If not the best sounding recording, Liverpool is as good a performance of the electric set as you will find on the tour. Perhaps inspired by playing the hometown of the Fab Four, the band is tight and powerful. Dylan’s vocals, Robbie’s lead guitar playing and Garth’s erie B-3 all seem truly inspired.
…… that they could go on stage in Liverpool in May 1966—the city that had so recently been the centre of the musical universe— and hurl at their audience rock music a thousand times more sublime, challenging, multi-layered and exciting than anything Liverpudlians had ever heard before? Impossible to say, but easy to prove. Play that night’s ‘Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues’. By this point Dylan’s cawing voice and searing harmonica were both perfectly integrated instruments in amongst those of the Hawks, whose hardwon knowledge of each other’s playing freed them all to ride each moment in a ceaseless interchange of fiery, creative levitation.
~Michael Gray (BD Encyclopedia)
One of the best concerts I’ve heard from the 66-tour..
14 May 1966
- Tell Me, Momma
- I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
- Baby Let Me Follow You Down (Eric von Schmidt)
- Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
A truly demonic “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” … is issued (in mono) as the B-side of “I Wan’t You”. For many years this would be the only official evidence of the power of Dylan & The Hawks in performance.
~Clinton Heylin (A Life In stolen Moments)
- Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
- One Too Many Mornings
- Ballad Of A Thin Man
- Like A Rolling Stone
- Bob Dylan (vocal & electric guitar)
- Robbie Robertson (electric guitar)
- Garth Hudson (organ)
- Rick Danko (bass)
- Richard Manuel (piano)
- Mickey Jones (drums)
- Alldylan @ Facebook
- Bob Dylan: Live 1961- 1969 (video & audio)
- Bob Dylan: 5 essential videos from the 60’s
- Bob Dylan live 1970 – 1979 (videos & audio)
- Bob Dylan: 7 essential videos from the 70’s
- Olof’s “Still On The Road“
10 thoughts on “May 14: Bob Dylan & The Hawks: Odeon Theatre, Liverpool, England 1966”
“Bob didn’t want us to learn any of the songs…just PLAY them….”
The first concert I ever attended. I was 16. Walked the twelve miles back home that night down the East Lancs road with my bro and a friend, ecstatic. Bob ‘spoke’ to us from a balcony at the Adelphi Hotel overlooking Lime Street.
We asked him if we could come up to the room and he shouts down, ‘Y’ ain’t gonna boo me are ya’?’ We tried and failed to get in thru the kitchens…Dylan’s entry on stage, with the lit-up smoke from a cigarette, or sommat, streaming out of his hair as he strode to centre stage was like a lighting bolt. An amazing night, when I just didn’t understand why ANYBODY could boo or walk out, but it didn’t worry me as I got a seat closer to the stage. If I remember right, Bob did a first set of some Blonde on Blonde and other ‘electric’ material acoustically, and then a good bit of formerly acoustic stuff with the band, hence Baby Let Me Follow You Down, which ‘Used to be like that…’ (said after he’d done a couple of trills on harmonica) ‘…but now it goes like this.’ BANG!!!!
Great story! Thanks Michael.
“There’s a fellow out there looking for a Savior”! Boody Freakin’ EXCELLENT!! Thanks for the great show from Liverpool, just 3 days before the infamous “Judas” concert. This show really showed how good and powerful Dylan & the Hawks could be together. Absolutely Loved the versions of “Tell Me, Momma”, “Leopard-skin Pill-box Hat”,”Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues’, “Ballad Of a Thin Man”, and, especially “Like A Rolling Stone”. Best sound of this show that I’ve ever heard! Yes, in reference to 1st posted comment above, Bob sounds sincere in his final response to the show. I wonder how much he anticipated what awaits him in Manchester just 3 nights later. I also enjoyed the very good documentary re: Dylan in Liverpool. Yes, I do think that Dylan was channeling the power of being in The Beatles’s territory. Once Again, Thank You So Very Much for an enjoyable evening played 3x over. Peace Be With You! Sincerely, SMRZ!!
I love that ‘ documentary ‘, especially since I have that picture as my homescreen on my smartphone!
Interesting that Dylan says ‘Thank you very much’ at the end of the Liverpool concert to the strong applause at the end of ‘Like a rolling stone.’ The audience in Liverpool may have been more open to the rock side of the music than some other places on the tour.
I was there! The first of countless Dylan shows I’ve seen since, and of course this was truly memorable.
One big reason that Dylan and the band were so fired up was the audience reaction (bear in mind this was a small enclosed area, actually an old-style cinema).
They were well into the stormingly controversial electric tour, and although the Judas show in Manchester was a couple of nights ahead, a sizeable section of the Liverpool crowd was angry and hostile.
Folksy beatniks were striding down the aisles to the stage, to heckle and throw their programmes at him (hence the rarity of the 66 edition), they were booing and walking out, after what he did to Baby Let Me Follow You Down.
And when it came to Tom Thumbs Blues, Dylan was yelling right back at them, so fiercely that his voice was straining…”I’m going back to New York City? I do believe I’ve had enough…!”
And he sounded like he meant it.
hi dennis reading your write up of the bob dylan cocert at the odeon liverpool you said you were there i was aswell you said that the people threw everything at bob even programs well i have still got mine is it rare. what a nite.
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