The Rough and Rowdy Way Tour – 12: Got to Serve Somebody

I don’t know what it means either: an index to the current series appearing on this website.

Commentary by Tony Attwood, audio kindly provided by Mr Tambourine.

Got to Serve Somebody starts at !:02:55

“Gotta Serve Somebody” from Slow Train Coming remains one of Bob’s favourite songs and the official site now records it having been performed 695 times since November 1979, and still going strong as of a couple of days ago.  It is (if I have counted correctly) the 22nd most performed of his own songs by Bob during his eternal tour.

This is a perfectly rehearsed, rousing rocker which takes the concert up to a completely new level.  And when we hear it like this it is hard to remember that on occasion Bob has decided to take it a lot slower.   Compare it with…

The fact is of course that like so many Dylan songs it can be played in a multitude of ways with each one having a range of meanings depending on the interpretation you want to put onto it.

But here, more than anything, what it does remind me of, is the fact that  no matter what his age Bob can still rock.  And indeed that even now, after all these decades the old 12 bar blues format can still deliver a huge amount of fun.

And even more than that, how each different approach sounds as if it is the one that is meant to be.

I particularly love the guitar solo in between the verses – and the clarity of Bob’s voice above the band.   There’s even a “What you say?” thrown in there.

But now that you have had a chance to hear most of this rock classic here is the original.  Just to remind us all exactly how far this song has travelled.   And what really knocks me out (as I keep on saying) is how each version can sound just like it was the one that was meant to be.  In fact each one works perfectly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *