Bob Dylan songs: Band Of The Hand (It’s Hell time Man)

bob-dylan-with-the-heartbreakers-band-of-the-hand-mca-3

It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man

Down these streets the fools rule
There’s no freedom or self respect
A knife’s point or a trip to the joint
Is about all you can expect

boys who kinda grow up in a kinda harsh way and kinda make their way through that learning how to deal with certain elements in society they know that usually in the passive would take an advantage of them, and they have to overcome that and go from bad to good.
~Bob Dylan (MTV interview, April 1986)

 

Music Video:

TOC

  1. Facts
  2. Lyrics
  3. Live versions

This song is not on my list of Bob Dylan’s top 200 songs, but I intend to write about many Dylan songs not on that list.

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Facts

bob-dylan-band-of-the-hand-66146

Wikipedia

A-side Band of the Hand
B-side Joe’s Death (Michael Rubini instrumental)
Released April 21, 1986
Format 7″ and 12″
Recorded Festival Studios, Sydney, Australia, February 9 & 10, 1986
Genre Rock
Length 4:34
Label MCA
Writer(s) Bob Dylan
Producer(s) Tom Petty

“Band of the Hand” is a song written and recorded by Bob Dylan as the theme for the 1986 movie of the same name, which was directed by Paul Michael Glaserand produced by Michael Mann. Dylan recorded the song while on tour in Sydney, Australia on February 9 and 10, 1986. Dylan is backed on the recording byTom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and a group of background singers including Stevie Nicks. The recording was produced by Tom Petty.

Known studio recordings:

  • Festival Studios
    Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    9 and 10 February 1986

    Produced by Tom Petty

Personnel:

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
  • Tom Petty (vocal & guitar, also producer)
  • Mike Campbell (guitar)
  • Benmont Tench (keyboards)
  • Howie Epstein (bass)
  • Stan Lynch (drums)
  • Debra Byrd (backing vocals)
  • Queen Esther Marrow (backing vocals)
  • Stevie Nicks (backing vocals)
  • Madelyn Quebec (backing vocals)
  • Elisecia Wright (backing vocals)

Live:

  • First live performance: Inglewood Forum LA, June 6, 1986.
  • It has been performed only 34 times live – last performance: Mid-State Fairground, Paso Robles, California – 6 August 1986
  • Only performed in 1986

Releases:

  • Released in the movie BAND OF THE HAND and on commercial video by RCA/Columbia Pictures, early April 1986.
  • Released on single MCA-52811, late April 1986.
  • Released on 12” single MCA-23633, late April 1986.
  • Released on soundtrack album BAND OF THE HAND, MCA-6167, May 1986.

Lyrics

The lyrics of the song emphasize the central theme of the movie: the ruthlessness of the vigilante justice that will be used to confront the immorality of the criminal drug world. Although the lyrics posted on Dylan’s official website indicate that the refrain for the song consists of the title, “band of the hand,” repeated four times in succession, the chorus that is sung on the recording is clearly “It’s hell time, man,” which is given as the subtitle of the song.

It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man

Down these streets the fools rule
There’s no freedom or self respect
A knife’s point or a trip to the joint
Is about all you can expect

They kill people here who stand up for their rights
The system’s just too damned corrupt
It’s always the same, the name of the game
Is who do you know higher up

It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man

The blacks and the whites
Steal the other kids’ lives
Wealth is a filthy rag
So erotic so unpatriotic
So wrapped up in the American flag

The witchcraft scum exploiting the dumb
Turns children into crooks and slaves
Whose heroes and healers are real stoned dealers
Who should be put in their graves

It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man

Listen to me Mr. Pusherman
This might be your last night in a bed so soft
There are pimps on the make, politicians on the take
You can’t pay us off

We’re gonna blow up your home of Voodoo
And watch it burn without any regret
We got the power, we’re the new government
You just don’t know it yet

It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man

For all of my brothers from Vietnam
And my uncles from World War II
I’ve got to say that it’s countdown time now
We’re gonna do what the law should do

And for you pretty baby
I know your story is too painful to share
One day though you’ll be talking in your sleep
And when you do, I wanna be there

It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man
It’s hell time, man

 

Live versions

bob dylan tom petty berkeley 1986

Rich Stadium
Buffalo, New York
4 July 1986

Madison Square Garden
New York City, New York
17 July 1986

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Sources

-Egil

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