Thursday, February 07, 2008

ROCKIN' Dept. of Corrections & Additions_BOB DYLAN's 1966 "Judas" World Tour

(above) Dylan in transit on the UK tour, 1966, photo by Barry Feinstein
(I apologize for the poor quality download)
(above and two following) from "Like a Rolling Stone" video clip,
from footage shot in 1966, the electrified second set


(above) Robbie Robertson, lead guitarist and leader of the Hawks
(above) The Hawks onstage, on the UK tour
(above) finally, the official CD, still titled "Royal Albert Hall" concert in quotes,
although obviously now clearly showcasing the 5-17-66 Manchester event
(above and three below) from the Scorpio 8-CD bootleg set

(above and below) these photos may be those
of photographer Barry Feinstein. Certainly
the one with Dylan and the children is for sure.


(above) following the harrowing 1965 and 1966 US and world tours,
Dylan returned home to Woodstock, NY, where he would
subsequently suffer a motorcycle accident. This photo was taken
years later, also in Woodstock, by Elliot Landy
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Dylanologist I'm not, but I do have to correct my previous blog. The infamous Manchester, England concert on the 1966 so-called "Judas" world tour took place one week after Dylan boarded the Aust Ferry, bound for a concert in Cardiff, Wales. So the correct date for the show where "Judas!" was yelled at Dylan was May 17, 1966.
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The world leg of the tour began in Australia on April 13, then went to Sweden and Denmark, then twelve concerts in Ireland, Wales, England, and Scotland, then to Paris, finally culminating in back-to-back shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
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The Manchester concert was bootlegged for many years--under a number of different names beginning around 1970-71--before it was (at long last) officially released as the "quote" "Royal Albert Hall Concert" as the 2-CD "Bootleg Series Set #4" in 1998. Though now recognized as the Manchester Free Trade Hall concert of May 17, fans had erroneously called it the "Royal Albert Hall" for decades, hence the wink and nod from the record company.
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The official CD was a commercial and critical success, reaching #18 on the UK album charts. One song from the actual Royal Albert Hall concerts (May 26), "Visions of Johanna," had been previously released on Dylan's boxed-set retrospective BIOGRAPH in 1985.
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Filmed excerpts from the 1966 UK performances are the backbone, in many respects, of Martin Scorsese's 2005 television documentary NO DIRECTION HOME--including the "Judas" incident used to close the work. Some footage in Scorsese's film had been held back by Dylan for years. Dylan apparently had assumed control over footage shot by D.A. Pennebaker for a second live documentary, to be called EAT THE DOCUMENT, but an initially edited version was termed incomprehensible when presented for network airing. Filmmaker Howard Alk (seen next to the car in Barry Feinstein's ferry shot) was a key player in the second year's filming (the first, from 1965, resulted in Pennebaker's DON'T LOOK BACK). THE BOB DYLAN SCRAPBOOK 1956-1966, co-authored by Robert Santelli, is a companion to the Scorsese film and well worth seeking out for the wealth of memorabilia reproductions tipped-in.
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Another filmmaker was drummer Mickey Jones, whose 8-mm "amateur footage" was later assembled into a DVD entitled 1966 WORLD TOUR (THE HOME MOVIES). The "Judas" moment is shown here as well.
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Feinstein has himself released a DVD entitled WORLD CONCERTS 1966 AND 1974 (fyi, 1974 was when Dylan once again toured with The Band; they were known as The Hawks in 1966). A 160-pg book of Feinstein's photos from the '66 tour, entitled REAL MOMENTS, is scheduled for release this year. (fyi, Feinstein had taken the iconic photo that appears as the cover of Dylan's 1963 LP, THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN', and so was invited to come along in '66 as official photographer).
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For many years, Dylan fans had to survive with just bootlegs. Ironically, one of the most interesting appeared as an 8-CD set in 2000, entitled GENUINE LIVE '66. It apparently contains "crystal clear" line recordings from many of the dates previously unavailable or available only as poor quality, surrepticious audience recordings.
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A great UK YouTube clip of Dylan and the Hawks performing "Like a Rolling Stone" (possibly from the Manchester concert) can be found at: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xO0gSJGJ7Fs. Note that the clip has received over 2 million hits.
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In researching aspects of the "Judas" tour as relating to the Aust Ferry shot, I was egged on by ROCKIN's editor Dennis Pernu. So the bit that follows may simply add to the myth, or may clear things up. It involves the answer to the question, who (Dylan?) (or, someone else on stage?) told the band to play "Like a Rolling Stone" full-tilt, as in "play it fuckin' LOUD," in response to the call of "Judas" from the audience. This is taken from a piece in the Sentinel newspaper in England (Feb. 2, 2008; slightly edited for clarity here):
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"Much has been written about the Bob Dylan concert at Manchester's Free Trade Hall on May 17, 1966. It has become one of popular music's defining moments when Dylan turned electric.
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"As catcalls were mewling around the home of the Halle Orchestra, one voice was heard above the rest crying "Judas!" Thirty-odd years later, the owner of that voice was identified as a Keele University student, Keith Butler.
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"But there was another voice that was also caught on the bootleg recordings. Newcastle musician and Dylan enthusiast Scott Ralph has studied the tapes and believes the second voice, for many years attributed to Dylan himself calling to his band--"Play (expletive) LOUD" was in fact that of local singer/songwriter Kevin Sauntry.
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"'Dylan shouts to the Judas man, 'You're a liar!' says Ralph. "Then you hear the shout with the swearword in it. But that voice isn't Dylan's. It clearly has a Manchester accent and I'm sure it belongs to Kevin."
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"'Yes, I was at the concert that night in 1966,' the now 63-year old Sauntry confirms. 'But you need to know the build-up. I was a '60s Wythenshawe lad who didn't give tuppence for authority, but I was socially aware. Dylan was at the Free Trade Hall and the establishment hadn't yet got the mood of the big social changes which were going on.
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"'A group of us bought tickets for very good seats a month in advance. That night, we waited at the head of the queue controlled by some hired British Legion stewards.
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"'Some people dressed posh, some trendy, and some as best they could. The man taking the tickets resembled Softy Walter out of the Beano. He took our tickets then told us to wait. When he returned, he was smiling. 'Ah yes, I've sorted it out now,' he preened. 'Unfortunately we've had to give your seats to some important people, but don't worry, go to the ticket desk and you'll be fully reimbursed.
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"'Now he couldn't have said anything worse than tell me he'd just tortured my dog to death. We stood there blankly. Then, condescendingly he said, 'Off you go.' You can perhaps imagine the colour of the language that followed.
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"'At this point, the crowd behind us became aware of what was going on and started chanting 'Let them in!' A police sergeant arrived, who after some discussion, told "Softy Walter" that his best option to avoid a riot was to get us some seats. And that's how we got to sit on stage. "Softy" apparently was used to docile Halle Orchestra audiences. He thought we'd just shove off miffed when he offered us seats at the back of the stage. But he'd gone from being our worst enemy to being our best friend.
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"Dylan came out and thought Sauntry's group were stage hands. 'He was doing acoustic solo songs in the first set and it was great,' Sauntry continued. 'The second half, we were a bit taken aback when a band came on with him. The band members actually shook our hands, possibly because management may have told them we were eight lunatics specially placed on stage.
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"'After the first electric song I remember the applause wasn't so spontaneous. During the next song, the audience began to mumble and shift around restlessly. Then came the infamous shout, 'Judas!,' and some of the crowd clearly subscribed to that. Dylan shouted back, 'I don't believe you--you're a liar!' And all of us on stage went with Bob--'Yeah!, Yeah!'
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Into the third song people started to throw rolled-up programmes onto the stage, so we just chucked them back. Then all mayhem ensued. Some people in the audience were standing up, screaming and shouting, some seemed to be forcing their way to the stage, and we were nearby in the midst of this chaos.
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"'This is where the 'Play (expletive) LOUD' came in.
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"I've been asked if that was me. All I can say is, I was shouting all sorts from the stage. I remember thinking, 'hey up, these Americans look a bit windy, maybe they better play louder.' But we were ready for anything. And after "Like a Rolling Stone," people in the audience actually started to leave. We just sat back and saw the rest of the concert out.
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"'As Dylan was coming off stage, my friends and I congratulated him. He looked really shocked. 'That was worse than a riot in New York,' he said. I'm not sure to this day whether what he really meant was, 'with friends like you guys, who needs enemies?'
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"So, was it Dylan who shouted to his band to play louder? Was it Kevin Sauntry? Or was it a member of the stage crew, as drummer Mickey Jones thinks? Scott Ralph remains convinced. 'There's no doubt, whoever it was had a heavy Manchester accent--and I know Kevin's voice as well as my own!'"
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As the video clip shows (if indeed it is the Manchester performance of "Like a Rolling Stone"), that song ends the concert and Dylan is quickly escorted to a limo waiting outside, so that would contradict the song's placement in the Kevin Sauntry narrative. And, it's unclear where he had been given seats, as none of the camerawork panning over the full stage show "seats onstage" or even just offstage. And the few shots of the audience don't seem to indicate a full riot in the making. But the claim is plausible . . . sort of . . . maybe.
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Of course, at other points on the tour, audiences were heard shouting "Turn it down!" Rather an odd response to electric rock as we know it today . . . "Yeah, turn it up!!" being quite the call of choice instead.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know Barry Feinstein preserved something we would never had seen?He hung w/ Dylan as a friend first then a photographer.Barry is a legend himself,a man that parachuted in to Cuba during bay of pigs,a fashion photog and a man that was married w/ child to Carol Wayne.Barry is one of the great photo rock cover designers of all time and besides that he's a hell of a great bonzai tree grower.Love em

Kevin Sauntry said...

It seems only right i speak for myself. First we were put on the stage, two small rows of tubular chairs canvas backs and seats.We were placed on the right. I for many years told the story of that night only to friends over a glass of wine or two. Not ever claiming to have shouted that exact phrase simply because it was about the night as a whole also after forty years or so I can't remember. Did I feel strongly at the way part of the crowd were having a go yes !! For us it was a great night, we were on the stage with Dylan. The guy who's songs we sang by the road side in our street till morning.Did we urge the band to get behind him and go for it yes we did.
I can tell you we saw no stage hands,if they
were about they were out of sight.

Can anyone remember precisely what they said on a night out forty years ago ? I doubt it.However fact, we were there stuck up for the man and had a great time.

Generic Viagra said...

What a great musician he was, this tour was amazing, the name of the tour I think is of no importance, what matters is the music.

kamagra said...

He has The Holy Spirit in his voice. I loved his singing his example and wish there were another like him. But there never will be. The greatest entertainer that gave me Jesus bumps down to my toe

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