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Dylan Live

The Zimmermann Institute's first dip into the inexhaustible recorded treasury of Bob Dylan the performing artist. IT'S ALRIGHT MA (I’M ONLY BLEEDING) Liverpool, UK May 1 1965
Shot by D.A. Pennebaker and Howard Alk during the filming of Don’t Look Back , the invaluable document of Dylan’s first UK tour.
It’s pretty clear that Dylan was to a large extent going through the motions at these shows, and had already moved on from the days of a lone guitar and a point of view so adored by the folk crowd. The part-electric Bringing It All Back Home was already out and ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ would be released in July. As he said later in the year, 'I was doing fine, you know, singing and playing my guitar. It was a sure thing...I was getting very bored with that...I knew what the audience was going to do, how they would react. It was very automatic'.
At the Royal Albert Hall on May 10, Dylan played his last-ever solo concert. A year later he would be back with The Hawks and the earth would shake. After all, ‘He not busy being born is busy dying’ to quote this most quotable of songs.
This is a state-of-the-nation address like no other and, Bob on autopilot or not, still awesome. IDIOT WIND Fort Collins CO, USA May 23 1976
One of the most treasured and iconic artefacts in the archive, again shot by Howard Alk, for a TV special.
Alk’s cameras allow us up close to Dylan, with his cool Jesus look, as he and his terrific grungy, on-the-edge band deliver a blistering, raging version of one of his greatest epics. Available on Hard Rain — hear the album, see the film!
This is the best sound/picture quality I could find, plus you can learn to sing it in Korean. I think it’s Korean. WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU? Toronto, Canada April 19 1980
One of many fine performances of this beautiful song on the gospel tour of 1979/80.
Backed by a superb band, Dylan kicked off with a legendary two-week residency at San Francisco’s intimate Warfield Theater in November ’79, the best nights of which rank among his greatest, most impassioned shows. They were also among his most controversial: Dylan played only very recently written and largely unknown Christian material, and harangued the audience with often lengthy disquisitions on Jesus, the end times, and suchlike. The unique atmosphere at these shows is palpable on the bootlegs.
The song is graced with two compelling harp breaks and the wonderfully asynchronous state-of the-art backing singers. IDIOT WIND San Jose CA, USA May 9 1992 (audio only)
We now enter ‘Never Ending Tour’ territory (close to a hundred shows a year since 1988), and audience recordings. Along with the one above, surely one of the finest performances of this song, and one with a very different emotional register. The San Francisco version a few nights earlier on the 5th, with local boy Jerry Garcia sitting in, is probably its equal and should be heard.
A perfect example of Dylan’s ongoing, necessary reinvention of his catalogue. And the sound of the band with Bucky Baxter’s pedal steel is so gorgeous.
I got a bootleg of this show in ’93 and this track was on every cassette compilation I made for a while. The song remains unperformed since this spring/summer US tour. DELIA Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK September 9 2000
In some ways my favourite of the lot. This murder-ballad of uncertain provenance gets a sublime treatment here. Dylan seems totally at one with the song, finding a wonderful acoustic groove and a beautiful vocal drenched in sorrow and regret. I even like the dodgy camerawork which puts you right there. My only reservation is the windsor-knotted pink tie.
Many covers have been performed throughout the NET, traditional material and otherwise; often they are show highlights. The Zimmermann Institute must do a collection or three for you soon... Bartleby

Dylan Live
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