Tag Archives: A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

Live: The Dylan-Kerouac Connection

Jack Kerouac (left) and Bob Dylan.

To celebrate Bob Dylan’s birthday, a very special event, “The Dylan-Kerouac Connection,” will be held in Berkeley, CA on Friday, May 18, 2018.

Former Rolling Stone Senior Writer/ West Coast Music Editor Michael Goldberg and acclaimed Bay Area singer/guitarist Johnny Harper will be collaborating on a night of words about and music by Bob Dylan.

Goldberg will read from his new essay, “Bob Dylan’s Beat Visions (Sonic Poetry),” which has just been published in the book “Kerouac On Record” (Bloomsbury). Harper will perform exciting solo versions of “Desolation Row,” “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” Mr. Tambourine Man,” “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall,” “Like a Rolling Stone” and more!

The two set evening will begin at 7:30 pm at The Art House Gallery & Cultural Center, 2905 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Goldberg’s essay focuses on how Jack Kerouac and other Beat writers had a profound influence on the songwriting of Bob Dylan. In reviewing “Kerouac On Record,” Mojo magazine wrote: “Among the strongest in a strong lot are Michael Goldberg’s examination of Dylan’s lit roots and Kerouac’s own musicological piece — ‘The Beginning Of Bop’ – that attempts to capture jazz in words – and succeeds.”

Johnny Harper is a well-known Bay Area singer, lead guitarist, songwriter, bandleader, arranger, and producer of recordings and concerts.

Harper has been known, for many years, for leading rockin’ bands (Johnny Harper & Carnival and the earlier Hot Links) specializing in the joyous, upbeat, and funky New Orleans R&B sound – the music of artists like Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, the Meters/ Neville Brothers, Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, and many more. He lived in New Orleans for several years at one point, soaking up the Crescent City’s magic first-hand.

In addition to his work in bands, Johnny is a powerful solo performer, accompanying himself in complex lead/rhythm and finger-picking styles on electric and acoustic guitars. He is a veteran performer in a wider range of American roots music styles – blues and gospel, vintage rock and classic country, R&B/ soul, traditional and contemporary folk, and more. He is an expert on the music of The Band, and knows over 100 Bob Dylan songs! And he is a born storyteller whose comments on the music are by turns moving and highly entertaining.

The show will take place at: The Art House Gallery & Cultural Center, 2905 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA. Suggested donation: $15.00 – $25.00

For additional info, please contact Johnny Harper: jjmusic@ix.netcom.com

– A Days of the Crazy-Wild post –

Video: Bob Dylan At Beacon Theater, 1990 – ‘Willin’,’ ‘Man In The Long Black Coat’ & More

Bob Dylan at the Beacon Theater, New York, October 17, 1990.

The concert begins 30 seconds into the video clip.

Set list

Absolutely Sweet Marie
Man In The Long Black Coat
Willin’
T.V. Talkin’ Song
Simple Twist Of Fate
Wiggle Wiggle
Man Of Constant Sorrow
It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
Tangled Up In Blue
Joey
What Good Am I?
It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
In The Garden
Like A Rolling Stone
The Times They Are A-Changin’
Highway 61 Revisited

[Last August I published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of the book. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]

Video: Bob Dylan Live At Madison Square Garden – 1998 – Full Concert – ‘Positively 4th Street,’ ‘Cold Irons Bound’ & More

Seventeen years ago.

Bob Dylan and his band at the Madison Square Garden Theater, January 20 1998.

Set List:

Absolutely Sweet Marie
Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
Cold Irons Bound
Born In Time
Silvio
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
Girl From The North Country
Tangled Up In Blue
Million Miles
Positively 4th Street
‘Til I Fell In Love With You
Highway 61 Revisited
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Love Sick
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35

– A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post –

Video: Bob Dylan In Concert, Madison Square Garden Arena, 2001

A decade and a half ago Bob Dylan was still filling his sets songs from his past.

On November 19, 2001 he brought his band to the Madison Square Garden Arena in New York and performed a set that included songs from many of the albums he recorded in the ’60s and early ’70s.

Someone was nice enough to share this very cool video of the show:

Set List:

Wait For The Light To Shine
It Ain’t Me, Babe
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
Searching For A Soldier’s Grave
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
Just Like A Woman
Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
Lonesome Day Blues
High Water (For Charley Patton)
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Tangled Up In Blue
John Brown
Summer Days
Sugar Baby
Drifter’s Escape
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
Things Have Changed
Like A Rolling Stone
Forever Young
Honest With Me
Blowin’ In The Wind
All Along The Watchtower

Audio: Bob Dylan Live at The Gaslight Cafe, Oct. 1962 — Complete 17 Song Set

Fifty-two years ago, on October 15, 1962, an unknown Bob Dylan performed 17 songs at the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village, New York.

His performance was recorded and has circulated on bootlegs since the early ’70s.

Some of these songs were officially released on a CD, Live at The Gaslight 1962, in 2005. A couple others made it onto other official Dylan CDs. And some have not yet been officially released.

Here are all 17 of the songs, including the ones that have not yet been officially released.

“Barbara Allen”:

Barbara Allen by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”:

A HARD RAIN'S A-GONNA FALL [live 1962 10 at Gaslight Café, New York City] by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”:

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“Black Cross”:

Black Cross by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“No More Auction Block”:

No More Auction Block by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“Rocks And Gravel”:

Rocks and Gravel by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“Moonshine Blues”:

Moonshine Blues by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“John Brown”:

JOHN BROWN [Live 1962 10 At Gaslight Café, New York City] by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“Ballad Of Hollis Brown”:

BALLAD OF HOLLIS BROWN [Live 1962 10 At Gaslight Café, New York City] by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“See That My Grave Is Kept Clean”:

See That My Grave Is Kept Clean by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“Cocaine”:

Cocaine by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“The Cuckoo Is a Pretty Bird”:

Cuckoo Is a Pretty Bird by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“Ain’t No More Cane”:

“Motherless Children”:

Motherless Children by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“Handsome Molly”:

Handsome Molly by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“Kindhearted Woman Blues”:

Kindhearted Woman Blues by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“West Texas”:

West Texas by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

[I just published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book in a recent issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]

— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —

Bob Dylan’s ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ Manuscript Sells for $2 Million But Dylan’s Secrets Remain Secret

20140624-173443-63283975.jpg

The manuscript for Bob Dylan’s ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ (his first rock ‘n’ roll hit) sold today at auction for slightly over two million dollars — $2.045 mil to be exact — to a mystery buyer, according to Sotheby’s, the auction house that handled the transaction, but that buyer didn’t get a key to unlock the mysteries of the manuscript.

For instance, why did Dylan write “Al Capone” in the margin with a line from the gangster’s name to the word “direction” in the chorus?

“Al Capone” might have worked in terms of a rhyme, but it would make no sense in terms of what the song is about.

Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” sold for $485,000.

But back to Bob Dylan’s ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ manuscript:

There are various alternate phrases written on the manuscript that Dylan wisely rejected, but they don’t reveal much.

On the second page of the manuscript is a version of the chorus with “path unknown” as one of the lines.

At the top of page three is written: “How does it feel/ Behind the wheel.”

At the bottom of page three the chorus is again a work in progress:

How does it feel to be on your own
It feels real (dog-bone)
Does it feel real.”

Then he wrote “New direction home” but put a line through “new” and wrote “no” under it.

Then: “When the winds have (unreadable word that could be “flown”)
“Shut up and deal like a rolling stone
Raw deal
Get down and kneel.”

More interesting perhaps, Dylan has written names of songs and books on the pages, which may or may not relate to the song itself: “Pony Blues,” a song by Charley Patton; “Midnight Special” (and above it “Mavis”); “On the Road”; and “Butcher Boy,” which likely refers to “The Butcher Boy,” an old folk song that the Clancy Brothers recorded.

Other revisions.

There’s a mostly discarded verse that reads:

“You never listened to the man who could (illegible) jive and wail
Never believed ‘m when he told you he had love for sale
You said you’d never compromise/ now he looks into your eyes
and says do you want make a deal.”

And what ended up being the third verse reads like this in part:

“You never turned around
To see the frowns
On the jugglers and the clowns
When they all came down
And did tricks for you to shake the money tree.”

There’s a line drawn through that entire last line.

Two million bucks and change.

— A Days of the Crazy -Wild blog post —

Audio: ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’ Released 51 Years Ago – May 27, 1963 – ‘Masters of War,’ ‘(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle’ & More

Fifty-one years ago, on May 27, 1963, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, an album that Dylan had worked on, on and off, for over a year, was released.

The recording of the album began on April 24, 1962 and ended on April 24, 1963. There were sessions on eight different days at Columbia Studio A in New York. At least 36 songs were recorded.

Thirteen songs made it onto the album.

Here are some of the outtakes that I like along with some faves from the official release:

“Masters of War” (album version):

Masters of War by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“Milk Cow Blues”:

Milkcow's Calf Blues by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“Hero Blues”:

“Girl From the North Country” (album version):

Girl From the North Country by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“Rocks and Gravel”:

“Corrina, Corrina” & “Whatcha Gonna Do” Plus from The Times They Are A-Changin’ sessions, “Eternal Circle” & “Restless Farewell”:

“(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle”:

(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” (album version):

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“Baby Please Don’t Go”:

Baby Please Dont Go by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

“Let Me Die In My Footsteps”:

Let Me Die In My Footsteps by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

–- A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –-

More On What Bob Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Come’ Manuscript Reveals

Page two of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” manuscript.

Yesterday I did a post about Bob Dylan’s manuscript for “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” which is being auctioned by Sotheby’s on June 24, 2014 in New York.

I wrote that what I found most interesting about the manuscript was that Dylan had written “Hiroshima” and under that, “Nagasaki” just a few inches from the chorus to the song. I wrote “it’s clear that Dylan meant the song to refer, at least in the chorus, to nuclear annihilation.”

What I found amazing about Dylan writing the names of the two cities the U.S. dropped atom bombs on during World War II, was that he had denied that the song was about what Studs Terkel called “atomic rain,” when Terkel interviewed him in 1963.

Clearly, Dylan was putting Terkel on, I concluded.

In fact, Dylan wrote the song in the summer of 1962, as tensions between Russia and the U.S. were building to the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962 – this was a time when the whole country feared a nuclear conflict.

Dylan told journalist Robert Shelton that he wrote “A Hard Rain” in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis, which wasn’t exactly true: “Every line in it is actually the start of a whole new song,” Dylan said. “But when I wrote it, I thought I wouldn’t have enough time alive to write all those songs so I put all I could into this one.”

The reason I’m coming back to this is that today I got a comment about my post. A reader wrote:

“Interesting that the notations about Hiroshima / Nagasaki would be pulled out from all the other random notations in the song notes as ‘proof’ that the song is about nuclear fallout and nothing else. Surely that theme is an influence here, but I don’t think it means that Bob was lying’ in the interview by saying that meaning expands beyond that. It’s the rare Bob song that is about one thing and one thing only, in my opinion!”

Now I certainly didn’t mean to say or imply that the song is only about nuclear war, but I think it’s pretty clear that one of the meanings of “hard rain,” was “atomic rain.”

Dylan is infamous for misleading or putting on interviewers. Since the early ‘60s he’s said whatever he felt like saying, whether it was true or not. In fact, he purposefully made up fictitious stories about his past. In the fall of 1961 he told CBS that he’d worked in a carnival, which wasn’t true:

Dylan: Yeah, well, I was in the carnival when I was about 13 — all kinds of shows.

CBS: Where’d you go?

Dylan: All around the Midwest, uh, Gallup, New Mexico, Aptos, Texas, and then … lived in, Gallup, New Mexico and …

CBS: How old were you?

Dylan: Uh, about 7, 8, something like that.

“Bob Dylan” is, in fact, a character that Robert Zimmerman created, a character that changed from a scruffy acoustic guitar playing folk singer to a mod rock ‘n’ roller to a Nashville crooner, to mention just a few of Dylan’s personas. One could look at the character “Bob Dylan” as a kind of living montage — a character Zimmerman created and then has been refining and developing ever since.

So misleading Terkel was nothing new, and Dylan has continued to mislead and confuse interviewers in the 51 years since that Terkel interview. That’s part of what “Bob Dylan” does. And in fact, what he’s doing is similar to what fiction writers do. They invent a story that, if they’re good, gets closer to the truth than non-fiction.

Regarding the “other random notations in the song notes” that the commenter brought up, I don’t think they’re all random.

Bob Dylan frequently looked to older songs and poems, sometimes as more than inspiration, when he wrote his own songs.

“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” is structurally based on the question and answer refrain pattern of the traditional British ballad “Lord Randall”, published by Francis Child, according to David Hajdu, author of “Positively 4th Street.”

For his melodies Dylan had been borrowing from old folk songs, so his notations of old folk songs including “Black is the Color (Of My True Love’s hair)” and “Railroad Boy” don’t strike me as random, but rather they may have been songs he was thinking about as he came up with the music for “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.”

Writing the name of the rock ‘n’ roll group, The Dominos, and their hit, “Have Mercy Baby,” shows that even in 1962 when he appeared to be a hardcore folky, Dylan was into rock ‘n’ roll. And the references to comic book super heroes and a line from Edgar Allen Poe show that Dylan was drawing from a wide range of pop culture in addition to old folks songs and poetry as source material for his songs.

Perhaps most telling is that he wrote “Robert Houdin book” on the manuscript. As I wrote yesterday, that “likely refers to a book about the French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, who is considered the father of modern conjuring.”

Dylan himself has proven to be quite a magician, transforming a middle-class kid from Hibbing, Minnesota into an international rock star, and conjuring up from bits and pieces of pop and folk culture, some of the greatest songs ever written.

[In August of this year I’ll be publishing my rock ‘n’ roll/ coming-of-age novel, “True Love Scars,” which features a narrator who is obsessed with Bob Dylan. To read the first chapter, head here.]

– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –-

Audio: Manuscript Shows the Hard Truth About Bob Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’

Page two of “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” I’ve manipulated the contrast to make the words more legible.

In 1963, when Studs Terkel spoke about “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” during a radio interview with Bob Dylan, he made a comment to Dylan about how the song had come out of his feelings about “atomic rain.”

“No, no,” Dylan said. “It’s not atomic rain, it’s just a hard rain. It isn’t the fallout rain. I mean some sort of end that’s just gotta happen … In the last verse, when I say, ‘the pellets of poison are flooding the waters’, that means all the lies that people get told on their radios and in their newspapers.”

Now it turns out Dylan was telling stories, and not being frank with Terkel.

Two pages of the working manuscript for “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” will be auctioned by Sotheby’s on June 24, 2014 in New York.

In examining photos of the manuscript pages that appeared in a New York Times story about the auction of this manuscript and the one for “Like A Rolling Stone,” it’s clear that Dylan meant the song to refer, at least in the chorus, to nuclear annihilation.

Right on the manuscript maybe two inches to the right of the line “It’s A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall” Dylan wrote “Hiroshima” and under that, “Nagasaki” — the two Japanese cities the U.S. bombed during World War II. A uranium gun-type atomic bomb (Little Boy) was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, followed by a plutonium implosion-type bomb (Fat Man) on the city of Nagasaki on August 9. according to Wikipedia.

Clearly Dylan was being Dylan when he spoke to Terkel.

Unlike the manuscript for “Like A Rolling Stone,” where that song was a work in progress, “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” is finished. But what’s interesting about these two manuscript pages are other things that Dylan has written on the pages.

For instance, near the right edge of the second page it says “Robert Houdin book,” which likely refers to a book about the French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, who is considered the father of modern conjuring.

On that same page Dylan wrote “Black is the color of my true love’s hair,” which is the title of an Appalachian folk song that Joan Baez recorded in 1962; on the manuscript, below the name of that song, Dylan has written “Baez Club 47.” Club 47 was a Cambridge, Massachusetts folk music venue where Dylan performed.

Joan Baez, “Black is the Color (Of My True Love’s Hair)”:

Also written at the side of the manuscript is “Railroad Boy,” which was the name Dylan and Baez used for a song that was variously called “The Butcher’s Boy,” “Go Bring Me Back My Blue-Eyed Boy” and “London City.” Dylan heard a 1928 recording of “The Butcher’s Boy” by Buell Kazee on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. Below “Railroad Boy” is a line from the song: “She went upstairs to make her bed.”

Bob Dylan, “Railroad Boy” (May 1961):

Railroad Boy by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

Buell Kazee, “The Butcher’s Boy”:

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, “Railroad Boy” (1987):

Dylan wrote “Doctor Strange.” near the bottom of the page and “Miss Masque” and “Bullet Girl,” all names of comic book super heroes, although the third super hero was actually called “Bulletgirl.”

Miss Masque.

Dylan quoted from Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Black Cat,” writing down the phrase “solitary eye of fire.” The short story is about “a murderer [who] carefully conceals his crime and believes himself unassailable, but eventually breaks down and reveals himself, impelled by a nagging reminder of his guilt,” according to Wikipedia.

And he wrote “Have Mercy Baby,” and “Dominoes,” referring of course to The Dominoes’ “Have Mercy Baby,” an R&B hit in 1952.

The Dominoes,” Have Mercy Baby”:

Clearly even in 1962 when Dylan wrote “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” he was already a master collage artist, utilizing bits and pieces of culture from the past to craft his own unique art.

The two manuscript pages are expected to sell for between $400,000 and $600,000 according to the New York Times.

“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” (Town Hall, New York, April 12, 1963):

Page one.

– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –-

Video: Bob Weir & RatDog Do ‘Quinn the Eskimo,’ ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’

Photo via Bob Weir’s Facebook page. Photo by Jay Blakesberg.

This is cool. Bob Weir and RatDog performed two Dylan songs last night in Burlington, Vermont.

Check them out!

“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” Flynn Theater, Burlington, Vermont, February 28, 2014 videoed by mbournazian.

“Quinn the Eskimo,” Flynn Theater, Burlington, Vermont, February 28, 2014 videoed by mbournazian.

Plus an older version:

“Quinn the Eskimo,” Furthur (Bob Weir & Phil Lesh), Greek Theatre, Los Angeles CA, October 4, 2013:

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –-