Before diving into the music of the “US Summer Tour – 86”, let’s look at some videos leading up to the tour.
Let’s kick off with the Tokyo (backstage Budokan) interview. (It should probably have been included in part 2 of this series, but I didn’t find it till now).
10 March 1986 MTV Interview, Backstage, Budokan Hall, Tokyo
…probably I’d do ANY song that I’d ever written, but to put them in a show is a different thing, because it takes time, and there’s not a lotta time when you play for a few hours.
~Bob Dylan (1986-03-10)
..and same place.. with Tom Petty (talking about touring with Dylan):
Well, I usually… I usually try to put in songs which are different in their own context, either structurally or melodically or uh lyrically, that uh, don’t… so it’s not all the same type of material, I try to fill in a larger picture. I don’t know what the total effect of it is. Umm… How do I go about selecting the material? Well, there’s material that I WANT to play, there’s material that I feel I HAVE to play, and, uh, I try to get the material that I feel I have to play into the frame of mind where I want to play the material that I have to play. The rest of it is just stuff I want to play.
~Bob Dylan (Melbourne – 21 Feb 1986)
True Confession Tour:
February 5, 1986
August 6, 1986
15 in Oceania
4 in Asia
41 in North America
60 in Total
The tour started with two concerts in New Zealand and thirteen concerts in Australia before four concerts in Japan. Both Dylan and Petty took a break after this tour before returning to the road in June to perform a forty-one date tour of the United States and Canada. During the tour the pair performed two concerts at the RFK Stadium in Washington, DC, three concerts at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City and two concerts at The Spectrum in Philadelphia. The tour came to a close on August 6 in Paso Robles, California. The pair would tour together the following year on the Temples in Flames Tour.
Rehearsals (w/Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) took place in December 1985.
Before they flew over to New Zealand.. Dylan gave a couple of interviews.. Here is one:
George Negus interview for “60 Minutes”, Malibu, California:
Oh no, no, I can’t do that, because my songs speak for that. I usually say everything I have to say through the songs. I mean it would be pointless for me to go out and say how I feel about this and how I feel about that. I could never articulate this well.
~Bob Dylan (to George Negus – Jan 1986)
“Still, Live Aid and Farm Aid are fantastic things, but then musicians have always done things like that. When people want a benefit, you don’t see them calling dancers or architects or lawyers or even politicians – the power of music is that it has always drawn people together”
~Bob Dylan (to Mikal Gilmore – Sept 1985)
To kick-off this series of posts about the “True Confessions Tour”, I need to start the year before.. in 1985.
Dylan (together with Keith Richards & Ronnie Wood) did one of his worst live performances ever at the “Live Aid” concert @ the JFK stadium in Philadelphia on 13 July 1985. All three were drunk & they couldn’t hear themselves because the stage monitors had been switched off.
The Ballad of Hollis Brown – Live Aid 1985:
We were sabotaged, in some kind of way. There was no way we could really perform there. It’s difficult to play if you can’t hear.
~Bob Dylan (to Bob Brown – about the performance)
Here we have a good 89-concert from the “Fall US 89 tour”.
#5 – I Want You
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, New York
27 October 1989
Gotta Serve Somebody
What Good Am I?
Ballad Of Hollis Brown
I Want You
I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
Highway 61 Revisited
Mama, You Been On My Mind
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
It Ain’t Me, Babe
Everything Is Broken
It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
My Back Pages
I’ll Remember You
I Shall Be Released
Like A Rolling Stone
Disease Of Conceit
8-11 Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar), G.E. Smith (guitar)
1, 18 Bob Dylan piano
2, 5, 8, 10, 11 Bob Dylan harmonica.
Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
G. E. Smith (guitar)
Tony Garnier (bass)
Christopher Parker (drums)
#8 – Mama, You Been On My Mind
The Never Ending Tour 1989 started in Sweden with a performance at Christinehof’s Slottspark on May 22. This was only the fourth time that Dylan had performed in Sweden. He then performed in Finland, his second performance there, before returning to Sweden. He then performed two concerts in Dublin, Ireland, the first time that he had performed there since 1965. Dylan then performed in Glasgow, Scotland his second only performance in the country. The first being in 1966. After performing concerts in Birmingham and London Dylan performed in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, Dylan performed three concerts in Spain, four in Italy, a single concert in Turkey and two concerts in Greece.
After finishing the European tour Dylan returned to the United States performing at many of the same venues that he had performed in the year before, on the first year of the Never Ending Tour. Dylan continued to perform in the United States and Canada until November 15.
Go ’way from my window
Leave at your own chosen speed
I’m not the one you want, babe
I’m not the one you need
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Never weak but always strong
To protect you an’ defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe
#11 – It Ain’t Me Babe
Troy is a city in the US State of New York and the seat of Rensselaer County. Troy is located on the western edge of Rensselaer County and on the eastern bank of the Hudson River. Troy has close ties to the nearby cities of Albany and Schenectady, forming a region popularly called the Capital District. The city is one of the three major centers for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which has a population of 850,957. At the 2010 census, the population of Troy was 50,129. Troy’s motto is Ilium fuit, Troja est, which means “Ilium was, Troy is”.
Troy is known as the Collar City due to its history in shirt, collar, and other textile production. At one point Troy was also the second largest producer of iron in the country, surpassed only by the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Rensselaer School, which later became Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was founded in 1824 with funding from Stephen Van Rensselaer, a descendant of the founding patroon, Kiliaen. In 1821, Emma Willard founded the Troy Female Seminary on 2nd Street, which moved to its current location on Pawling Avenue in 1910. It was renamed Emma Willard School in 1895. The former Female Seminary was later reopened (1916) as Russell Sage College, thanks to funding fromOlivia Slocum Sage, the widow of financier and Congressman Russell Sage. All of these institutions still exist today.Houston Field House is a multi-purpose arena on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York. It is the nation’s third-oldest hockey rink, behind Northeastern University’s Matthews Arena and Princeton University’s Hobey Baker Memorial Rink. Further, it is the second-oldest arena in the ECAC Hockey League, behind Princeton’s rink. Until the opening of the Times Union Center in Albany in 1990, it was the largest arena in the Capital Region.Wikipedia
Crimson flames tied through my ears
Rollin’ high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads
Using ideas as my maps
“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I
Proud ’neath heated brow Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now
#14 – My Back Pages
They say ev’rything can be replaced
Yet ev’ry distance is not near
So I remember ev’ry face
Of ev’ry man who put me here
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released
And yet to have been present at the best of the 1984 shows (Paris, Barcelona, Vienna, Offenbach), particularly if one was somewhere towards the front of the sea of humanity, able to see the man and hear him, must have been an unforgettable experience. Here is Dylan offering himself – through his singing; he does almost no talking between songs – openly and enthusiastically and warmly.
… Paris (July 1) is my favorite show of the tour (based on the tapes).
~Paul Williams (BD Performing artist 1974-86)
“There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief
“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth”