By Tony Attwood with track selections by Aaron Galbraith
What makes Bob pick one of his own songs, perform it just the once and then move on? Sadly that is a rhetorical question – I have no idea of the answer, but I really wish I did. I’d love to know how the idea comes up, and then having been executed well, is just set aside forever more.
John Wesley Harding was released at the end of 1967, and Bob waited five years before giving it an outing, and then that was that.
The venue was Toronto, at the Maple Leaf Gardens, and the date was 10 January 1974.
As you can hear it is performed with vigour and determination. There is nothing here to suggest that Bob isn’t enjoying the performance, the singing is clear the lead guitar is perfectly suited to the performance, the crowd welcome the appearance of the song.
And that’s it. Never again.
Here’s another unexpected piece: Billy, performed 22 March 2009 at Berns Club in Stockholm.
And again I am wondering, why here, why on this day, why not again? It really is a little bit strange I find.
Perhaps less strange than “As I went out” because it is a bit of a plodding tune, and the accompaniment isn’t especially inspired, but it is an interesting and unusual 12 bar blues – certainly one of the most inventive 12 bar blues melodies that Bob has written.
But then, no one can out guess Bob.
Finally, a selection from Tony
This was performed in the State Theatre, Detroit, 16 March 2004 and is a song by Bob Seeger. Here is the original
Bob Seger has sold more than 75 millions records worldwide, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. He finally made his farewell tour in 2018/9. Like Bob he is the great survivor at a time when so many around him faded.
Apart from the songs he recorded himself he also co-wrote (among many others) the Eagles’ number-one hit “Heartache Tonight”, and his recording of “Old Time Rock and Roll” was named one of the Songs of the Century in 2001. Here it is (just in case you need reminding!)
Untold Dylan: who we are what we do
Untold Dylan is written by people who want to write for Untold Dylan. It is simply a forum for those interested in the work of the most famous, influential and recognised popular musician and poet of our era, to read about, listen to and express their thoughts on, his lyrics and music.
We welcome articles, contributions and ideas from all our readers. Sadly no one gets paid, but if you are published here, your work will be read by a fairly large number of people across the world, ranging from fans to academics. If you have an idea, or a finished piece send it as a Word file to Tony@schools.co.uk with a note saying that it is for publication on Untold Dylan.
We also have a very lively discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook with around 8000 active members. Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link And because we don’t do political debates on our Facebook group there is a separate group for debating Bob Dylan’s politics – Icicles Hanging Down
You’ll find some notes about our latest posts arranged by themes and subjects on the home page of this site. You can also see details of our main sections on this site at the top of this page under the picture. Not every index is complete but I do my best. Tony Attwood