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PostPosted: Sun January 15th, 2017, 17:07 GMT 

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Location: Austria
Thanks for the infos, Folks.

Very interesting.

:D


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PostPosted: Sun January 15th, 2017, 17:17 GMT 
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pol2jem wrote:
My Echo, My Shadow And Me wrote:
Collated information about Alderson's 1966 sound system

Microphones (said to have been 10 in all):

1x Bob vocal
1x Bob acoustic guitar (removed from stage before electric set)
1x Bob electric guitar
1x Robbie guitar
1x Rick bass
1x Garth organ
1x Richard piano
1x Bob vocal piano
1x Mickey bass drum (visible in Sony promo film "The Untold Story (...)" at 03:59)
1x Mickey overhead (visible in Sony promo film "The Untold Story (...)" at 09:33)

Sennheiser 421 or 441 – on the instruments
Sennheiser MKH 404 – Bob vocal
Neumann U-67 – Mickey overhead

(additional microphones can be seen in footage from the shows taped by CBS)

---

Mixers/compressors/amps:

2x Altec 1567 mixer
1 (?) x Teletronix LA-2A "compressor" (leveling amplifier)
?x Macintosh 275 amp

"The hook up would have been: bass, drums, piano, organ, & Robbie guitar in one mixer, and Bob’s vocal and guitar in the other with the compressor in line." (Alderson in "Percy Song" interview pt. 1)

---

Stage monitors:

2x Altec 604

---

House speakers:

4x Klipsch La Scala

---

Recording equipment:

1x Nagra III NP
1x Beyer headphones
Scotch tapes

"The tape feed would have been the tape outs of the mixers, again combined with an audio transformer. The 1567 has five main channels and a tape out which bypasses the volume and eq." (Alderson in "Percy Song" interview pt. 1)

[I think that there was a second Nagra III NP used by the film crew, mainly Jones Alk.]

---

Can anybody add any information to this list?

How was the exact set-up? Can somebody draw a chart of it?

Where did Alderson set up the tape recorder? On the side of the stage?

There was no mixing board positioned out in the audience as is customary today, right?


---

Since the sound system was build twice* (for Hawaii/Australia and again for Europe) I think that there is a good chance of paperwork/invoices of Alderson's orders for the equipment surviving in the estate of Albert Grossman or in Dylan's office/archive.

*paid for by Ashes and Sand, Inc. (Dylan's/Grossman's production company)



I like this post Mr. My Echo. This is how jigsaws eventually develop into complete pictures.

Are you also posting on the Steve Hoffman Forum thread? If not, may I respectfully suggest that you get over there sharpish, join up and do so, starting with this one.

I think RA mentioned in the YouTube Roosevelt House presentation with Sean Wilentz that you posted a link to last week that a bunch of paperwork had been kept. May only have been shipping docs and itineraries, though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-zQUr6hVr8

I wonder if there is any more visual evidence of the equipment, however fleeting, in the Mickey Jones Home Movies DVD (particularly the re-release with the RA interview as an extra feature)? My best friend Percy Song included a 4 part review of the original DVD footage but, like the idiot he is, didn't take much notice of the technical stuff and wouldn't be able to identify it even if it was labelled and highlighted with a big yellow arrow...

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/b ... t-15409934

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/b ... t-15422406

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/b ... t-15439319

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/b ... t-15449068




#


I am not on the Hoffman forum, yet.

Here is a chart I drew up of the sound system the way I understand it was set up. I am not a sound engineer, so it is probably all wrong. But you have to start somewhere. The distribution of instruments across the two Altec mixers differs from Alderson's description, but since there were two microphones on Mickey, he could not have hooked up all of the band to one mixer and must have moved one instrument (maybe Manuel) over to Bob's mixer.


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


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PostPosted: Sun January 15th, 2017, 17:29 GMT 
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^ I strongly recommend you get over there and start posting this sort of stuff.

I don't suppose there is any more information to be gleaned from the "World Tour" section of The Cutting Edge book? There are a few stage photos which are probably unique to that publication.


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PostPosted: Sun January 15th, 2017, 21:41 GMT 
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Collated information about Alderson's 1966 sound system [corrected]

Microphones (said to have been 10 in all):

1x Bob vocal
1x Bob acoustic guitar (removed from stage before electric set)
1x Bob electric guitar
1x Robbie guitar
1x Rick bass
1x Garth organ
1x Richard piano
1x Bob vocal piano
1x Mickey bass drum (visible in Sony promo film "The Untold Story (...)" at 03:59/09:22)
1x Mickey overhead (visible in Sony promo film "The Untold Story (...)" at 09:33)

Sennheiser 421 or 441 – on the instruments
Sennheiser MKH 404 – Bob vocal
Neumann U-67 – Mickey overhead

(additional microphones can be seen in footage from the shows taped by CBS)

---

Mixers/compressors/amps:

2x Altec 1567 mixer
1x Teletronix LA-2A "compressor" (leveling amplifier)
1x Mcintosh MC275 amp

"The hook up would have been: bass, drums, piano, organ, & Robbie guitar in one mixer, and Bob’s vocal and guitar in the other with the compressor in line." (Alderson in "Percy Song" interview pt. 1)

---

Stage monitors:

2x Altec 604

---

House speakers:

4x Klipsch La Scala

---

Recording equipment:

1x Nagra III NP
1x Beyer headphones
1x unknown "audio transformer"
Scotch tapes

"The tape feed would have been the tape outs of the mixers, again combined with an audio transformer. The 1567 has five main channels and a tape out which bypasses the volume and eq." (Alderson in "Percy Song" interview pt. 1)

[I think that there was a second Nagra III NP used by the film crew, mainly Jones Alk.]

---

Can anybody add any information to this list?

How was the exact set-up? Can somebody draw a chart of it?

Where did Alderson set up the tape recorder? On the side of the stage?

There was no mixing board positioned out in the audience as is customary today, right?

---

Since the sound system was build twice* (for Hawaii/Australia and again for Europe) I think that there is a good chance of paperwork/invoices of Alderson's orders for the equipment surviving in the estate of Albert Grossman or in Dylan's office/archive.

*paid for by Ashes and Sand, Inc. (Dylan's/Grossman's production company)

---

Amended chart of sound system (added McIntosh MC275 amp).


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


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PostPosted: Sun January 22nd, 2017, 20:50 GMT 
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My Echo, My Shadow And Me wrote:
Collated information about Alderson's 1966 sound system [corrected]

Microphones (said to have been 10 in all):

1x Bob vocal
1x Bob acoustic guitar (removed from stage before electric set)
1x Bob electric guitar
1x Robbie guitar
1x Rick bass
1x Garth organ
1x Richard piano
1x Bob vocal piano
1x Mickey bass drum (visible in Sony promo film "The Untold Story (...)" at 03:59/09:22)
1x Mickey overhead (visible in Sony promo film "The Untold Story (...)" at 09:33)

Sennheiser 421 or 441 – on the instruments
Sennheiser MKH 404 – Bob vocal
Neumann U-67 – Mickey overhead

(additional microphones can be seen in footage from the shows taped by CBS)

---

Mixers/compressors/amps:

2x Altec 1567 mixer
1x Teletronix LA-2A "compressor" (leveling amplifier)
1x Mcintosh MC275 amp

"The hook up would have been: bass, drums, piano, organ, & Robbie guitar in one mixer, and Bob’s vocal and guitar in the other with the compressor in line." (Alderson in "Percy Song" interview pt. 1)

---

Stage monitors:

2x Altec 604

---

House speakers:

4x Klipsch La Scala

---

Recording equipment:

1x Nagra III NP
1x Beyer headphones
1x unknown "audio transformer"
Scotch tapes

"The tape feed would have been the tape outs of the mixers, again combined with an audio transformer. The 1567 has five main channels and a tape out which bypasses the volume and eq." (Alderson in "Percy Song" interview pt. 1)

[I think that there was a second Nagra III NP used by the film crew, mainly Jones Alk.]

---

Can anybody add any information to this list?

How was the exact set-up? Can somebody draw a chart of it?

Where did Alderson set up the tape recorder? On the side of the stage?

There was no mixing board positioned out in the audience as is customary today, right?

---

Since the sound system was build twice* (for Hawaii/Australia and again for Europe) I think that there is a good chance of paperwork/invoices of Alderson's orders for the equipment surviving in the estate of Albert Grossman or in Dylan's office/archive.

*paid for by Ashes and Sand, Inc. (Dylan's/Grossman's production company)

---

Amended chart of sound system (added McIntosh MC275 amp).



Thanks for this, Mr. Echo...


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PostPosted: Mon January 23rd, 2017, 21:41 GMT 
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I have now seen the interview with Richard Alderson on Mickey Jones' "1966 World Tour" DVD (bonus on 2006 re-release). Alderson's position during the shows was stage left, with Albert Grossman nearby. Once the shows were under way and the tape recorder was running, he sometimes wandered around the halls checking out the sound/performance from the vantage point of the audience.


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PostPosted: Wed January 25th, 2017, 11:53 GMT 
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Some additional info:

In the Interview on the 2006 Mickey Jones DVD Alderson says he used 6 Klipsch La Scala speakers for the house sound.

The onstage monitors were probably fed a direct signal from the McIntosh amp, so there must have been an additional compressor in line to tweak the sound for that purpose. Maybe Alderson used three Teletronix compressors in all (one for the tape recorder, one for the onstage monitors, one for the house sound).

Btw all of the equipment that Alderson used is still revered by analogue enthusiasts today, which shows how cutting edge it was back in 1966.


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PostPosted: Wed January 25th, 2017, 19:58 GMT 
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My Echo, My Shadow And Me wrote:
Some additional info:

In the Interview on the 2006 Mickey Jones DVD Alderson says he used 6 Klipsch La Scala speakers for the house sound.

The onstage monitors were probably fed a direct signal from the McIntosh amp, so there must have been an additional compressor in line to tweak the sound for that purpose. Maybe Alderson used three Teletronix compressors in all (one for the tape recorder, one for the onstage monitors, one for the house sound).

Btw all of the equipment that Alderson used is still revered by analogue enthusiasts today, which shows how cutting edge it was back in 1966.


Good stuff, Mr. Echo.

I just posted my edited transcript of that 2006 DVD interview with RA over at the other place. Your additional comments will be appreciated over there, too.

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/b ... t-15800818


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PostPosted: Sun February 12th, 2017, 22:32 GMT 
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TimeandTempo wrote:
Would love to have an individual thread for each major show represented on this set. There's a lot to be said for all of these shows. No one has really talked about Newcastle, but it is kind of amazing.


Do feel free to join in. viewtopic.php?f=6&t=89863


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PostPosted: Sun February 12th, 2017, 22:44 GMT 
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Nightingale's Code wrote:
TimeandTempo wrote:
Would love to have an individual thread for each major show represented on this set. There's a lot to be said for all of these shows. No one has really talked about Newcastle, but it is kind of amazing.

I was thinking the same thing


You'd be most welcome here. viewtopic.php?f=6&t=89863


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PostPosted: Sun February 12th, 2017, 22:47 GMT 
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MrJudasPriest wrote:
TimeandTempo wrote:
Would love to have an individual thread for each major show represented on this set. There's a lot to be said for all of these shows. No one has really talked about Newcastle, but it is kind of amazing.



Good idea- best coherent way to examine these shows.


Welcome aboard, if you're interested.


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PostPosted: Sun February 19th, 2017, 13:37 GMT 
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BobDylan66 wrote:
corso wrote:
:D I love this harmonica solo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKYKiDDhaEI


Leicester show if I remember correctly.


The exterior is indeed De Monfort Hall, Leicester. The music, I believe, is from Newcastle.


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PostPosted: Sun February 19th, 2017, 21:38 GMT 
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Duh. De Montfort. Sorry.


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PostPosted: Tue March 7th, 2017, 02:30 GMT 
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JeffreyLeePierre wrote:
Ross35 wrote:
Came here looking for the cover art to this set but the site says I can't read the page linked in the thread. Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)

Would something like that suit you?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P7kyWH95AQ



I just did some scans for the cover art and posted it here:
https://nateslog.wordpress.com/bob-dyla ... cover-art/

Also... this is just a random blog I'm configuring.... I haven't quite built it out much but thought this would be helpful for others who have purchased the box set like me :)


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PostPosted: Tue March 7th, 2017, 07:01 GMT 
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I wish the artwork bore some kind of relation to the shows. There's plenty of show-specific material. Even, if they couldn't be bothered with that, just to make sure the acoustic sets didn't have full-on electric Dylan on the front. Just lazy.


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PostPosted: Thu March 9th, 2017, 07:47 GMT 
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Some great-looking images here. I think I spy a Dublin and possibly a Liverpool.

http://mashable.com/2016/11/02/bob-dyla ... en-images/


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PostPosted: Sat April 15th, 2017, 22:43 GMT 

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Don't know if anyone's spotted this already, but on Spotify "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" from the Royal Albert Hall concert has been replaced with the performance from Denver on 15 June 1988!


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PostPosted: Sat April 15th, 2017, 23:59 GMT 
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nossnam wrote:
Don't know if anyone's spotted this already, but on Spotify "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" from the Royal Albert Hall concert has been replaced with the performance from Denver on 15 June 1988!


That's because you've linked your Spotify to your own library and it's got confused.


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PostPosted: Sun April 16th, 2017, 10:41 GMT 

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gibsona07 wrote:
nossnam wrote:
Don't know if anyone's spotted this already, but on Spotify "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" from the Royal Albert Hall concert has been replaced with the performance from Denver on 15 June 1988!


That's because you've linked your Spotify to your own library and it's got confused.


Haha, you're absolutely right! Turns out not only Spotify is confused but also yours truly. Don't know how the link occurred, but it certainly draws crazy patterns on my song sheets.


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PostPosted: Mon August 7th, 2017, 13:51 GMT 

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Here, in sequence, are HominyRhodes' wonderful 1966 concert reviews
This past has White Plains through Cardiff...

ONLY SEVEN MORE SHOWS TO GO...aw, heck.

1/12/17

White Plains, NY - February 5, 1966 (audience)
Pittsburgh, PA - February 6, 1966 (audience)
Hempstead, NY - February 26, 1966 (audience)
Sydney, Australia - April 13, 1966
Melbourne, Australia - April 19, 1966 (audience)
Melbourne, Australia - April 20, 1966
Stockholm, Sweden - April 29, 1966 (audience)
Copenhagen, Denmark - May 1, 1966
Dublin, Ireland - May 5, 1966
Belfast, Northern Ireland - May 6, 1966
Bristol, England - May 10, 1966 (soundboard + audience)
Cardiff, Wales - May 11, 1966 [LARS on Newcastle CD]
Birmingham, England - May 12, 1966
Liverpool, England - May 14, 1966
Leicester, England - May 15, 1966
Sheffield, England - May 16, 1966 (3-track stereo + mono soundboard)


Pending:

Manchester, England - May 17, 1966 (mono soundboard + 3-track stereo) [PREVIOUSLY RELEASED]
Glasgow, Scotland - May 19, 1966
Edinburgh, Scotland - May 20, 1966
Newcastle, England - May 21, 1966 [LARS on Cardiff CD]
Paris, France - May 24, 1966
London, England - May 26, 1966 (3-track stereo)
London, England - May 27, 1966 (3-track stereo)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HominyRhodes
Forum Resident
Location: Chicago

FEB 5th: White Plains, N.Y. -- audience recording,
Listening to the Feb 5th White Plains disc tonight (I'm also proceeding chronologically here, one show at a time), an audience tape I've never heard before, AFAIK. Definitely not great audio quality, with moderate distortion -- did tapers back then think it was better to stand to the P.A. speakers? -- but really not all that bad for 1966.

The acoustic set sounds just a little rushed to me, especially Freeze Out/Visions of Johanna, and the drums and keyboards are virtually inaudible on the two electric numbers included here. Robbie's guitar fills and lead parts already seem locked into place on Tell Me Momma, and he apparently didn't vary them too much for the rest of the tour. This loose, almost sloppy performance of the song -- earliest known recording of it, right? -- makes you really appreciate the much tighter versions from later in the world tour.

I do like the fake, handwritten/old-typewriter tape box labels -- tape speed for this one is listed as 3 3/4 ips, indicating that a reel to reel recorder was used, and not a cassette. Is there a technical way to determine the original tape speed after something's been copied over and over again? (The Pittsburgh tape is listed at 7 1/2 ips, but the other audience tapes are all 3 3/4.) Or is that just Geoff Gans and the Sony gang having a little fun? Awww, all these little details...why do I even care?
HominyRhodes, Nov 12, 2016

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PREVIOUSLY...Feb 5th, White Plains

Now, continuing at my snail/tortoise-like pace through the new box, more brief impressions:

FEB 6th: Pittsburgh -- audience recording, incomplete, 43 min.

(venue info, courtesy of the awesome @notesfrom)
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »




I've had a tape of this show since the mid-1980s, in fair-to-middling quality, with ever-present hiss and a touch of distortion that tended to make Dylan's harmonica playing screech and whistle like a tea kettle, and made his acoustic guitar sound like a rubber-stringed ukulele being strummed underwater. But it did have an early live version of Positively 4th Street, which is why I sought it out in the first place.

I realize that this incomplete audience recording will probably never be a fan favorite, but in my opinion, audio restoration efforts have greatly improved the sound of it on the new box set, as compared to what I had before. It now sounds nearly hiss-free, and some EQ or limiting (?) has been utilized to level out some of the more ear-splitting annoyances. Dylan's acoustic guitar still has some of that *flanging* sound to it, but the vocals are much clearer, the mouth harp is much less screechy, and during the two electric numbers included, most of the instruments come through OK in the mix, with the exception of Richard's piano, sorry to say.

Two of the acoustic songs are, unfortunately, incomplete, and there are a couple of minor mic bumps, and giggles from our audio documentarian and his-or-her companions, but other than those nit-picky points, I feel like I'm sitting up in the balcony at this show. It's not quite as good, or as exciting, as the Dec. '65 Berkeley electric set that Ginsberg captured on tape, IMO, but overall, I like this recording very much.

(BTW: This audience seems very respectful, attentive and well-behaved, and it sounds like they really enjoyed the show -- way to go, '66 Pittsburghers!)

To my ears, Dylan, who was only a week away from his first Nashville session (Feb. 14th), is actually using his Blonde on Blonde studio voice here, less nasally than the Highway 61 sound, perfectly forceful and expressive, with few signs of the purring, slurring, heavily-enunciated vocals that he would be delivering later that spring on his world tour. And I do believe that this performance of Freeze Out/Johanna, which is very good, is the last recording we have of the song with the "nightingale's code" still present. It should be noted, however, that the audience here laughed and giggled during the sneeze/knees verse, breaking the spell to some degree, and robbing it of the elegant, floating-in-midair quality it came to possess later on that spring. (Can't wait to get to all of those shows, believe me.)

SETLIST ("all that remains")
She Belongs to Me
To Ramona: Bob tunes his guitar, starts song, stops, audience laughs (Dylan mugging onstage?) says "This never happens with my electric guitar." (audience laughter)
Freeze Out/Visions of Johanna: "This is called Freeze-Out."
Desolation Row (first part missing)
Love Minus Zero/No Limit (first part missing)
Mr. Tambourine Man (extended, wildly chirping harp solo)
Positively 4th Street: very good!
Like A Rolling Stone: raucous, Robbie's guitar loud & upfront, organ audible, bass & drums OK, piano inaudible
HominyRhodes, Nov 15, 2016
#3886
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PREVIOUSLY...Pittsburgh Feb. 6th + Nashville sessions Feb. 14th-17th

Bob Dylan
Hempstead, NY, February 26, 1966
Island Garden Arena
(audience recording, 64 min.)

(venue info courtesy of the awesome @notesfrom)
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »

She Belongs To Me (incomplete)
Fourth Time Around (1st known live recording, part of Dylan's intro remains, "...4th Time Around.")
Visions Of Johanna
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Desolation Row
Love Minus Zero/No Limit
Mr. Tambourine Man
----------
Tell Me Momma
I Don't Believe You (kid near recorder says "I Don't Believe You" during the opening instrumental riffs -- how did he recognize it? Was he at a previous show? )
Baby Let Me Follow You Down
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (spoken intro by Dylan, hard to decipher -- re: Tom Thumb, the painter?)
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Dylan intro: "...This is called 'Yes, I See You Have Your Brand New Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat'.")
One Too Many Mornings (incomplete, cuts off after about 75 seconds)

I listened to this show for the very first time completely cold, without consulting the liner notes, or any of the other usual sources. First impressions about the solo numbers: any faint, "vague traces" of Bob Dylan, that humble folk troubadour, seem to have now vanished, and a confident, almost swaggering new vibe appears to be coming on strong. It may be my own personal perception, but there's been a change in his demeanor and delivery since the Pittsburgh show a few weeks earlier. He's willing to challenge the audience with two unfamiliar, unreleased songs early on (4th Time & Johanna), but then gives them good performances of some crowd-pleasers to round off the set, including the harmonica fireworks near the end of Mr. Tambourine Man (Whew! Almost reminded me of Jimi H.'s live version of Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock.) Dylan was on his game here, I think -- possibly because the venue was a short hop from home, with no air travel involved?

The very first thing that hit me about this recording, however, is the sound quality...mercy, mercy ME, there's a lot of slapback echo here, and it often sounds like Bob is singing from the bottom of a well, or in a gymnasium down the street from the tape recorder. Frustratingly, while the microphone/P.A. setup here seems to have been very, very good, allowing much of Dylan's lower vocal register to emerge, and clearly showcasing his acoustic guitar-playing, the building itself garbled up that sound before it reached the tape recorder. (Speaking of the source tape: the person working the buttons had a very quick trigger finger, stopping it immediately as one song ended, and then abruptly switching it on just as the next song started; they did manage to capture most of the show that way, and some of the spoken intros, so kudos to them, but it's a little unnerving to hear it, and think about what was cut out.)

When I got to the electrified second half, my immediate reaction was, "Wild bedlam sound, no bass at all, or piano, but the lead guitar cuts through, and so does the organ. And wow!, that Sandy Konikoff was really slamming and booming those drums that night!" They sounded almost comically off-beat at times, bouncing off the rafters and reverberating like cannon shots.
Then, I looked at the booklet liner notes, and learned that it wasn't Sandy K. at all -- it was Mickey Jones.

Now, I always thought Mickey didn't hook up with Dylan until some of the west coast dates in late March. According to the box set liners, however, Konikoff is present only on the recordings from White Plains and Pittsburgh, and MJ is heard on all the rest. I'm not sure who's correct anymore, but it definitely sounds like Mr. Jones was there at Island Garden that night, and anyway, the Australia shows are up next. Mickey did play there with Dylan & The Hawks, right? Or am I sadly mistaken again??


Some additional info about the interior of the place, which was basically a giant Quonset hut-- no wonder the '66 audience tape sounds like it does!!

"Anyone from Long Island remember the Island Garden Arena?...It was located in West Hempstead, on Hempstead Turnpike...It was a half domed arena that had all kinds of shows, the circus and in the winter they raced the 3/4 Midgets there...These shots are from early 1962...concrete floors...Now remember its freezing out so all the doors are shut, [and] there is no real ventilation system...That foggy look is the exhaust smoke hanging in the air. By the time the races were over your eyes were bright red, watering like crazy, you stunk and your head felt like there were a thousand bees inside fighting to get out...."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sydney, Australia - April 13, 1966
Sydney Stadium
(soundboard recording, 46 min., first half of show)

(venue info courtesy of the awesome @notesfrom)
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »

Never having heard this show before, I put in the CD expecting it to be another of those dry-sounding board tapes, with little or no concert hall ambience, and in fact, there's not much *room sound* to it at all, but nonetheless, it's a very, very good recording, helped along by a wonderfully-receptive audience, who impressed Dylan enough that he gave them a top-notch performance, with just a hint of the weariness that became more evident as the world tour progressed.

The level of sustained applause after Visions of Johanna, a totally unfamiliar, unreleased song at that time (a few giggles can be heard at the "Geez, I can't find my knees" line), took me by surprise, and I'm sure Dylan sincerely appreciated it. The highlight of this acoustic set for me, though, is Just Like A Woman, the earliest known live recording, other than the Denver hotel room rendition captured by Shelton. Dylan's voice here eerily matches the Blonde on Blonde studio version quite closely, even though he's using a completely different time signature, and he sounds wistfully sincere. I'll be coming back to this track again ASAP.

After straining my ears to decipher so much of the music on those sonically-challenged North American audience tapes, it was nice to sit back and just listen to the first part of this well-recorded show, and I can't wait to hear what Bob & The Hawks have in store for me during the second half.

SOLO ACOUSTIC SET
She Belongs To Me (start missing)
Fourth Time Around
Visions Of Johanna
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Desolation Row
Just Like A Woman (1st known live recording)
Mr. Tambourine Man

(next: same show, electric second half)
HominyRhodes, Nov 17, 2016
#4147
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Sydney, Australia - April 13, 1966
Sydney Stadium
(soundboard recording, 42 min., second half of show)

Tell Me Momma
I Don't Believe You
Baby Let Me Follow You Down
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
One Too Many Mornings
Ballad of a Thin Man
Positively 4th Street

I only glanced at Rev's review of Sydney when he first posted it, because I wanted to hear the tape first. I just went back and read the whole thing, and I mostly concur with him, although I think Dylan did actually make a good connection with the crowd during the acoustic set.

Now, about that second half...ho-ho, what a madcap electric show, with the lead vocal mic level turned WAY up high all the way through. Recordings like this make me glad that I have decent graphic equalizer, and I pushed the mid-levels all the way down and boosted the highs, which helped a lot. At first, Bob's vocals and the sound of the instrumental backup reminded me of Mighty Quinn, live at the Isle of Wight, in the mix heard on the old Self Portrait album, but then he started really slamming the VU meters past the red zone, and as others have noted upthread, he often seems to foreshadow Johnny Rotten's later vocal stylings, due to the signal overload.

Still, the Hawks, now with Mickey Jones serving as their pile-driving timekeeper, sound POWERFUL and TIGHT as can be, and even though they're pushed into the background of the mix due to the loudness of the vocal feed, their brilliant playing isn't hard to miss. I can even hear Richard sometimes! Hallelujah! And Garth's organ maneuvers are stone killer cool, especially on Ballad of a Thin Man.

It's weird not hearing Like a Rolling Stone as the show-closer, but 4th Street comes through just fine, and it's nice to hear what Garth does with Al Kooper's original riffs on that one. A few more Australian shows to go, so I'll have to see where this one stacks up against the rest of them.

EDIT: I forget to mention -- I laughed out loud at the Tom Thumb The Juarez Painter routine, which I've heard before, but never this clearly.

HominyRhodes, Nov 17, 2016 Report
#4157 Like + Quote Reply

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PREVIOUSLY...Sydney, April 13th

Melbourne, Australia, April 19, 1966
Festival Hall
(audience recording, 64 min.)

(venue info, courtesy of the awesome @notesfrom)
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »

She Belongs To Me
Fourth Time Around
Visions Of Johanna
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Desolation Row
Just Like A Woman
Mr. Tambourine Man
Tell Me Momma
I Don't Believe You
Baby Let Me Follow You Down
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (0:12 fragment)

AFAIK, this recording wasn't commonly known to even exist until a month or two ago, and it's great that they were able to somehow unearth it for the new box set. Serving as one more link in the chain of Dylan's '66 shows, it's a fascinating audio document, and, with a nod to the comments of @RayS upthread, it further showcases his rapidly evolving performance style and stage persona.

Each of the audience tapes included in the new box have their own idiosyncratic quality issues, and this particular recording is somewhat muffled, with ever-present hiss, and a few glaring dropouts and disturbances, but is otherwise very listenable. I'm thinking that this show may have been remastered from a 2nd-generation cassette dub of an original reel, since well-done edits have been made between some of the songs, and that could explain some of the tape hiss, too. The downside of the edits is that no real stage patter has been retained, other than a Dylan song intro, "This is called 4th Time Around."

The audience here seems fairly reserved. During the acoustic set, they don't erupt into applause during the opening bars of any of Dylan's familiar songs, IIRC, with the lone exception of Mr. Tambourine Man, and even then, they seem reticent to clap and cheer. On the laugh-o-meter scale for the sneeze/geez/knees verse of Visions of Johanna, this one ranks about 3 on a scale of 1/10 -- with the most audible chuckles apparently coming from the taper himself.

What this recording does present very clearly is that magical sound of Dylan's harmonica wafting and echoing around the concert hall during the solo numbers, even the normally subdued opening number, She Belongs To Me. It's really a wonderful element across the entirety of the acoustic set. I also noticed that Bob seems to have upped the tempo of several songs here, using a strong 4/4, strum-strum-strum-strum guitar accompaniment, which I really like. It certainly adds a unique flavor to Visions of Johanna, adding forcefulness to the performance, while still preserving most of the song's inherent ethereal drama. He does, temporarily, shift into a lower gear for Just Like A Woman, but then concludes with a speed-reading version of Mr. Tambourine Man. It could be just my own perceptions at play here, but I don't think I've ever heard him race through the lyrics of the song this quickly.

Only half of the electric set was caught on tape, but it's a real doozy of a performance, and truly makes me wish that I could've been there. Boomy, bassy sound, most of the backing instrumentation is reasonably discernible, and Mickey Jones -- wowee, zowee! Sounds like the Battle of Midway is going on behind the drum kit, with Howitzer shells and anti-aircraft guns being fired, with some John Bonham-style bashing and booming thrown in. Incredible playing.

Dylan himself seems to be having a great time with his rock n' roll backup band. More wacky, improv lyrics for Tell Me Momma, a strong Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, and he sounds positively joyful throughout Baby Let Me Follow You Down (Mickey J.'s drumming is full-on tour de force here, as well.) Makes me really hang my head in despair that the final songs from the electric portion of this gig weren't captured for posterity. But at least our glass of one more "electric Dylan" show is now half-full. Cheers to that!

HominyRhodes, Nov 18, 2016
#4251
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Melbourne, Australia, April 20, 1966 (2nd night)
Festival Hall
(soundboard/broadcast recordings, 54 min.)

She Belongs To Me (incomplete)
Fourth Time Around
Mother Revisited (per Bob's intro, formerly known as Visions Of Johanna )
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Desolation Row
Just Like A Woman
Tell Me Momma (fragments)
Baby Let Me Follow You Down
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues

Oh boy, somebody was out partying the night before. At least that's what it sounds like here, judging by Dylan's quavering, strained singing voice, with a brief coughing fit thrown in. And the microphone captured it all in excruciating detail. Even his timing seems off during the solo numbers, including his normally remarkable ability to nimbly shift through chord changes while singing and playing the harmonica.
[NOTE: I wrote this the other night, after listening to the CD, but I have since learned from Clinton H. that Dylan had been up all night, following a *drug bust* that culminated with the deportation of his roadie/pharmacist, Victor Maymudes.]

He does slyly mention that he's using a borrowed "folk" guitar because his own instrument had gotten broken, but overall he just seems cranky and off his game; at one point he mutters to someone in the audience, "Hey, what's the big idea?" The first several solo numbers from this show have long been in circulation, but I'd never heard this version of Just Like A Woman before. Perhaps that was just as well. Not really a pleasant listening experience, IMO, and maybe Bob should've just cancelled this show.

The three electric numbers included on this CD, from radio/TV broadcast sources, are both grating and fascinating to hear. The fragmentary Tell Me Momma sounds like someone doing a bad Dylan impression at karaoke night. Baby Let Me Follow You Down seems totally raw and uneven, but I've always liked this long-circulating version of Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, with the shaggy-dog painter's dedication intro, and the girl screaming when Bob announces the song title. Dylan's voice is straining and wanders on and off key throughout, but that only adds to its oddball charm for me. It would be cool to hear the missing electric tracks from this show, but on the other hand, maybe we're fortunate that they've never turned up.

****
Before I say goodbye to Australia, and head for Stockholm, here's another little tribute to @hollowhorn...This ad for the two Melbourne shows, and a ticket stub from the 20th, is taken from our late friend Robert's BlogSpot page, which I've just rediscovered. Tons of info & rare images that he painstakingly compiled and shared freely -- his generosity lives on.
Bob Dylan: Known & Rumored Appearances. (Not in general circulation): 1966 »


HominyRhodes, Nov 21, 2016
#4558

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PREVIOUSLY...Melbourne, Australia, April 20th

Bob Dylan & The Hawks
Stockholm, Sweden - April 29, 1966
Stockholm Concert Hall; Stockholms Konserthus; ’Konserthuset’
(audience recording, 45 min)

(venue info, courtesy of the awesome @notesfrom)
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »
INCLUDING THE PHOTO BELOW, taken c. 2001

She Belongs To Me
Fourth Time Around
Visions Of Johanna
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Desolation Row (incomplete)
I Don't Believe You
Baby Let Me Follow You Down
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (fragment)
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (incomplete)
One Too Many Mornings (incomplete)
Ballad Of A Thin Man (incomplete)

As others have mentioned upthread, the story goes that this audience tape was made by someone who brought their recorder to the show, and was allowed to place it somewhere on, or near, the stage by one of The Hawks. I got a copy of it many years ago, listened to it once or twice, and then filed it away, since the audio was pretty bad, and the songs seemed to be chopped up quite a bit. The sound quality of the CD in the new box set is a vast improvement, but it's unfortunate that Sony couldn't utilize a superior-quality version of this recording that eventually emerged among collectors, which a generous SH forum member was kind enough to allow me to hear. It seems to have been copied from the original tape itself, or from a low-generation dub, and the sound is definitely much clearer. (Regarding the quick cuts between tracks here, made by the taper in real time, to conserve tape -- this is one instance where a some fade-ins/outs, or even cross-fading the tracks over one another(!) may have been called for, IMO...the abruptness of the changes from one song to another seems almost cruel at times.) Either way, I would agree with the others who said that this recording, and the one made in Pittsburgh in February are the two best-sounding audience tapes included in the new box, although I haven't heard the partial tape of Bristol yet, so I should really reserve judgment on that score.

Dylan's performance here seems very good, even relaxed, during the acoustic set, and he's in good voice. My favorite is probably 4th Time Around, with Dylan's intricate vocal-guitar interplay on full display once again, in sharp contrast to the previous live recording of the song, from half a world away in Melbourne. And maybe it's already been mentioned, but something that I first noticed on the tapes from Australia, and seems even more in evidence on this recording, is Bob firmly tapping out the beat to Visions of Johanna with his foot, keeping time Charley Patton-style. Too bad Just Like A Woman didn't seem to fit on the tape -- I'm sure it would've sounded very, very nice in this beautiful concert hall. (I keep looking at that photo. What a gorgeous place.)

It's also a real shame that a sizable portion of the electric second half is missing, because the parts that were captured for posterity sound really good. Mickey Jones' drumming, Robbie's lead guitar, and Garth's organ work are fully present and accounted for in the sound mix, along with Dylan's vocals, while the bass is less audible, and the piano, again, is hard to hear at all, except when Dylan plays it during Thin Man. And that's the final song on the tape, too, a sadly incomplete version, which highlights the dueling spookiness of Robbie's dagger-like blues licks and Garth's horror-movie-soundtrack keyboard work. I'm hoping to hear more of that stuff, in complete versions, on the shows that I'll be listening to just up ahead.




HominyRhodes, Nov 22, 2016
#4667

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PREVIOUSLY...Stockholm, Sweden, April 29th

Bob Dylan & The Hawks
Copenhagen, Denmark - May 1, 1966
K.B. Hallen
(soundboard recording, 36 min.)

(venue info, courtesy of the awesome @notesfrom)
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »

She Belongs To Me
Fourth Time Around (fragment)
Baby Let Me Follow You Down
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (incomplete)
Ballad Of A Thin Man
Like A Rolling Stone

As my own *nightly ritual* continues (wait 'til dark/keep the lights down low/cue up another '66 Dylan show), I was thinking about the nifty titles that @RayS assigns to each of these concert tapes, in the tradition of TAKRL, Swingin' Pig, and those other early pioneers of the underground recording industry; I'm much less imaginative than he is, so think I would simply call this one: "Richard Alderson: A Star Is Born."

If I'm not mistaken, this Copenhagen show is the very first one that Richard A. managed to record on the tour. Although the tape is incomplete, it's fascinating to hear him emerging into the audio landscape here, tweaking the levels on She Belongs To Me until he finds the mix that he wants. That's followed by just a fragment of 4th Time Around, which I thought was sounding pretty sweet until it cut out. Then came five of the electric songs. When Baby Let Me Follow You Down started up, with that flat, direct-feed bass sound, I thought, uh oh, it's gonna be another one of those dry, dull board tapes that often fail to capture the essence of a particular performance. The track did seem to sound a little better towards the end.

Then, suddenly, the widely-heralded Alderson *sound* that I've been reading so much about finally came into full focus on Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, just after Bob's performance-art intro rap about the legendary painter ("...all the peasants and Indians know who he is...and a few of the MARINES..." -- stop it, you're killing me with this stuff, Bob ). After Dylan's soft-spoken intro, there's a pause, and then WHAM-O, that big Dylan-and-the Hawks sound knocks you right over, and cruises along with the perfect blending of instruments, a touch of distortion on the vocal mic, and just the right amount of ragged drugginess from the man himself. I listened in awe at this, probably the first fully-realized/well-recorded performance that I've heard on this box set so far. If the rest of the shows sound nearly as good as this particular track, well, that'll be just fine with me.

The sound mix seems to change slightly on Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat, which has a nice piano-heavy vibe, but is unfortunately incomplete. Thin Man sounds quite intense here, but IMO, Garth's virtuoso performances during this song always benefit from having more of a room sound to them, and the organ here seems too dry. LARS is mixed well, and sounds pretty good overall, but it's just missing some unknown X factor that I can't quite explain.

As a brief introduction to the talents of Richard Alderson, and as a preview of what I hope to hear on the rest of the box set, I really dig this recording.
HominyRhodes, Nov 23, 2016
#4670
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PREVIOUSLY...Copenhagen, Denmark, May 1st

Dublin, Ireland - May 5, 1966
Adelphi Cinema; Middle Abbey Street
(soundboard recordings, 90 min., 2 CDs)

(venue info, courtesy of the awesome @notesfrom)
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »

PART ONE
She Belongs To Me
Fourth Time Around
Visions Of Johanna
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Desolation Row
Just Like A Woman
Mr. Tambourine Man

PART TWO
Tell Me Momma
I Don't Believe You
Baby Let Me Follow You Down
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
One Too Many Mornings
Ballad Of A Thin Man
Like A Rolling Stone

Most of this acoustic set came into circulation back in the '70s, in reasonably good sound quality, but the electric second half of this show is brand new, to me at least. During the opening number, She Belongs to Me, you can hear soundman Richard Alderson still adjusting the recording mix (he was working with five inputs, IIRC, direct to mono, so what he got couldn't be remixed later); some girls in the audience are heard chatting away, but he gradually mixes them out, and the rest of the solo set, to my ears, sounds utterly fantastic. Hardly a speck of distortion from Dylan's vocal mic (a problem on some of the other recordings) and wonderful overall sound balance.

Minor grumbles: quick fade-outs on a couple of the songs (perhaps most notably at the end of Visions of Johanna), so the crowd reactions are missing; Dylan's guitar is noticeably out of tune during Baby Blue; during the electric half, the mix starts off in extreme close-up mode (to use a film analogy) with the drums sounding a little too thin and tippy-tappy, while Robbie's prominent guitar licks are being recorded using a flat, direct-line input signal, with zero *room sound*. I'm happy to say that by the end of the second set, Alderson seems to have *zoomed out* the audio mix just a bit, and it often approaches near-perfection.

Regarding the performances themselves, all I can say is "Brilliant." Complete concert, fantastic quality recording (with minor caveats, as noted), the set list I've come to know by heart over the last 35 years, Dylan in full command of his powers...after I put it on, I was thinking to myself, "Unbelievable...am I really hearing this?" Visions of Johanna is absolutely mesmerizing, and even Desolation Row, which doesn't always hold my attention very well, had me transfixed. A tight and tough electric set, with just the right amount of rowdiness from the Dublin audience to add a little high-wire atmosphere to the proceedings. Love this show. Wish I had been there that night.

The Belfast show is next on my list, and I've noticed that it's gotten a lot of attention in this thread, so I'm really anxious to hear it.
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PREVIOUSLY...Dublin, Ireland, May 5th

Belfast, Northern Ireland - May 6, 1966
ABC Cinema/Theatre
(soundboard recordings, 84 min., 2 CDs)

(venue info, courtesy of the awesome @notesfrom)
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »

PART ONE
She Belongs To Me
Fourth Time Around
Visions Of Johanna
missing: It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Desolation Row
Just Like A Woman
Mr. Tambourine Man

PART TWO
Tell Me Momma
I Don't Believe You*
Baby Let Me Follow You Down
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
One Too Many Mornings
Ballad Of A Thin Man
Like A Rolling Stone

(*previously released on Biograph)

First of all, on a technical note, this recording makes you appreciate the seamless nature of the *gold standard* CBS-recorded '66 Manchester show that's been in circulation for so many years now, which flows from song to song, in an uninterrupted manner, and captures Dylan's intros and stage patter, as well as the reactions (both positive and negative) of the audience, all in sparkling good sound quality. The mono soundboard Belfast show, as presented in the new box set, seems to have been assembled from a collection of Richard Alderson's tape reels that further reveal his mixing and recording capabilities to be at the 'still-a-work-in-progress' level.

Some tracks lurch and wobble at the start, as he quickly switched the recorder on, and there are some super-quick fade-outs that eliminate the applause and audience reaction between songs, although some of those ending edits appear to have been done in post-production, and not in real-time by Alderson himself. In some instances, there's a noticeable change in the sound mix from song to song; It's All Over Now, Baby Blue, apparently having suffered from an unrecoverable fate, is M.I.A.; and there's a little tape hiss evident here and there, along with a standing low-cycle hum (maybe from a loose guitar cord or a pickup?) in-between some of the electric numbers, which disappears as the band starts playing.

Having nit-picked a few technical and tape issues (I'm actually glad that the Sony folks left so much of the imperfect original recording intact), all I really want to do is say -- Who in their right mind would care? What a great, great show.

Dylan has a little frog in his throat at the start, during She Belongs to Me, but then goes on to deliver a stellar performance, IMO. Fourth Time Around and Visions of Johanna seem focused and forceful, yet effortless. (As in Dublin the night before, the audience gets a kick out of the "spit out your gum" line in 4th Time.) And while the sound quality on the those three opening numbers is as near-perfect as can be, the recording then robs us of the crowd's reaction to Johanna by fading out, right before Baby Blue should commence, and when it comes back, Desolation Row starts up with a more distant, roomy sound to it. I wonder what happened at that point.

Mr. Tambourine Man here is a good solid performance, but those extended harmonica acrobatics that Dylan offers up between the two final verses of his regular acoustic set closer...gee, are they starting to bug me a little? Closely-miked, in perfect audio quality here, it seems a little shrill. Through all of these '66 shows, I can't help but think back to early Dylan writer Paul Cable's assessment of an audience tape of the Dublin show (I've posted this around here before):

"Dylan's harmonica solo is somehow given a unique and stunning sound by the acoustics of the theatre. A sort of build-up of sound seems to take place and gives rise to a feeling of bells ringing all around the auditorium. It is breathtakingly beautiful and literally the perfect evocation of Chimes of Freedom. The P.A. tape misses all this."

Now, about this electric set, well...you say you like Dylan '66, live, with MJ & The Hawks? You came to the right place. And right off the bat, I'll say that I love these Alderson mixes to death, with the possible exception of Tell Me Momma, which feels just a little thin. A couple of between-song edits cause minor disruptions to the proceedings, but the tapes provide a fairly clear sense of what was going on. The audience seems a little wound up at times, but appreciative, with heavy applause and no hint of any real hostility.

Dylan offers up a playful and well-enunciated vocal, while Robbie tries out some trebly new hot licks on Tell Me Momma; I Don't Believe You (first heard on Biograph) sounds as howlin'/stompin' good as ever, now placed within the full set list; Baby Let Me Follow You Down is more rocking good news; Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues...killer-diller intensity and commitment from Bob and the boys; Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat -- FANTASTIC roadhouse boogie performance, truly my favorite version so far; One Too Many Mornings seems to reach its full potential; Ballad Of A Thin Man channels some Ray Charles (I Believe To My Soul), with an almost mournful vibe at the start, but Dylan and the Hawks keep turning up the burners, making you feel very, very sorry for the hapless Mr. Jones. And finally, Like A Rolling Stone, dedicated to the Taj Mahal, which starts off with a gently *rolling* feel to it, but gets rougher and tougher as it goes along, and finishes to great applause.

The cuts/edits between some of the songs here can be a little jarring, but the overall sound mix of the electric second half pushes Dylan's lead vocals back just a bit, thereby allowing us to hear Garth's organ runs and Robbie's guitar licks very clearly, and continually showcases the interplay of Mickey J.'s drumming with the rest of the players. (Rick Danko's bass is felt, as well as heard, quite distinctly throughout, but once more, Richard M.'s piano is sometimes hard to detect.) These guys were getting to be a tight band by this point in time, and in places, I could've almost sworn I was hearing Booker T. & The MGs...

Okay, that's it, I must stop now. The shows from Ireland are definitely two of my favorites so far. Now across the Irish Sea I go, and down to Bristol.
HominyRhodes, Nov 29, 2016
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Previously Belfast
Bristol, England - May 10, 1966
Colston Hall - Colston Street
(audience & soundboard recordings, 89 min., 2 CDs)

(venue info, courtesy of the awesome @notesfrom)
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »

PART ONE (audience recordings, except * = soundboard recordings -- tracks re-sequenced on CD #9 )

She Belongs To Me
Fourth Time Around*
Visions Of Johanna
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Desolation Row
Just Like A Woman
Mr. Tambourine Man* (followed by stage announcement, re: Hillman Imp)

PART TWO (soundboard recordings)
Tell Me Momma
I Don't Believe You
Baby Let Me Follow You Down
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
One Too Many Mornings (incomplete)
Ballad Of A Thin Man
Like A Rolling Stone (followed by National Anthem)

I got a tape of this concert many years ago, but it was blanketed in hiss, and not pleasing to the ear, IIRC, so I filed it away. From what I gather, the new box set version is missing some key elements of *audience participation* that were included on previously circulating recordings of the show. If anyone could clue me in about what may be missing here, I'd appreciate it. Like I always (?) say -- the more context, the better.

As presented on the new CD, these audience recordings of five of Dylan's solo numbers sound quite good overall. The acoustic guitar may be rubbery, and the harp playing almost bleating in spots (especially during Baby Blue), but Bob's measured, angst-free vocals sound wonderful. His performance is well-delivered, and he seems to be well-received by the crowd. A ripple of laughter can be heard after the geez/sneeze/knees lines in Visions of Johanna (another truly stellar performance), and they really seem to go for the brand new Just Like A Woman, which comes across in a devastatingly effective and understated manner. A more-gentler-than-usual Mr. Tambourine Man (one of the two soundboard recordings) is equally effective, and has actually renewed my interest in the song after all the harmonica-heavy, faster-paced versions that have been ringing in my ears over the past few weeks.

It's getting tough to find new words to describe just how unbelievably good Dylan and The Hawks sound during the electric second half on these recordings. As Lou mentioned above, Richard Alderson's continually evolving and improving sound mix finally allows us to hear just what Richard Manuel was capable of doing at the piano during these shows, and the other players all come through loud and clear, as well. Parts of the full recording have clearly been edited, though, most notably between songs (some probably by Alderson, in real-time), and One Too Many Mornings starts up as a work-already-in-progress, losing some of the opening lines. The performances themselves, though, wow -- some riveting, thrilling stuff. Dylan's vocals are at a controlled full boil throughout, and he seems to be using his lower register, limiting some of his usual adenoidal tendencies (in places he sounds kind of like Bob '67 , doing Goin' To Acapulco, or even Dear Landlord). But he finally lets himself boil over completely during the final two numbers, Thin Man and Rolling Stone, which are intensely satisfying to hear.

Also: Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat rocks well, but it doesn't quite reach the bar set by the Belfast version, IMO, while Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues from Bristol is certainly a 10 on a scale of 10. Magnificent recording.

Another incredible show. How much more of this high level of excellence can I stand? When will the bubble burst? (Beatles ref., haha) Cardiff will be next, and thanks to our panel of experts, I'll be sure to pull my own CD switcheroo for LARS.

NOTE: Uh-oh...I see that notesfrom passed me on the inside rail with his own Bristol review...probably make this post seem like a 3rd-graders' book report. Shucks.

HominyRhodes, Nov 29, 2016
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PREVIOUSLY...Birmingham, England, May 12th

Cardiff, Wales - May 11, 1966
Capitol Theatre, Queen Street
(soundboard recordings, 45 min., CD#11 + CD#25)

(venue info, courtesy of the awesome @notesfrom)
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »

Tell Me Momma
I Don't Believe You
Baby Let Me Follow You Down
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
One Too Many Mornings
Ballad Of A Thin Man
Like A Rolling Stone [Cardiff version included on "Newcastle" CD #25, and vice versa]


The tale of this tape (Dylan's solo acoustic set isn't included) has been tangled by the substitution of the Newcastle version of Like A Rolling Stone with the version actually performed in Cardiff on the new box set. If not for the efforts of a crack team of SHF investigators, this heinous *switcheroo* (as the cool kids are calling it) may have gone undetected, and could have resulted in Clinton Heylin grossly mischaracterizing the audience reaction to this show...Oh, wait! He didn't know they were switched! He wrote it up thinking that the crowd seemed polite and attentive for the first seven numbers, and then inexplicably began a big hullaballoo leading into LARS...I gotta say, I've been reading Judas! as I listen to these CDs, and I find myself proceeding with more caution as I go. He seems more interested in playing tabloid journalist, searching for a dramatic build-up to the confrontational audience reactions in Manchester, Paris, and London, than in carefully assessing Dylan's performances, or enlightening us about the surviving tape reels from the tour. I've put him on triple-secret-probation for the remainder of his book.

Judging by this recording of the Cardiff show, Dylan was fairly relaxed and affable that night, with the same slight touch of wear and tear to his voice that we've all come to know from the Manchester performance, and in some places, this tape sounds very similar to that show. The opening number, Tell Me Momma, features Richard Manuel's piano mixed jarringly loud for a change (and as @Archtop mentioned earlier, the bass also comes through nicely), but at the expense of Mickey J.'s drums, which can barely be heard. Once more though, Richard Alderson seems to have adjusted the mix as the set progressed, and after a few songs, he has it sounding pretty sweet, IMO.

After apparently dropping the bit for a week or two, Dylan once again offers the amused crowd some colorful background information about Tom Thumb, the painter, before launching into yet another wonderful rendition of JLTT's Blues; Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat, typically a real barnburner, gets more of laid-back swing arrangement here, like something Big Joe Turner would have done, and I like it; the crowd seems very attentive and polite, and there's even a smattering of applause when Dylan walks over to the piano for Thin Man, and he seems quite at ease as he jokes about the Steinway he's playing. As usual, he kicks his vocals up a notch as he gets farther into the twisted world of Mr. Jones, and his voice gets rawer still for all the "How does it feel?" refrains in Like A Rolling Stone.

The Cardiff audience gives him a warm round of applause at the very end, and he seems genuinely moved, thanking them quite sincerely. As least that's what it sounds like to me, although poor Clinton H. and many, many other people who hear this CD, with the wrong version of LARS at the end, may come away with an entirely different take on this concert.
Once again, I'd really like to thank everyone here who straightened that out for me before I ever listened to it. Sometimes it pays to take your time, I guess.

HominyRhodes, Nov 30, 2016


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PostPosted: Mon August 7th, 2017, 13:56 GMT 

Joined: Tue April 15th, 2008, 02:27 GMT
Posts: 21
Location: United States
Here is the next set of Hominy Rhode's 1966 concert views
This is Birmingham through Sheffield.

Birmingham, England - May 12, 1966
Birmingham Odeon
(soundboard recordings, 89 min., 2 CDs)

(venue info, courtesy of the awesome @notesfrom)
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »

She Belongs To Me
Fourth Time Around
Visions Of Johanna (incomplete)
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Desolation Row (incomplete)
Just Like A Woman
Mr. Tambourine Man

Tell Me Momma
I Don't Believe You
Baby Let Me Follow You Down
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
One Too Many Mornings
Ballad Of A Thin Man
Like A Rolling Stone

The first thing I noticed about this show is the audio quality -- the acoustic set has a clear, crystalline sound to it, although it's so hi-def that you can hear Bob breathing in and out of the harmonica, and when he moves in a little too close, "eating the mic," as they say, his voice gets a little distorted. But other than those occasional minor distractions, the solo numbers sound magnificent. I don't think I've ever heard Dylan's vocals captured like this on tape -- "all the nuances" is right. He seems to be fully engaged and wrapped up in the imagery that he's transmitting to his audience. His guitar may be a little out of tune here and there, but I like the way it's recorded, and if anyone ever says that Dylan was a second-rate harmonica player, play them this solo set. During each and every song he seems to be finding new avenues of rhythm and melody to explore on his mouth harp, and more than once I was reminded of Charlie Parker, or some other master jazz cat, heading into some musical no man's land, but then finding their way back out again. Bob *phones it in* on the ol' Hohner Marine Band harmonica sometimes, IMO, but definitely not at this show -- it was a trip upon a magic, swirling ship.

The nonchalant, slightly wavering tone of Fourth Time Around here is both amusing and disturbing -- "She screamed 'til her face got so red, and then she fell on the floor" sung in such a delicate manner seems so inherently contrary, so wrong, but in the end the mordant humor of the piece wins out. Just Like A Woman is enthralling, fragile, and poignant, all at the same time; I think they can add this one to the roll call of classic Dylan renditions. (The opening guitar strums briefly reminded me of River Theme, from the Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid album -- just wanted to throw that in.) Sadly, the final verse of this spellbinding version of Visions of Johanna and the ending of Desolation Row weren't captured in full, and that's a real shame. Dylan was fully invested in those songs that night, and to have the plug yanked out...it's so frustrating.

Once again, Richard Alderson was adjusting the recording levels as the electric second half of the show began, and this version of Tell Me Momma features Garth's organ front and center along with Dylan's vocal at the very start, but the overall sound mix gets balanced out fairly well by the end of the song. Due to a late hit of the recorder button, the first notes of the harp intro to Baby Let Me Follow You Down were lost, but otherwise, all of the electric numbers seem to be complete. There are edits between most of the songs, though, so Dylan's rapport with the crowd of 2,400 or so people is hard to discern -- until Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat, that is, when a few persistent shouts are heard; they can be heard again later, during the Bob-walks-over-to-the-piano-and-sits-down interlude before Thin Man. He appears to get a nice ovation after that song, but thanks to a post-production (?) fade out/fade in to the opening strums of Like A Rolling Stone, we don't know if the crowd was restless, or subdued at that point. Oddly, after LARS, the show closer, there's some strong applause, but it evaporates almost immediately, Dylan mumbles a thank you, and the crowd starts chattering away, maybe hoping for an encore, maybe not. Very strange conclusion here.

Throughout this recording, Dylan's vocals sound uniquely different from the other shows I've heard so far. Less sneering, snapping and stretching, maybe? A little more soul and compassion? Very hard to describe, but it really draws you in, whatever it is. Judging by the tapes, it seems that they got a great performance from Bob Dylan in Birmingham that night, whether they knew it or not.

The Saturday night show in Liverpool is up next.
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HominyRhodes: This – TyroneSlothup’s review - was such an insightful and fiery review of the '66 Liverpool recordings that I couldn't hope to top it, so I won't try, but after hearing most of these recordings for the very first time, I do have a couple of additional thoughts and observations. Per bjorner.com, most of the electric 2nd half has been in circulation for awhile, as noted below, but other than Tell Me Momma (which used to be on YouTube) and Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, these tracks were all new to me. (I had one of those old tapes labeled "Liverpool," which supposedly contained four songs from this electric set, but three of them were actually from other shows on the tour. It's a long overdue thrill to finally hear the real deal.)

Liverpool, England - May 14, 1966
Odeon Theatre
(soundboard recordings, 76 min.)

(venue info, courtesy of the awesome @notesfrom)
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue *
Desolation Row *
Just Like A Woman *
Mr. Tambourine Man *

Tell Me Momma (came into circulation 1993; officially released: The Band: A Musical History 2005)
I Don't Believe You (came into circulation 1993)
Baby Let Me Follow You Down (came into circulation 1993)
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (previously released: B-side 1966, Masterpieces 1978, The Band: A Musical History 2005, Cutting Edge 2015 as repro 45)
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat *
One Too Many Mornings (came into circulation 1999)
Ballad Of A Thin Man (came into circulation 1999)
Like A Rolling Stone (came into circulation 1999)

* previously uncirculated/unreleased

My overall reaction to the Liverpool recordings: Until I got the new box set, THIS is how I always imagined that those 'missing' Dylan concert recordings from the '66 U.K. tour would have sounded -- too tough, too unruly, too blistering hot, yet at the same time unbelievably cool. The first three solo acoustic numbers aren't included (a single lost reel of tape?) and there are a few pauses in the action during the electric set, due to Alderson's reel changes, but what was ultimately preserved for posterity during the second half of the show is positively riveting.

I've been taking mental notes while listening to each individual show in the box set, and then turning to Judas!, to see if Clinton Heylin has any additional context or details to offer; throughout the earlier chapters of the book, CH focused heavily on published concert reviews, and the general reaction of the press towards Dylan's cutting-edge half acoustic/half electric concerts, but when he gets to the Liverpool gig, he seems to switch gears a little, and offers his readers several pages of pertinent commentary about the music and the recordings themselves. And, for the most part, I find myself agreeing with what he says. One thing he mentions, and I definitely noticed this myself about the Liverpool recordings, was the consistency of Alderson's mix during the electric half -- no more fading the individual instruments up and down while a song was in progress. Makes it much easier to listen to the show all the way through without being distracted by surging organ levels or distant drums.

Sure, there's a little touch of distortion on some of Dylan's vocals, when he sends the VU meters on the recorder into the red zone, oversaturating the tape, but that just makes it seem "real live" to me.



My apologies if these quotes from Heylin's book have already been mentioned somewhere upthread, but by the time Dylan played Liverpool, he was, according to some of those on the scene, enthusiastically revved up for the electric sets with The Hawks, but merely *phoning in* the solo numbers:
o "Bob was bored with the first half of the show..." (Mickey Jones)
o "What I hated was the obligatory first half which was acoustic and performed with no commitment..." ("future playwright" Willy Russell, Liverpool attendee)
o "It was like he changed personalities from one half of the concert to the next..." (Richard Alderson)
From reading this thread, it's clear that many listeners have been bowled over by the solo recordings in the new box set. My own impression of the four surviving acoustic numbers from Liverpool (an impression I formed before turning to the relevant pages in Judas!) is that Dylan seems to be reciting, rather than singing, some of the verses and choruses, but it doesn't necessarily detract from the performances to any great degree. I don't sense "boredom," and I still really like all of these understated May '66 versions of Just Like A Woman that I've been hearing. Too bad the tape containing the other two "new" songs, 4th Time Around and Visions of Johanna, couldn't be located to complete the picture a little bit more.

As for the electric half, I'll defer to Tyrone's review above, as well as to all of the other previous posts about this legendary gig. It's a keeper, I guess, right?? (Gotta say -- Howlin Wolf himself would have felt right at home leading MJ & The Hawks through this rough-housin' version of Pillbox Hat -- whew-wee.)

One more note: In case anyone missed it earlier in this thread, we heard from @dercloud -- who was lucky enough to be there at the Liverpool Odeon on that Saturday night back in '66:
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »
HominyRhodes, Dec 10, 2016
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PREVIOUSLY...Liverpool, England, May 14th

Leicester, England - May 15, 1966
De Montfort Hall
(soundboard recordings, 91 min., 2 CDs)

(venue info, courtesy of the awesome @notesfrom)
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »

seating capacity: 2,200
"The hall is said by the orchestra to be one of the best spaces in which to play music in England."

She Belongs To Me 3:30
Fourth Time Around 4:42
Visions Of Johanna 7:48
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 5:32
quick fade-out, reel change? @ 22+ min.

Desolation Row 10:58
Just Like A Woman 6:00
Mr. Tambourine Man 9:26
end? of reel @ 26+ min.

Tell Me Momma 4:29
I Don't Believe You 5:42
fade out @ 10+ min.

Baby Let Me Follow You Down 3:36 (first notes missing)
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues 5:46
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat 4:32
quick fade out @ 14+ min.

One Too Many Mornings 3:42 (first notes missing)
Ballad Of A Thin Man 6:57
quick fade out @ approx. 11 min.

Like A Rolling Stone 7:19
end of show, lengthy applause

According to the advertisements, this was billed as "An Evening With Bob Dylan, America's Greatest Folk Singer" and he did deliver a *great* acoustic set in the first half, sounding much more "engaged" (IMO) than the night before in Liverpool (perhaps a slightly unfair comparison, since only four of the solo numbers from that show survive.) His guitar may occasionally be out of tune (4th Time around & Just like a Woman) but that doesn't materially detract from the performances, which were all captured in full by Richard Alderson. It's a good quality recording, too, and the audience in Leicester that night seemed appreciative of the "folk singer" who many of them had specifically paid to hear.

The electric second half features more subtle variations of Alderson's mono Nagra mixes. This recording of Tell Me Momma has a lighter, piano-centric sound to it, with Robbie's guitar pushed slightly into the background, but once again, as the set progressed, most of the instrument levels seem to have been equalized fairly well. The drums have a nice crisp sound to them; Danko's bass sounds rich and full; we get to hear quite a bit of Richard and Garth's keyboards clearly, and Robbie seems to be deploying many of his now-standard licks ever more confidently with each successive show.

Although Bob Dylan and The Hawks Featuring Mickey Jones had become a truly awesome live ensemble by this point in time, some of the Leicester audience members had, clearly, come to heckle and jeer ("Boooo...Can't you yell any louder than that?" Dylan cheerfully baits them as he tries to introduce I Don't Believe You) regardless of what the music actually sounded like. Following yet another fine rendition of Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, several people in the crowd begin shouting, and a goodly number of them start up that *slow handclap* thing in unison. Meanwhile, Dylan nonchalantly asks Alderson (presumably) to "fix the monitor" and increase the treble, before attempting his standard spoken intro to Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat, which he assures the rambunctious audience is a "folk song." This version of Pillbox Hat seems less tough and raunchy than usual, but Dylan then forcefully delivers the three closing numbers, One Too Many Mornings, Thin Man, and LARS, in loud, rich, ragged-voiced splendor. The sustained applause at the end of the concert seems to have a few scattered boos mixed in, but the audience apparently felt they'd gotten their money's worth.

Overall, this a very good recording of yet another classic Dylan '66 live performance. The new box set continues to astound me with each passing show, and Sheffield, which I've never heard, is next.
**************
FWIW: I'm still trying to understand some of the technical and mechanical elements involved in the recording of these 1966 shows.

@RayS, as only he can, clearly and concisely explained many of the practical aspects of Nagra taping here:
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »

...but I'm still trying to make some sense of it all.

I listed the CD track times from the Leicester show above, and grouped the songs the way they seem to have been captured on the original tape reels. I've been hunting around online for info about the Nagra III recorder that Richard Alderson used for his soundboard tapes, and it seems clear that nothing larger than a 7-inch reel could be used on that particular machine, which would have limited the recording time of each reel to:

16 min. @ 15 ips /1200' tape
24 min. @ 15 ips /1800' tape
32 min. @ 15 ips /2400' tape

32 min. @7.5 ips /1200' tape
48 min. @ 7.5 ips /1800' tape
64 min. @ 7.5 ips /2400' tape

"...there could be anything between 1200 and 2400 feet of tape on a 7 inch reel (this is achieved by the tape itself varying in thickness – 2400 feet on a 7-inch reel is pretty thin and much more prone to damage)..."
Reel To Reel Tape Running Times - soundabout.net »

Judging by many of the sequences on the Alderson's '66 Dylan tapes -- whether they contain complete performances, songs cut off abruptly, or start up with the music already in progress -- my guess would be that he was using 1200' reels, and that he recorded some of the sets at 15 ips (16 min. max) and others at 7.5 ips (32 min. max).

For example: on the first reel of the acoustic Birmingham set, Alderson appears to have switched on the Nagra as Dylan was walking on stage; on the CD it fades in to a rapturous reception from the audience just before he begins She Belongs To Me, which is heard in its entirety; the following song, 4th Time Around, is also complete; Visions of Johanna, however, cuts off at 6:20; allowing for an additional 90 seconds of level-checking and applause at the start of the show, which was edited out of the CD, this segment would be just about 16 minutes long. The following two songs -- Baby Blue (5:51, complete) and Desolation Row (10:06, incomplete) -- add up to almost exactly 16 minutes. The final two songs, Just Like A Woman and Tambourine Man, both complete, add up to 15:20, just under a similar 16-minute time limitation. To summarize -- I think Alderson used three 1200' reels, recorded at 15 ips, ensuring the beautiful sound quality of those Birmingham solo performances, but unfortunately clipped off portions of two songs in the process. For the Leicester acoustic set, I think he slowed the recording speed to 7.5 ips, and using just two 1200' reels, he managed to capture all of the songs, the first reel clocking in at around 22 minutes (at which point he quickly faded Baby Blue, knowing that the next song, Desolation Row, would exceed the remaining space left on the 32 min. reel) , and the second tape lasting 26 minutes, with plenty of room to spare at the end, in case Bob wanted to blow an extended harp solo on Mr. T. Man. For the electric second half of the Leicester show, Alderson may have increased the tape speed to 15 ips, since each of the four segments he recorded (as listed above) all came in well under the 16 minute time limit that a 1200', 7-inch reel would have allowed him.

I'm hopeful that the preceding lengthy suppositions may lead me closer to the palace of wisdom, but I know I'm not there yet. In the meantime, in case anyone else is still feeling a little in the dark like I am, here's a couple of videos about the Nagra III, which appears to have been a handy, rough-and-ready little piece of gear back in the 1960s. But pricey -- I believe they cost around $1,000 brand new back then, or about $7,500 today.


NAGRA III N with 7 inch option reel player - YouTube »
HominyRhodes, Dec 19, 2016

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


NOTE: I started this post last week, before all the new Alderson revelations, so it may contain a few incorrect assumptions or conclusions about some of the taping procedures. Caveat emptor.
PREVIOUSLY...Leicester, England, May 15th
Bob Dylan & The Hawks
Sheffield, England - May 16, 1966
Gaumont Theatre
Seating capacity: 2,300
(CBS stereo + soundboard recordings, 100 min., 2 CDs)

(venue info, courtesy of the awesome @notesfrom)
Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings - Sony 36-CD box-set - November 11 »


(CBS 3-track stereo recordings)
She Belongs To Me
Fourth Time Around
Visions Of Johanna
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Desolation Row
Just Like A Woman
Mr. Tambourine Man

(Alderson mono soundboard recordings)
Tell Me Momma
I Don't Believe You
Baby Let Me Follow You Down
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
One Too Many Mornings
Ballad Of A Thin Man
Like A Rolling Stone
(National Anthem)
I've listened to this Dylan and The Hawks live recording four or five times now, and I'm still trying to figure out why in the world it fascinates me so much. I can't seem to decode its mysterious allure, or unravel the enigma, whatever it may be.

This was the first of four shows on the '66 U.K. tour to be taped by CBS/Columbia, using a top-quality three-track recorder. In his Judas! book, Clinton Heylin informs us that while the record company sound crew managed to tape Dylan's acoustic set with no problems that night (it was "child's play" for them, in Heylin's words), their recording of the electric set came out horribly distorted. It was deemed so unusable that it wasn't even considered for release on the new box set, and chances are slim that we'll ever get to hear it. (In one of his recent video interviews, Heylin adds that, initially, the CBS crew simply didn't know how to properly record such a loud rock n' roll band.) That's unfortunate, too, because the three-track tapes almost certainly contain a complete record of the crowd's "interactions" with Dylan during the electric half of the show, while the mono soundboard tapes missed certain parts of when "something was happening," due to reel changes.

The roomy sounding CBS recording of the Sheffield acoustic set is, in fact, very good, and Dylan's guitar and his glorious, lonesome train-whistle harmonica work come across with wonderful depth and fullness. It's also complete, with no fades or edits. However -- I do hear excess sibilance, and very mild distortion, on some of the vocals. I pushed the mono button a few times while listening, and that mitigated the harshness to some degree, but much of that nice concert hall ambience was lost. [It should be noted that the CBS recordings of the Manchester solo set the following evening, as first heard by the general public on The Gelston Acetates back in the 1980s, seem to have had similar distortion/sibilance issues, since mono Nagra versions -- presumably, the Richard Alderson tapes -- were utilized for Bootleg Series V.4, except for patched-in sections of the CBS tapes at the endings of Visions of Johanna and Desolation Row, which were incomplete on the mono reels.]

Technical/recording issues aside (and my sincere apologies to *Corporal Cave-In*, or whatever his name was -- I know he finds all that techy stuff hopelessly boring!), the tapes captured a terrific solo performance, with a very receptive and appreciative audience during that portion of the show. Perhaps cognizant of Columbia going the extra mile to "professionally" record the show, Dylan's cool, yet emotive, detached, yet plaintive, vocals were precise, and his timing was spot-on, with only very minor hints of the druggy, slurred delivery he employed during the acoustic set elsewhere on the tour. Basically, he pretty much nails each and every number, and I really can't choose any favorites here -- IMO, they're all superb.

That said, one of those tracks probably deserves special mention. Dylan pulls the old "This never happens to my electric guitar!" gag while tuning-up at the start of Mr. Tambourine Man, his solo finale, and then launches into what may be one of the definitive versions of the song. It's lyrically and rhythmically enthralling, and the dazzling guitar-and-mouth-harp interplay on the extended instrumental portions is truly phenomenal, one for the ages. To me, it nearly conjures up some ancient Scottish or Celtic folk dance, and a tavern full of revelers clapping time to the beat...a real *time out of mind* performance, to which the audience responded with a rapturous ovation as Bob exited the stage to get ready for the second half.

Things had certainly gotten off to a good start.

After the break, now via the mono Nagra recordings, we can hear the crowd cheerfully applaud as Dylan returns with The Hawks, and they quiet down as Bob and the boys prepare to launch into Tell Me Momma. After the tell-tale boot-heel stomps, the music begins full-throttle, but the soundboard levels aren't adjusted yet, and the initial mix is pretty much limited to Dylan's vocals (which are really, really good), Rick Danko's throbbing bass, and Robbie's electric guitar. The drums can be faintly detected in the background, but there's no piano or organ in evidence at the start. The sound mix, as usual, does gradually improve, and by the end of the song, it's sounding much better.

Tell Me Momma gets a nice hand, and Bob calmly informs the Gaumont Theatre patrons that "This is called I Don't Believe You. It used to be like that, and now it goes like this." Pretty good version follows. After a quick fade out for a reel change -- meaning no indication of the audience reaction -- there's a jolting audio surprise at the start of the next number, Baby Let Me Follow You Down, when we briefly hear Dylan and the Hawks through what seems to be a single "room" microphone. I, for one, love the way it sounds, and I honestly wouldn't mind hearing an entire show from the tour recorded that way. But then, halfway into the first verse, the line feeds are boosted back into the mix, and the vocal and instruments return to their normal sound levels.

The Sheffield version of Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues -- replete with legendary-painter-tale intro that the crowd seems to dig -- has a truly funky rhythm thing going, with kind of a New Orleans vibe that reminds me of The Meters (aka Neville Brothers) or maybe Lee Dorsey (see video below). Mickey Jones' playing on this actually seems more like Levon Helm, if I can get away with saying that around here. I liked the feel of the track very much, keeping in mind that, AFAIK, I haven't heard one bad version of JLTTB on this collection yet.

As reflected by the recordings, Robbie's lead guitar work, although certainly competent that night, seemed uncharacteristically uninspired, IMO; it really sounds *off* during Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat, normally one of his showcase numbers, giving that track in particular a slightly tepid feel. Maybe, just maybe, he was spooked by the CBS crew, and the notion that what he was playing could, ultimately, wind up on a live album somewhere down the road?

A bellowing hail of booing erupts quite unexpectedly as Pillbox Hat comes to a close, and the suddenly stirred-up crowd now sounds like they're at a prizefight, not a concert, and they start the slow-handclapping routine. We're left with no real clues about what might have happened to turn the tide so quickly, though, making it another of those little unsolved mysteries that crop up throughout these tape reels.

The singer in the spotlight onstage tried to get the unruly paying customers to settle down, telling them in so many words, roughly translated:

"...Ah-con-bizzuh-ah-tawn-bozza-mizza-mozzuh-uh-bizzuh-con-bozzuh-tawn-uh-mizzuh-ah-tawn-ah-tawn -ah-tawn when I was just a bayy-beeee...Remember -- I was a baby once!"

The audience grew quieter as they tried to make out what he was saying. Then, seemingly feeding off the negative energy of the hecklers in the hall, Dylan kicked things up a notch and delivered a powerful One Too Many Mornings, with a remarkably heartfelt and affecting vocal, considering the circumstances. (Robbie's playing sounds better on this one, too.) They get a nice round of applause afterwards, but at least half a dozen or so restless patrons continued shouting as Bob made his way over to the piano.

Dylan was still parrying jabs with some of them as the next song, Ballad of a Thin Man, started up. Following a break in the tape, it begins in clipped-off fashion with Dylan, now seated at the piano, saying into the mic "...don't say anything after the song...No boos..." He says something unintelligible off-mic (about "time" or "timing"?) and then the song begins. [I'm sure it's already been mentioned more than once upthread, but that must be a CBS recording engineer who was captured by an onstage microphone saying "Can ya hear him?...can ya hear him?...can we all hear him?" shortly before the song begins, most likely while they were trying to adjust the level of their own vocal mic at the piano.]

Now, normally I wouldn't associate their singing voices to any great degree, but I have to say that Dylan's strident, full-throated vocals during certain passages of the final two songs in Sheffield fleetingly brought to mind John Lennon, circa '68-'70, during the White Album/Get Back/Plastic Ono era. It's never happened to me before, but especially during this particular rendition of Thin Man, having Lennon -- yes, John Lennon -- sitting behind the piano and belting it out seemed almost plausible to me -- although like I said, only for a brief moment or two. Weird, huh? (I think I've been listening to Dylan & The Hawks WAY TOO MUCH. I should put on a bunch of Beatles tracks, right now, and clear that kind of nonsense out of my head.)

The crowd offers spirited applause after Thin Man, but it quickly dissipates as the tape reel ends, and they've grown still, with no catcalls or shouts to be heard, as the recording resumes, with Bob and The Hawks preparing to close the show with Like A Rolling Stone. It's almost eerily quiet in the theatre as the electric guitars and bass pick out some tentative notes, vamping until Mickey Jones whomps the snare drum and the song takes off. It's a strong and stately version, with a full bottom end, and well-punctuated by the drumming and occasional piano fills. Dylan really tries to scream the words towards the end (he was, of course, no match for Lennon in that department) while Robbie fully redeems himself, firing off a series of staccato guitar licks under Bob's wailing harmonica until they bring it all in for a landing. No booing at all afterwards, just cheers and applause, and I think that's Bob who can be heard saying "Thanks for coming out (?)" as they exit the stage just before God Save The Queen is played over the P.A.

I'm going to put these CDs back in the box now, but why do I feel like there's some unfinished business here, some unresolved issues that will force me to revisit this show several more times before its true significance can be ascertained? I will certainly follow through on that course of action -- "For duty and humanity," as those brilliant philosophers, Howard, Fine & Howard (aka Moe, Larry, and Curly), used to say.

The next concert will be Manchester, which I know practically by heart, note for note, but it should be interesting to hear it again, in its true chronological order, at last.
**********
Lee Dorsey - Get Out Of My Life Woman (released Dec. 1965)
(Arghh, in another case of Seven Degrees of Musical Separation -- those piano riffs in the Dorsey track -- Hey Bulldog by The Beatles? Anyone else hear that?)

HominyRhodes, Jan 12, 2017

------------------------------------------------

Six more venues to go...


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