Three Years after the Motorcycle Accident…”He changed everything”

31 Aug

Thanks to rumours that one or all of The Beatles would be joining him on stage,[11] Dylan’s comeback show had now been, in the words of music journalist John Harris, “inflated into the gig of the decade”.[4] On 31 August, a nervous Bob Dylan arrived on stage in a cream suit recalling Hank Williams, with a haircut and a short beard.[12] Backed by The Band, he performed recent pieces from his Nashville Skyline and John Wesley Harding albums as well as countryfied versions of earlier songs such as “Maggie’s Farm“, “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Like a Rolling Stone[13] − much to the surprise and consternation of the audience and the throng of journalists. Levon Helm later commented: “Bob had an extra list of songs with about eight or ten different titles … that we would’ve gone ahead and done had it seemed like the right thing to do. But it seemed like everyone was a bit tired … the festival was three days old by then.”

Eric Clapton was mesmerized, however, having already been inspired back to blues and country post-Cream by Dylan’s change of musical direction and by The Band’s album Music From Big Pink. “Dylan was fantastic,” Clapton later said. “He changed everything … [The audience] couldn’t understand it. You had to be a musician to understand it.”

Dylan’s setlist was as follows:

  1. She Belongs to Me*
  2. I Threw It All Away
  3. Maggie’s Farm
  4. Wild Mountain Thyme
  5. It Ain’t Me Babe
  6. To Ramona
  7. Mr. Tambourine Man
  8. I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine
  9. Lay Lady Lay
  10. Highway 61 Revisited
  11. One Too Many Mornings
  12. I Pity the Poor Immigrant
  13. Like a Rolling Stone*
  14. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
  15. The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo)*
  16. Minstrel Boy*
  17. Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35

A pretty good video of  most  Dylan’s concert with the band can be found here.  There are other snippets of things!

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