Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dylan's Halloween show, Saturday October 31, 1964.

"Dylan was performing publicly as often as he could, doing many concerts across the country. One of the more important was a program at Philharmonic Hall in New York, Saturday, October 31, Halloween night. Columbia Records taped the show, hoping to get a live album out of it. Dylan did about eighteen songs, and the tape indicates he had reached a high level of musicianship by now-- his guitar and harmonica work had grown enormously, and he demonstrated a great deal of control over his material. He also showed he was able to take his songs less seriously than most of his audience. 
Introducing "The Gates of Eden" Dylan smirked: "This is a sacrilegious lullaby in G minor" At one point he told the packed house that overflowed on seats on the stage: "Well, hope you're all havin' a good time... It's Halloween and, uh, I've got my Bob Dylan mask on." 
He performed some protest songs, among them Hard Rain, Hattie Carroll, and Davey Moore. And he stunned the audience by bringing out Joan Baez after intermission. They did four songs together, including With God on Our Side.
But this was mostly the new Dylan: Gates of Eden, Its All Right, Ma, (I'm Only Bleeding), and Mr. Tambourine Man each of them personal visions from the mind of a popular poet, one of them difficult for an audience to understand at first hearing.  "An introspective, symbolist piece that moved in and out of this listener's comprehension, but still conveyed a strong mood," Shelton wrote of Tambourine Man in his Times review.  The new songs, differing in quality, in texture, in color, were still all of a piece in stressing personal freedom as man's basic reason for being.  And personal freedom meant liberation from all the cultural hangups imposed by the authoritarians, all the societal structures that deny truth and create walls between us all. "

--Excerpt from Bob Dylan by Anthony Scaduto, 1971

(Above photo is of the Beatles attending a Dylan show at the Isle of Wight in the UK, 1969.  Ringo and Maureen are centered with Patti, George, John and Yoko behind them....  Like Maureen's hat, Dylan's hat (top photo) is great, but LOVE Patti's hat)


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