Shut softly your watery eyes
The pangs of your sadness
Shall pass as your senses will rise
The flowers of the city
Get deathlike at times
And there’s no use in tryin’
T’ deal with the dyin’
Though I cannot explain that in lines
Another Great 86-show from the North-American leg. I will post more from this show soon… Here is “To Ramona”.
Rich Stadium Buffalo, New York 4 July 1986
Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
Your cracked country lips
I still wish to kiss
As to be under the strength of your skin
Your magnetic movements
Still capture the minutes I’m in
But it grieves my heart, love
To see you tryin’ to be a part of
A world that just don’t exist
It’s all just a dream, babe
A vacuum, a scheme, babe
That sucks you into feelin’ like this
I can see that your head
Has been twisted and fed
By worthless foam from the mouth
I can tell you are torn
Between stayin’ and returnin’
On back to the South
You’ve been fooled into thinking
That the finishin’ end is at hand
Yet there’s no one to beat you
No one t’ defeat you
’Cept the thoughts of yourself feeling bad
I’ve heard you say many times
That you’re better ’n no one
And no one is better ’n you
If you really believe that
You know you got
Nothing to win and nothing to lose
From fixtures and forces and friends
Your sorrow does stem
That hype you and type you
Making you feel
That you must be exactly like them
I’d forever talk to you
But soon my words
They would turn into a meaningless ring
For deep in my heart
I know there is no help I can bring
Just do what you think you should do
And someday maybe
Who knows, baby
I’ll come and be cryin’ to you
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)
These three songs are all taken from one show, it was a triple bill held in the sold out 2,000-seat Ahmanson Theatre, with Bruce Springteen opening for Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show and headliner New Riders of the Purple Sage.
All three videos in great quality both sound and picture, enjoy!
This concert is often confused with the private CBS Sales Convention show (see July 27 for details). However the Ahmanson Theatre show was a normal, public admission event, but incorporating an unusual format. Organized and promoted by CBS as ‘A Week To Remember’, seven consecutive nightly shows, each show featuring three different CBS artists. Bruce and the band flew to L.A. on April 30, stayed at the Hilton hotel, performed on May 1 and returned east on May 3. The above-mentioned setlist represents Bruce’s complete 40 minute performance. The recording of “Wild Billy’s Circus Story” from this show was issued promotionally by CBS on July 7 as part of its Playback EP series. The remainder of the audio from this show is uncirculating, except for the brief snippets of “Spirit In The Night” and “Thundercrack” that accompany its corresponding video snippets.
All seven shows in the Ahmanson series were filmed in color by Arnold Levine Productions on behalf of CBS, whose intention was to have material to show to reps at the CBS Sales Convention in July. This happened, Bruce’s complete performance was shown several times at the Convention, but has never been shown anywhere since. It remains in CBS’s vault. Brief snippets of “Wild Billy’s Circus Story” and “Thundercrack” were used in mid-1974 as part of a promo-only video clip created by CBS to promote the second album. This clip readily circulates and, indeed, was shown in the VH-1 Rockumentary. The frustratingly brief film excerpt of Springsteen performing “Spirit In The Night” on piano that was shown in the 1998 Bruce Springsteen: A Secret History BBC Documentary is from this show. “Tokyo” was preceded by the Ducky Slattery monologue and at the conclusion of “Thundercrack” a giant Garden State Parkway sign descended from the ceiling, the only time this prop was ever utilized (see photo). “Twist And Shout” was the encore. Three songs from this appearance (“Spirit In The Night”, “Wild Billy’s Circus Story” and “Thundercrack”) were officially released as (elaborately restored) bonus footage on the Wings For Wheels documentary DVD in 2005. However, “Thundercrack” is incomplete and cuts at just over ten minutes. An hour of raw footage from this show is now among collectors, featuring multiple versions of the three promotional tracks, each shot from a different camera angle. On this video you can also hear a brief snippet of the introduction to “Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?”.