Dylan’s once only file – reaching the end by approaching the border

By Tony Attwood

We’ve covered quite a few songs that Dylan has only performed once on stage, and I am getting to the end of my list.  Not the end of the list of songs that Bob only performed once, but songs in this category for which I can find a decent recording, and (I must admit) where I feel we can take something from the performance.

But if you know of any songs that Dylan has only performed once or twice that we haven’t covered and for which there is a decent recording available, and which you think it is worth bringing to everyone’s attention, please do get in touch.  The email address is at the end.

Dolly Dagger got its only run  through from Dylan on 18 March 1992, at the Perth Entertainment Centre.

It is a Hendrix song, that was played in the 1970 tour and at the Isle of Wight Festival, but was not released as a record until after his death, on the album Rainbow Bridge and as a single, it thus being the last Hendrix to make the charts.

The general view is that this is about Hendrix’ girlfriend who was also having a relationship with Mick Jagger.

Here’s the Hendrix version; the feel is completely different.  For once I am not at all sure that Bob adds anything; the accompaniment to the Hendrix version really does make the song stand out.  And the guitar solo is for me pure Hendrix.  I do hope you have a moment to listen to this.

G Thang

OK this is where I, as an Englishman of a certain age, run into difficulty, because I am not familiar with American slang.  I have seen it described as meaning “good thing” but also seen it mentioned in connection with Aristotle which is, to say the least, unlikely.

We also might recall that Bob played “B-Thang” one night in 1989 so this comes from the same genre.  The recording comes from Park West, Park City, UT on 1 September  1989.


Million Dollar Bash

At least the provenance of this song is clear – we know Dylan wrote it and we know the only performance was at the Carling Academy, Brixton, on 21 November 2005.

Jochen reminded us in his review of this song that Fairport Convention recorded this, so I can’t let the opportunity pass…

And now we approach the end.

Lady of Carlisle

This is a traditional Cumbrian song which for reasons unknown Bob decided to play at the State Theatre, Sydney on 14 April 1992.


I think though I really have to end with Robert Tincher’s version of this traditional song.  Please don’t stop because this is not Dylan – this rendition below helps us understand exactly where Bob was coming from.  And it is an absolutely stunning performance.

If you go to http://roberttincher.reverbnation.com/ you will find some more beautiful performances from Robert.   So this seems a most worthy place to finish, for it is quality performers such as Robert Tincher that have, over the years, kept the traditioinal music alive.  And without hearing this music in his early days Bob would have taken a very different, and I suspect far less interesting, route.

If you have been, thanks for reading.  If you have an idea for another series we could try, or indeed if you would like to write something for Untold Dylan, please do get in touch.

And of course all the other regular series are continuing.



Dylan’s once only file: the concert.   Aaron has created a Youtube file of the songs Bob has played once only and which we have reviewed.

Here are the individual sessions…


12 years of Untold Dylan

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  1. (Two Hendrix fans meet at Woodstock)

    Plato say: “Hey, wow, man, that big cloud up there looks exactly like a Dog — Ouch!

    Plato say: ” Ari, I thought you told me that your dog doesn’t bite”

    Ari say: “Not mine, man…Pluto’ s home …he’s a good little doggy”

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