Audio: Bob Dylan & Jack White Do ‘Ball and Biscuit’ — Mar. 17, 2004

Collage via Antiquiet website.

You might recall a decade ago when Jack White joined Bob Dylan on stage at the State Theater, Detroit, MI to perform “Ball and Biscuit.”

Or maybe not.

In any case they share vocals and White rips off some smoking guitar.

White has said about Dylan, “He’s very good at making sure you don’t know him.”

White told the Wall Street Journal how he came to play onstage with Dylan:

“That was just by accident. I went and saw him play in Detroit and he said to me, “We’ve been playing one of your songs lately at sound checks.” I thought, Wow. I was afraid to ask which one. I didn’t even ask. It was just such an honor to hear that. Later on, I remember I went home and I called back. I said, “Can I talk to the bass player?” I called the theater. I was like, “Did Bob mean that he wanted me to play tonight? ‘Cause he said some things that I thought maybe – maybe I misconstrued. Was he meaning that he wanted me to play with him tonight? I don’t want to be rude and pretend that I didn’t hear or something like that.” So turned out yeah, we played together that night. He said yeah, come on, let’s play something, and we played “Ball and Biscuit,” one of my songs. It’s not lost on me that he played one of my songs, not the other way around.”

– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post –

3 thoughts on “Audio: Bob Dylan & Jack White Do ‘Ball and Biscuit’ — Mar. 17, 2004

  1. Thanks for the memories. I waited for hours outside the State Theater that afternoon, where it was so cold that I couldn’t feel my feet during the rush inside. I grabbed a spot in the front row on the opposite side of the stage that Dylan’s electric piano was set-up on, so that I could see his face throughout the show. It was an excellent show, even before the encore. At one point I saw one of the guitar technicians take a guitar out, behind Dylan in the wings, and tune it. I thought he was tuning it for Dylan, and that we’d finally see him play guitar for the first time during that three-night stand. However, when I saw Jack White walk onstage, during the encore, I suddenly realized who the guitar was being tuned for. I’d seen Dylan over 20 times at that point, including the Rolling Thunder Review in Toronto, as well as the White Stripes, including Jack White’s surprise appearance with Beck, in Ann Arbor, but that performance was electric, and I don’t recall ever leaving a concert so in awe, so enthusiastic, so enthralled. It was also, at that point in time, one of the few times Jack White had performed White Stripes material with a full band behind him. A magical night in Motown. Hopefully it’ll be officially released on a Bootleg Series.

  2. The song is called “Ball and Biscuit,” not “Biscuit & Ball.” (See the WSJ quote from Jack White.)

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