Dylan's camp releases more U.S. dates for the latest leg of his Never Ending Tour, including a stop in Atlantic City Nov. 26 at the Borgata — his favorite place to play in the resort it would seem.
Although Bob Dylan will be turning 70 next May, Fall 2010 is shaping up to be a very active couple months for the musician, as his legendary tour snakes its way up the East Coast, kicking off Oct. 6 at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and ending — as of this writing — at Foxwoods's MGM Grand Theater in Mashantucket, Conn., Nov. 27.
Dylan — after embarking on a tour of Japan in March; a tour throughout Europe in June, including stops in Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia; and a western U.S. tour in August — has filled up his October and November calendar with U.S. tour dates.
Not unusual either for Dylan, who's been performing with his band on the road, several times the world over, non-stop since 1988.
Dylan hasn't taken a year off for a long time, still playing about 100 or more concerts a year, but he will be a taking Thanksgiving Day off — but only after a three-night stand at New York City's Terminal 5.
Then on the night after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Nov. 26, Dylan returns to the Borgata in Atlantic City.
Dylan's performed several times at the Borgata over the past five years, even kicking off his U.S. summer tour there with two June shows in 2007.
Dylan's camp (including the record and publishing companies) will be hawking and gambling on all sorts of Dylan-related products this holiday season, including several Sony Legacy/Columbia CD and box set releases set for Oct. 19.
The latest offerings — and the first Dylan releases since last holiday season's charity album Christmas in the Heart — include some rarities and some cleaned up stuff that had been bootlegged throughout the years. The new releases include the ninth volume of Dylan's Bootleg Series set, The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964, featuring two-discs and 47 Bob Dylan songs, recorded between 1962 and '64 strictly intended for use by his publishing company at the time. (In '62 it was Leeds Music; it was M. Witmark & Sons in '64.)
Some of Dylan's finest early tunes appear on the collection, including "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" "John Brown" and "I'll Keep it With Mine."
The set, which will also be available on vinyl — as all of Dylan's releases have since the 1980s and, of course, beforehand — includes 15 songs that Dylan recorded specifically for the publishing sessions, and which have previously never been officially released to the public.
The songs include “Ballad For A Friend,” “Long Ago, Far Away” “The Death Of Emmett Till,” and the “Guess I’m Doing Fine.”
Sony's Legacy arm does a fine job — as usual — with the packaging here, including a booklet full of in-depth liner notes and rare photos. Some retailers are giving those who pre-order the album a free copy of a newly discovered and rare early live Dylan show taped at Brandeis University in 1963.
On the same day that the Witmark Demos come out, Sony Legacy is releasing a box set of Dylan's first eight studio albums in mono. The set, Bob Dylan: The Original Mono Recordings, features, in order, Bob Dylan, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, The Time They Are A-Changin', Another Side Of Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde On Blonde, and John Wesley Harding.
"This box collects Bob Dylan’s first eight 12-inch LPs, his albums from Bob Dylan in 1962 to John Wesley Harding in 1968, as most people heard them, as they were expected to be heard, and as most often they were meant to be heard: in mono," writes music critic and Dylan fan Greil Marcus, in the liner notes of Bob Dylan: The Original Mono Recordings.
Again, some retailers are giving away the Brandeis CD if the Mono box set is pre-ordered. Sony is also offering a "Best of" single CD version of the Mono box set, which includes 15 songs.
Dylan fan and Princeton professor Sean Wilentz, however, may have the most interesting sounding Dylan-related release of the holiday season with his critically acclaimed book, Bob Dylan in America.
The praise for Wilentz's book has come from all sorts of people and places, from Martin Scorsese, and Cornel West to the The New York Times Book Review.
Scorsese is quoted as saying the following about the book, "A panoramic vision of Bob Dylan, his music, his shifting place in American culture, from multiple angles. In fact, reading Sean Wilentz’ Bob Dylan in America is as thrilling and surprising as listening to a great Dylan song."
West, Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University, has this to say of his colleague: "Sean Wilentz is one of the few great American historians. His political and social histories of American Democracy are masterful and magisterial. In this work, he turns his attention to the artistic genius of Bob Dylan – and the result is a masterpiece of cultural history that tells us much about who we have been and who we are."
Meanwhile, Rolling Stone's Andy Green writes, "In this often revelatory new study, Wilentz locates Dylan's work in the context of some surprising influences....The greatest gift for Dylan fans, however, is Wilentz's detailed account of the making of 1966's 'Blonde on Blonde'....Unless Dylan himself writes about it in the fabled Chronicles: Volume Two, this is the definitive word on the creation of his greatest album."
Speaking of Rolling Stone, the following exchange between an interviewer and President Barack Obama appears in the latest issue. According to reports, Dylan took part in a concert at the White House back in February honoring the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Apparently, Dylan snubbed the president.
"You had Bob Dylan here. How did that go?" asks Rolling Stone.
Obama replies: " Here's what I love about Dylan: He was exactly as you'd expect he would be. He wouldn't come to the rehearsal; usually, all these guys are practicing before the set in the evening. He didn't want to take a picture with me; usually all the talent is dying to take a picture with me and Michelle before the show, but he didn't show up to that. He came in and played "The Times They Are A-Changin'." A beautiful rendition. The guy is so steeped in this stuff that he can just come up with some new arrangement, and the song sounds completely different. Finishes the song, steps off the stage — I'm sitting right in the front row — comes up, shakes my hand, sort of tips his head, gives me just a little grin, and then leaves. And that was it — then he left. That was our only interaction with him. And I thought: That's how you want Bob Dylan, right? You don't want him to be all cheesin' and grinnin' with you. You want him to be a little skeptical about the whole enterprise. So that was a real treat."
In other recent news, Dylan was recently caught reality-TV style by the History Channel show Pawn Stars. On a September episode, titled "Like a Rolling Chum," Dylan is hunted down for an autograph before he plays at show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. He appears fit and although he seems a bit stunned at first — asking, "How did you know I was here?" — he is happy to sign a copy of his 1970 double LP Self Portrait.
Apart from Christmas in the Heart, Together Through Life, also earlier in 2009, is Dylan's last studio record.
Although many "Things Have Changed" and we all know that "The Times They Are A'Changing," Dylan's road band has hardly budged over the past several years, with the exception of the recent re-addition of Texan guitarist Charlie Sexton to the group.
An immensely gifted and mutli-talented group, the band — including long-time musical director and Dylan bassist Tony Garnier — is sympathetic to Dylan's need for improvisation and are ready to respond to the 69-year-old singer's wild call.
Dylan has called his current band his favorite to play with.
Along with Garnier, who often whips out the stand-up double bass and bow, in addition to his electrics on stage, George Recile plays drums and percussion, Stu Kimball plays rhythm guitar (along with Dylan when he's not playing the keyboard or kicking it Sinatra style alone at the mike), Texan Charlie Sexton, back in the band only recently, plays lead guitar and Donnie Herron plays a plethora of stringed instruments including the electric mandolin, pedal steel and lap steel.
Dylan has played Atlantic City several times over the past 15 years, making the resort a semi-annual stop on his Never Ending Tour.
As usual readers of this column likely know by now, I’m a huge Bob Dylan fan. I’m grateful that I’ve been alive to witness Dylan’s latter-career years in real time. I’d say I’ve seen him in concert more than 50 times. Over that span, I’ve seen him up and down the state of New Jersey, from his numerous nights at the Borgata in Atlantic City to Madison, Montclair, Camden and most recently — this past summer — up in Lakewood. (That was the show when he was spotted beforehand, hooded up in the pouring rain, alone and peering into a vacant home by a young policewoman. She didn’t recognize him, he had no ID and a month later CNN reported that the cop had detained the...
In a long, tight-fitting purple coat, a chilly mist blowing against the rim of his pale gray Stetson, Bob Dylan took the stage of FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood N. J., Thursday night (July 23) with his five-piece band, following two stellar performances by the evening’s triple bill co-headliners Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp (Nelson’s set [...]
Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp bring their summer minor-league ballpark tour up the Garden State Parkway to Lakewood, N.J., on Thursday, July 23 (show starts at 5:30pm). The triple-bill will be held at the Lakewood BlueClaws’ FirstEnergy Park, where the Phillies Single A affiliate plays; it’s the closest “The Bob Dylan Show” is coming [...]
Bob Dylan released his 46th album, Together Through Life, this past Tuesday. On May 24 he celebrates his 68th birthday. On July 1, he kicks off a summer tour of U.S. minor league baseball parks with ...
Bob Dylan Where: Bogata Event Center When: June 22 & 23, 8pm Tickets: $97-$137 Bob Dylan, who kicks off the latest leg of his Never Ending Tour this weekend with two shows at the Borgata (June ...
By Jeff Schwachter AS BOB DYLAN IS ONCE again set to roll into the Jersey Shore this weekend, I got to thinking about the similarities between the legendary performer and this, his coastal destination. What immediately comes to mind is how, like the coastline, Dylan's music has shifted and fluctuated throughout his 40-plus year career. His constant transformations as an artist are what have helped him become such a unique one. From 1963's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" to 2001's Oscar-winning track from the film, The Wonder Boys, "Things Have Changed," Dylan's music has evolved again and again. Yet, like the sand on the beach, the enduring and ineffable qualities of his work remain. Like the coastline, Dylan, who just turned 63 last month, has always symbolized the edge of things -- with one foot on land and the other in the fluid supernatural. His ability to stand between the two for so many years is his gift. Whether he was fusing the writing style of the beat poets with the popular sounds of rock 'n' roll or combining the elements of early American mountain music with the "wild, thin mercury sound" he heard in his head in the mid-60s, Dylan...
This doesn't happen normally as most Dylan fans know. He barely talks during shows except to introduce his band. Why in Atlantic City?
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