Bob Dylan: Unreleased Gem – Am I Your Stepchild?





Oakland, California on November 13th, 1978

You mistreat me, baby, I can’t see no reason why
You know that I’d kill for you, and I’m not afraid to die
You treat me like a stepchild
Oh, Lordy, like a stepchild
I wanna turn my back and run away from you
but oh, I just can’t leave you babe

Interview – 2 December 1978 – Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee

Q: Do you do any new songs in concert now?
BD: Once in awhile we do some, yeah.
Q: How have they been responded to?
BD: Ah, fine.
Q: Will you be doing any tonight?
BD: We’ll probably do one or two, maybe one.
Q: What is your favorite one?
BD: Well, I don’t know if I’ll record it. But I have a song called “Baby, Am I Your Stepchild?”
Q: Is that different from a lot of the songs on Street Legal?
BD: No. Umm, content-wise, it’s not. It’s a more simplified version of, ah, just a man talking to a woman, who is just not treating him properly.

Am I Your Stepchild?

Words and music Bob Dylan
Played around 50 times during the fall 1978 tour, with constantly changing lyrics.

Never recorded in Studio.

First performance:

Civic Center
Augusta, Maine
15 September 1978

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
  • Billy Cross (lead guitar)
  • Alan Pasqua (keyboards)
  • Steven Soles (rhythm guitar, backup vocals)
  • David Mansfield (violin & mandolin)
  • Steve Douglas (horns)
  • Jerry Scheff (bass)
  • Bobbye Hall (percussion)
  • Ian Wallace (drums)
  • Helena Springs, Jo Ann Harris, Carolyn Dennis (background vocals).

This song needs to be played LOUD!




Municipal Auditorium
Nashville, Tennessee
2 December 1978

Carolina Coliseum
Columbia, South Carolina
9 December 1978

You treat me mean, gal <let me> turn around and you treat me rough
I give you all my loving but it doesn’t seem to be quite enough
You treat me like a stepchild
Oh, Lord, like a stepchild
I wanna turn and walk all over you
but my heart says: “No, you better let her be”.

Well, I’ve had the worst and I’ve had the best
you sure is different, baby, you ain’t like all the rest,
but you treat me like a stepchild,
Oh, Lord, like a stepchild
I wanna turn and walk all over you
but my heart says: “No,  let her be”.

<Was a man there with you baby, had to have no point of view (??)>
I pulled you out of <dope> scenes, orgies and jam sessions too
but you treat me like a stepchild,
Oh, Lord, like a stepchild
I wanna turn and walk all over you
but my heart says: “Wait a minute now, let her be”.

4 thoughts on “Bob Dylan: Unreleased Gem – Am I Your Stepchild?”

  1. Jerry Lee has a very good version of the song out, but the best was issued several years ago by the inimitable Solomon Burke.

    1. Agreed. Solomon Burke’s wonderful version is found on his remarkable 2002 album, “Don’t Give Up On Me.” The record is produced by the immensely talented Joe Henry. My first Dylan concert was at the Chicago Stadium in 1978. Dylan played “Stepchild.” Such a night!

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