“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.)

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Bob Dylan and The Grate­ful Dead Rehearse Togeth­er in Sum­mer 1987. Lis­ten to 74 Tracks

The 1969 Bob Dylan-John­ny Cash Ses­sions: Twelve Rare Record­ings

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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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