By Aaron Galbraith and Tony Attwood
Bob performed Yea Heavy and a Bottle of Bread live twice. First in 2002 at Madison Square Garden, where it appeared as the second song in the set. Right at the end he says, “that was a request”. I believe it was from someone he was talking to backstage just before they went on!
Clearly though there has been some rehearsal as the guys in the band know when and how to come in with the vocal accompaniment. I called it “abstract weird” when reviewing the song But if you really want an in depth analysis of what is going on here, Jochen’s review takes us through every highway and byway that could have anything to do with the song. His conclusion was that “Although similar in structure, melodic charm, catchiness and humbug, “Yea! Heavy And A Bottle Of Bread” never reaches a status like “Quinn The Eskimo”, “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” or “Million Dollar Bash”.” But he still finds some fascinating covers of the song.
Bob performed it once more in London in 2003.
Performing off the cuff like that (if that is what he was doing, and I am not convinced) is not too hard musically as it is a simple musical piece, but the fact is that he can remember all the lyrics – that is an extraordinary feat of memory, and gives quite an insight into the way his brain works.
Now the Mountains of Mourne – all fifty seconds of it.
It was played at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow, February 3, 1991 – a fact that explains why the audience was so enthusiastic about the performance.
The song opened the performance before Dylan went into Subterranean Homesick Blues! The piece was written by 19th century songwriter William Percy French, who is also known as a watercolour artist.
And now for something completely different. “Shake Rattle and Roll”
This came from the Leyendas de la Guitarra concert on October 17, 1991.
It is a classic 12 bar blues, and was written in 1954 by Jesse Stone (known as Charles E Calhoun for reasons that will not become clear at this point), and recorded by Big Joe Turner. That version was a hit, but it became an even bigger hit for Bill Haley and His Comets – one of a long series of hits the band had.
The recording includes Danny Cedrone on lead guitar. He was a session musician who regularly played with Haley. This was Cedrone’s last recording session as he died only ten days later. This recording spent 27 weeks in the top 40 in the USA.
Other articles in the series include….
- Bob’s live rarities: As I went out, Billy, Get out of Denver.
- Bob’s once only songs: 12 gates; one morning; Viola Lee
- Bob’s once only songs: Boom Boom Mancini & Farewell to the Gold
- Bob Dylan’s once only file: B-Thang, Blue Bonnet Girl and Blue Monday
- Dylan’s once only file: I defy you not to play this song twice. Or more.
- Dylan’s once only file: You’re too late and the Old Rock n Roller
- Dylan’s Once only file “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” “Blue Moon” “Weeping Willow”
- Dylan’s “Once Only” File: 10,000 men and 20/20 Vision
- Bob’s Once Only File: Elvis, Tom, Shadows and one by mistake