“I still say that some of the biggest criminals are those that turn their heads away when they see wrong and know it’s wrong. I’m only 21 years old and I know that there’s been too many wars… You people over 21 should know better. The first way to answer these questions in the song is by asking them. But lots of people have to first find the wind.”
~Bob Dylan (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Liner Notes – 1963)
The version of “Blowin’ in the Wind” that eventually appeared on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was recorded at this July 9 session. Of all the available performances of this song from 1962 and 1963, this “official” recording is my favorite. It has a presence, a magic, as if Dylan took a deep breath and thought, “Okay, this one’s for posterity.” I don’t think Dylan ever put quite as much of himself into the song again. He didn’t have to. The song itself was in the wind at that point.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist 1960-1973 The Early Years)
Bob Dylan first performed Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ on July 8, 1988 at the Forum de
Montréal in Canada. Montréal is Cohen’s home town and it is possible that he attended the show.
Dylan’s second and final performance, on his “Interstate 88” tour, was on August 4, 1988, at the
final night of a three show residency at the Greek Theatre, Hollywood.
Dylan and Leonard Cohen first met sometime in the late ’60s and have remained friends ever
since, meeting whenever the opportunity arises. One such occasion was after a concert in Paris,
probably Dylan’s October 7, 1987 show at P.O.P.B. Bercy. The two songwriters spent some
considerable time talking shop, over coffee, in a café somewhere in the 14th Arrondissment of
Paris. Dylan told Cohen that he especially liked the ending to his then new song ‘Hallelujah’.
“And even though it all went wrong / I’ll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on
my tongue but hallelujah!”
~Derek Barker (The Songs He didn’t write)
Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
In his first tour of Europe in 12 years, Bob Dylan played Nürnberg on July 1. Organized by the new “Rock im Park” festival which was established in 1976 with Santana and Chicago, 1978 featured both Eric Clapton and Dylan in front of 80,000 spectators.
The show is imbued with additional meaning since the Zeppelinfeld was constructed in the ’30s and was the site for the Nazi Party rallies between 1933 and 1938 and can be seen in the film Triumph Of The Will. That a Jewish artist such as Bob Dylan preformed there 40 years later provides a special irony for the setting.
Nuremberg, West Germany
1 July 1978
Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
Billy Cross (lead guitar)
Alan Pasqua (keyboards)
Steven Soles (rhythm guitar, backup vocals), David Mansfield (violin & mandolin)
Steve Douglas (horns)
Jerry Scheff (bass)
Bobbye Hall (percussion)
Ian Wallace (drums)
Helena Springs, Jo Ann Harris, Carolyn Dennis (background vocals)
Eric Clapton (guitar) on I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight & The Times They Are A-Changin’