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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2017, 00:35 GMT 
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February 5th, 1966.

White Plains, New York: chronologically the first concert in this treasured, mammoth box set. 51 years ago today. The day before, Dylan and the Hawks played in Louisville, Kentucky. A good three months before the bulk of it - before the exciting stuff, before the oft-told tales; before the European confrontational theatre of May 1966. In many ways it's the first step of the journey. In some ways it's miles away.

It's not a great recording, but we're lucky to have it. At this early stage, we have the rare pleasure of the inclusion of To Ramona and Love Minus Zero/No Limit. Both receive enormous cheers. Maybe that's why he dumped them. Visions of Johanna - still called Freeze Out and barely two months old - gets a lot of laughs. I guess the Mona Lisa/geez/knees stuff is funny. I can't remember my reaction at hearing this song for the first time, and it certainly wouldn't have been the same if I lived in New York State in 1966. But there's a knowing enjoyment to this song. And then there's the strange reaction to Desolation Row - are they laughing at the protracted harmonica solo? If so, just you wait for Mr. Tambourine Man.

There are only two songs captured from the electric set. They sound like a dress rehearsal for chaos, if you can have such a thing. The audience, as I imagine them, sound stunned. There's an oft-repeated cliche in showbiz circles about unresponsive audiences: someone will always defend them and say "they're listening". Which may be true. But they could be shocked to their core and you wouldn't know the difference. Dylan sounds confident. He know he's doing the right thing; and, in this poor recording, you can just about make out Sandy Konikoff, Rick Danko and Robbie Robertson's conviction that they they agree with him. There's a bravado there: you don't play like that if you're just testing something out.

It's a series of fragments, and only hints at what was to come. The first of 23.


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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2017, 09:21 GMT 
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If you look at the 'Unused 1965 (sic) Promotional Spot for Positively 4th Street' on the No Direction Home DVD (yes: it's on Disc 2 of the DVD - you don't need the Blu-Ray), there's some interesting footage of a concert venue that presumably must be early in the 1966 tour (also a snippet of him doing Tell Me, Momma in the soundcheck). I've no idea where the dubbed performance footage of Positively 4th Street is from - maybe Pittsburgh, maybe Australia. But the rest of the footage shows the audience, who are certainly American and seem to be dressed for the winter; so I doubt it's April (at one point, you can see an event in April being advertised). But, most interestingly, at around the 2.30 minute mark , you can see a sign advertising 'Westchester Workshop': the White Plains gig was at Westchester County Centre.


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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2017, 11:18 GMT 
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Somebody Naked wrote:
If you look at the 'Unused 1965 (sic) Promotional Spot for Positively 4th Street' on the No Direction Home DVD (yes: it's on Disc 2 of the DVD - you don't need the Blu-Ray), there's some interesting footage of a concert venue that presumably must be early in the 1966 tour (also a snippet of him doing Tell Me, Momma in the soundcheck). I've no idea where the dubbed performance footage of Positively 4th Street is from - maybe Pittsburgh, maybe Australia. But the rest of the footage shows the audience, who are certainly American and seem to be dressed for the winter; so I doubt it's April (at one point, you can see an event in April being advertised). But, most interestingly, at around the 2.30 minute mark , you can see a sign advertising 'Westchester Workshop': the White Plains gig was at Westchester County Centre.




Oh, well spotted, sir!!

I'm now well and truly convinced the performance footage (overdubbed with the studio version of P4S) is from the White Plains gig at Westchester County Centre on 05 February, 1966.


Here is a photo of WCC from 1930:-


Image



Here is a screen shot from the NDH DVD. Note the similarities - the arch over the stage; some kind of panelling on the walls adjacent; the sprinkler system:-


Image


Here is the moment you mention at 2:30:-


Image



#


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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2017, 11:37 GMT 
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Somebody Naked wrote:
February 5th, 1966.

White Plains, New York: chronologically the first concert in this treasured, mammoth box set. 51 years ago today. The day before, Dylan and the Hawks played in Louisville, Kentucky. A good three months before the bulk of it - before the exciting stuff, before the oft-told tales; before the European confrontational theatre of May 1966. In many ways it's the first step of the journey. In some ways it's miles away.

It's not a great recording, but we're lucky to have it. At this early stage, we have the rare pleasure of the inclusion of To Ramona and Love Minus Zero/No Limit. Both receive enormous cheers. Maybe that's why he dumped them. Visions of Johanna - still called Freeze Out and barely two months old - gets a lot of laughs. I guess the Mona Lisa/geez/knees stuff is funny. I can't remember my reaction at hearing this song for the first time, and it certainly wouldn't have been the same if I lived in New York State in 1966. But there's a knowing enjoyment to this song. And then there's the strange reaction to Desolation Row - are they laughing at the protracted harmonica solo? If so, just you wait for Mr. Tambourine Man.

There are only two songs captured from the electric set. They sound like a dress rehearsal for chaos, if you can have such a thing. The audience, as I imagine them, sound stunned. There's an oft-repeated cliche in showbiz circles about unresponsive audiences: someone will always defend them and say "they're listening". Which may be true. But they could be shocked to their core and you wouldn't know the difference. Dylan sounds confident. He know he's doing the right thing; and, in this poor recording, you can just about make out Sandy Konikoff, Rick Danko and Robbie Robertson's conviction that they they agree with him. There's a bravado there: you don't play like that if you're just testing something out.

It's a series of fragments, and only hints at what was to come. The first of 23.



"The nightingales code" line is still there in VoJ, too.

Nice review SN. Thanks, and keep them coming...


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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2017, 11:41 GMT 
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Great idea, and off to an auspicious start
I look forward to following this thread through to May.


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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2017, 12:23 GMT 
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This is a great idea. I'm not sure I'd have the discipline to follow it through though. I look forward to reading your commentary.


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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2017, 15:09 GMT 
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How can you listen in anything other than real time?


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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2017, 18:19 GMT 
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pol2jem wrote:
Somebody Naked wrote:
If you look at the 'Unused 1965 (sic) Promotional Spot for Positively 4th Street' on the No Direction Home DVD (yes: it's on Disc 2 of the DVD - you don't need the Blu-Ray), there's some interesting footage of a concert venue that presumably must be early in the 1966 tour (also a snippet of him doing Tell Me, Momma in the soundcheck). I've no idea where the dubbed performance footage of Positively 4th Street is from - maybe Pittsburgh, maybe Australia. But the rest of the footage shows the audience, who are certainly American and seem to be dressed for the winter; so I doubt it's April (at one point, you can see an event in April being advertised). But, most interestingly, at around the 2.30 minute mark , you can see a sign advertising 'Westchester Workshop': the White Plains gig was at Westchester County Centre.




Oh, well spotted, sir!!

I'm now well and truly convinced the performance footage (overdubbed with the studio version of P4S) is from the White Plains gig at Westchester County Centre on 05 February, 1966.


Here is a photo of WCC from 1930:-


Image



Here is a screen shot from the NDH DVD. Note the similarities - the arch over the stage; some kind of panelling on the walls adjacent; the sprinkler system:-


Image


Here is the moment you mention at 2:30:-


Image



#


Venue footage: absolutely White Plains. Silent performance footage, though? He could've changed after the soundcheck...we'd need to identify what clothes he wore at whichever gigs he played Positively 4th Street. Not that many contenders, surely. He appears to have removed it from the set at some point in April. It's definitely gone by May 1st, and it's *probably* reasonable to assume that it was one of the gigs that we have a recording of. That means Pittsburgh or Sydney. My gut reaction says the latter, but that's all it is - a gut feeling. Anyone want to try and match the audio with the video...? I just had a quick go and it's a nightmare: different speeds. But he appears to be wearing the same outfit as in the footage of him about to go onstage.


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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2017, 20:14 GMT 
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Somebody Naked wrote:

Venue footage: absolutely White Plains. Silent performance footage, though? He could've changed after the soundcheck...we'd need to identify what clothes he wore at whichever gigs he played Positively 4th Street. Not that many contenders, surely. He appears to have removed it from the set at some point in April. It's definitely gone by May 1st, and it's *probably* reasonable to assume that it was one of the gigs that we have a recording of. That means Pittsburgh or Sydney. My gut reaction says the latter, but that's all it is - a gut feeling. Anyone want to try and match the audio with the video...? I just had a quick go and it's a nightmare: different speeds. But he appears to be wearing the same outfit as in the footage of him about to go onstage.



Personally, I'd go with the "if it looks like a duck" notion that the silent P4S footage is from White Plains and that the audio got lost somewhere along the line.

We know he played P4S at Pittsburgh the following night. Given that set lists were relatively static in that era there is no reason to think he didn't play it at White Plains.

This image is from White Plains (thanks to the mighty "notesfrom" over at SHF). Note the suit, the dual microphone setup and the stool with the water glass:-

Image




Compare this to the same items in this (fuzzy) screen grab from the video:-


Image






It certainly isn't Sydney because at the outset of the World Tour Bob had a different sound system courtesy of Richard Alderson. Here is a (n even fuzzier) screen grab showing the microphone in use in Australia (from Mickey's Home Movies DVD):-

Image


#


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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2017, 20:31 GMT 
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pol2jem wrote:
Somebody Naked wrote:

Venue footage: absolutely White Plains. Silent performance footage, though? He could've changed after the soundcheck...we'd need to identify what clothes he wore at whichever gigs he played Positively 4th Street. Not that many contenders, surely. He appears to have removed it from the set at some point in April. It's definitely gone by May 1st, and it's *probably* reasonable to assume that it was one of the gigs that we have a recording of. That means Pittsburgh or Sydney. My gut reaction says the latter, but that's all it is - a gut feeling. Anyone want to try and match the audio with the video...? I just had a quick go and it's a nightmare: different speeds. But he appears to be wearing the same outfit as in the footage of him about to go onstage.



Personally, I'd go with the "if it looks like a duck" notion that the silent P4S footage is from White Plains and that the audio got lost somewhere along the line.

We know he played P4S at Pittsburgh the following night. Given that set lists were relatively static in that era there is no reason to think he didn't play it at White Plains.

This image is from White Plains (thanks to the mighty "notesfrom" over at SHF). Note the suit, the dual microphone setup and the stool with the water glass:-

Image




Compare this to the same items in this (fuzzy) screen grab from the video:-


Image






It certainly isn't Sydney because at the outset of the World Tour Bob had a different sound system courtesy of Richard Alderson. Here is a (n even fuzzier) screen grab showing the microphone in use in Australia (from Mickey's Home Movies DVD):-

Image




#


Sold. I'm convinced. You're quite the detective.


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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2017, 20:44 GMT 
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OK, so two things: firstly, I wonder if we can put together at least one image per concert that we know is from each particular gig. I had no idea that there were any pictures from White Plains, and it's got me thinking as to whether each gig is represented photgraphically.

Secondly - and I should know this - who's the guy backstage in this clip with Dylan and Albert Grossman? I've seen him crop up in other 1966 footage, but I can't identify him.


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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2017, 20:59 GMT 
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Somebody Naked wrote:
OK, so two things: firstly, I wonder if we can put together at least one image per concert that we know is from each particular gig. I had no idea that there were any pictures from White Plains, and it's got me thinking as to whether each gig is represented photgraphically.

Secondly - and I should know this - who's the guy backstage in this clip with Dylan and Albert Grossman? I've seen him crop up in other 1966 footage, but I can't identify him.



The concert images will take a while. Notesfrom did a great job in that regard on SHF back in November.


I think you'll find that's Victor Maymudes backstage in the DVD:-


Image

#


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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2017, 21:56 GMT 
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Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon February 6th, 2017, 06:18 GMT 
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February 6th, 1966.

Syria Mosque (demolished in 1991), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The following night, and a not insubstantial 400 mile trip. 770 miles the day before, and then going half the distance back the way they came. Not sure how they travelled, but I’m immediately thinking of Buddy Holly (who played this same venue four times) and the Winter Dance Party tour that ended in tragedy in February 1959: almost exactly 7 years earlier - the options being a freezing cold bus or a potentially hazardous flight. A rigorous schedule; and, as Robbie Robertson was to put it after another decade-plus of touring: “a goddamn impossible way of life”.

It’s only 24 hours later, so you’d be a fool to expect a wildly different concert from the previous night in White Plains. But this is Bob Dylan; and it kind of is. A better recording, which helps. After a fairly perfunctory She Belongs To Me (clearly, people talking at concerts didn’t just start in my lifetime) and an early outing for the “This never happens to my electric guitar” gag, this is a stunning reading of To Ramona. Something about his voice sounds as if it lacks the range that this song has previously demanded, so he doesn’t reach for the notes that he attempts a song later. He plays a little fast and loose with the melody - not drastically - but it works beautifully. Something else about Dylan’s voice at this show: it appears to be at some kind of crossroads. It sounds to me, and on this song particularly, as if he’s trying what we now know as his 1966 voice out a little bit (as he already had, let’s face it: a good example is in the version of It Ain’t Me Babe that he played in Berkeley two months earlier. This being Dylan, these things are never cut and dried): it’s got one foot in his 1965 voice and one in 1966. It’s clearly different from his performance of the song featured in Don’t Look Back (only 9 months earlier), but we’re not quite at the stoned, out there moaning of May 1966. Not yet.

Visions of Johanna is still called Freeze Out, and still a knockout. I can’t imagine what this must have sounded like to the ears of a Dylan fan who was still 3-6 months away from hearing Blonde On Blonde. It gets less laughs than in NY, but it’s still in Nightingale’s Code (thanks, pol2jem).

No It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue and less than a third of Desolation Row survive. An incomplete Love Minus Zero/No Limit and then a complete Mr Tambourine Man.

And then a jump straight to the end: and, as far as I can tell, the only aural evidence we have of Dylan performing both Positively 4th Street *and* Like A Rolling Stone that year. A couple of months later, in Sydney, he finishes the set with Positively 4th Street. Three weeks after that, he’s dumped it and Like A Rolling Stone is the closer for the rest of the tour.

We pick up the story in just under three weeks; during which time Dylan heads to Nashville and records Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands, among other things. He also plays shows in Tennessee, Virginia, Canada and Pennsylvania. Again. And New York. Again. Which is where I’ll see you in 20 days.


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PostPosted: Mon February 6th, 2017, 13:08 GMT 
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McG wrote:
How can you listen in anything other than real time?



Hey man relax , it's easy . Unless of course someone knocks on your door or window at the time screaming 'get a life' ( it may ruin the moment ).


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PostPosted: Mon February 6th, 2017, 13:37 GMT 
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What a great idea! Thank you for this.
I'm going to try to catch up and maybe compare my notes,
Discipline, discipline...


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PostPosted: Tue February 7th, 2017, 17:56 GMT 
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Somebody Naked wrote:
February 6th, 1966.

Syria Mosque (demolished in 1991), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The following night, and a not insubstantial 400 mile trip. 770 miles the day before, and then going half the distance back the way they came. Not sure how they travelled, but I’m immediately thinking of Buddy Holly (who played this same venue four times) and the Winter Dance Party tour that ended in tragedy in February 1959: almost exactly 7 years earlier - the options being a freezing cold bus or a potentially hazardous flight. A rigorous schedule; and, as Robbie Robertson was to put it after another decade-plus of touring: “a goddamn impossible way of life”.

It’s only 24 hours later, so you’d be a fool to expect a wildly different concert from the previous night in White Plains. But this is Bob Dylan; and it kind of is. A better recording, which helps. After a fairly perfunctory She Belongs To Me (clearly, people talking at concerts didn’t just start in my lifetime) and an early outing for the “This never happens to my electric guitar” gag, this is a stunning reading of To Ramona. Something about his voice sounds as if it lacks the range that this song has previously demanded, so he doesn’t reach for the notes that he attempts a song later. He plays a little fast and loose with the melody - not drastically - but it works beautifully. Something else about Dylan’s voice at this show: it appears to be at some kind of crossroads. It sounds to me, and on this song particularly, as if he’s trying what we now know as his 1966 voice out a little bit (as he already had, let’s face it: a good example is in the version of It Ain’t Me Babe that he played in Berkeley two months earlier. This being Dylan, these things are never cut and dried): it’s got one foot in his 1965 voice and one in 1966. It’s clearly different from his performance of the song featured in Don’t Look Back (only 9 months earlier), but we’re not quite at the stoned, out there moaning of May 1966. Not yet.

Visions of Johanna is still called Freeze Out, and still a knockout. I can’t imagine what this must have sounded like to the ears of a Dylan fan who was still 3-6 months away from hearing Blonde On Blonde. It gets less laughs than in NY, but it’s still in Nightingale’s Code (thanks, pol2jem).

No It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue and less than a third of Desolation Row survive. An incomplete Love Minus Zero/No Limit and then a complete Mr Tambourine Man.

And then a jump straight to the end: and, as far as I can tell, the only aural evidence we have of Dylan performing both Positively 4th Street *and* Like A Rolling Stone that year. A couple of months later, in Sydney, he finishes the set with Positively 4th Street. Three weeks after that, he’s dumped it and Like A Rolling Stone is the closer for the rest of the tour.

We pick up the story in just under three weeks; during which time Dylan heads to Nashville and records Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands, among other things. He also plays shows in Tennessee, Virginia, Canada and Pennsylvania. Again. And New York. Again. Which is where I’ll see you in 20 days.



Thanks for keeping up the commentary SN. (I'm sure it would be appreciated by the folks at the SHF thread if you posted your reviews there, too, by the way...)

Bob travelled to White Plains from Manhattan by train - perhaps a 30 to 40 minute ride. For the journey to Pittsburgh he would have used the 13-seater, twin-engine Lockheed Lodestar aircraft (G-AGDD) which was on lease to Ashes and Sands for the American 1965-66 tour.

Here is a screen grab of the actual aircraft from a film shot (probably by Victor Maymudes) in 1965:-

Image


The few seconds of film (including Bob and Albert exiting the aircraft) is here:-

http://vt.tumblr.com/tumblr_luypfdMkHc1qcxxuw.mp4

I'm not aware of any photos from the Pittsburgh show, although there are bound to be some somewhere. Perhaps this will do for now:-

Image


I'm not an expert on these matters, but Sandy sounds a bit laboured during P4S and LARS at Pittsburgh. Perhaps still bedding in, but ultimately he will be ditched for Mickey Jones. Also, do I detect in these two performances of "Love Minus Zero Divided By No Limit" a harmonica passage that will later be used in "Just Like a Woman" during the World Tour?

See you at Hempstead on 26 February. Photos exist..!!

#


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PostPosted: Wed February 8th, 2017, 00:29 GMT 

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I recommend starting the tape at the show time of the concert in which ever time zone it was played in.


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PostPosted: Thu February 9th, 2017, 13:54 GMT 
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pol2jem wrote:
Bob travelled to White Plains from Manhattan by train - perhaps a 30 to 40 minute ride. For the journey to Pittsburgh he would have used the 13-seater, twin-engine Lockheed Lodestar aircraft (G-AGDD) which was on lease to Ashes and Sands for the American 1965-66 tour.

Here is a screen grab of the actual aircraft from a film shot (probably by Victor Maymudes) in 1965:-

Image


The few seconds of film (including Bob and Albert exiting the aircraft) is here:-

http://vt.tumblr.com/tumblr_luypfdMkHc1qcxxuw.mp4

I'm not aware of any photos from the Pittsburgh show, although there are bound to be some somewhere. Perhaps this will do for now:-

Image


I'm not an expert on these matters, but Sandy sounds a bit laboured during P4S and LARS at Pittsburgh. Perhaps still bedding in, but ultimately he will be ditched for Mickey Jones. Also, do I detect in these two performances of "Love Minus Zero Divided By No Limit" a harmonica passage that will later be used in "Just Like a Woman" during the World Tour?

See you at Hempstead on 26 February. Photos exist..!!

#


Thanks for all this. You're quite right about the drumming on those two tracks, as well.


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PostPosted: Mon February 13th, 2017, 11:25 GMT 
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This is a nice idea, its easy to miss or forget great moments in each of these concerts due to the sheer mass of the collection.


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PostPosted: Tue February 14th, 2017, 22:20 GMT 
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escapeedrifter wrote:
This is a nice idea, its easy to miss or forget great moments in each of these concerts due to the sheer mass of the collection.


That's the idea. It's almost impossible to appreciate the box set as a whole at first listen - shows blend into other shows, etc. But I thought that listening to it at the same rate that it was performed might unlock some of these things; as well as to try and benefit from the relentless repetitive nature of it, if that's possible. For example, looking at the Manchester show as one of those rare times where Dylan and the Hawks had done four shows in four days and not had the weekend off. No wonder tensions were a little high.


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PostPosted: Sat February 18th, 2017, 10:12 GMT 
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pol2jem wrote:
This image is from White Plains (thanks to the mighty "notesfrom" over at SHF). Note the suit, the dual microphone setup and the stool with the water glass:-

Image


I've just looked at this again. Are we sure that's Rick Danko? It doesn't look much like him. And he's wearing shades!


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PostPosted: Sat February 18th, 2017, 20:10 GMT 
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Somebody Naked wrote:
pol2jem wrote:
This image is from White Plains (thanks to the mighty "notesfrom" over at SHF). Note the suit, the dual microphone setup and the stool with the water glass:-

Image


I've just looked at this again. Are we sure that's Rick Danko? It doesn't look much like him. And he's wearing shades!



I know what you're saying; it's not nailed-on for sure. But unless Rick was sick for a night and substituted (by Harvey Brooks, maybe?) it must be him. It's clearly late '65 to early '66 Dylan and Rick had been part of the live group since September 1965.

The (circumstantial) evidence for the location of the photo comes from the Getty Images website and the captions for the Alice Ochs photographs. Bob played twice in New York in 1966 (White Plains and Hempstead). There are 2 sets of photos taken by AO, both labelled as being shot in 1966 in New York (or "performing", obviously in 1966). Just one of the photos, with Bob in houndstooth suit is labelled "White Plains". The photos with Bob in the grey suit are not given a venue label, but one assumes they are Hempstead.

http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/search/pho ... ostpopular

It's definitely not watertight evidence....!!


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PostPosted: Sun February 19th, 2017, 00:00 GMT 
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I buy the White Plains theory. The Danko thing...who knows. But those other ones I seriously doubt are 1966. His hair's far too short. Plus he's playing a Strat. We're talking 1965, surely.


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PostPosted: Sun February 19th, 2017, 17:04 GMT 
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Somebody Naked wrote:
I buy the White Plains theory. The Danko thing...who knows. But those other ones I seriously doubt are 1966. His hair's far too short. Plus he's playing a Strat. We're talking 1965, surely.


Yes, I think you're right. Grey suit photos must be 1965.


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