May 17: Bob Dylan & The Hawks: Free Trade Hall, Manchester, England 1966



May 17: Bob Dylan & The Hawks: Free Trade Hall, Manchester, England 1966

The most enthralling, truthful, priceless concert performance ever issued by a great artist.
~Michael Gray (BD Encyclopedia)

The most famous bootleg in rock history, with the possible exception of Dylan’s own Basement Tapes, finally makes its official appearance 32 years after the event, and nearly 30 years after it started circulating in the underground.
~Richie Unterberger (

Free Trade Hall
Manchester, England
17 May 1966

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & electric guitar)
  • Robbie Robertson (electric guitar)
  • Garth Hudson (organ)
  • Rick Danko (bass)
  • Richard Manuel (piano)
  • Mickey Jones (drums)

Believe in yourself (documentary about the Manchester gig featuring the great CP Lee):

Like A Rolling Stone (best version.. along with the original):


Released October 13, 1998
Recorded May 17, 1966
Genre Rock, folk rock, blues rock
Length 95:18
Label Columbia
Producer Jeff Rosen

Live 1966: The “Royal Albert Hall” Concert is a two-disc live album by Bob Dylan, released in 1998. It was recorded at the Manchester Free Trade Hall during Dylan’s world tour in 1966. Extensively bootlegged for decades, it is an important document in the development of popular music during the 1960s.

The setlist consisted of two parts, with the first half of the concert being Dylan alone on stage performing an entirely acoustic set of songs, while the second half of the concert has Dylan playing an “electric” set of songs alongside his band The Hawks. The first half of the concert was greeted warmly by the audience, while the second half was highly criticized, with heckling going on before and after each song.

bob dylan manchester 1966
Photo by Mark Makin

Visions Of Johanna:

After touring North America from the fall of 1965 through the winter of 1966, Dylan, accompanied by The Hawks (later renamed as The Band), embarked on a six-week spring tour that began in Australia, wound through western Europe and the United Kingdom, and wrapped up in London. Dylan’s move to electric music, and his apparent disconnection from traditional folk music, continued to be controversial, and his UK audiences were particularly disruptive with some fans believing Dylan had “sold out”.

The electric part of this concert first surfaced in late 1970 or early 1971 on bootleg LPs with various titles. On June 3, 1971, critic Dave Marsh reviewed one bootleg in Creem magazine, writing “It is the most supremely elegant piece of rock ‘n’ roll music I’ve ever heard…The extreme subtlety of the music is so closely interwoven with its majesty that they appear as one and the same.

bob dylan manchester 1966
Photo by Mark Makin

Track listing:

Disc 1 (solo acoustic)

  1. “She Belongs to Me” – 3:27
  2. “4th Time Around” – 4:37
  3. “Visions of Johanna” – 8:08
  4. “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” – 5:45
  5. “Desolation Row” – 11:31
  6. “Just Like a Woman” – 5:52
  7. “Mr. Tambourine Man” – 8:52

Disc 2 (with The Hawks)

  1. “Tell Me Momma” – 5:10
  2. “I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)” – 6:07
  3. “Baby, Let Me Follow You Down” (Eric von Schmidt. Arr. Dylan) – 3:46
  4. “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” – 6:50
  5. “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” – 4:50
  6. “One Too Many Mornings” – 4:22
  7. “Ballad of a Thin Man” – 7:55
  8. “Like a Rolling Stone” – 8:01


  • Bob Dylan – guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, piano on “Ballad of a Thin Man”, vocals
  • Rick Danko – bass guitar, vocal
  • Garth Hudson – organ
  • Mickey Jones – drums
  • Richard Manuel – piano
  • Robbie Robertson – electric guitar
bob dylan manchester 1966
Photo by Mark Makin

Radio documentary: Bob Dylan – Andy Kershaw’s Ghosts Of Electricity documentary. Manchester 1966 (1h 22m):

Full album @ spotify:


4 thoughts on “May 17: Bob Dylan & The Hawks: Free Trade Hall, Manchester, England 1966”

  1. Hey Elin,I’ve been following you for years after seeing your posts on expecting rain.You work so hard and have the BEST site I’ve ever seen on any artists. Thank you so much!! Peter Galvin

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