I have now had a few days listening to the new Bootleg series 10 deluxe box set. It is very interesting, and it is actually rather good. I am one of those few that kind of liked the original album, so I expected to like Another Self Portrait. I was not expecting that I would like it as much as I do.
That said, there are two things that stand out however. The first is the demo version of When I Paint My Masterpiece, it knocked me out. It is breathtakingly beautiful.
But the best of the release is the full Isle of Wight performance with The Band, and I really did not expect that!
I’ve read about the Isle of Wight concert, what an important event it was, how good it was. Dylan’s first concert in three years! More than a concert, a culturally significant event and a great show.
Rolling Stone Magazine wrote in 1969:
“During Dylan’s performance, a lovely 19-year-old girl, who said her name was Vivian and that she came from “nowhere,” appeared naked with a similarly naked young man, in the midst of a sea of foam pumped into a recreation area, and before 200 persons, made love. There was no attempt to stop them – but there was plenty of encouragement. “Beautiful,” bellowed several who saw it: “Freaky, baby!””
Well, they got my attention!
…and they wrote about the concert:
“On came Bob Dylan, one of the very few artists who could afford not to wear skin-tight, flared, sexy trousers. Boy Dylan in a loose white suit (Buddy Holly probably owned a suit like that), white shoes, white tie and yellow shirt, behind a sparkling stainless steel chin-height barricade of microphones.
The stomping and the cheering and the crying and the crush toward the front-stage area was still strong as Dylan began his first song, “She Belongs to Me.” “Great to be here, great to be here,” he said as he finished the song. “It sure is.” There was a slightly more down-home resilience to “I Threw It All Away” and “Maggie’s Farm” than on the recordings, possibly due to the Band’s mellow, sinewy backings. “Highway 61” positively rocked.
Then the Band departed for a time, allowing Dylan to play acoustically: “Will Ye Go, Lassie Go,” a hardy perennial on the British folk scene; “It Ain’t Me Babe”; “To Ramona”; “Mr. Tambourine Man.” In “Like a Rolling Stone,” Dylan hit upon a new device of adding the world “girl” at judicious places – “You mustn’t let other people get your kicks for you, girl!” the sang, goosing the song along all the better, with the Band, who had re-joined him now, adding their resonant voices to the chorus. “I Pity The Poor Immigrant” took on sea chantey tones with Garth Hudson’s accordion accompaniment. Song after song rolled on, “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight,” “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine,” “Lay Lady Lay,” “One Too Many Mornings.”
And then Dylan announced: “We’re going to do one more for you.” Just the slightest sardonic grin. “This was a big hit over here by Manfred Mann, a great group, a great group.” A whoop of anticipation, and sure enough, it was “Mighty Quinn,” mighty funky.
Bob smiled broadly and waved his goodbye as the audience fell into their chant: “More, more, more more, more . . . ” So he did an encore of two more songs, the first of them a new Dylan song, a slow, gentle ballad called “Who’s Gonna Throw That Next Throw,” then followed it with a prancing “Rainy Day Women No. 12 and No. 35.”
And that was it. He had sung for one solid hour, from 11 PM to midnight. “Thank you, thank you, great!” he told the audience, still smiling, as he left for the last time.”
They describe the second coming don’t they?
Continue reading The Best of Another Self Portrait: The Isle Of Wight concert