Bob Dylan’s concert @ Fox Warfield Theater – San Francisco, California 15 November 1980 is a very special show. This was the last concert the great Mike Bloomfield played. He only played with Dylan on 2 songs, but still his last concert. Three months later to the day, he was found in his car … dead of a drug overdose.
I Believe in You:
“Thank you! Thank you. All right, I was playing a club in Chicago and I guess it was about 1959 or 1960 and I was sitting …., I was sitting in the restaurant. I think it was probably across the street or maybe it was in front of the club, I’m not sure. But a guy came down and said that he played the guitar. So he had his guitar with him and he began to play. I said “Well, what can you play? He played all kinds of things, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of them. Does Big Bill Broonzy ring a bell?. Or Sonny Boy Williamson and that type of thing. Anyway, he just played circles around anything I could play and I always remembered that. Anyway, we were back in New York, I think it was 1963 or 1964 and I needed a guitar player on a session there I was doing. And I called up, I did remember his name and he came in and recorded an album, at that time he was working in a Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Anyway, he played with me on the record and I think we played some other dates. I haven’t seen him too much since then. Anyway, he played on Like A Rolling Stone and he’s here tonight. Give him a hand, Michael Bloomfield! (plays Like A Rolling Stone) Michael Bloomfield! Yeah, go see him if he’s playing around town!”
~~Bob talk between “I Believe In You” & “Like A Rolling Stone”
Like A Rolling Stone:
The 12 shows @ Warfield Theater + the following 7 shows (November 9 – December 4, 1980) is called the “Musical Retrospective Tour”, because the advertisements the San Francisco promoter (Billy Graham) ran to try to ensure fans that the “old” Dylan was back.
- Gotta Serve Somebody
- I Believe In You
- Like A Rolling Stone
Regina McCreary Havis: Till I Get It Right (Red Lane/Larry Henley)
- Man Gave Names To All The Animals
- Simple Twist Of Fate
- Ain’t Gonna Go To Hell For Anybody
- Girl From The North Country
- Slow Train
Carolyn Dennis: Walk Around Heaven All Day (Rev. James Cleveland/Cassietta George)
- Abraham, Martin And John (Dick Holler)
- Let’s Keep It Between Us
- Mary From The Wild Moor (trad.)
- Covenant Woman
- Solid Rock
- Just Like A Woman
- Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)
- The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar
- When You Gonna Wake Up
- In The Garden
- Blowin’ In The Wind
- City Of Gold
- Love Minus Zero/No Limit
Girl From The North Country:
- Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
- Fred Tackett (guitar & mandolin)
- Willie Smith (keyboards)
- Tim Drummond (bass)
- Jim Keltner (drums)
- Clydie King, Carolyn Dennis, Regina Havis (background vocals).
- 3, 16 Mike Bloomfield (guitar).
- 7 Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar), Willie Smith (piano).
- 9 Bob Dylan (piano & vocal), Clydie King (shared vocal).
- 10 Bob Dylan (piano) backed by the band.
- 11 Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar), Regina Havis (shared vocal & autoharp), Fred Tackett (mandolin).
- 21 Bob Dylan solo (vocal, harmonica & guitar).
Photo by Chris Bradford
Michael Gray (Bob Dylan Encyclopedia):
Fifteen years after their historic 1965 collaboration, when Dylan was playing 12 nights at the Fox-Warfield in San Francisco in November 1980, mounting a series of golden concerts that marked his first semi-return to the secular world after the adamantly all-gospel tours of 1979 and spring 1980, he went round one day to Mike Bloomfield’s house, not knowing in what condition he’d find the guitarist, and had to climb in through a window to get to see him. They talked, Dylan urging Bloomfield to come to one of the concerts and play with him again. A couple of nights later (on November 15), friends took Bloomfield along, though he was so sceptical of Dylan’s really wanting him to play that he wore his slippers. But Dylan called him on stage, giving him time to adjust to the rather scary situation and much reassurance, by offering the audience a long, affectionate and generous speech on who Mike Bloomfield was. Then they did ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, with Bloomfield delivering a biting, triumphant guitar-part, matched by a second contribution towards the end of the concert, on a glittering, epic ride through ‘Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar’. Three months later to the day, Mike Bloomfield took a drug overdose and was found dead in his car. He was 36.
The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar:
Bob Dylan concerts @ JV here
- Still On The Road – Olof Björner
- The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia: Revised and Updated Edition (Michael Gray) – Amazon link.