Tag Archives: Ballad of a Thin Man

May 19 in music history

Happy birthday Pete Townshend (read more)

“If you don’t want anyone to know anything about you, don’t write anything.”
― Pete Townshend

“Rock ‘n’ Roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them”
― Pete Townshend

pete townshend
 Paul S. Williams (May 19, 1948 – March 27, 2013), born in Boston, Massachusetts, was an American music journalist and writer.
Williams created the first national US magazine of rock music criticism Crawdaddy! in January 1966 on the campus of Swarthmore College ..He is also the author of more than 25 books, of which the best-known are Outlaw Blues, Das Energi, and Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, the acclaimed three-part series. Williams is a leading authority on the works of musicians Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, and Neil Young, and science fiction writers Philip K. Dick (serving as the executor of his literary estate) and Theodore Sturgeon.
 Paul williams
 Mickey Newbury (May 19, 1940 – September 29, 2002) was an American songwriter, a critically acclaimed recording artist, and a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. For a time, he was one of the most influential creative minds in Nashville and it’s arguable that he was the first real “outlaw” of the outlaw country movement of the 1970s. Ralph Emery referred to him as the first “hippie-cowboy” and along with Johnny Cash and Roger Miller, he was one of the first to rebel against the conventions of the Nashville music society. After being disappointed by the production methods used by Felton Jarvis on his debut album, Newbury got himself released from his contract with RCA and signed the first offer he received to comply with his condition that he could either produce his own albums or choose the producer.

Read about: An American Trilogy

 mickey newbury
 Joey Ramone (May 19, 1951 – April 15, 2001) was an American musician, vocalist and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist of the punk rock band the Ramones. Joey Ramone’s image, voice and tenure as front man of the Ramones made him a countercultural icon.  Joeyramone
 Bob Dylan: Ballad of a Thin Man @ Glasgow, (probably) 19 May 1966 (Video)  bob dylan 1966 - ballad OATM

Spotify Playlist – May 19

Bob Dylan – Madison Square Garden – New York City – 17 July 1986

bob dylan tom petty

It is one of the best shows of the tour.
~Clinton Heylin (A Life In Stolen Moments)

..finds him again in very expansive “conquering hero” mood. It’s a terrific concert. I loved watching it.. and I love it now, listening to the superb circulating tape. .. it’s the second set where the magic really starts to happen.
~Paul Williams (BD Performing artist 1974-86)

Madison Square Garden
New York City, New York
17 July 1986

Musicians:

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
  • Tom Petty (guitar)
  • Mike Campbell (guitar)
  • Benmont Tench (keyboards)
  • Howie Epstein (bass)
  • Stan Lynch (drums)
    and with The Queens Of Rhythm:
  • Carolyn Dennis, Queen Esther Marrow, Madelyn Quebec, Louise Bethune (backing vocals)

Setlist (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers songs excluded)

  1. So Long, Good Luck And Goodbye (Weldon Rogers)
  2. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
  3. Positively 4th Street
  4. We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me) (Dick Robertson/Nick Cogane/Sammy Myalls)
  5. Shot Of Love
  6. We Had It All (Donny Fritts-Troy Seals)
  7. Union Sundown
    — Heartbreakers 4 songs
  8. Mr. Tambourine Man
  9. One Too Many Mornings
  10. I Want You
    ..one unique to the entire tour: “I Want You” as an acoustic duet.
    .. and Dylan launches into a sheer masterpiece of a vocal performance.. He’s performing like it’s a matter of life and death. He’s inspired. He’s alive.
    ~Paul Williams (BD Performing Artist 1974-86)
  11. Band Of The Hand
  12. When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky
  13. Lonesome Town (Baker Knight)
    I wanna play a real special song here in this special place. This is the very stage where Ricky Nelson got booed off for singing Garden Party, this is the one, the very one. Anyway, it gives me a real great pleasure to sing one of Ricky’s songs in this place. This is one that when I was growing up, called Lonesome Town.
    ~Bob Dylan
  14. Ballad Of A Thin Man

    Heartbreakers 4 songs
  15. Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
  16. Seeing The Real You At Last
  17. Across The Borderline (Ry Cooder/John Hiatt/Jim Dickinson)
    ..a high point in a great evening.
    Anyway, you might think you know the music of bob dylan, but if you haven’t heard “Across the Borderline” from the 1986 tour (and this July 17 version is as good as it gets), you may be missing the heart of the man. For sure you’re missing a truly rewarding performance.
    ~Paul Williams (BD Performing Artist 1974-86)
  18. I And I
  19. Like A Rolling Stone
  20. In The Garden
    —–
  21. Blowin’ In The Wind
  22. Shake A Hand (Joe Morris)
  23. House Of The Risin’ Sun (trad.)

Check out:

-Egil

Bob Dylan’s best songs – Ballad Of A Thin Man #4

bob dylan ballad of a thin man

You walk into the room
With your pencil in your hand
You see somebody naked
And you say, “Who is that man?”
You try so hard
But you don’t understand
Just what you’ll say
When you get home

Because something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

E/E: Who is Mr. Jones, in Ballad Of A Thin Man?
BD: He’s a real person, you know him, but not by that name.
–Ephron & Edmiston Interview, NY – 1965

..one of the purest songs of protest ever sung, with its scathing take on the media, its interest in and inability to comprehend [Dylan] and his music.
~Mike Marqusee (from wikipedia)

This song is almost as good as “Like A Rolling Stone”.. they feel very much alike.. and again it’s a song impossible to tire of.

Now.. I guess Time reporter Horace Judson was one of Dylan’s many Mr. Jones’s:

I was over in England one time doing a press conference. And that was the first time I ever gave a press conference where I didn’t want to answer any of the questions. I didn’t answer any of ’em. From that point on I stopped answering questions. People wanna know just all about your personal life you know, where I came from anyway. That’s very impolite. Anyway I wrote this thing here. Try to have my say again, I don’t know if it ever reached anybody who’s supposed to reached, actually got hurt, but it made me feel better to write it.
~Bob Dylan (before Ballad Of A Thin Man -Tokyo, Japan – 5 March 1986)

The original version in all it’s glory:

Continue reading Bob Dylan’s best songs – Ballad Of A Thin Man #4

The Grateful Dead – Ballad of A Thin Man (video)

grateful dead hapton 1988

Bob Weir’s first take on “Ballad Of A Thin Man”… and its a great one.

This is not an easy song to cover, but I do feel Grateful Dead did capture the spirit of the song.. and it feels right.

Hampton Coliseum
March 27, 1988
Hampton, VA US

Another live version was released on the album “Postcards of the Hanging“:

April 1, 1988 at Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, NJ:

-Egil

Bob Dylan – Parc de Sceaux – Paris, France – 1 July 1984

bob dylan 1984

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)

Great 1984 show.

Concert #23 of the 1984 Europe Tour.

Check out -> Bob Dylan concerts @ JV

“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”

#3 – All Along The Watchtower

Continue reading Bob Dylan – Parc de Sceaux – Paris, France – 1 July 1984