together at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. Dylan’s 3rd album, The Times They Are a-Changin’, reflected a more politicized Dylan. The songs often took as their subject matter contemporary stories….with “Only a Pawn in Their Game” addressing the murder of civil rights worker Medgar Evers…..and the Brechtian “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll“ the death of black hotel barmaid Hattie Carroll, at the hands of young white socialite William Zantzinger. On a more general theme, “Ballad of Hollis Brown“ and “North Country Blues“ addressed despair engendered by the breakdown of farming and mining communities. This political material was accompanied by two personal love songs, “Boots of Spanish Leather” and “One Too Many Mornings“. By the end of 1963, Dylan felt both manipulated and constrained by the folk and protest movements. Accepting the “Tom Paine Award” from the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy….when an intoxicated Dylan questioned the role of the committee….while characterizing the members as old and balding …..while claiming to see something of himself and of every man in Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
Music – 1962 To 1970 – Special Documentary – “Joan Baez & Bob Dylan”
Music – 1975 – Special – Joan Baez and Bob Dylan Talking
Music – 1963 – Bob Dylan – “Boots Of Spanish Leather”
Music – 1966 – Bob Dylan & The Band Live In England – “One Too Many Mornings”
Music – 1962 – Bob Dylan Live On Stage – “Only A Pawn In Their Game”
Another Side of Bob Dylan, recorded in a single evening on June 9, 1964, had a lighter mood…..when the humorous Dylan reemerged on “I Shall Be Free No. 10” and “Motorpsycho Nightmare”…..while “Spanish Harlem Incident“ and “To Ramona“ are passionate love songs…..when the “Black Crow Blues“ and “I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)“ suggest the rock and roll soon to dominate Dylan’s music…..and “It Ain’t Me Babe“, on the surface, is a song about spurned love….which has been described as a rejection of the role of political spokesman thrust upon him. His newest direction was signaled by two lengthy songs….with one being the impressionistic “Chimes of Freedom“……which sets social commentary against a metaphorical landscape in a style characterized by Allen Ginsberg as “chains of flashing images,”……and “My Back Pages“…..which attacks the simplistic and arch seriousness of his own earlier topical songs …..and seems to predict the backlash he was about to encounter from his former champions as he took a new direction.
Music – 1964 – Recorded on Another Side of Bob Dylan Album – “I Shall Be Free No. 10”
Music – 1964 – Recorded on Another Side of Bob Dylan Album – “Motorpsycho Nightmare”
Music – 1965 – Bob Dylan Live At Newcastle, England – “To Ramona”
Music – 1964 – Bob Dylan Live In Studio – “Black Crow Blues”
Music – 1987 – Bob Dylan & The Grateful Dead Live – “Chimes Of Freedom”
In the latter half of 1964 and into 1965, Dylan moved from folk songwriter to folk-rock pop-music star…..when his jeans and work shirts were replaced by a Carnaby Street wardrobe, sunglasses day or night and pointed “Beatle boots” …..as a London reporter wrote: “Hair that would set the teeth of a comb on edge. A loud shirt that would dim the neon lights of Leicester Square. He looks like an undernourished cockatoo.”…..and that is when Dylan began to spar with interviewers. Appearing on the Les Crane television show and asked about a movie he planned, he told Crane it would be a cowboy horror movie…..when asked if he played the cowboy, Dylan replied, “No, I play my mother”.
Music & Animation – 1964 – Bob Dylan & The Beatles Meet At The Hotel Delmonico In NYC – Episode 22 of The Meth Minute Cartoon Series – “Dylan Introduces The Beatles To Marijuana”
Music – 1964 – Interview With Bob Dylan – “The Beatles Are Not A Rock N Roll Band”
Music – 1965 – Special – Bob Dylan on The Beatles Paul McCartney & John Lennon
Music – 1966 – Special – Bob Dylan Interview On The Beatles George Harrison
Music – 1987 – Bob Dylan And Ringo Starr – “Wish I Knew Now What I Knew Then”
Music – 1987 – Special – Bob Dylan Talks About John Lennon
While posting these videos about Bob Dylan and The Beatles, I ran across this comment by TheBluewaterBlonde that I thought was definitely poignant and well worth posting….for it gives such wonderful insight into who Bob Dylan really was….as it goes like this, “George Harrison and Bob Dylan were such a good buddies….and they really were. When the Beatles 1st came to the USA in 1964, one of the first people they wanted to meet was Bob Dylan …..for this was a time when George Harrison was having so much trouble with his band mates, with Apple executives and with finishing the White Album….and that’s when he disappeared without telling anyone where he was going. He spent time with Dylan and his family at their home in Woodstock, NY. He spent Thanksgiving with the Dylans and The Band members….and even though he was not used to the Thanksgiving holiday, he calmed down just spending time with everyone there who were all relaxed and happy. They wrote several songs together while he was there. He returned to Abbey Road to finish the White Album before leaving the Beatles for good….and shortly after that he put out his first solo album All Things Must Pass….which included the song he wrote for Dylan “I’d Have You Anytime”…..so, when Dylan heard the song he contributed the chorus…which which was his answer back to George. Dylan had also been hiding out at his home in Woodstock….and hadn’t played a concert in many years. It was George who got Dylan booked at the Isle of Wight concert to get him back into the public again…..but Dylan didn’t take that concert well….and it was George’s Concert For Bangladesh that got Dylan back into the public again, this time for good. George wasn’t even sure Dylan would show up at the Bangladesh Concert….but Dylan didn’t disappoint his friend. They really did love each other. I saw some home movies once of George Harrison, his wife Olivia and his son Dhani, around 10 years old, at Dylan’s house in Point Dume…..as Tom Petty was also in the home movie. They were just hanging out at Dylan’s house, drinking beer and mostly playing old tunes on an 8-track tape machine, sometimes strumming along with a song. Patti Smith was also in the home movie in the kitchen.”
Music – 1969 – Bob Dylan – “Something”
Music – 1970 – Bob Dylan & George Harrison – “Yesterday”
Dylan’s late March 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home was another leap which featured his 1st recordings with electric instruments while under producer Tom Wilson’s guidance….when the 1st single, “Subterranean Homesick Blues“…..which owed much to Chuck Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business”…..with its free-association lyrics described as harking back to the energy of beat poetry….and as a forerunner of rap and hip-hop…..when the song was provided with an early music video….which was the opening for D. A. Pennebaker’s cinéma vérité presentation of Dylan’s 1965 tour of Great Britain, Dont Look Back. Instead of miming, Dylan illustrated the lyrics by throwing cue cards containing key words from the song on the ground. Pennebaker said the sequence was Dylan’s idea….and it has been imitated in music videos and advertisements ever since.
Music – 1965 – Bob Dylan – “Subterranean Homesick Blues”
Music – 1980 To 1985 – Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Video 1-3, Vol. 16 – “License To Kill”
The 2nd side of Bringing It All Back Home contained four long songs….when Dylan accompanied himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica…..which included “Mr. Tambourine Man”…..a song that became one of his best-known when the Byrds recorded an electric version that reached # 1 in the US and UK…..along with “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”…..and “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”…..as these were two of Dylan’s most important compositions of his career to this point.
Music – 1965 – Recorded on Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home Album – “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”
In 1965, headlining the Newport Folk Festival, Dylan performed his 1st electric set since high school…..with a pickup group featuring Mike Bloomfield on guitar and Al Kooper on organ. Dylan had appeared at Newport in 1963 and 1964…..but in 1965 was met with cheering and booing….so, he left the stage after three songs. One version has it that the boos were from folk fans whom Dylan had alienated by appearing, unexpectedly with an electric guitar…..when Murray Lerner, who filmed the performance, said: “I absolutely think that they were booing Dylan going electric.”….whereas an alternative account claims audience members were upset by poor sound and a short set. Nevertheless, Dylan’s performance provoked a hostile response from the folk music establishment….when in the September issue of Sing Out!, Ewan MacColl wrote: “Our traditional songs and ballads are the creations of extraordinarily talented artists working inside disciplines formulated over time …’But what of Bobby Dylan?’ scream the outraged teenagers … Only a completely non-critical audience, nourished on the watery pap of pop music, could have fallen for such tenth-rate drivel”. On July 29, four days after Newport, Dylan was back in the studio in New York, recording “Positively 4th Street“…..as the lyrics contained images of vengeance and paranoia…..and have been interpreted as Dylan’s put-down of former friends from the folk community he had known in clubs along West 4th Street.
Music – 1965 – Recorded on Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Album – “Positively 4th Street”
Music – 1966 – Bob Dylan Live In London, England – “Visions Of Johanna”
Music 1966 – Bob Dylan Live In Dublin, Ireland – “Just Like A Woman” – Recorded on Blonde on Blonde Album
Music – 1966 – Bob Dylan Live In Glasgow, Scotland – “I Can’t Leave Her Behind”
In late 1965, Dylan released the album Highway 61 Revisited….. which features his hit single “Like A Rolling Stone”…..which was chosen by Rolling Stone magazine in 2004 as the greatest song of all time….as the song peaked at # 2 in the U.S. chart…..then in 2004 and in 2011, Rolling Stone listed it # 1 on “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list…..while Bruce Springsteen, in his speech for Dylan’s inauguration into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, said that on 1st hearing the single, “that snare shot sounded like somebody’d kicked open the door to your mind.” The song opened Dylan’s next album, Highway 61 Revisited, named after the road that led from Dylan’s Minnesota to the musical hotbed of New Orleans. The songs were in the same vein as the hit single, flavored by Mike Bloomfield’s blues guitar and Al Kooper’s organ riffs. “Desolation Row”, backed by acoustic guitar and understated bass, offers the sole exception, with Dylan alluding to figures in Western culture in a song described by Andy Gill as “an 11-minute epic of entropy, which takes the form of a Fellini-esque parade of grotesques and oddities featuring a huge cast of celebrated characters, some historical (Einstein, Nero), some biblical (Noah, Cain and Abel), some fictional (Ophelia, Romeo, Cinderella), some literary (T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound), and some who fit into none of the above categories, notably Dr. Filth and his dubious nurse”.
Music – 1965 – Bob Dylan Live At The Newport Folk Festival – “Like A Rolling Stone” – with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Al Kooper
Music – 1965 – Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk Festival – “I Ain’t Gonna Work On Maggie’s Farm No More” – With Guitarist Mike Bloomberg
On November 22, 1965, Dylan quietly married 25-year-old former model Sara Lownds. Some of Dylan’s friends, including Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, say that, immediately after the event, Dylan denied he was married. Journalist Nora Ephron made the news public in the New York Post in February 1966 with the headline “Hush! Bob Dylan is wed”.
Music – 1965 To 2022 – Special of The Skeleton – “Bob Dylan And His Family”
In support of the Highway 61 Revisited album, Dylan was booked for two U.S. concerts with Al Kooper and Harvey Brooks from his studio crew and Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm, former members of Ronnie Hawkins’s backing band The Hawks. On August 28 at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, the group was heckled by an audience still annoyed by Dylan’s electric sound…..while the band’s reception on September 3 at the Hollywood Bowl was more favorable. From September 24, 1965, in Austin, Texas, Dylan toured the U.S. and Canada for six months….and was backed by the five musicians from The Hawks…..who became known as The Band….but while Dylan and the Hawks met increasingly receptive audiences, their studio efforts floundered….and that is when producer Bob Johnston persuaded Dylan to record in Nashville in February 1966….when he was surrounded by top-notch session men….albeit Dylan’s insistence, Robertson and Kooper come from New York City to play on the sessions. The Nashville sessions produced the double album Blonde on Blonde in 1966…..which featured what Dylan called “that thin wild mercury sound”…..while Kooper described it as “taking two cultures and smashing them together with a huge explosion”…..with the musical world of Nashville and the world of the “quintessential New York hipster” Bob Dylan.
Music – 1966 – Special Documentary – Bob Dylan & The Band – “Down In The Flood” – Part 1
Music – 1966 – Special Documentary – Bob Dylan & The Band – “Down In The Flood” – Part 2
Music – 1966 – Special Documentary – Bob Dylan & The Band – “Down In The Flood” – Part 3
Music – 1966 – Special Documentary – Bob Dylan & The Band – “Down In The Flood” – Part 4
Dylan toured Australia and Europe in April and May in 1966….as each show was split in two….when Dylan would perform solo during the 1st half….while he accompanied himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica….and backed by The Hawks in the 2nd half of each concert….when he played electrically amplified music….when this contrast provoked many fans….who jeered and slow handclapped…..as the tour culminated in a raucous confrontation between Dylan and his audience at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in England on May 17, 1966. A recording of this concert was released in 1998….as The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966. At the climax of the evening, a member of the audience, angered by Dylan’s electric backing, shouted “Judas!” to which Dylan responded, “I don’t believe you … You’re a liar!”….so, Dylan turned to his band and said, “Play it fucking loud!” as they launched into the final song of the night, “Like a Rolling Stone”. During his 1966 tour, Dylan was described as exhausted and acting “as if on a death trip”. D. A. Pennebaker, the filmmaker accompanying the tour, described Dylan as “taking a lot of amphetamine and who-knows-what-else”. In a 1969 interview with Jann Wenner, Dylan said, “I was on the road for almost five years. It wore me down. I was on drugs, a lot of things … just to keep going, you know?”
Music – 1966 – Special Documentary – Bob Dylan & The Band – “Down In The Flood” – Part 5
Music – 1966 – Special Documentary – Bob Dylan & The Band – “Down In The Flood” – Part 6
On July 29, 1966, Dylan crashed his motorcycle, a Triumph Tiger 100, near his home in Woodstock, New York…..when Dylan said he broke several vertebrae in his neck…..as mystery still surrounds the circumstances of the accident since no ambulance was called to the scene and Dylan was not hospitalized. Dylan’s biographers have written that the crash offered him the chance to escape the pressures around him. Dylan concurred in his autobiography Chronicles saying, “I had been in a motorcycle accident and I’d been hurt, but I recovered. Truth was that I wanted to get out of the rat race.” He made very few public appearances…..and did not tour again for almost eight years.
Music – 1973 – From The Movie Soundtrack Of “Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid” – Bob Dylan Sings “Knocking On Heavens Door”
Music – 1966 – Bob Dylan Live At Planet Gemini, Monterey, CA – “Tombstone Blues”
Music – 1966 – Bob Dylan Live In Manchester, England – Bootleg Volume 4 Series – “I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met”
Music – 1966 – Bob Dylan Live In Manchester, England – Bootleg Volume 4 Series – “She Belongs To Me”
Music – 1966 – Bob Dylan Live In Manchester, England – Bootleg Volume 4 Series – “Desolation Row”
Once Dylan was well enough to resume creative work, he began to edit D. A. Pennebaker’s film of his 1966 tour…..when a rough cut was shown to ABC Television…..but they rejected it as incomprehensible to mainstream audiences. The film, titled Eat the Document on bootleg copies, has since been screened at a handful of film festivals. In 1967, secluded from public gaze, Dylan recorded over 100 songs at his Woodstock home….and in the basement of The Hawks‘ nearby house, “Big Pink”…..as these songs were initially offered as demos for other artists to record….which were 1st heard in the shape of hits for Julie Driscoll, the Byrds and Manfred Mann. Columbia Records released a selection in 1975 as The Basement Tapes double album. Other songs recorded by Dylan and his band in 1967 appeared piecemeal on bootleg recordings…..but they were not released in their entirety until 2014 as The Basement Tapes Complete.
Music – 1967 – Official Trailer – Bob Dylan & The Band In “The Making Of The Basement Tapes”
Music – 1967 – Bob Dylan & The Band – The Basement Tapes – “One Too Many Mornings”
Music – 1967 – Bob Dylan & The Band – The Basement Tapes – “I Shall Be Released”
Music – 1967 – Bob Dylan & The Band – The Basement Tapes – “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”
Music – 1967 – Bob Dylan & The Band – The Basement Tapes – “Folsom Prison Blues”
Music – 1967 – Bob Dylan & The Band – The Basement Tapes – “Edge Of The Ocean”
Music – 2014 – Special – Bob Dylan Breaks His Silence And Talks About The Basement Tapes
Music – 2011 – Special – Robbie Roberson Talks About Bob Dylan and The Basement Tapes
In the fall of 1967, Dylan returned to studio recording in Nashville…..while being accompanied by Charlie McCoy on bass…..Kenny Buttrey on drums…..and Pete Drake on steel guitar….with the result being the album John Wesley Harding….which was a record of short songs thematically drawing on the American West and the Bible…..with a sparse structure and instrumentation with lyrics that took the Judeo-Christian tradition seriously …..while being a departure from Dylan’s previous work…..which included “All Along the Watchtower”. When Woody Guthrie died in October 1967, Dylan made his 1st live appearance in twenty months at a memorial concert held at Carnegie Hall on January 20, 1968…..where he was backed by The Band.
Music – 1967 – Recorded On Bob Dylan’s John Wesley Harding Album – “All Along The Watchtower”
Music – 1968 – Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert At Carnegie Hall – Bob Dylan & The Band – “Dear Mrs. Roosevelt (Tribute To Woody Guthrie)”
Music – 1968 – Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert At Carnegie Hall – Bob Dylan + Arlo Guthrie + Pete Seeger – “Jesus Christ”
Dylan’s next release, Nashville Skyline in 1969….which featured Nashville musicians, a mellow-voiced Dylan, a duet with Johnny Cash and the single “Lay Lady Lay“…..to which Variety wrote, “Dylan is definitely doing something that can be called singing. Somehow he has managed to add an octave to his range.” During one recording session, Dylan and Cash recorded a series of duets…..but only their version of Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country“ was released on the album. The song “Lay Lady Lay” reached # 7 on the charts and became one of his most successful singles of his 60+ musical career. In May 1969, Dylan appeared on the 1st episode of Johnny Cash’s television show…..and sang a duet with Cash of “Girl from the North Country”…..along with solos of “Living the Blues” and “I Threw It All Away”. Dylan then traveled to England to top the bill at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 31, 1969….after rejecting overtures to appear at the Woodstock Festival closer to his home.
Music – 1969 – Recorded on Bob Dylan’s National Skyline Album – “Lay Lady Lay”
Music – 1969 – Live On The Johnny Cash TV Show – Bob Dylan Sings “Living The Blues”
Music – 1969 – From The Johnny Cash TV Show – Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash Sing “Ring Of Fire”
Music – 1969 – Live On The Johnny Cash TV Show – Bob Dylan Sings “I Threw It All Away”
In the early 1970’s, critics charged that Dylan’s output was varied and unpredictable…..when Rolling Stone writer Greil Marcus asked “What is this shit?” on 1st listening to Self Portrait, released in June 1970. It was a double LP including few original songs….and was poorly received. In October 1970, Dylan released New Morning…..which was considered a return to form…..as this album included “Day of the Locusts”…..while being a song in which Dylan gave an account of receiving an honorary degree from Princeton University on June 9, 1970. In November 1968, Dylan had co-written “I’d Have You Anytime“ with George Harrison…..when Harrison recorded “I’d Have You Anytime” and Dylan’s “If Not for You“ for his 1970 solo triple album All Things Must Pass. Dylan’s surprise appearance at Harrison’s 1971 Concert for Bangladesh attracted media coverage….while reflecting that Dylan’s live appearances had become rare.
Music – 1970 – Recorded On Bob Dylan’s New Morning Album – “Day Of The Locusts”
Music – 1970 – Recorded On Bob Dylan’s New Morning Album – “If Not For You”
Music – 1970 – Recorded On Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait Album – “In The Early Morning Rain”
Music – 1970 – Recorded On Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait Album – “The Boxer”
Music – 1970 – Recorded On Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait Album – “The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo)”
Music – 1970 – George Harrison Sings Bob Dylan Song –“I’d Have You Anytime”
Between March 16 and 19, 1971, Dylan reserved three days at Blue Rock, a small studio in Greenwich Village, to record with Leon Russell….when these sessions resulted in “Watching the River Flow“…..and a new recording of “When I Paint My Masterpiece”. On November 4, 1971, Dylan recorded “George Jackson”…..which he released a week later…..and for many, the single was a surprising return to protest material….while mourning the killing of Black Panther George Jackson in San Quentin State Prison that year. Dylan contributed piano and harmony to Steve Goodman‘s album, Somebody Else’s Troubles, under the pseudonym Robert Milkwood Thomas….which was reference to Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas and his own previous name in September 1972.
Music – 2011 – Leon Russell Live At BB Kings – Talks About Bob Dylan – “He Taught Me Everything I Needed to Know About Songwriting”
Music – 1971 – Bob Dylan – “Watching The River Flow”
Music – 1972 – Bob Dylan & The Band Live At Academy Of Music in New York City – “When I Paint My Masterpiece”
Music – 1971 – Bob Dylan – “George Jackson”
Music – 1971 – Steve Goodman & Bob Dylan – “Somebody Else’s Trouble”
In 1972, Dylan signed to Sam Peckinpah’s film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid ….while providing songs and backing music for the movie….and playing the role of “Alias”…..who was a member of Billy’s gang with some historical basis….and despite the film’s failure at the box office, the song “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” became one of Dylan’s most covered songs. Also in 1972, Dylan protested the move to deport John Lennon and Yoko Ono…..who had been convicted of possessing cannabis…..when he sent a letter to the U.S. Immigration Service, in part: “Hurray for John & Yoko. Let them stay and live here and breathe. The country’s got plenty of room and space. Let John and Yoko stay!”
Movie Music – 1972 – Movie Clip From “Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid” – Featuring Bob Dylan As Alias
Music – 1972 – Special – Bob Dylan – Peco’s Blues, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid Outtakes – Featuring “Billy” + “Tom Turkey” + “Billy Surrenders” + “He’s Killed Me Too” + “Goodbye Holly” + “Pecos Blues” + “Sweet Amarillo” + “Knockin’ On Heavens Door” + “Rock Me Mama” + “Final Theme”
Dylan began 1973 by signing with a new label, David Geffen’s Asylum Records when his contract with Columbia Records expired. His next album, Planet Waves, was recorded in the fall of 1973…..while using The Band as his backing group when they rehearsed for an impending major tour. The album included two versions of “Forever Young”….which became one of his most popular songs. As one critic described it, the song projected “something hymnal and heartfelt that spoke of the father in Dylan”, and Dylan himself commented: “I wrote it thinking about one of my boys and not wanting to be too sentimental”. Columbia Records simultaneously released Dylan, a collection of studio outtakes, widely interpreted as a churlish response to Dylan’s signing with a rival record label.
Music – 1976 – The Band’s Last Waltz Concert Live – With Bob Dylan & The Band Performing “Forever Young”
In January 1974, Dylan, backed by the Band, embarked on a North American tour of 40 concerts….which was his 1st tour in seven years…..which resulted in a live double album, Before the Flood, that was released on Asylum Records. Soon, according to Clive Davis, Columbia Records sent word they “will spare nothing to bring Dylan back into the fold”…..at a time when Dylan had 2nd thoughts about Asylum….as he was unhappy that Geffen had sold only 600,000 copies of Planet Waves despite millions of unfulfilled ticket requests for the 1974 tour….so, he returned to Columbia Records, which reissued his two Asylum albums.
Music – 1974 – Bob Dylan & The Band’s North American Tour Live At The LA Forum – “Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)”
Music – 1974 – Bob Dylan & The Band’s North American Tour Live At The LA Forum – “Rainy Day Woman”
Music – 1983 – Live In Studio – Bob Dylan – “Don’t Fall Apart On Me Tonight”