Oh, the gentlemen are talking and the midnight moon is on the riverside
They’re drinking up and walking and it is time for me to slide
I live in another world where life and death are memorized
Where the earth is strung with lovers’ pearls and all I see are dark eyes
Here is a video of Bob Dylan & Patti Smith performing a great “Dark Eyes”.
It’s probably from one of Dylan’s two NYC concerts in December 1995, both at The Beacon Theatre (Dec 11 & 14).
A cock is crowing far away and another soldier’s deep in prayer
Some mother’s child has gone astray, she can’t find him anywhere
But I can hear another drum beating for the dead that rise
Whom nature’s beast fears as they come and all I see are dark eyes
They tell me to be discreet for all intended purposes,
They tell me revenge is sweet and from where they stand, I’m sure it is.
But I feel nothing for their game where beauty goes unrecognized,
All I feel is heat and flame and all I see are dark eyes.
Oh, the French girl, she’s in paradise and a drunken man is at the wheel
Hunger pays a heavy price to the falling gods of speed and steel
Oh, time is short and the days are sweet and passion rules the arrow that flies
A million faces at my feet but all I see are dark eyes
15 December 1995
…. and then three nights in Philadelphia (December 15–17). Every night Patti Smith would come on in the middle for the tenth song of the set and they would share vocals on ‘Dark Eyes’, the acoustic song from the end of the Empire Burlesque album of ten years earlier, and which he had never sung live before. The routine might have been the same every night but there was nothing routine about it. …. ….but without question live performance brought it alive, and it was Patti Smith who made it happen. Here, in the tingling electricity between them as they traded verses and duetted on the choruses, the song was the conduit of a beauty and excitement it had never possessed. Many Dylan followers believed that he felt challenged by Patti Smith’s still possessing a fierce anti-showbiz, anti-bullshit credibility that had in his own case been compromised by then: that she therefore kept him on his toes as no performance with his own band alone would have done. As it was, he rose higher than his toes.
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)
17 December 1995
Once upon a time you dressed so fine
Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
People call say ‘beware doll, you’re bound to fall’
You thought they were all kidding you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hanging out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging your next meal
Here are 9 great cover versions of “Like A Rolling Stone”
A writer, or any artist, can’t expect to be embraced by the people [but] you just keep doing your work — because you have to, because it’s your calling. ~Patti Smith
Punk rock’s poet laureate Patti Smith ranks among the most influential female rock & rollers of all time. Ambitious, unconventional, and challenging, Smith’s music was hailed as the most exciting fusion of rock and poetry since Bob Dylan’s heyday. ~Steve Huey (allmusic.com)
Let us kick off with the heartfelt touching performance from The Nobel Prize ceremony.
A duet is a musical composition for two performers in which the performers have equal importance to the piece. It is often used to describe a composition involving two singers. It differs from a harmony, as the performers take turns performing a solo section rather than performing simultaneously.
Bob Dylan has done a lot of duets, we have collected some of our favourites and will present them in batches of three. This first post has three of his most beautiful duets with some strong female artists.
Bob Dylan and Joan Baez – Never Let me Go from the movie, Renaldo and Clara.
William Everett “Billy” Preston (September 2, 1946 – June 6, 2006) was an American musician whose work included R&B, rock, soul, funk and gospel. A virtuoso keyboardist, particularly on Hammond organ, Preston was recognized as a top session musician in the 1960s, during which he backed artists such as Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and the Beatles. He then went on to achieve fame as a solo artist, with hit pop singles including “That’s the Way God Planned It”, “Outa-Space”, “Will It Go Round in Circles”, “Space Race”, and “Nothing from Nothing”.
In addition, Preston co-wrote “You Are So Beautiful”, which became a number 5 hit for Joe Cocker. Preston continued to record and perform with other artists, notably George Harrison after the Beatles’ break-up, and Eric Clapton, and he played keyboards for the Rolling Stones on many of the group’s albums and tours during the 1970s.