Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More Dylan: Speaking of Blasts from the Past

Herb Budden, my great old friend since seventh grade, rings in on Dylan:

I have been trying to remember the details of my first Dylan concert, in 1965. There were others I'd been to, but this is the one & only in my estimation. Thank goodness for Google...I found the playlist and the exact date for the concert friend Craig and I saw at the Arie Crown in Chicago that year. Here it is:

Bob Dylan
McCormick Place
Arie Crown Theater - Chicago, Illinois
November 26, 1965

She Belongs to Me

To Ramona

Gates of Eden

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

Desolation Row

Love Minus Zero/No Limit

Mr. Tambourine Man

Tombstone Blues

I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)

Baby Let Me Follow You Down

Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues

Ballad of a Thin Man

Positively 4th Street

Like a Rolling Stone

Forty-five years this Thanksgiving. We went up from Champaign on the train. I have no recollection of staying anywhere, or even how we got to McCormick Place. On a side note, I was there at the Arie Crown this past spring--the first time I'd been there since . . . . It's been refurbished, obviously, but the bones are the same.

At the concert we sat main floor, ramrod straight in what were possibly reserved seats, like at a symphony, and applauded politely after each song. In those days, before real pandemonium overtook rock concerts (just four years later in May 1969 we saw Hendrix at the Fairgrounds--Led Zeppelin was the warmup--everything was way, way different). I believe in '65 there was still a controversy going on about Dylan's "going electric," and we wondered if there would be boos. There weren't.

I wish I could remember more about the evening except to recall thinking how cool he behaved & looked & how he never said a word between songs. I don't know if the set list was played through or if there was a break.

All I know is that a couple of years ago . . . I made my way to the Morgan Library in NY and felt the hair on the back of my head stand up when, while looking at Dylan's rather prosaic Mead notebooks under glass, I saw in his handwriting the words "How does it feel, to be on your own..." among other scribblings & crossouts.

Listening to him today on XM and reading Chronicles, I know I'd have the letdown-- if I could meet him in person-- that I have had on meeting the few celebs I have in the past.

He's just a man, and on virtually most counts, an ordinary primate like the rest of us. BUT. The work overtakes the man.

Listen again to any song on the above set list to have it confirmed, esp. Baby Blue and Tom Thumb's Blues.

1 comment:

  1. I was there. I was only 14. My sister took me. She said there were boos, but I don't remember any. I do remember "sitting ramrod straight"!

    I also remember hearing Thin Man Blues.

    By the way, the theatre was not just refurbished. McCormick Place burned down in 1967 and the whole place was rebuilt.

    Thanks for the memories.