This year Bob Dylan decided to surprise us by NOT surprising us. Same
procedure as last year. Same band, same songs, same show format. And, it has to
be said, same high quality or even higher than 1993. In fact in terms of Bob
Dylan's own performance, this has to be the best year since 1988. Still there
were some disappointments. No song debuts, excluding one performance of Lady
Came From Baltimore by Tim Hardin. Not until the MTV Unplugged sessions was
Dignity performed although it was done at various soundchecks during the year.
And why no songs from World Gone Wrong?
Other noteworthy happenings: the Cooper & Lybrand deal, the Great
Music Experience performance in Nara, Japan, The Woodstock '94 performance and
finally MTV Unplugged.
A Carlene Carter CD-single with tracks from
the album Little Love Letters is released. An extra non-album track is
Trust Yourself with background vocals by Dwight Yoakim, Howie Epstein,
Joe Romersa, Kevin Welch and Bob Dylan. For once Bob's vocal is quite audible
and it is a pretty good version. This session dates from January 1993.
Dylan gives Cooper & Lybrand the right to
use a recording of The Times They Are A-Changin' done by Ritchie Havens in
their commercials. When published it causes great traumatic reactions from
fans all over the world.
A *stereo* copy of the promotional Freewheelin'
is found in California and sold at auction at a five figure price.
Akihiko Yamamoto interviews Dylan in the
lobby of Hotel Okura. It is later printed in the April issue of CROSSBEAT.
Dylan starts his first tour in Japan since
1986 in Sendai. The surprise opener is Jokerman, not played since the
1984 European tour followed by another surprise, If You See Her, Say
Hello, last time performed in Osaka Fu, Japan 14 February 1978. Also
included is In The Garden, which had been absent in both 1992 and
1993. Jokerman turned out to be the standard opener during 1994.
During the show in Hiroshima a reworked
acoustic version of Masters Of War is performed. A breathtaking
version, that Dylan apparently likes and plays regularly during the rest of
the year. Masters Of War haven't been played acoustic since 12 April
1963 in New York City.
The Far East Tour ends with three shows in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong, all "first countries"
Dylan makes a surprise performance at The
Rhythm and Blues Concert at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles. He
tries a duet with Trisha Yearwood on Tomorrow Night.
An extensive Spring tour starts in
Springfield, Illinois. Jokerman is played live for the first time in
The show at The Adler Theater in Davenport
Iowa contains an acoustic version of Tim Hardin's Lady Came From Baltimore.
It is played only twice and proves to be the only live debut 1994.
A new interview with Dylan is published in
St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The Spring tour ends with a show at "The Memphis In May Beale Street Festival".
Dylan records at least five different tracks
at the Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. All songs are covers. Boogie
Woogie County Girl is released on A Tribute To Doc Pomus in March 1995. A part of My Blue Eyed Jane
is later released on Highway 61 Interactive in 1995, and the whole track
with a new vocal from 1997 is released on the tribute album The Songs of
Jimmie Rodgers in August 1997. The other tracks remain unreleased.
Dylan participates in The Great Music
Experience, a three day concert in Nara, Japan co-sponsored by UNESCO's World
Decade For Cultural Development Project. This was intended to be the first of
a series of events to be staged at important and beautiful cultural sites
each year until 2000. No more instances were however realized. This year the
"western world" artists that joined various artists from Japan
included Joni Mitchell, INXS, Ry Cooder, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.
Dylan performed the same three songs each day: A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall,
I Shall Be Released and Ring Them Bells. He was backed by the
New Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and a backing group with the ubiquitous Jim
Keltner on drums and the inevitable Ray Cooper on percussion. Dylan's
performance was nothing short of stunning. Made grown men cry, as Q put it.
Each concert ended with I Shall Be Released (again!) with all the
participating artists on stage. The last day was broadcast live on radio and
TV in over 50 countries around the world.
Release of Stevie Nicks: Street Angel,
which includes Just Like A Woman on which Dylan plays guitar and
harmonica. This track is probably recorded in December 1993 or
The perennial European tour starts in Paris.
For once the opener is not Jokerman, but To Be Alone With You.
The Czech President Vaclav Havel with wife
attend the show in Prague.
The show in Krakow, Poland has to be
interrupted after the acoustic set after heavy raining during the entire set.
Last show in Europe takes place in Kiel,
After only two weeks rest the next tour
starts in Portland, Maine.
Dylan plays Woodstock '94 as part of the US
Summer Tour. The first electric set is only four songs, making this the only
1994 show without Tangled Up In Blue. The whole show is broadcast on
radio and TV all over the world. Highway 61 Revisited ends up on the
official audio release.
Release of the CD box Allen Ginsberg: Holy
Soul, Jelly Roll - Poems And Songs (1949-1993). The set includes three
tracks from the Record Plant session in New York City, 20 November 1971: Vomit
Express, September On Jessore Road and A Dream. The latter is not
previously in circulation. Dylan plays guitar and sings backup vocal. Also
included is Airplane Blues from Dylan's own studio in Santa Monica, Rundown
Studios, 23 February 1982. The released take is the so called "slow
version". Dylan plays bass.
Concert #600 on the Never-Ending Tour takes
place in Cleveland, Ohio.
Release of the soundtrack to Oliver Stone's Natural
Born Killers. Dylan sings a song from 1952 called You Belong To Me,
written by Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart and Chilton Price. It's an acoustic
solo recording recorded at the same time as Good As I Been To You.
Unfortunately the soundtrack producer, Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails,
decided to overdub the last instrumental part of the track with dialogue from
The short US Summer Tour ends in Detroit,
Dylan sues Apple Computers for using the name
DYLAN (DYnamic LANguage) for a programming language.
Columbia Records employees are called to the
20th floor conference room between 12.30 and 1.30 to listen to a selection of
tracks from the season's new products. First out is Dignity from Dylan's
forthcoming Greatest Hits Vol. III!
After a month off the road Dylan resumes the
never-ending touring in Ithaca, New York.
The last of three shows in Boston Dylan plays
two extra encores, the first being Two Soldiers (a.k.a. Blue-Eyed
Boston Boy). This is the only live performance of a song from World
Gone Wrong in 1994.
The day before his first concert at The Roseland Ballroom Dylan joins Grateful Dead in The Madison Square Garden for an embarrassing listless version of Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.
Seen in the VIP-part of Roseland Ballroom
during the last concert are Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen. They join Dylan
for two extra encores: Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 and Highway 61
Revisited playing guitars but not singing.
The show in Rochester, New York, is
interrupted after the first encore, Like A Rolling Stone, due to
audience invasion of the stage. Later it turns out that the whole thing was
arranged and filmed for an ongoing documentary about Bob Dylan! The same crew
that filmed Supper Club is working on this project. They also filmed Bruce
Springsteen and Neil Young at Roseland Ballroom in New York.
Second take of "the-enthusiastic-audience-has-invaded-the-stage-we-can't-go-on"
scene, again after Like A Rolling Stone.
Third and last take.
Ruth Tyrangiel files a palimony suit against
Dylan. She claims to have lived with him between 1974 (!!) and 1993. She also
says that she helped Dylan to write some of his songs and that he promised to
marry her. Ruth Tyrangiel played "The Girlfriend" in Renaldo
& Clara and appears in three scenes. All this is of course very
strange, Why has nobody heard of her during all these years? And 1974? Then why
wasn't she mentioned in the 1977 divorce? Note though the thanks to
"Ruthie" on the Knocked Out Loaded cover (only on the
original LP version).
Release of Woodstock 94, containing Highway
61 (sic) from Dylan's set.
Drawn Blank is published. This book contains almost 100 drawings by Dylan, many in pencil and some in charcoal and ink. Also included is a foreword by Dylan dated September 1994.
In Jackson, Tennessee Carl Perkins joins
Dylan for a third encore and sings Matchbox.
This year's last show, in New Orleans, ends
with an extra encore, Rainy Day Women #12 & 35. This is show #104,
making 1994 the year with most concerts since 1978!
After just two days rest Dylan and his band
starts the rehearsals for MTV Unplugged. Dignity is tried at least four times
as well as other songs not played during the tour.
Release of Greatest Hits Volume 3. Dignity
from the Oh Mercy session is included. Brendan O'Brien, who produced Pearl
Jam's second album has produced an instrumental backing. Only Dylan's vocal
and piano is left from the original recording.
Taping of MTV Unplugged at Sony Studios in
New York City. The band is enhanced with keyboards played to great effect by
Brendan O'Brien. For set-lists please refer to section 4.
Release of Mike Seeger: Third Annual
Farewell Reunion on Rounder Records. Dylan sings Ballad Of Hollis
Brown accompanied by Mike Seeger on banjo. This track is recorded at
Grandma's Warehouse in Los Angeles, 19 May 1993.
Release of a three-track CD single containing
two versions of Dignity, the album version and a "radio
edit" omitting four verses. The third track is A Hard Rain's A-Gonna
Fall from 22 May in Nara, Japan with The New Philharmonic Orchestra.
First broadcast of Bob Dylan Unplugged
on US MTV. The broadcast version contains 8 songs taken mostly from the
second taping session. A notable exception is the exquisite rendition of With
God On Our Side in which the verses about World War II and "The
Russians" are timely omitted.
First broadcast of Bob Dylan Unplugged
on MTV Europe. The set is identical to the one shown in US.
list of recordings from 1994 other than concerts. For details please refer to
the corresponding session pages in Still On The Road.
The Rhythm, Country & Blues Festival
Memphis recording session
Rehearsal for The Great Music Experience
The Great Music Experience, 1st day
The Great Music Experience, 2nd day
The Great Music Experience, 3rd day
City studio session
Camera rehearsals for MTV Unplugged taping sessions
Rehearsals for MTV Unplugged taping sessions
1st MTV Unplugged taping session
2nd MTV Unplugged taping session
The release of the
bootleg CD set The Genuine Bootleg Series contained the following new tracks:
Nobody 'Cept You
i.e. not the same as the one on The Bootleg Series.
one of the songs
co-written with Helena Springs recorded at the Street Legal sessions in May,
Am I A Stepchild
composition which has never surfaced as a studio recording, this live PA-version
is from the first 1978 US show in Augusta, Maine, 15 September 1978.
rehearsal version with different lyrics and arrangement from the October
rehearsals at Rundown Studios in Santa Monica, California. The gem of this
Don't Ever Take
An out-take from
Shot Of Love. Interestingly enough the lyrics here differ from the
The Power Station,
New York City, New York, 11 April - 8 May 1983.
Two more tapes with Infidels out-takes surfaced in
1994. The first one is ca 60 minutes and contains:
1. Sweetheart Like
2. Someone's Got A
Hold Of My Heart
3. Lord Protect My
4. Angel Flying Too
Close To The Ground
5. Foot Of Pride
6. Tell Me
7. I & I
8. Union Sundown
9. Julius & Ethel
11.Don't Fall Apart
On Me Tonight
Of these tracks 1
and 8 are new versions. Union Sundown is hilarious with Bob singing fake lyrics
except the chorus. Track 4 is the original mix with another harmonica solo.
The second tape is also about 60 minutes and has the
1. This Was My Love
2. This Was My Love
3. Julius &
4. Straight A's In
5. Straight A's In
6. When The Night
Comes Falling From The Sky
7. Sweetheart Like
second intro is new
this is the new version, that came into
circulation last year
same as the one we have, but this one
seems to be in mono, the guitar has disappeared almost completely. This version
is brighter than the stereo version.
same as the one we have, but without the
mumbled intro, again slightly better (brighter) sound
same as 4!!
same as Bootleg Series!
this is the multi-take tape that we have
before but in much better quality *and* with an extra 7 minutes at the end
including a new complete take!
Note that tracks 4-6
are not really Infidels out-takes, but recorded during the Empire Burlesque
sessions in 1984 and 1985.