April 12: Bob Dylan Town Hall, New York 1963



April 12: Bob Dylan  Town Hall, New York 1963

This ranks high as one of the most important boot releases of all time, and on top of that, it’s simply a thrill and a joy to just sit back and listen to. If you’re only planning on getting one bootleg this decade, this is the one. Hands down.

Bob Dylan plays his first major solo concert at a major New York concert venue; Town Hall. He still hadn’t released his groundbreaking second album and chose only to play 3 songs from his first album. A confident young Dylan mostly playing songs unknown to the audience & ending with a long spoken poem called “Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie”.

The Town Hall was about three-quarter full…. not bad considering his only released album had been a “flop”.

It is a GREAT concert… a “must” for any Dylan fan.

The first bootleg recording (with some songs from the concert) started circulating in 1970. The full concert recording started circulating in 2008 (superb soundboard sound).

bob dylan town hall 1963 - Stolen Moments


A highlight among highlights! …… It’s a tender and beautiful one with Bob’s voice going into higher registers. He starts of joking that it’s a difficult song to sing and that he might not be able to; but he pulls it of incredibly well.
~bobsboots.com (about Don’t Think Twice)

#20 – Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright 


  1. Ramblin’ Down Thru The World
  2. Bob Dylan’s Dream
  3. Talkin’ New York
  4. Ballad Of Hollis Brown
  5. Walls Of Red Wing
    Red wing. It’s reform school. Don’t have no high school football teams though or nothing like that. No cheer leaders.
    ~Bob Dylan (introducing the song)
  6. All Over You
  7. Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues
  8. Boots Of Spanish Leather
    One of the highlights of the set is this incredible world debut performance. Bob’s finger picking lays a magical carpet on which he spreads a haunting melody that carries this lamentable tale of unrequited love.

  9. Hero Blues
  10. Blowin’ In The Wind
  11. John Brown
  12. Tomorrow Is A Long Time
  13. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

  14. Dusty Old Fairgrounds
  15. Who Killed Davey Moore?
  16. Seven Curses
  17. Highway 51 (Curtis Jones)
    …here it is in full glory. Bob holds out the first “walkin” for a full eight seconds as well as “highway” from the second verse. He is comfortable with the song and throws everything he’s got in his arsenal into it. The vocals, harp, and guitar are perhaps more expressive here than in any song of the concert. Simply an incredible find!
  18. Pretty Peggy-O (trad., arranged by Bob Dylan)
  19. Bob Dylan’s New Orleans Rag
  20. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
  21. Hiding Too Long
  22. With God On Our Side
    The audience is now putty in Dylan’s hand (as if they weren’t from the beginning of the show). He continues the powerful political statements with his final two songs. They are incredible. The audience doesn’t dare breath as they hang on every syllable.
  23. Masters Of War
  24. Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie

bob dylan town hall 1963

Address 123 West 43rd Street
City New York City
Country United States
Designation U.S. National Historic Landmark
Architect McKim, Mead & White
Capacity 1,495
Opened January 12, 1921
Years active 1921-current
Previous names The Hall, Town Hall

town hall NYC

The Town Hall is a performance space, located at 123 West 43rd Street, between Sixth Avenue and Broadway, in New York City. It seats approximately 1,500 people.

In the 1930s the first public-affairs media programming originated here with the “America’s Town Meeting of the Air” radio programs. In recognition of this the National Park Service placed the building on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012, and designated it a National Historic Landmark in 2013.

town hall NYC map

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9 thoughts on “April 12: Bob Dylan Town Hall, New York 1963”

  1. I have the original playbill for the April 12, ’63 concert. Long poem by BD inside: “My Life in a Stolen Minute”
    Any value?

  2. Highway 51 is some of the greatest blues i’ve ever heard. astonishing!!!

  3. AMAZING PERFORMANCE!!! Dylan at his pre-Newport 65 peak.

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