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.]

And Well, here, un-Coralized, is John Wesley Harding Meets Lord Tennyson, the page from whence all these delights come. Which is but one item on the left hand side bar of the home page of Big O World Wide, a magazine from Singapore of which I had never heard until tonight. Where someone has a monster collection of Recordings Of Indeterminate Origin indeed. And several are still up and open. The mind reels, the intellect stands abashed.

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

And, for further Dylanesque revelations, see--

Bob Dylan, Isle of Wight Festival, 08-31-69

Electric atmosphere

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...
posted by y2karl (10 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
And, oh man, only now and without trying, I am tied with Miguel Cardoso in number of posts and it's been what ? Three years ? Man, he was a posting machine. Where did he come up with all that stuff ?
posted by y2karl at 12:36 AM on January 26, 2008

Amazing post. Thanks a lot. It's going to take a while to digest all this stuff...
posted by switchsonic at 1:49 AM on January 26, 2008

posted by languagehat at 6:16 AM on January 26, 2008

Great post as always, but I cant read the complete text when you hover over the links. I used to be able to, did Matt disable this?
posted by wheelieman at 6:38 AM on January 26, 2008

not taking care of his vocal chords...

my admiration for people who can sing chords by themselves is unbounded.
posted by bruce at 6:40 AM on January 26, 2008

No, I probably pushed past the limit on the number of characters I could put in, I suspect. It worked on my end at the time. My bad, sorry.
posted by y2karl at 6:42 AM on January 26, 2008

my admiration for people who can sing chords by themselves is unbounded.

Well, there are some Tibetan monks to admire, then.
posted by y2karl at 6:44 AM on January 26, 2008

I prefer Dewey Cox's version of Royal Jelly
posted by A189Nut at 6:51 AM on January 26, 2008

wheelieman: I'll bet you're running into an ancient, perennially present Firefox bug.

I've heard it's fixed finally in the Firefox 3 betas.
posted by blasdelf at 2:37 PM on January 26, 2008

Are You Up For The Download ? From the Well Duh Department at the Office for the Overstatement of the Obvious for the Oblivious comes this note: Searching the archives at Big O, on or offsite, is a bit of a chore, which one might suspect is likely by intention, considering the material at hand. Here, for the record, is their music blog: Talkin’ About My Revolutions, from whence this compilation came. And check out the selection currently available, which currently includes concert recordings by Amy Winehouse (Live at Tempodrom, Berlin, Germany, Oct 15, 2007); Grand Funk Railroad (Live at The Forum Los Angeles, CA, June 2, 1974) and Patti Smith and Silver Mt. Zion (Live at the Ukrainian Federation, Montreal, Canada, October 3, 2007). And then there ar unissued studio recordings of every genre one can stumble across elsewhere. But, all the same, bootlegged though they may be, their ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to their journal.
posted by y2karl at 12:27 PM on January 27, 2008

« Older What Am I Craving?   |   MTV when it was AWESOME Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments