Bob Dylan Released and unreleased: Leyendas de la Guitarra (and Richard Thompson)

By Aaron Galbraith and Tony Attwood

Aaron: Leyendas de la Guitarra was a concert held over five nights, from October 15 to October 19, 1991 in Seville. It was held to draw attention to Expo 92 held the following year. To read more about the event head over here for all the details:

https://medium.com/listennft/what-happened-when-the-worlds-greatest-guitarists-reigned-in-spain-seville-1991-8db15ca8ad52

I pulled some interesting information from the article

  • 5 ninety-minute shows were held, together with a documentary that lasted an hour.
  • 45 countries around the world televised the event.
  • 80 artists performed at the event.
  • 26 of the worlds best guitarists were the main attraction.
  • 6,000 people attended the concerts each night.
  • 105 countries broadcast the shows on the radio.

Dylan performed a five-song set including a guest guitarist (the identity of whom I will leave a secret from Tony for now!) and a duet with Keith Richards.

Here are a couple of my favorite moments for Tony to look at followed by the whole set.

Across The Borderline

Tony:  I wondered what you were setting up for me Aaron, but ah well, it is Richard Thompson of course.  Yet I don’t know, but somehow the two great superstars don’t quite seem to mix here for me.  The Thompson solos are sublime, as they always are, and yet it is almost as if he is trying too hard to do too much in the presence of the almighty Bob.   Maybe I misjudge it, but I somehow think that in this recording less would be more.

But since Aaron gets to choose the tracks and writes his intro first, that means I come in behind, and get the say on what the piece finally looks like.  So I’m going to slip in something else, which has absolutely no connection with the rest of the article.  Of course it would be unfair on Aaron to disjoint his work here, so I’ll leave it to the end.  It is, if you know your musical terminology, a coda.

Answer Me, My Love

This is actually a German song that was translated and became a hit in the 1950s.  I know we had a copy of the song in my parents’ house as a 78rpm track by David Whitfield. 

I simply don’t understand what it is that Bob is doing here, it just seems over-embellished in a way that doesn’t work musically, at least not for me.  I can imagine it working with a piano accompaniment, but with the two guitarists, seemingly unrehearsed, vying with each other… it’s not quite right.

It’s a fine 1950s ballad, but I am not sure it is much more than that.

Aaron: Dylan’s five song set included:

  1. All Along The Watchtower 2. Boots Of Spanish Leather 3. Across The Borderline (Ry Cooder/John Hiatt/Jim Dickinson) 4. Answer Me, My Love (Gerhard Winkler/Fred Rauch/Carl Sigman) – LIVE DEBUT 5. DUET w/ Keith Richards: Shake, Rattle And Roll (C. Calhoun)

Tony: I get the impression, that during Shake Rattle and Roll Bob is seriously wondering what he is actually doing with these guys on this stage at this time.    But then maybe I expect too much, and maybe also it’s because  I can remember versions from days of yore.   And just in case anyone is interested, here’s the Bill Hayley recording which was a big hit in Britain.

Tony: I did actually get to see Bill Hayley in concert near the end of his life.  It wasn’t a spectacular evening, but at least I have been able to say evermore that I did see him perform live.

Anyway, back to the Richard Thompson issue, here’s the coda selected by me without Aaron’s knowledge.  And I add it, because I would hate anyone to think what they have heard on the recordings above is what Richard Thompson is all about.

Time magazine called this “a glorious example of what one guy can accomplish with just a guitar, a voice, an imagination and a set of astonishingly nimble fingers.”   This version has an instrumental break that was written for this tour – hence the appreciation of the audience.

It really is one of the most extraordinary pieces of music from popular culture ever.  Just look at Richard’s smile at the end.  He knows not only has he just given a superb performance, but it is a superb performance of one of the very greatest popular music creations of all time.  A song that stands up there with “Visions of Johanna” and “Desolation Row”.

Sorry for not appreciating your selection Aaron, but thank you for giving me a route back in for another presentation of Richard Thompson.

Dylan released and unreleased: the series

 

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3 Responses to Bob Dylan Released and unreleased: Leyendas de la Guitarra (and Richard Thompson)

  1. Larry Fyffe says:

    Not to worry Aaron, Tony is gonna have to answer to the Untold Court of Justice sooner or later for his blasphemous comment about one of Bob’s greatest live performers where the music doesn’t interefere with the emoted vocals, but instead prevents them from becoming mawkish.

  2. Larry Fyffe says:

    Play Nat King Cole, play ‘Nature Boy’
    (Bob Dylan: Murder Most Foul)

    (Play “Answer Me”)

  3. TonyAttwood says:

    More than likely Larry

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