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)