Category Archives: Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan – Blind Willie McTell – Columbia, Maryland – 23 July 2013 (Video)

bob dylan columbus 2013

Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
To Jerusalem”
I traveled through East Texas
Where many martyrs fell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Columbia, Maryland
Merriweather Post Pavilion
July 23, 2013


  • Bob Dylan – center stage with harp
  • Tony Garnier – standup bass
  • George Recile – drums
  • Stu Kimball – rhythm guitar
  • Colin Linden – lead guitar
  • Donnie Herron – banjo

Well, I heard that hoot owl singing
As they were taking down the tents
The stars above the barren trees
Were his only audience
Them charcoal gypsy maidens
Can strut their feathers well
But nobody can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

See them big plantations burning
Hear the cracking of the whips
Smell that sweet magnolia blooming
See the ghosts of slavery ships
I can hear them tribes a-moaning
Hear that undertaker’s bell
Nobody can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

There’s a woman by the river
With some fine young handsome man
He’s dressed up like a squire
Bootlegged whiskey in his hand
There’s a chain gang on the highway
I can hear them rebels yell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Well, God is in His heaven
And we all want what’s His
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is
I’m gazing out the window
Of the St. James Hotel
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

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Today: Bob Dylan – The third recording session for Highway 61 Revisited in 1965 – 48 years ago


“I never wanted to write topical songs,…. Have you heard my last two records, Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61? It’s all there. That’s the real Dylan.”
~Bob Dylan (to Frances Taylor – Aug 1965)

“If you had to sum up Highway 61 Revisited in a single sentence, suffice it to say that it is the album that invented attitude and raised it to an art form. Just take a look at the cover. Nobody from Johnny Rotten to Eminem has done it better to this day.
~Nigel Williamson (The Rough Guide To Bob Dylan)


Studio A
Columbia Recording Studios
New York City, New York
29 July 1965
The 3rd Highway 61 Revisited session, produced by Bob Johnston

To create the material for Highway 61 Revisited, Dylan spent a month writing in his new home in the Byrdcliffe artists’ colony of Woodstock in upstate New York. When he returned to Studio A on July 29, he was backed by the same musicians as the previous session, but his producer had changed from Wilson to Johnston.

Their first session together was devoted to three songs. After recording several takes each of “Tombstone Blues”, “It Takes a Lot to Laugh” and “Positively 4th Street”, masters were successfully recorded. “Tombstone Blues” and “It Takes a Lot to Laugh” were included in the final album, but “Positively 4th Street” was issued as a single-only release. At the close of the July 29 session, Dylan attempted to record “Desolation Row”, accompanied by Al Kooper on electric guitar and Harvey Brooks on bass. There was no drummer, as the drummer had gone home. This electric version was eventually released in 2005, on The Bootleg Series Vol. 7.  ~Wikipedia


  1. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  2. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  3. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  4. Tombstone Blues
  5. Tombstone Blues
  6. Tombstone Blues
  7. Tombstone Blues
  8. Tombstone Blues
  9. Tombstone Blues
  10. Tombstone Blues
  11. Tombstone Blues
  12. Tombstone Blues
    (recorded 10 am – 1 pm)
    released 30 Aug 2005 – The Bootleg Series Vol 7. No Direction Home: The Soundtrack
  13. Tombstone Blues
  14. Tombstone Blues
    (recorded 10 am – 1 pm)
    released 30 Aug 1965 – Highway 61 Revisited

    If Salvador Dali or Luis Bunuel had picked up a Fender Strat to head a blues band, they might have come up with something like “Tombstone Blues.”
    ~Bill Janovitz (
  15. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  16. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  17. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  18. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
    (recorded 2:30 – 5:30 pm)
    released 30 Aug 1965 – Highway 61 Revisited

  19. Positively 4th Street
  20. Positively 4th Street
  21. Positively 4th Street
  22. Positively 4th Street
  23. Positively 4th Street
  24. Positively 4th Street
  25. Positively 4th Street
  26. Positively 4th Street
  27. Positively 4th Street
  28. Positively 4th Street
    (recorded 2:30 – 5:30 pm)
    released 7 Sept 1965 as a single


  • Bob Dylan (guitar, piano, harmonica, vocal)
  • 1-14 Mike Bloomfield (guitar), Paul Griffin (piano), Bobby Gregg (drums), Joseph Machao Jr. (bass), Al Kooper (organ)
  • 15-28 Mike Bloomfield (guitar), Frank Owens (piano), Bobby Gregg (drums), Russ Savakus (bass), Al Kooper (organ)

Bob_Dylan studio 1965

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Continue reading Today: Bob Dylan – The third recording session for Highway 61 Revisited in 1965 – 48 years ago

Today: Masked and Anonymous was released 10 years ago


“When I made the Bob Dylan movie, I wanted to make a Bob Dylan movie that was like a Bob Dylan song. One with a lot of layers, that had a lot of poetry, that had a lot of surrealism and was ambiguous and hard to figure out, like a puzzle.”

– Larry Charles

Masked and Anonymous is a 2003 comedy-drama film directed by Larry Charles, who is better known for his writing on successful TV sitcoms, Seinfeld and Mad About You and for executive producing episodes of The Tick and Dilbert. The film was written by Larry Charles and Bob Dylan, the latter under the pseudonym “Sergei Petrov”. It stars iconic rock legend Bob Dylan alongside a star-heavy cast, including John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, Penélope Cruz, Val Kilmer, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Lange,Luke Wilson, Angela Bassett, Bruce Dern, Cheech Marin, Ed Harris, Chris Penn, Steven Bauer, Giovanni Ribisi, and Michael Paul Chan.

The film received mixed reviews from critics.


It is such an underrated movie! …and with some fantastical musical numbers of course.

Bob Dylan – Drifters Escape:

Bob Dylan – Cold Irons Bound:

Bob Dylan – I Remember You:

Bob Dylan – Standing in the doorway (audio):

Bob Dylan – Diamond Joe:


Seek it out, check it out, it’s a good experience!

– Hallgeir

Today: Bob Dylan released Like A Rolling Stone in 1965


“This is about growing up, this is about discovering what is going on around you, realizing that life isn’t all you’ve been told. So now you’re without a home, you’re on your own, complete unknown, like a rolling stone. That’s a liberating thing. This is a song about liberation.”
— Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone magazine (Greil Marcus – Like A Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads (book))

“The first time I heard Bob Dylan, I was in the car with my mother listening to WMCA, and on came that snare shot that sounded like somebody had kicked open the door to your mind” – Bruce Springsteen (Jan 1988)

“When I heard Like a Rolling Stone, I wanted to quit the music business because I felt: ‘If this wins and it does what it’s supposed to do, I don’t need to do anything else.'”
– Frank Zappa (1965 )

The first time I really listened to “Like A Rolling Stone”, I felt I entered a parallel universe.. a place of intense beauty.. a place filled with this wonderful blues-fueled rock music… and a spellbinding ..organ! I had never heard anything like it.. anything this good..

That was the day I understood that there is bad music, good music, great music & then there is Bob Dylan. He plays in another league. His musical universe is still as beautiful now as it was first time I flew into it.. “Like A Rolling Stone” still sounds as fresh as it did the first time I listened ~25 years ago. (Egil, Johannasvisions)

Like A  Rolling Stone:

Everything is changed now from before. Last spring I guess I was going to quit singing. I was very drained and the way things were going it was a very draggy situation – I mean, when you do Everybody Loves You For Your Black Eye and meanwhile the back of your head is caving in. Anyway, I was playing a lot of songs I didn’t want to play. I was singing words I didn’t really want to sing. I don’t mean words like “God” and “mother” and “president” and “suicide” and “meat cleaver”. I mean simple little words like “if” and “hope” and “you”. 

But Like A Rolling Stone changed it all; I didn’t care any more after that about writing books or poems or whatever. I mean it was something that I myself could dig. 

It’s very tiring having other people tell you how much they dig you if you yourself don’t dig you. It’s also very deadly entertainment-wise. Contrary to what some scary people think, I don’t play with a band now for any kind of propaganda-type or commercial-type reasons. It’s just that my songs are pictures and the band makes the sound of the pictures.
-Bob Dylan (to Nat Hentoff – March 1966)

Like A Rolling Stones (Live at London’s Albert Hall, May, 1966):

“Like A Rolling Stone” was recorded @ the second “Highway 61 Revisited” recording sessions on June 16 – 1965,  produced by Tom Wilson.

“The voice is infinitely nuanced — at times almost an authoritarian monotone (not unlike Ginsberg reading “Howl”), at times compassionate, tragic (the voice of Jacques-Louis David in his painting of Marat) — but also angry, vengeful, gleeful, ironic, weary, spectral, haranguing.

And it would sound this way in ancient Greek or contemporary Russian. There is so much desire and so much power in this voice, translated into a sensitivity that enables it to detect tiny vibrations…”
—  Michael Pisaro (composer)

Like a Rolling Stone” is a 1965 song by the American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Its confrontational lyrics originate in an extended piece of verse Dylan wrote in June 1965, when he returned exhausted from a grueling tour of England. After the lyrics were heavily edited, “Like a Rolling Stone” was recorded a few weeks later as part of the sessions for the forthcoming album Highway 61 Revisited.

During a difficult two-day pre-production, Dylan struggled to find the essence of the song, which was demoed without success in 3/4 time. A breakthrough was made when it was tried in a rock music format, and rookie session musician Al Kooper improvised the organ riff for which the track is known.

However, Columbia Records was unhappy with both the song’s length at over six minutes and its heavy electric sound, and was hesitant to release it. It was only when a month later a copy was leaked to a new popular music club and heard by influential DJs that the song was put out as a single. Although radio stations were reluctant to play such a long track, “Like a Rolling Stone” reached number two in the US charts and became a worldwide hit. (Wikipedia)

In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine placed the song at number one on its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”

Like A Rolling Stone, Manchester 1966:

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Continue reading Today: Bob Dylan released Like A Rolling Stone in 1965

Bob Dylan & Van Morrison performing together (videos)

bob dylan van morrison 1998

This a collection of videos & audio I’ve found of Bob Dylan & Van Morrison performing together.

Philopappos (The Hill Of The Muses)
Athens, Greece
27 June 1989

  1. Crazy Love (Van Morrison)
  2. And It Stoned Me (Van Morrison) – incomplete
  3. And It Stoned Me (Van Morrison)
  4. Foreign Window (Van Morrison)
  5. One Irish Rover (Van Morrison)

bob dylan greece 1989

Dundonald Ice Bowl
Belfast, Northern Ireland
6 February 1991

#14 Tupelo Honey/Why Must I Always Explain (audio)

Fleadh Festival
Finsbury Park
London, England
12 June 1993

#6. One Irish Rover (Van Morrison)

The Theater
Madison Square Garden
New York City, New York
21 January 1998

Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins)

NEC Arena
National Exhibition Center
Birmingham, England
24 June 1998

#11 Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door


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