Tag Archives: Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan´s Gospel Years Part 5: Saturday Night Live Performance




In the autumn, Dylan made what many found a surprising appearance on ‘Saturday Night Live” on NBC-TV on October 20, performing three of the songs from the album, backed by five musicians and three female gospel singers ( and looking, despite the fire- and -brimstone lyrics sung, strangely tame: almost domesticated).
-Michael Gray (Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)

He sang three songs that night. The least memorable was the first, a reluctantly delivered “Gotta Serve Somebody,” complete with a botched lyric. The other two — a passionate acoustic “I Believe in You” and, finally, a proselytizingly blazing “When You Gonna Wake Up” highlighted by searing support from Terry Young (organ) and Fred Tackett (lead guitar) — remain transcendent to this day.
-Villagevoice (Saturday Night Live’s Forty Essential Music Moments, Ranked)

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Jan 21: Bob Dylan performing “Shelter From The Storm” @ Madison Square Garden, NYC 1998 (Video)





bob dylan new york 1998

’Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

Not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved
Everything up to that point had been left unresolved
Try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

Great version where our man misses the first sentence in verse three… and the starts of the last verse (details below the video).

The Theater
Madison Square Garden
New York City, New York
21 January 1998

Continue reading Jan 21: Bob Dylan performing “Shelter From The Storm” @ Madison Square Garden, NYC 1998 (Video)

Bob Dylan: The Gospel Years, Part 4 – Best Song 1979 “Slow Train”





Sometimes I feel so low-down and disgusted
Can’t help but wonder what’s happenin’ to my companions
Are they lost or are they found?
Have they counted the cost it’ll take to bring down
All their earthly principles they’re gonna have to abandon?
There’s a slow, slow train comin’ up around the bend

If I could keep only one performance from the Slow Train Coming album, it would have to be the title song, “Slow Train,” much as I love to listen to “Precious Angel,” much as I am in awe of Dylan’s vocal performance on all of “When He Returns” and pieces of “I Believe in You.” But “Slow Train” is it, the white-hot core of the album, the one track that can and must be listened to again and again and again, inexhaustible, essential.
-Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Vol 2: The Middle Years 1974-1986)

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..nothing less than Dylan’s most mature and profound song about America.
– Jann Wenner (Rolling Stone Magazine)

Slow Train:

Continue reading Bob Dylan: The Gospel Years, Part 4 – Best Song 1979 “Slow Train”

Bob Dylan: The Gospel Years, Part 3 – Slow Train Coming (album)





bob dylan slow train coming

It’s in my system. I don’t really have enough time to talk about it. If someone really wants to know, I can explain it to them, but there are other people who can do it just as well. I don’t feel compelled to do it. I was doing a bit of that last year on the stage. I was saying stuff I figured people needed to know. I thought I was giving people an idea of what was behind the songs. I don’t think it’s necessary any more. When I walk around some of the towns we go to, however, I’m totally convinced people need Jesus. Look at the junkies and the winos and the troubled people. It’s all a sickness which can be healed in an instant. The powers that be won’t let that happen. The powers that be say it has to be healed politically.
~Bob Dylan (to Robert Hilburn – Nov 1980)

Musically, this is probably Dylan’s finest record, a rare coming together of inspiration, desire and talent that completely fuse strength, vision and art.
~Jann S. Wenner (rollingstone.com – Sept. 1979)

Slow Train Coming was a collection of songs Dylan had originally intended to donate to backing singer Carolyn Dennis.
~Clinton Heylin (The Recording Sessions)

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January 20: Bob Dylan & The Band @ The Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert in 1968

Woody Guthrie had died (after fifteen years of illness) on October 3, 1967, and, apparently at Dylan’s suggestion, plans were made to hold a benefit concert in his honor. The concert took place January 20, 1968, at Carnegie Hall; Dylan appeared backed by the Band (other performers included Odetta, Pete Seeger, Jack Elliot, and Judy Collins), and played three Woody Guthrie songs: “Grand Coulee Dam,” “Dear Mrs. Roosevelt,” and “I Ain’t Got No Home.” These performances were later released on a Columbia album called A Tribute to Woody Guthrie, Part 1. Dylan and the Band are in fine form here – their performances are inventive, exuberant, and sublimely musical.
-Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)

Carnegie Hall
New York City, New York
20 January 1968
The Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert. Afternoon show.

  • Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal)
  • Robbie Robertson (guitar)
  • Richard Manuel (piano)
  • Garth Hudson (organ)
  • Rick Danko (bass)
  • Levon Helm (drums)

Continue reading January 20: Bob Dylan & The Band @ The Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert in 1968