Thursday, November 21, 2019

Dylan dedications

Once upon a time, a long time ago, Bob Dylan would actually tell stories in between songs in his concerts or banter with the crowd. In the 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue – the subject earlier this year of the Netflix film Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (a wasted opportunity IMO; Scorsese hasn't made a decent film since 1990 but seems to think adding his name to the title of a film adds some kind of prestige value) as well as the excellent 14-CD set The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings – Dylan would frequently dedicate songs to (mostly) famous people, from Sam Peckinpah (who Dylan of course worked with on Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid) to Gertrude Stein.

Plymouth, Massachusetts
31 October 1975

We’re gonna dedicate this to Keith Richards (Isis)
We’ll do this one for David Crosby who’s out there somewhere (Never Let Me Go)
This is for Brigham Young (Oh, Sister)

Providence, Rhode Island
4 November 1975 – Afternoon show

Gonna do this one for Richard Manuel, he’s not here but he’d like to be here... maybe he is here (I Shall Be Released)

Providence, Rhode Island
4 November 1975 – Evening
show
Gonna dedicate this to Sam Peckinpah (Romance In Durango)
We’re gonna do this one for Dennis Hopper (I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine)
I wanna do this song for all my sisters (Oh, Sister)

Springfield, Massachusetts
6 November 1975 – Afternoon
show
This is Scarlet and we’re gonna dedicate a song to Sam Peckinpah. Hope he’s here today (Romance In Durango)
I'd like to dedicate this song to the whole Massachusetts. As long as Long Island? (I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine)

Springfield, Massachusetts
6 November 1975 – Evening
show
We’re doing this one tonight for Sam Peckinpah. Glad you could make it Sam! (Romance In Durango)
We’re gonna dedicate this to Gertrude Stein (I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine)
We wanna dedicate this one to Richard Manuel, one of these days he’ll show up... and sing it for you (I Shall Be Released)

Burlington, Vermont
8 November 1975

Dedicated to all psychology students (A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall)
This song is a request, we’re gonna do it for Naomi (I Shall Be Released)
We want to do dedicate it to all our sisters out there (Oh, Sister)

Waterbury, Connecticut
11 November 1975
We’re gonna dedicate this one to Sam Peckinpah (Romance In Durango)
This is for Richard Manuel (I Shall Be Released)
We wanna do this for Larry, our favorite reporter, who’s out there somewhere, he tells it like it is (Sara)

New Haven, Connecticut
13 November 1975 – Afternoon
show
This song is dedicated to Da Vinci (It Ain’t Me, Babe)
We’re gonna dedicate this to Sam Peckinpah. We wish he could have come today, but he couldn’t make it (Romance In Durango)
This is for Richard Manuel (I Shall Be Released)
Wanna dedicate this to Brigham Young (Oh, Sister)

New Haven, Connecticut
13 November 1975 – Evening
show
We’re gonna dedicate this one to Sam Peckinpah (Romance In Durango).
We’re gonna do this for Gertrude Stein (I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine).
We’ll do this for Richard Manuel, he’s not here tonight, but he’d love to be (I Shall Be Released)

Niagara Falls, New York
15 November 1975 – Evening show
That was for Gertrude Stein and Modigliani (When I Paint My Masterpiece)

Rochester, New York
17 November 1975 – Evening show
We’re gonna dedicate this to my mother and Helena Rubinstein (Mama, You Been On My Mind)

Worcester, Massachusetts
19 November 1975

We do this one for Sam Peckinpah every night (Romance In Durango)
We’ll do this one for Richard Manuel, though he’s not here tonight (I Shall Be Released)

Cambridge, Massachusetts
20 November 1975

We’re gonna dedicate this to Henry VIII (Oh, Sister)
We’re gonna dedicate this one to all the people who used to work at the Club 47 (Just Like A Woman)

Boston, Massachusetts
21 November 1975 – Evening
show
This is called Romance In Durango, we do this one a lot, dedicate this to Sam Peckinpah, if he’s out there tonight, Sam, Good Luck! (Romance In Durango)

Hartford, Connecticut
24 November 1975
I wanna dedicate this to Wallace Stevens from Hartford, a great renowned poet, wherever you are now, we wish you the best of luck (The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll)
Dedicate this to all the people in the house tonight from Texas (Romance In Durango)
Dedicate this to Keith Richards (Isis)
Gonna dedicate this to Richard Manuel, he’s also in The Band (I Shall Be Released)
I wanna dedicate this to all the people who don’t have any answers (Just Like A Woman)

Augusta, Maine
26 November 1975
Here’s a true story, could happen to anybody. It’s called Isis. I wanna dedicate this to Keith Richards (Isis)

Bangor, Maine
27 November 1975
This is called Romance In Durango. We’re gonna dedicate this to D.H. Lawrence, if he’s here tonight (Romance In Durango)

Quebec City, Canada
29 November 1975
I don’t speak much French myself, wanna dedicate this song to the great French poet Arthur Rimbaud (The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll)
Dedicate this to the great writer Mr. Jack Kerouac (Simple Twist Of Fate)

Toronto, Canada
1 December 1975
Wanna dedicate this next song to Harry Dean Stanton, who’s out there somewhere (Romance In Durango)
Wanna do this for Richard Manuel, he’s not here tonight, he sends his regards (I Shall Be Released)

Toronto, Canada
2 December 1975
Gonna dedicate this to Pancho Villa and of course Sam Peckinpah (Romance In Durango)
Wanna dedicate this to Keith Richards, called Isis. Listen! (Isis)
We wanna do the next one for Ian and Sylvia (before Wild Mountain Thyme)

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
4 December 1975
Here’s a song about marriage, this is called Isis, this is for Leonard, if he’s still here (Isis)

New York City, New York
8 December 1975
We’re gonna do this song now for Mr. Albert Grossman. Hello Albert! Who won’t be the next president, don’t even want to be president! (It Takes A Lot To Laugh)
Here’s a song, want to dedicate this to Mr. Herman Melville (I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine)
Gonna dedicate this song to Mr. Richard Manuel, who does it so well (I Shall Be Released)
Gonna dedicate this to all our sisters out there tonight (Oh, Sister)

Despite looking like it's been designed in Microsoft Publisher using harsh RGB colours, Olof Bj√∂rner’s website, bjorner.com, is an extraordinary Bob Dylan reference site (which Dylan writer Clinton Heylin bizarely regularly rubbishes in his recent Dylan books). Looking at the homepage, you might surmise the site was as much about British philosopher and writer John Cowper Powys as Bob Dylan – but there's just a few pages on Powys and presumably hundreds on Dylan. I actually must get around to reading Powy’s four Wessex novels, or at least Wolf Solent, where the main character, a teacher in London, has a breakdown during a history class, triggered by a look of “inert despair that he had seen on the face of a man on the steps of Waterloo station.” He is fired, and returns to his hometown in Dorset.

No comments :