Echoing RIGHT, BobBob Dylan 9512nate

Date:    Tue, 12 Dec 1995 15:50:02 GMT
From:    nate (nates@LL.MIT.EDU)
Subject: Echoing RIGHT, Bob

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Charming the whistle off a thoroughbred train
Worcester, Boston and Boston again...
(notes from way beyond that edge, whatever that was)

                     W A R N I N G !    W A R N I N G !

                  **   Product Cautionary & Disclaimer   **
                  **    This product is intended for the **
                  ** use of certain individuals who have **
                  ** been diagnosed with a specific type **
                  ** of mental disorder affliction.  Any **
                  ** unprescribed dosage of this product **
                  ** is not recommended.  If heavy cross **
                  ** hallucinations occur or increase in **
                  ** strength, consult with your persona **
                  ** on the other side of the mirror and **
                  ** inform your family doctor.          **

The Paradise Lost Tour came howling up the east coast, pushing us through the
brink as we clung to the flanks of the mighty engine that this sound has
the raw animal power, sexual energy and high-voltage current streaming out from
from the stage hits you like a freight train indeed - and these gunmen have
courageously harnessed this power, a twist of fortune.  this is a wild
space-horse of a train, yet so thoroughbred in the line of its shoulders and
nostrils and steel.  ...and they can make it seem so tame and gentle at a snap
of bob's fingers, crackling with a fearsome undertone until the moment it leaps
out again across the stars....

for you who havent seen this, dont miss your chance.
there's a crash on the levee.  and...
                                      life is ...

this account begins as they reach the outpost, worcester, having already been
gathering speed for some time long by.  this time i take my son Justin to his
first exposure.  we find our seats behind the soundboard a bit distant and the
sound system very muddy and over-boosted.  i run into young Jed who now
recognizes me from the year's past episodes.  scarcely any older than justin,
he makes me again marvel at the range of ages.  the lights dim...time for patti
to come on.  the mike shrieks badly at first.  we are too far away.  justin
wants to know how old she is - says she looks 20!  ;-)  yup - too far away.
i must confess my account will not go into patti smith very well.  if i may,
let me tell you that she was still ironing over some rough spots.  wicked
messenger friday night was a bit cumbersome, heavy on the down foot in a
deliberate slow plod that was much better the next nights.  she made a lot
of small talk with the audience all 3 nights.  then blasted out some very
distinctive sounds aided and abetted by Tom Verlaine...well, all of them.
this night was my first exposure to patti and it was a bit difficult in that
auditorium where the acoustics were all over the map and we sat on metal
risers.  Ghost Dance is the one i wake up singing today.  forgive me, i must
move on to the main act....

at about 9:10 dylan comes on in a red velvet jacket open and almost hiding
a chain hanging from his right side.  his shirt inside turns out to be a
black tee-shirt when we get up close later.  JJ & Bucky have on white hats.
Bucky is the man in the Long Red Coat tonight.  Winston has that puffy white
shirt under a vest, as usual.  Tony has a dark gray hat, light blue suit....

Down In The Flood is much cleaner than it was back in June at Harborlights,
despite the bad sound in the auditorium.  do i go into each song here?  45
in all...i may gloss over...

I Want You is in the slow rock that is a bit faster than the Unplugged
outtakes.  he does the dancing child verse, repeats the father bridge, then
finishes with the queen of spades verse.  singing that is.  most of the night
they took long instrumental voyages.

Watchtower saw the doubling up of the lines again, a drop down into a lower
register that kinda scraped anyway.  the 2nd verse was nicely delivered and
the 3rd was good, but "howl" got lost in the sound system.  i think the band
has been better.  like in june/harborlights....however, justin liked it, as
he has been listening to the Hendrix version formost, Blue-Eyed Boston Boy
on a forced occasion or 2 and the original JWH (which i still like for its
lean, horseback sound).

Simple Twist of Fate was slowed down in the direction i heard Jerry do it
once on a special radio tape.  he switched the "he"'s for "she"'s.  :-)

Bucky got the organ sound going on Most Likely You'll Go Your Way And I'll
Go Mine.  he sings this better than Blue-Eyed Boston Boy, but JJ doesnt
make that marvelous run on the guitar.  same repeating of judge/other lover
bridge & last verse.  good to hear these last 2 live at last.

the 6th song _is_, for me, what this whole sound is all about.
Silvio rocked all 3 nights and the places it went are foremost in my
description at the top.  they have this Grateful Dead high echoing spaced
out interlude that overflowed into the 3rd watchtower sunday.  they have
the signaling on this perfect.  while Silvio was not my highlight friday,
it was the central theme.  this was where i caught a glimpse of the enormous
energy they were controlling.  watchtower has become so polished that you
explode within it and fail to see the danger in the energy - oddly enough it
is safe.  Silvio was frightening in the view out of window from the places
it went.  far more precipitous than Going-To-The_Sun highway in Glacier
National Park, when i looked out and down, there were only stars...i felt
for my safety belt.

then it was time to tame the beast, to stroke its back, brush it down.

Tambourine Man, with its soft wandering counterpoint from JJ, is now,
after a year, not so desperately invoked.  while a year ago i felt that
he was depending on this song to get him through what may have been some
troubles coming up with original material, i feel now that he came out
of it okay - it worked - he is thanking the song.  this should be good
news for us.  the way he did the last verse - a one-noter with hints of
melody but very melodic and delivered on the rhymes before gently raising
the volume to where he almost is shouting the final chorus.....

Masters of War - i cant seem to miss this song.  :-(  i guess there will
always be some Bosnia somewhere going on :-(.  Bucky gets to do some
Lead Mandolin!

Love-0/No Limit had Tony on bowed standup until the instrumental finish.
i was glad he still delivered "my love she speaks . . . softly" with
that same wonderful pause.  Bucky swapped his mandolin for a strap-on
steel guitar at the end.

TIME TO MOVE FORWARD!!  Justin & i headed toward the stage as they get
the 2nd electric portion underway.  its a very well rendered God Knows
again, the old show thematic base from last year.  we inch forward into a
sea of pot smoke and dancing.  i push through (advantage to be small :-)
with Justin right behind.  as we are getting swept away, in a later verse
i look back and Justin says "this is AWESOME!"  wow...another in the fold!

the best number friday was I And I.  he only did 3 verses, but the space-
horse train was the reason.  now this was AWESOME.  words fail.  with an
unshaven GAIBTY face, he has let his gray hear come out in full regalia.
all right, bob!

as we declined tokes and got 1/8 high on 2nd-hand smoke, the crowd pressed

against us.  people were stoned out of their minds but all having good
clean fun here.  there was no ugliness.  he introduced the band with a crack
about JJ's birthday and having met him and signing him up in 1932 or so.
Something about Tony Garnier only being there for 1 year (a crock as we all
know - Tony _is_ the Guiness World Record Dylan Band Iron Man).  wow did
he look like he lost a lot of weight!  he wasnt draped in that big smile
all the time either.  hope he is ok.  vegetarian, not smack.....

Highway 61 was great at a distance of 10 feet.  natch.

Alabama Getaway is a great source of boundless fun. all 3 nights.

Girl From The North Country very nice....more later...

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 showing a very well tamed stallion now.

it ends at 11:01, so thats 111 minutes.

i introduce Justin to Maureen & George & Sadie.
i get us home at a bit after midnight.  he spends the rest of the
weekend telling his brother what a show it was.  :-)

and now the storm arrives.  this is a serious storm.  Nadine & i have a
jam-packed schedule on saturday & get everything out of the way by 2pm.
we hit the road amidst dire forecasts ("if you can absolutely avoid driving,
stay at home").  it is supposed to turn to ice.  we leave at 2:12 or so and
finally get there around 6 pm - only 50 miles.  i say to her that if they
close the highway, that will make it harder.  but no way am i gonna let dumb
snow stop us.  The Last Harrah is a bit too expensive for us and we head back
to the Orpheum around 6:40.  i do catch Mitch on the street and we make the
secret spy ticket transaction that should have occurred in the Last Hurrah,
when (i'm not making this up) the piano player was playing "As Time Goes By"!

Patti Smith sounds so much better in the Orpheum.  and the Wicked Messenger
is now well-formed.  she does the same 9 songs, but with different
improvisational lyrics or narratives.  at one point the mike stand falls over
and spills a drink on the stage.  she mops it up with the shirt she took off
earlier, during the instrumental breaks in the song and was this close from
making it just flow into the other things she was doing.  apologizes for
messing "Bob's floor".  amusing charm.  the one narrative i made a picture
of involved a dream of an upside-down world at sea where treasures from the
ship above fell into her boat in the clouds under her.  the weight of the
gold and all began to sink the ship as she realized she could not swim - but
it was ok because then she remembered that she was in the clouds.  the orpheum
gave her a rousing ovation and she came for an encore.  its Farewell Real for
Fred "Sonic" Smith.  not often does an opening act get to do an encore!

8:49 and Dylan comes out in the same red jacket. JJ & Bucky are now wearing
black hats, like me.  JJ's cowboy, Bucky's porkpie?

Down In the Flood much better with the superior sound system.

Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You has "i can hear that _lonesome_
whistle blowing" and repeats the "really any wonder" bridge.  i actually
do think of the title as a reference to the fact that he _is_ staying in
Boston, wont be on the road right after.  this came back to me sunday.

Watchtower musta had a main note that was too hard on a spot in his
throat, because he searched for and eventually found a fascinating variant
melody to deliver it in.  sounded a bit tired.  "howl" again with no

Positively 4th Street was a turnaround - very good.  "why dont you just
come out once and ...  SCREAM IT?"  but his guitar started to fall back
into his one-note noodling of last year.

Pledging My Time was done in the standard big bluesy style sort of like
Clapton's Dont Think Twice at the 30th or BB King or something.  he did
the accident verse 2nd, then the poisoned headache last (3rd).

Silvio again with that spacy interlude, major sound.

Nadine wanted Tambourine Man, but instead it was an acoustic Tangled Up
In Blue - which i hadnt heard yet.  Bucky got in some more Lead Mandolin,
and appears to have learned Bob's one-note noodle.  three verses of the
harmonica, great crescendo.

To Ramona - another itsabouttimeformetohear very nice.  mandolin providing
a mexican flavor to everything.

then JJ came out with a huge surprise - a 6-string banjo!  Banjo??  :-D
they did John Brown to appease the Bosniauseous in us.  something needs to
be addressed in us there, i guess....personally, i find the Masters of War
sentiment more appropriate.  John Brown kinda takes a swipe at the mother's
lack of preparation, while Master's goes right for the Truly Guilty.  indeed,
in the Master's verse routinely left out today, "you've thrown the worst fear
that can ever be hurled - the fear to bring children into the world", the
parents are not portrayed as uninformed!

Maggie's Farm took on a completely different texture from previous years.
maybe watson was cooking a different rhythm.  says she's 34.

Lenny Bruce was a surprise.  this isnt so much a favorite of mine - the
music seems a bit derivative of other things.  they did do a good job.  of
course i waited & heard the line "he showed the wise men to be nothing more
than fools" which i put in that tongue-in-cheek post friday.

another 1932 birthday JJ joke, more digs at Tony and they launch into
Seeing The Real You At Last.  seems Harborlights version was more energetic?
this is a new fave of mine, so i wasnt being critical.  bob announced it
with "we're going to finish now - on a more upbeat note"  heh heh.  isnt
divorce grand.....

well of course they werent done.  its another rollicking Alabama Getaway,
cracking smiles around.

One Too Many Mornings was my highlight of this night.  he drew out the notes
and closed them off very nicely.

Rainy Day got a huge audience participation on "EVERYBODY MUST GET STONED!"
of course.  but that reminds me!  they did something awful with the stage.

they being the orpheum.  they built it out right to the first row so there was
no room to dance in front like before.  instead a raised gray expanse of wood
seperated the band from the people.  patti smith, in her wanderings, had
ventured out onto this new construct a few times, but dylan never did.  then
security was still throwing people back even during Rainy Day, if you didnt
have a right ticket.  so there was no stage rushing - something Justin had
convinced his mom that she should do.  :-(  oh boo on them.  if you recall,
in as short a time ago as october, Chris Isaak had people up on the stage &
down in front.

perhaps as some way of venting their frustrations, there soon appeared 2 or
3 balloons in the audience, ala the beachballs at sporting events.  batting
balloons at a dylan concert?  gak.

i introduced Nadine to Maureen & George & Sadie & Pete, i think.  we couldnt
stay for the Last Hurrah because the weather was casting a bad shadow on our
expected time of return.  just as well.  i had about 6 hours the night before
and was almost ready to crash.  even as it was, when we got back i couldnt
sleep longer than about 2 hours at a stretch with my mind grappling this huge
horse of a train in my memory.  i grabbed a nap sunday, but it was short.

so sunday arrived and the snow was hard and icy.  looked like i should still
leave very early.  i had arranged to meet Mitch at the Alternate Meetings &
Gatherings place, Hanks.  so i stopped in for a beer.  then i thought that the
others would be at the Last Hurrah.  they were.  we got a table, then i went
back toward Hanks to check for Mitch, who met me halfway and we went to the
Last Hurrah.  Hanks could have been a good spot, but it just wasnt in the
there was a guy who saw the card in my hat there and asked me about Lily &
Rosemary.  :-/   just thinking that a good substitute for the rmd flower could
be a certain calling card?  just me bein dumb.  Mitch advises me that Sadie &
Pete may not make it tonight.  i am trying to figure out what Venn Diagram
would create a world event line that causes Sadie to miss and decide i cant.

we avoid making predictions, cleverly.

at 7:30 when we are all well seated down, patti comes out again with the
steadily improving Wicked Messenger.  another Perfect Moon poem that turned
into Barefoot Dancing and she again takes off the shoes and socks.  but now
it was really cold outside.  she does a song for Cobain (About A Boy) - a new
song with some good lyrics.  i am becoming a patti smith fan more and more.
afterwards, she asks if its ok to put the socks back on, asks about the
Celtics basketball team, admits to liking Dennis Rodman & Micheal Jordan on
the same team and gets some good-natured mixed reactions from the Boston
crowd.  Ghost Dance again is marvelous.  another excellent rendition of the
Dead's version of Not Fade Away.  so far she has left out Because The Night
and i wonder if she is saving it for another possible encore.  it turns out
that that is not the case.  infact it turns out that she has something far,
far better in mind later...

so at one point in one of her songs she belts out "Forget Me Not!" and it
stood out so starkly i suggested to Mitch that Bob should include Senor
tonight so as to get to the line "where she held me in her arms and said
'Forget me not!'"   OOoopsie - we were not supposed to make predictions....

the gunmen are in black - well okay, Bucky has the Long Red Coat again.
Dylan has this weird looking thing with a sash belt and the chain hangs
out quite a bit more - something out of Errol Flynn?  Merchant of Venice?
agh.  oh well  :-).

its Drifter's Escape, i realize, although i was thinking "another Flood".
very different from JWH version.  nice clarity in delivery.  another
one i hadnt heard yet.

on the next song's opening notes i couldnt help jostling Mitch as i
recognized Senor - predictions indeed.  another song i really wanted to hear
him do.  this was amazing.  i began to search through my wishlist which was
along the lines of I Am A Lonesome Hobo, I'll Keep It With Mine, Tears of Rage,
This Wheel's On Fire, Crawl Out Your Window, Dark Eyes, you name it....

Watchtower was *on*.  as i mentioned, the spooky Silvio interlude thing
briefly in this.  Yes this was good.

Tears of Rage i didnt catch at first - then as it came to me, i began to relax.
this concert could not be a bust (as if it ever could).  by the 4th song i had
broke even.  everything from here on was going to be pure profit.  :)

Sadie & Pete arrived in the "ran out to receive" verse, restoring my sense of
the universe.  how could the universe exist without them at this concert?

dylan sang the R.Manuel line instead of his basement tape line "why am i always
the one who the thief??".  the Manuel version merely goes "why must
i the thief??".  along that vein, i like dylan's "well yonder
standed me in this lonely crowd" which the Band covers with "well yonder stands
a man in this lonely crowd", of course.

if you check Christine's setlist you will see that they misspelled the next
song as I Dont Believe _In_ You, confusing the other title.  this was I Dont
Believe You.  and of course, when he got to "I'm leaving today, i'll be on my
way, of this i cant say very much", i connected back to the previous night's
Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You.  ok.  dylan fell into some more noodling
in this number.  but overall this was nicely done without some of the overkill
in earlier renditions i've witnessed.

the 3rd and final Silvio of this little section of the tour was still another
example of the powerful engine.  the Dead-like interlude entended across the
last verse with JJ getting downright way out there.  as this one came to a
Bob & JJ matched guitar licks side by side in a thunderous successful reining
of a very powerful force.  i was no longer afraid to look down upon the stars.

all along i have failed to mention anything substantial about Winston.  right
from the start i noticed that what used to be a little plexiglass shield Bucky
put between his equipment and the drumsticks had grown, as if the others came
around to Bucky's thinking.  as it stands right now there is a solid wraparound
wall of plexiglass sheilding all of the other players from the wood shards.  a
far better portrait of the Rat in a Cage than that which rages on in the
commercial radio waves.

however, now Winston can really let go!  and does he let go!  i fear for him
in a certain way because it's as if they are sending him out into the unknown
space first without much of a tether.  he's the one in the front of the line.
the band creates such a consuming energy so close to beyond control - and if it
ever lost it, winston would bear the brunt of the damage, as he plunges
wholesale into this territory undaunted.  so i give a big tip of the hat to
winston over these 3 days.

they bring the 3rd Silvio to a close.

          One of these days and it won't be long
          Going down in the valley and sing my song
          Gonna sing it loud, sing it strong
          Let the echo decide if I was right or wrong

if you want my opinion, Bob:  The echo is coming back RIGHT, loud and clear.

......the space-horse train is tethered to the rail...

Mr. Tambourine Man is again marvelous

Masters of War - ok, this is still good

the intro to Mama, You've Been On My Mind had me thinking it was Dont Think
Twice for a couple of bars.  very nice.  could get some Favorite Son votes
with its magnificent harmonica work.......but.

  *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

when the acoustic triplet finishes we begin to prepare for another vault across
the night sky.  instead this is the night where your fondest wishes do come
and before we know it we are watching Bob announce and bring out Patti Smith
a duet.  huge applause.  what will they do?  what song has rmd talked about in
their wish lists most over the years??  or damn close to most....its

DARK EYES!  singing the beginnings of each verse then bob joins in at the same
mike in a truly spellbinding performance.  very quickly all of the best lists
we've been building in our heads are swept to the floor with a giant collective
sweep of the arm.  this is the not just the event of the night.  it isnt the
event of the tour so far, either.  this is the Event of 1995.  sorry.  as they
proceed through it, there are moments when one is unsure of the next words but
the other gently brings them out without any harm to the performance.  at the
end dylan leans even further to her and kisses her on the cheek.  wow.  as she
fades off stage right to thunderous applause, i catch the end of dylan saying
"...Patti - she's still the best."

  *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

and then we must return to the night sky, the turbulent space indeed, as the
opening of the familiar Jokerman breaks out.  he sings that phrase and gets
the small dog licking the face for the 1st time in my experience.  its a solid
version, maybe a tad too methodical if you want to get picky.  but a great
followup to Dark Eyes.

Highway 61 brings down the house, of course.

Alabama Getaway is the constant number 13 song - what fun.  weird to be making
all that noise to coax the gunmen back out when i can see them setting up JJs
mike for the choruses.  planned spontaneity.  that horsetrain can fly....

the acoustic encore is an endearing My Back Pages.  poor bob - imagine...we all
have made some pretty embarrassing mistakes in our lives and bob proves to be
just bob instead of Dylan when he gaffs the refrain "ah but i was so much
er..!!-then, i'm younger than that now".  then, confidence shaken, he loses the
handle on the equality-in-school verse.  we all forgive him without a thought
as this is otherwise another great rendition.  the harmonica ending soars.

and now its time for the final train run.  the finale.  Rainy Day gets a very
impassioned reaction from the crowd  all joyfully swept away in this, the
best of the three nights...

but not without plenty of valid argument.  the I And I from Friday was truly
awesome.  all 3 of the acoustic songs after Alabama getaway were delivered
very well.  the Alabama Getaway in worcester was special for me because i was
right up close to the stage there.  i cant decide which Silvio was the best -
i'll let the echo decide - but they were all equal in passion and courage,
yet all different.  if Sadie hadnt got back in time for Dark Eyes, i dont know
what she would have done when she found out.  indeed to get into a which-was-
better thing is a dumb thing.

in the very very end Sadie gives Bob a flatpick.  and, wonder of wonders, he
gives one of his to her.  this was truly a night of the ages.....

oh we are so lucky to be afflicted so!  i hope we can survive....

if you can just bear with me now, i'd like to quote some things Heike has said
from the previous year, because it resonates very well with these past events.
i do miss her posts and hope she will return to us some day soon.  ;-)

 => From!usenet Thu Nov 17 08:53:05 EST 1994
 => With my heart tumbling in & out of the memories that have been layered
 => upon one another with such intensity and speed...I hope to create an
 => avenue of communication to share these whirlwind flashes of stimuli!
 => Since you can neither hear the beating of my heart, nor see the sparkle
 => in my eyes...I must play with words and see how close I can come....  :-)
 => And I retain purely embedded on my inner visions Bob's singing...playing...
 => smiling...twisting...flashing his eyes in recognition of our regard for
 => him...his integrity shining through...and I know he *must* love it as much
 => as I love sharing it...what a great arrangement! ;-)
 => I commend Bob and his band for their obvious supreme efforts in
 => putting together the best shows possible...and Bob for continuing
 => to amaze me...for always reaching to a new height within and sharing
 => it with us!!!
 => :-)
 => Heike

- nate, smoking 80 cups of coffee a day now

                               E P I L O G U E
   |                                                                |
   |   the last hurrah was at the Last Hurrah.  many of us did      |
   |   meet & gather there as intended.  Christine got her setlist  |
   |   faxed to the web.  i met fellow MSU Spartan Mark Troyer at   |
   |   last.  quite a tattered little band of exhausted humanity    |
   |   there, comparing notes.  we all passed around the flatpick   |
   |   to touch it.  FENDER Medium.                                 |
   |                                                                |
   |   thanks to everyone there for making it a special night.      |
   |                                                                |
   |                                                                |

                    W A R N I N G !    W A R N I N G !

                **   Product Cautionary & Disclaimer   **
                **    This product is intended for the **
                ** use of certain individuals who have **
                ** been diagnosed with a specific type **
                ** of mental disorder affliction.  Any **
                ** unprescribed dosage of this product **
                ** is not recommended.  If heavy cross **
                ** hallucinations occur or increase in **
                ** strength, consult with your persona **
                ** on the other side of the mirror and **
                ** inform your family doctor.          **


End of HWY61-L Digest - 15 Dec 1995 to 16 Dec 1995 - Special issue
Dates 1995