July 10: Bob Dylan Plays Drammen, Norway 1981 (audio) – Great Concert

Bob Dylan 1981 Drammen

My Favorite Summer 1981 concert is Drammen..
~Paul Williams (BD Performing Artist 1974-86)

Drammen, Norway
10 July 1981


  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
  • Fred Tackett (guitar)
  • Steve Ripley (guitar)
  • Willie Smith (keyboards)
  • Tim Drummond (bass)
  • Jim Keltner (drums)
  • Clydie King, Carolyn Dennis, Regina Havis, Madelyn Quebec (background vocals)


  1. The Times They Are A-Changin’
    Bob puts something into “The times They Are A-Changin'” that is unique to the evening. It’s not the way he sings the song, in any tecnical sense, but rather the feeling he manages to communicate. There is a sincerity in his singing, an unusual degree of conviction, a fresh, bright enthusiasm often associated with springtime.
    ~Paul Williams (BD Performing Artist 1974-86)
  2. Gotta Serve Somebody
  3. I Believe In You
    If you wish to meet Dylan, if you wish to spend some time with the private man ans really find out what he’s feeling, what’s going on with him, listen to this performance of “I Believe In you.” It’s straightforward, honest, enormous, filled with the exuberance of a Walt Whitman, Dylan singing in his best North american voice. He’s sharing his soul, and he knows it.
    ~Paul Williams (BD Performing Artist 1974-86)
  4. Like A Rolling Stone
  5. Till I Get It Right (Red Lane/Larry Henley)
  6. Man Gave Names To All The Animals
  7. Maggie’s Farm
  8. Girl From The North Country
  9. Ballad Of A Thin Man
  10. In The Summertime
  11. Slow Train
  12. Carolyn Dennis: Walk Around Heaven All Day (Rev. James Cleveland/Cassietta George)
  13. Let’s Begin (Jim Webb)
  14. Lenny Bruce
  15. Mr. Tambourine Man
    ..a truly spectacular “Mr. Tambourine Man”. ..the real genius of this “version” is the way Dylan alters his inflection throughout, his voice rising on a word or phrase were we would expect it to fall, and vice versa. The effect is to invite us to experience the song as something new …utterly delightful..
    ~Paul Williams (BD Performing Artist 1974-86)
  16. Solid Rock
  17. Just Like A Woman
  18. Forever Young
  19. Jesus Is The One
  20. Heart Of Mine
  21. When You Gonna Wake Up
  22. In The Garden

  23. Blowin’ In The Wind
  24. It Ain’t Me, Babe
  25. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

4 thoughts on “July 10: Bob Dylan Plays Drammen, Norway 1981 (audio) – Great Concert”

  1. Here’s an interesting take on gaining wisdom with age. In one of my own song’s there is a line about the beauty of an old guitar that go’s like this, “Now we’re both older, and the nights are colder. And my fingers feel the weight of time ’til I pick her up and hold her in my arms, and I stroke her strings, the melody seem’s to come alive and my lady starts sing.” When I turned 60, 70, then 80 there was “still no free lunch.” Practice and writing keeps me on track. So you young folks out there, don’t take youth for granted, be glad that you’ve got it and careful how you use it. I’ve written a couple of hundred songs in these latter years, some of my best. Remember that, yes, wisdom comes with age but your calendar time is the shrinking factor in how long you get to use it. Here’s a sample of how I use my time, it’s a song I wrote a couple of months ago that I consider to be a good example of how age has polished my skills. Since around 10.000 AD the troubadours have been and still are the musical messengers of their times. Punch the link, listen and check out the comments. It’s titled “The Old Troubadour.” I
    I hope you enjoy it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-KlUVLdKsg

    1. Correction of prior comment. The troubadours originated in southern France and Italy in 1,000 AD. There is no better example of how to deal with age than Bobby, who is still a workin’ guy in his 70s and carrying on the tradition in a manner transcending time. JRW

  2. One thing that I love about “All Dylan”is to hear the multitude of different versions of Bobby’s songs. I agree with Paul Williams that this one is special. It sounds like Bobby is a cat playing with a ball of yarn, a masterpiece of vocal artistry. I was at a gathering of the Folk tribe at The Lion’s Head near Christopher Street in the Village shortly after Bobby had written Mr. Tambourine Man. It had ripped through the Village like a giant bolt of electricity. Odetta was there and asked , “Have you heard Bobby’s new song?” She was like a warm and loving den mother to all us folkies. She sang it for us and soon after was one of the first to record it. It was a magical moment to hear her rich contralto voice wrapped around his words and music. It’s been a lot of years but I still feel the vibrations of her singing that night. Here’s my “Old Troubadours” take on Mr. Tambourine Man. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRlMc5O68F0

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