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 Post subject: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Fri October 6th, 2017, 12:38 GMT 
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Yesterday's "Visions of Dylan" post (shared on ER's front page) was about the epiphany Dylan experienced while performing onstage at Locarno, Switzerland. Dylan has written about it in Chronicles and has discussed it in at least one well-noted interview - both quotes are reviewed in the blog post.

Some commentators here on ER have previously said they thought it didn't really happen in Locarno - that Dylan was misremembering or deliberately confusing matters by misnaming the setting. I'm not sure he would go that far, twice... but I'm not sure he wouldn't, either! That's our Bob...

The blog post tries to identify the exact moment of the epiphany: "Dylan doesn’t identify the song when this incident happened. After listening to the tapes, I surmise it may have occurred in a gap where Dylan misses a few lines in the second song of the concert, 'Like a Rolling Stone.'"

Here's my question - do other ER members agree with this conjecture? Are there better possibilities, or is this probably right? This is, after all, a HUGE moment in Dylan's career... and that's according to the man himself.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Fri October 6th, 2017, 13:14 GMT 
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I suspect that Dylan boiled down a lengthier process into an "epiphany" for dramatic purposes. Chronicles is full of invention.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Fri October 6th, 2017, 17:29 GMT 

Joined: Tue March 8th, 2005, 12:56 GMT
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It happens in Like A Rolling Stone, no question, because after that point he sings the hell out of that song, really, really, really nails it.

The problem for me with 87 is the clear deterioration in his voice since 86, something ongoing since 1978 - not to say he hasn't sang great in those years, but just the change in his voice was apparent.

But for me really, those 88 shows are great, if you can stand the new style of singing. But really from 89 through to 92 it's a mixed affair. Some astonishing concerts at times, but again, the voice, if you can stand what happened to his voice in that period the shows can still be rewarding.

For me whatever Locarno signified never really fully fulfilled itself until 1993 when he really started coming back as a vocalist.

It's probably limiting to draw out these narratives like I have here though and I accept that, because in every year since 87 there is something often many things that I love.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Fri October 6th, 2017, 18:57 GMT 
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I always wondered what Bob was thinkin about while he's up there singin. Now we know.

https://youtu.be/UfjfoTzyehI?t=193


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Sun October 8th, 2017, 00:30 GMT 
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Fun to read this, watch the video

I would take him at his word


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Mon October 9th, 2017, 22:47 GMT 
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Watched LARS, but it didn't stick out to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Mon October 9th, 2017, 23:06 GMT 
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When i first read his statements i did listen to the show again,
a few times, but whatever he experienced it would seem to have
been internal. To be fair to the Temple's In Flames tour there
were some brilliant moments so i think it's perhaps something
he did feel within himself.
But i didn't detect any sudden change in the concert at any point.

1988, now THAT was a change, and a truly excellent change.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Mon October 9th, 2017, 23:13 GMT 
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Quote:
For me whatever Locarno signified never really fully fulfilled itself until 1993 when he really started coming back as a vocalist.


Really?
His voice was very pinched, high pitched and losing range in 1993.
It was to my ears anyway mid to late 1995 that he began singing
with a full sounding voice again.

But with Dylan he's the man of a thousand voices.
Although i really am surprised you cited 1993 as some return to form
vocally speaking, i thought it was one of his weaker years singing wise.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 07:51 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
Posts: 1887
Location: Ireland
LibraChild1980 wrote:
Quote:
For me whatever Locarno signified never really fully fulfilled itself until 1993 when he really started coming back as a vocalist.


Really?
His voice was very pinched, high pitched and losing range in 1993.
It was to my ears anyway mid to late 1995 that he began singing
with a full sounding voice again.

But with Dylan he's the man of a thousand voices.
Although i really am surprised you cited 1993 as some return to form
vocally speaking, i thought it was one of his weaker years singing wise.


I thought he sang very well on 12-9-93 (Great Woods). And I was lucky enough to hear him live in Dublin in early '95, when he sang wonderfully.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 10:25 GMT 

Joined: Tue March 8th, 2005, 12:56 GMT
Posts: 404
LibraChild1980 wrote:
Quote:
For me whatever Locarno signified never really fully fulfilled itself until 1993 when he really started coming back as a vocalist.


Really?
His voice was very pinched, high pitched and losing range in 1993.
It was to my ears anyway mid to late 1995 that he began singing
with a full sounding voice again.

But with Dylan he's the man of a thousand voices.
Although i really am surprised you cited 1993 as some return to form
vocally speaking, i thought it was one of his weaker years singing wise.


Even some fall 1992 shows are good. But for me:

http://www.bobsboots.com/CDs/cd-h12.html

Also his Willie Nelson show.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 12:39 GMT 

Joined: Sun November 16th, 2014, 01:17 GMT
Posts: 106
Tom Petty got the locale wrong, but he provided some eyewitness testimony back in 2005:

"In the book [Chronicles] he mentions Malmuth, Sweden, where he had an epiphany onstage that kind of showed him through the next door of his career. And I do remember that happening. I didn't know what was going on in his head, but I remember him stepping up to the mike to sing, and nothing coming out, and I felt really worried for him, like that maybe his voice was gone. And then he dug down deep, and bang, it came out, and he was a new man within seconds there. And from that point on, and for the rest of the tour, the shows actually did go up a notch. The energy level went up, and he did seem renewed."

Petty also talked about Dylan's perceptions around this time (via Chronicles):

"I was surprised to read that he felt he was at the bottom of his game while we were at the top. All I can say is that if he was at the bottom of his game, then the bottom is pretty high, because he really could be riveting on some nights. I recently saw a bootleg video of one of the shows, and I was taken aback by just how great he was in the show. You know, artists at times aren't really the best judges of how they're performing. I've had nights where I thought I wasn't very good, and then people who had seen the show would come to me raving about it. I did have the sense on that tour that Bob was searching for something. It's very hard to put into words. We had a lot of long plane rides and talked quite a bit. It was nothing he said in particular, but I did sometimes feel that he was maybe searching for the next step in his career. And maybe I was at the top of my game, but I don't think he was at the bottom of his. I think the bottom of his game is not that low. I think he's always good. Maybe, like anyone else, to different degrees on different nights. Bob is a great artist, and I think that he's always going to be worth the money to come in and see. But artists are like that--they don't necessarily see when they're working at their best."

*From Paul Zollo's 2005 book, Conversations with Tom Petty.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 18:19 GMT 
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Dylan was searching for something, he was lost for quite some time. He may have very well had a breakthrough in the middle of LARS, but I don’t see it. If something did happen at that show, and I think Bob is telling the truth here, it took many more years before it became obvious to us fans. I think somewhere in 93 that a transformation became apparent. Watching some of those shows, going back to 87 with the dead, I would have put money on this guys career being over. Many times Bobs mouth would hang open and nothing would come out, or he’d go up to the mic and pretend it was broken or turn knob on his guitar down to zero. Glad he snapped out of it so I could marry him :D


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 19:39 GMT 
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What i have noticed about Dylan, the better the band he has,
the more confident he is and better performances he gives
(sounds like a no brainer i know).
The Grateful Dead Vs Tom Petty 1987 shows are a perfect
example, let me put this in a respectful way as i can,
The Grateful Dead shows were really ''loose''sounding,
and Dylan's vocal was unsteady, confused and disengaged,
but on the Temple In Flames shows, you'd think it was
a different man up there singing.

Re 1993 i have a lot but by no means all of that years shows,
and for me, that year was perhaps the worst vocally overall.
That isn't to say he didn't have good shows in 1993, far from it.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 20:35 GMT 
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90-91 were the ‘Bad Vocal Years’, imo. See: Grammy MoW performance and Stuttgart New Morning ‘91.

92 wasn’t much better but I think starting in 93 his vocals began to improve.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 21:54 GMT 
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I'm just listening to a lot of the 1992 shows, for me at least,
he's singing a lot better than in 1993.
It's interesting how we all draw different conclusions.
In 1992 i'm hearing a depth on the lower end of his singing
that just wasn't there in 1993.
When i hear the '93 vocals, they sound more tonally pinched
and too high pitched for the range Dylan had at that stage.
But in 1994, and then 1995 he really came back with a great
voice. Although 'Unplugged' isn't a favourite of mine, for a
few reasons, those high notes on ''With God On Our Side''
are powerfully sung, i haven't hear any 1993 show that
comes anywhere even close to that.
1990 i dunno enough about that year, i'm trying to fill
up my collection for 1989 and 1990 but i'll take your
word for it re his singing in '90.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 22:42 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
Posts: 1887
Location: Ireland
LibraChild1980 wrote:
I'm just listening to a lot of the 1992 shows, for me at least,
he's singing a lot better than in 1993.
It's interesting how we all draw different conclusions.
In 1992 i'm hearing a depth on the lower end of his singing
that just wasn't there in 1993.
When i hear the '93 vocals, they sound more tonally pinched
and too high pitched for the range Dylan had at that stage.
But in 1994, and then 1995 he really came back with a great
voice. Although 'Unplugged' isn't a favourite of mine, for a
few reasons, those high notes on ''With God On Our Side''
are powerfully sung, i haven't hear any 1993 show that
comes anywhere even close to that.
1990 i dunno enough about that year, i'm trying to fill
up my collection for 1989 and 1990 but i'll take your
word for it re his singing in '90.


He started well in '90.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 22:42 GMT 
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Come 97 he’s turning heads, Grammy for best male rock vocals.

And now he’s crooning.

Lol crazy bob.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 22:49 GMT 
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Quote:
He started well in '90.


Was it when G.E Smith left that his singing efforts changed?
I really haven't heard that many shows from 89/90


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Wed October 11th, 2017, 00:07 GMT 
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GE Smith’s presence absolutely had an impact on the performances back then. We got some of the best acoustical sets during his stint with Bob. Watching the videos, I noticed something different when Bob played with GE. Not only did GE keep an eye on Bob, but Bob often looked over to see what GE was doing with his hands. There was a marriage there that kept Bob interested. Guitar players before and after GE don’t seem to have had the same magnetic draw to Bob, you either kept up with his bizarre off beat timing or you got the look. Towards the end of the relationship Bob had with JJ Jackson, you could tell something was about to happen. I think there is video of Bob giving the most disgusted and annoyed looks ever with poor JJ before walking over and dropping a loogie bomb on him. Same thing happened to poor Winston. During his last performance, Winston’s expressions and look are telling, he knew he was gonna get canned.

Drawing a comparison with Bobs vocal and overall performances after GE departed I think definitely left Bob once again searching for something he had lost. Once Larry and Charlie entered the picture, Bob was back in full force.


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 Post subject: Re: Locarno Epiphany
PostPosted: Wed October 11th, 2017, 02:03 GMT 
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I think many of us have epiphanies, and I'm sure Bob has had more than one or two... Remember the transfiguration stuff. To me an epiphany is when something hits you for the very first time, even though it might be blindingly obvious. But somehow you always seemed to miss it. Conversion is like that. So is the sudden realization of what you have to do next.


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