Twenty-Seven years ago, on February 19, 1987, a remarkable meeting of the superstars took place on stage at the Palamino Club in North Hollywood.
Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and John Fogerty joined Taj Mahal and the Graffiti Band, which included slide guitarist Jessie Ed Davis, guitarist Mark Shark, bassist Bobby Tsukamoto, drummer Gary Ray, and keyboardist Jim Ehinger.
George Harrison took charge of the jam session. He sang “Matchbox,” “Honey Don’t” and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” all three of which The Beatles did covers of, and Dylan’s “Watching the River Flow. He also shared vocals with Dylan on a version of Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue.”
At one point during “Watching the River Flow” Harrison improvised a verse and worked Bob Dylan’s name into it. Jesse Ed Davis, by the way, played on Dylan’s original recording of the song.
John Fogerty sang Elvis’ hit, “Blue Suede Shoes,” and before launching into his best known song, “Proud Mary,” which Fogerty hadn’t sung in years, he said, “OK we’re gonna do this ’cause Bob Dylan asked me to do this. Holy Mackerel.”
Taj Mahal sang “Johnny D. Goode” and “Willie and the Hand Jive” with Dylan, Harrison and Fogerty leaning into a shared microphone for the background vocals. Amazing!
What is unique about these jams is how relaxed the artists seem. Unlike so many superstar jams, this one doesn’t appear calculated. The artists are having a great time singing songs they want to sing.
And Dylan is seemingly comfortable in his role as rhythm guitarist, playing a Fender Jazzmaster (one of the types of Fender electric guitars which he played in the mid-’60s), occasionally adding very loose harmony vocals.
Dig the video, which is funky. Sound is pretty good.
“Matchbox,” Taj Mahal and George Harrison trade off on the verses, and Harrison sings “Honey Don’t” and “Watching the River Flow”:
Bob Dylan, George Harrison sing “Peggy Sue”, Harrison sings “Dizzy Miss Lizzy”:
John Fogery sings “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Proud Mary”:
Taj Mahal sings “Johnny B. Goode” and Willie and the Hand Jive” and “Hey, Bo Diddley”:
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