“Name That Tune” at the Bob Dylan Concert (Echoes of Newport, 1965)

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.)

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Comments (5)
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  • Your point? Fans were proven shortsighted at Newport and Dylan ha

  • Your point? Those “fans” were proven shortsighted at Newport and Dylan has continued doing his own thing ever since. What he does regularly raises eyebrows — from his religious period, to his uncredited appropriation of other’s words and tunes, to the goofy recent song and video Must Be Santa — and it doesn’t always work, but so what? When most rockers his age are touting autobiographies on Morning Joe or preparing for their once a decade reunion with a pair (a whole pair!) of new songs, Dylan continues releasing new material and touring and pissing off most everyone by reinventing himself and his catalogue. Gotta love that. (And BTW, wouldn’t you want to sing a song like Blowin’ in the Wind a little differently if you’d already been singing it for 50 years? I thought this version was great.)

  • Matt says:

    Exactly. Would you to write the same article for 50 years in a row or might you change some of the language? Don’t go if you don’t like it and sit home and listen to an old record of him.

  • jeff monk says:

    …not to mention the plethora of “ROCK STAR” bios hitting the shelves from wa-a-a-y too many aging, faded musicians. It can’t be stopped I realize, and these cats need to continue making a buck, but I really could care effing less about who screwed what, who sniffed, snorted, ingested, imbibed or injected whatever, what they learned and how much better they are now. I liked it much better when it was all a mystery gang…just saw Tav Falso Panther Burns here in my town, now there’s a guy with abook you want to read…’cos it ain’t alla bout him!

  • Pietro says:

    Look! Look closely, but don’t look too hard. The Emperor is wearing no clothes!

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