On Thursday night, I finally understood it -- how fans felt back in July 1965, when Bob Dylan strapped on an electric guitar and did sonic violence to the norms and expectations of the Newport Folk Festival. Fans wanted to hear the Bob Dylan they knew and loved -- the folk Dylan who played a simple acoustic guitar, harmonica and not much more. But the times were-a-changin, and they got something different, very different. See here.
Almost 50 years later, Dylan keeps giving his fans a different Dylan. When the Never Ending Tour rolled through San Francisco this week, he played songs the fans came to hear -- classics like Love Minus Zero/No Limit, Like A Rolling Stone, Tangled Up in Blue, and A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall. Except he set them to new melodies, and between his gravelly voice and the gravelly sound system, it took some fans minutes to realize what they were listening to. I cite one example above. In how many minutes can you name that tune?
(Note: The song above was originally recorded in Dresden in July. It was also played in SF this past week.)