Don’t be bewildered by the Never Ending Tour chatter, there was a Never Ending Tour but it ended with the departure of guitarist GE Smith. [Smith played his last concert with Dylan on October 19, 1990]
~Bob Dylan (Liner Notes to 1993’s World Gone Wrong)
The Never Ending Tour 1990 started off with a leg called the Fastbreak tour where Dylan performed:
Jan 12, 14 & 15 – United States – one small club (Toad’s place) & two east coast colleges
Jan 18 & 25 – Brazil (two giant festivals)
Jan 29, 30, 31 & Feb 1 – Paris, France @ Theatre de Grand Rex
Feb 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 – London, England @ Hammersmith Odeon
He plays 98 songs in 15 shows, 56 of which were only played one or two times.
It starts in a small club with 700 people, where Bob plays 50 songs in five hours, many of them covers never heard before or since.
On January 12, as a warm-up for two stadium shows in Brazil and ten further dates in Paris and London, he played his first club gig in over twenty-five years, at Toad’s Place in New Haven. The seven hundred lucky witnesses saw this forty-eightyear-old man play for a total of four and a half hours.
Starting at a quarter to nine, with a cover of Joe South’s ‘Walk a Mile in My Shoes’ (‘before you accuse, criticize, or abuse I walk a mile in my shoes’), Dylan finally left the Toad’s stage at twenty minutes past two in the morning, after four sets, interspersed by three breaks of just twentyfive minutes each, having played fifty songs in total, only eight of which derived from his supposed halcyon days of 1963-66.
~Clinton Heylin (Behind The Shades)
New Haven, Connecticut
12 January 1990