Tag Archives: Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Introduces the Beatles

Bob Dylan Introduces the Beatles

August 28, 1964

Bob Dylan Introduces the Beatles

She Loves You

The Beatles initial successes were great pop songs that many youth fell in love with at the same time they themselves were looking to fall in love. She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Please Please Me, I Feel Fine, She's a Woman, and We Can Work It Out are all loves songs. Some happier than others. Someone once told me, if it's a happy Beatle song, Paul wrote it; a sad one, John. While a generalization, it's more often true than not.

Maggie’s Farm

When I first heard Bob Dylan's "I Ain't Gonna' Work on Maggie's Farm No More" I was only a touch less confused about its lyrics than "Gates of Eden," a song I had no idea what was happening other than Dylan was trying to harmonize with songs the lonesome sparrow sings.

Maggie's Farm? Well there's a guy obviously praying for rain, getting terribly underpaid, and whose boss is putting out his cigar on the guy's face. I'd quit too.

Of course, that's not what Dylan was saying. He was saying he wasn't going to be the acoustic-folk-protest song-singer too many expected him to permanently be. Quitting. He was going  electric. And on July 25, 1965 he did just that at the Newport Folk Festival. 

Many were displeased.

August 28, 1964

The Beatles had begun their first full American tour on August 18 at the San Francisco Cow Palace. Ten days later they played for 16,000 fans at the Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York City. They would do the same the next night.

It was what happened in between that changed history.

Bob Dylan Introduces the Beatles

August 28, 1964

Al Aronowitz was a writer who knew Bob Dylan and arranged for him to meet the Beatles at their hotel the night after that first concert. Aronowitz later wrote: "The Beatles' magic was in their sound,...Bob's magic was in his words. After they met, the Beatles' words got grittier, and Bob invented folk-rock."

Cannabis may have been the source of all that musical cross pollination at that meeting. Beatles supposed unfamiliarity with the herb apparently surprised the already familiar Mr Dylan. [The four had tried it in Germany, but it did not impress them.]

Evidently, Ringo was unfamiliar with the not-Bogarting-that-joint protocol and kept things to himself. John, Paul, and George soon learned the etiquette.

1965

  • March 27,  Dylan released Bringing It All Back Home on which “Maggie’s Farm” appears.
  • The Byrds’ covering of Dylan, particularly “Mr Tambourine Man” opened the door for folk-rock.
  • July 25, 1965 Dylan played Newport Folk Festival. Many in audience booed his performance for playing electric set with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band.
  • August 30, 1965,  Dylan released Highway 61 Revisited. More electric.
  • August 28, 1965 Dylan played at NYC’s Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. More boos during his electric set. 
  • December 3, 1965 the Beatles released Rubber Soul. The course of pop music changed.

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Another Side of Bob Dylan

Another Side of Bob Dylan

Recorded in one sessionJune 9, 1964
Released on August 8, 1964

another-side back

Another Side of Bob Dylan

Columbia realized by 1964 that Bob Dylan was a star. Although his first album, the eponymous Bob Dylanhad barely sold in it's first year (2,500 copies), Dylan's song writing skills and reputation among fellow folk artists grew quickly.

Another Side of Bob Dylan was his fourth album and each one had been a step further in his development. That first album was not really "his" album, he having written only two of the thirteen songs.

This album was all his.

The tracks

Side one

  1. All I Really Want to Do
  2. Black Crow Blues
  3. Spanish Harlem Incident
  4. Chimes of Freedom
  5. I Shall Be Free No. 10
  6. To Romona

Side two

  1. Motorpsycho Nitemare
  2. My Back Pages
  3. I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
  4. Ballad in Plain D
  5. It Ain’t Me Babe
Dylan was changing his tone. He said of this album that "there aren't any finger-pointing songs." His style was more poetic than previous works. He served as pop music's turn signal. What a musician writes can be much more personal.

Maggie’s Farm

It will be at the 1965 Newport Folk that Dylan will take his public step away from folk-protest and go electric. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band will accompany him as well as the Newport boos.

He "...ain't gonna' work on Maggie's Farm no more." 

And I thought the song was about some guy tired of farm work.

1965

Think of 1965. By December the Beatles will have released Rubber Soul and when the Beatles changed, bands and record companies followed. The bands perhaps as much as in self-expression as their search for success; the record companies in search of a better bottom line.

To Ramona

When Dylan sang "To Ramona" at Newport in 1965 he introduced the song, he said, "This is called 'To Ramona.' Ramona. It's just a name."

Today we realize its much more than "just a name." 

Dylan's relationship with New York City girlfriend and political muse Suzy Rotolo (see Freewheelin' Bob Dylan) had ended with a 1963 abortion. His ongoing relationship with Joan Baez, who had brought him to the attention of the Newport crowd in 1963, was fading  was fading and she was much more than "just a name."

All Music said the album was, "...one of his very best records, a lovely intimate affair."

Everything passes
 Everything changes
 Just do what you think you should do
 And someday, maybe
 Who knows, baby
 I'll come and be cryin' to you.
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Rolling Stones Satisfaction

Rolling Stones Satisfaction

Rolling Stones Satisfaction

The Stones first US #1

July 10, 1965
Rolling Stones Satisfaction

But first…on July 10, 1961 

Rolling Stones Satisfaction
Bobby Lewis

On July 10, 1961 “Tossin’ and Turnin'” by Bobby Lewis became the #1 song. It remained there until August 27. Not a bad run.

Frustrated love. Can’t sleep. Kicking blankets off. Flipping pillows. Written by Ritchie Adams and Malou Rene, both Americans, one wonders what the British listener thought about a guy tossin’ all night.

Rolling Stones Satisfaction

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Four years later, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” became #1. The first US #1 song for the Rolling Stones (their fourth #1 in the UK). More frustration. Its ambivalent lyrics had us giggling if we were still young, nodding if we were old enough.

It was a great air guitar song, especially with a tennis racket. That’s what I was doing a lot of that summer at Cedar Grove Beach Club in New Dorp, Staten Island.

Kevin Hagerty and I played tennis for hours with my sister’s transistor radio blasting. Every time “Satisfaction” came on we stopping playing (by the way, playing more than generously describes our jejune tennis prowess) and starting strumming. That’s if Kev could find his racket after tossing it into the weeds  following another poor shot.

Rolling Stones Satisfaction

Keith’s dream

The story is that Keith Richards started to record some guitar doodling and the famous riff before falling asleep with the tape still running and recording snoring.

Keith intended the famous fuzzy guitar intro to suggest horns and horns were supposed to replace that fuzz. Others disagreed. Others wanted that sound.

That sound became part of rock and roll’s DNA.

Rolling Stones Satisfaction

Mono

Stereo recording was around in 1965, but mono still dominated. For some today, mono is the preferred listening choice. In any case, it was not until later releases that stereo versions appeared. Jack Nitzsche, who played the tambourine on the original recording, has some piano on the stereo offering.

Rolling Stones Satisfaction

Best ever?

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” makes every top ten list and always near the top. Rolling Stone magazine said it’s the second greatest rock song ever. [It said Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone was #1]

And as popular as the Rolling Stones were before its release and success, following it put the Rolling Stones on others’ list of greatest rock and roll band in the world.

Rolling Stones Satisfaction
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