John Wesley Harding Meets Lord Tennyson - Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight August 31st, 1969
January 26, 2008 12:27 AM Subscribe
At the Isle of Wight Festival, Dylan was the only monster on the bill capable of attracting a monster of an audience. In refusing to play the Woodstock Festival and in then letting himself be talked into playing the Isle of Wight, Dylan in effect was telling England's counterculture: ''C'mon. Let's hold our own Woodstock.'' And so, on the Isle of Wight, a dot of land that certainly wasn't the easiest place in the world to get to, Dylan almost single-handedly proved an enticing enough attraction to collect an audience sometimes estimated to be as few as a 125,000 and sometimes as many as 250,000.My Dylan Papers: Part 2 The Isle of Wight
Another scrap from the late Al Aronowitz, the self-styled Blacklisted Journalist, and former Dylan courtier, recalling the only full concert Dylan gave solo or with the Band between 1967 and 1973 and sung in his Nashville Skyline voice, to boot, no less. And now you can have it all to yourself....
So, I decided to put the real meat of the post within for obvious reasons. There is now available online the entire concert in mp3 format, big fat files at that, free and suited to burning to CD or Ipod, I would assume. Free. I have Coralized it all below out of a perhaps misplaced sense of decorum.
And here, Coralized is the entire concert:
[or not... Heck! I went to all that work while waiting to post again to Coralize every mp3 file and all for naught. They won't download from here... Ah, well, it worked from this end.]
Well, it's all there and then more... Look around.
For instance, among many things, I saw Tombstone, an unreleased post Rock-of-Ages, post Robbie Robertson, post Richard Manuel, 1980s studio Band album done with Jules Shear for instance, still available upon request, or the whole Lou Reed/Zeitkratzer live Metal Machine Music concert in 2002, no longer available at all as there will be a commercial recording soon. So, the Big O Audio Archives is a site on which to keep an eye.
Ah, and now, I see that Punkfloyd has previously posted concerning the Stones from Big O only two days before This Christmas past, so this is not entirely new here...
Well, I sure don't understand how they can afford to put all this stuff up. So hence the no trapeze without a .nyud.net
And, for further Dylanesque revelations, see--
Bob Dylan, Isle of Wight Festival, 08-31-69
The Mystery Dream of Nashville Skyline
That voice reappeared on Self-Portrait and then, having taken up smoking again, disappeared from his public singing--I have heard anecdotes that, alone, at home or backstage, he could sing in that voice still years later. One wonders how much of it he has left. Not much I suspect. Years of touring and screaming and not taking care of his vocal chords have left him with barely any voice at all. Or so it has sounded the last few times I have heard him in concert. It is painful and sad to hear him now and one almost needs subtitles to even tell which song he is singing sometimes, at least until he hits the chorus.
As for the Bootleg, I had it on vinyl by 1970 and it is interesting, if only for historical reasons. I had issues with the whole Nashville Skline voice. Ah, but I was so much older then... And for sure, the best songs have been put out by Columbia--including Minstrel Boy and the Mighty Quinn.
But I do remember liking his take on The Wild Mountain Thyme and imagine my surprise when another take appeared on Bob Dylan 1965 Revisited, the new Pennebaker movie of outtakes on a second DVD that comes with the deluxe 40th aniiversary box set of Don't Look Back, that comes with book and a flip book of of the Subterranean Homesick Blues cue card outtake. That is a film well worth seeing. Dylan sings Wild Mountain Thyme in a hotel room with Joan Baez and, as it turns out, it was a number they had done their tour of England only two weeks before the tour of Don't Look Back. And it's the same arrangement that Baez uses on Farewell, Angelina.
As for the Columbia recordings of the concert, Dylan was not so enthused with the results and called off a planned tour for later that year, or so some have asserted. Sitll, it has its moments.
And here are some videos:
Bob Dylan & the Band - Highway 61 Revisited
Bob Dylan & the Band - I Threw It All Away
Bob Dylan & the Band - One Too Many Mornings
Bob Dylan & the Band - I Pity The Poor Immigrant
John Lennon and Ringo Starr in the crowd
Well, I do try to set a lavish buffet sometimes...
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