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PostPosted: Tue September 22nd, 2009, 01:17 GMT 

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The MEZ is aware of all the 3 or 4 other more famous and acclaimed tracks from BOTT but this one just resonates with me. I love all of BOTT but have a special place for this one. Can anyone else say it's a favorite of theirs here, as well? I'd love to hear some stellar versions and / of people's opinions here for track talk. Comments? MEZ


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PostPosted: Tue September 22nd, 2009, 01:36 GMT 
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Such a hard album to pick out a favourite. The sheer brilliance of most if not all the songs, make it near impossible. At any time and of the songs bar "Lily" can be called a favourite of mine.

You're a Big Girl Now along with Idiot Wind and If You See Her Say Hello are to me the hardest to listen too, purely for the level of emotion in them.

Was listening to Red Bluff 2002 the other week and found the version on there quite moving. There's a strange part in the song, where it sounds as if Bob sings "holy shit" - he definitely changes the lyrics to thsi part, but I'm not sure if I'm hearing it right.


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PostPosted: Tue September 22nd, 2009, 01:39 GMT 
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Location: in the land where dreams are made....
I was listening to this on Hard Rain the other day..... does he say... "I found him in your room".....
Do you think that maybe Sara gave him paybacks and got caught? :?


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PostPosted: Tue September 22nd, 2009, 01:44 GMT 

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Takes corny lines like "our conversation was short and sweet, it nearly knocked me off of my feet" and "time's like a jet plane it moves too fast" and creates a masterpiece. Truely staggering achievment and a great, great song.


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PostPosted: Tue September 22nd, 2009, 02:35 GMT 
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Oh Mez! What a song! Deep in my heart. How could this not be a favourite? Only in an album like BOOT this is maybe not the best track.

Oh, I know where I can find you
In somebody's room,
It's a price I have to pay
You're a big girl all the way.


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PostPosted: Tue September 22nd, 2009, 06:12 GMT 
I love this song. And I love the way his voice can break when he's "singing through these tears"

I'm going out of my mind, oh-oh
With a pain that stops and starts
Like a corkscrew to my heart
Ever since we've been apart.


That image ... reminds me of my divorce. This is one of those songs I feel that nobody but Dylan could do justice to.


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PostPosted: Tue September 22nd, 2009, 08:32 GMT 

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Great song, album take is very good but the original NY version as heard on Biograph is beyond exquisite. It and the original IDIOT WIND (not the one from BS2, but the one from the test pressing) represent the side of the BOTT songs I most acutely empathize with. A kind of delicate pain that isn't howled out with abandon like on the album, it lingers and creeps in through sighs and whispers and breaths as the singer tries to keep it down, keep his composure and move on without opening the floodgates of vitriol...


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PostPosted: Tue September 22nd, 2009, 08:49 GMT 

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Anyone who has fallen in love with a younger girl would love this song. I like phrases like "time is a jet plane", "like a corkscrew to my heart".


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PostPosted: Tue September 22nd, 2009, 12:43 GMT 

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You're a big girl now is one of my all time top favorites. I used to play it a lot when i was doin instrumental piano work in clubs & dinners. Its chord grid just holds up ad infinitum. Such a subdued and haunting masterpiece. my favorite version must be earl's court june 18th 1978. please check it out to hear the song rephrased and turned inside fricking out. i love the hard rain version as well.


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PostPosted: Tue September 22nd, 2009, 15:33 GMT 

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January 1978, rehearsals:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/7hkbpe

Bridgeport, 30.9.2007 (the voice doesn't sound that good, but a very fine performance by the band)
http://www.sendspace.com/file/h70j78

This is one of the songs on BOTT where he revives motifs from his 60s classics. It makes me think of the line in "Don't Think Twice": "I once loved a woman, a child I'm told" and also of "Just Like A Woman": "You break just like a little girl".


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PostPosted: Tue September 22nd, 2009, 15:33 GMT 

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Hi everyone, im Jaz, long time reader, first time poster. :D

I love this song, and its in my personal top 10. I'd actually only ever heard the BOTT version until a few months ago (im relatively new to Dylan, about a year, and im 19 so i wasnt around for the original release), but i was driving with my Dad and we had BBC Radio 4 on playing Desert Island Discs. David Walliams from Little Britain was the guest, and said he was choosing this song. I expected the BOTT version but when they started playing it, it was the NY outake and it literally took my breath away. I felt a little lump in my throat and i heard the song in a totally new way. That was really the moment when i started to fully appreciate the variety and differences in Dylans versions of his own songs. That version will always be one of my favourite songs.


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PostPosted: Wed September 23rd, 2009, 01:07 GMT 

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That rehearsal posting was great Thanks! (to the truth is obscure) MEZ


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PostPosted: Wed September 23rd, 2009, 01:55 GMT 

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'I read that this was supposed to be about my wife. I wish somebody would ask me before they go ahead and print stuff like that. i mean, it couldn't be about anybody else but my wife. right? Stupid and misleading jerks sometimes these interpreters are. Fools, they limit you to their own unimaginative mentality. They never stop to think that somebody has been exposed to experiences they haven't been...anyway, it's not the experience that counts, it's the attitude towards the experience.'

B.D. from Biograph

It's telling that ten years after writing the song, it still is deeply painful for Bob to speak about its origin. But one can hear why when the song is played in its original forms. This song stands out among the collection. Bearing no 'story' nor storyteller to cover its tracks, it simply bears the mark of a relationship struggling to justify its existence. it's a song that is so painfully aware of itself, it bleeds with remorse.

I can change, I swear, mm-mm
See what you can do, mm-mm.
I can make it through,
You can make it too.

These are words of desperation. It is a window into the heart of someone struggling to find meaning and hoping that she will provide something that he can't.
That said, I don't want to interpret the song as per Bob's request. All I can say is that the song has carried a lot of weight for me over the years. I can't help but feel very deeply when listening to this song.

The most beautiful version of the song is for me of course Hard Rain. What i love about it is the relationship of the fragility of the lyrics with the gorgeous beauty of the arrangement, with Bob seemingly feeling the song as he goes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JISBmJjm0fw

But just as equally, I love the song in 1988. He now sings the song despite or because of its delicate sensitivity. By howling and sneering these lyrics instead of crying them, the song finds a wildly savage embittered new life. It's now defiantly brazen. It's as if the necessary distance has been achieved for the song to live outside of its painful trappings and it's now given a damning punk-like delivery. Accompanying Bob in his rediscovery of this song is the great G.E. Smith. Every solo is unique, full of creative vibrancy matching Bob in intensity with guitar-playing that rivals anyone I've ever heard Bob play with. This song typifies 1988 better than any methinks.

Here's my perfect one of the year with an unreal G.E. solo and Bob singing it in an almost possessed state that scares me enough to send chills.

Portland Maine
July 3 1988

http://www.sendspace.com/file/98jiqm


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PostPosted: Wed September 23rd, 2009, 02:22 GMT 

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Thank you, TheTruthIsObscure and marker. Both of those are particularly beautiful! :D


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PostPosted: Wed September 23rd, 2009, 02:36 GMT 

Joined: Mon June 15th, 2009, 02:35 GMT
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Are you quite sure this song is called Your a Big Girl Now? :D

OK, OK, I'll get my mortarboard and gown . . .


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PostPosted: Sun May 6th, 2012, 22:16 GMT 

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YOU’RE A BIG GIRL NOW

Dylan / Cameron Crowe

“Blood On The Tracks was another one of those records we went in and did in three or four days,” Dylan commented, “I had the acetate. I hadn’t listened to it for a couple of months. I didn’t think I’d got this song off. The record still hadn’t come out, and I put it on. I just didn’t – I thought the songs could have sounded differently, better so I went in and re-recorded them.”

This first version of You’re A Big Girl Now is one of six songs that Dylan later re-cut with a Minneapolis band. By that time, the lyrics and mood of the song had changed. ”You’re A Big Girl Now, well, I read that this was supposed to be about my wife. I wish somebody would ask me first before they go ahead and print stuff like that. I mean it couldn’t be about anybody else but my wife, right? Stupid and misleading jerks sometimes these interpreters are – I mean I’m always trying to stay one step ahead of myself and keep changing with the times, right? Like that’s my foolish mission. How many roles can I play? Fools, they limit you to their own unimaginative mentality. They never stop to think that somebody has been exposed to experiences that they haven’t been. Anyway, it’s not even the experience that counts, it’s the attitude toward the experience. There is so much misunderstanding by people who are caught up in their own little worlds laid on you – contrary to what some so-called experts believe, I don’t constantly “reinvent” myself – I was there from the beginning. I’m also not any seeker or a searcher of God knows what, had it all together awhile back and can go any kind of way. There’s nothing in any of my songs to ever imply that I’m even halfway searching for some lost gold at the end of any great mysterious rainbow. Propaganda, that’s all that is – never have considered myself as an outsider looking in, everything I do is done from the inside out, you know. I’m a mystery only to those who haven’t felt the same things I have. You can’t take my stuff and verbalise it, like I don’t write confessional songs. Emotion’s got nothing to do with it. It only seems so, like it seems that Laurence Olivier is Hamlet. Well, actually, I did write one once and it wasn’t very good – it was a mistake to record it and I regret it, back there somewhere on maybe my third or fourth album.”

Robert Shelton

A sequel to Just Like A Woman. The phrase is ironically patronising to anyone but a child. Rarely has his singing been more openly emotional. His stresses on the interjection “oh” reminds me of the screaming mouth of the sufferer in Edvard Munch’s painting. The narrator, “back in the rain”, is singing through tears, and going out of his mind with “a corkscrew to my heart”. The irony is that the woman feels liberated while the narrator suffers. In the Biograph notes, Dylan rants at the suggestion this was about his wife. “I’m a mystery only to those who haven’t felt the same things I have.”

Paul Williams

When Dylan is really hot, he creates a new sound not just with every album but with every performance on the album. You're A Big Girl Now is startling in the originality of its musical structure as well as in the raw power of Dylan's lyrics and the way he sings them. Each verse of this song is a separate monologue, as if Dylan were an actor stepping to the back of the stage and then coming forward again as he thinks of something else he wants to say to the lady. Dylan complains in the Biograph notes about "stupid and misleading jerks" (critics) who have suggested this song is "about my wife." Let us say, then, that it is a song sung by an imagin¬ary person whose present relationship with the person he is singing to is not altogether unlike the performer's relationship with his own estranged spouse (which perhaps is why the performer can throw himself into the song so passionately). Likewise Shelter From The Storm is about another invented character who once had a woman do for him something not unlike what Sara Lowndes did for Robert Zimmerman back in 1965 or so. And in a typical clever Dylan inversion, Shelter From The Storm comes along much later in the album sequence, although the first verse of You’re A Big Girl Now ("I'm back in the rain") establishes it clearly as a sequel to Shelter From The Storm.

Dylan's harmonica solo at the end of You're A Big Girl Now is a fine example of how effective his shoot-from-the-hip, primitive, ballsy approach to music-making can be. He and the band reach for and brilliantly achieve something that could never have been described if he had tried to tell them or himself beforehand what he had in mind.

Richard Hell – Mojo 100 Greatest Dylan Songs #77

Talking about Dylan is too complicated for just a few words. You can see why everybody writes books about him. It seems that anybody who likes him at all has a relationship with him, whether they admit it or not. He has been that useful, meaningful and exasperating all your life long. No wonder he resents his fans. And this song is the one for me that is the most revealing of his bewildering powers because it is the one that has the greatest distance between its emotional impact and its actual words. How does he make those silly words so affecting? “Time is a jet plane, it moves too fast”. Where is the poetry in that? The metaphor is obvious and the observation commonplace, but in the song, it breaks your heart. I think maybe it is something about both his openness and the way his mind skips around in his condition, somehow indicating the shape of everything, and I mean everything. It is how the lines turn into each other. For instance, the whole beginning of that stanza goes, “”Time is a jet plane, it moves too fast / Oh, but what a shame if all we’ve shared can’t last / I can change, I swear”. No one line is much more than banal, but it is how they follow from each other that makes that “I can change, I swear” choke me up every time. Or is it his delivery? Or the melody? Or the weird way saying, “You’re a big girl now” is inherently sarcastic, when obviously what is going on is he wants her more than anything? It is all the currents, in something apparently so simple and ordinary. There is no explaining it.

Oliver Trager

One of six songs Dylan recorded in New York in September 1974 which he re-recorded later in 1974 for Blood On The Tracks. You’re A Big Girl Now is a return to a theme common to Dylan’s work in the 1960s, and which ran, subtly, even though his brighter work of the early-1970s – abandonment. And while each of Dylan’s releases of the song is different – as if he cannot make his mind up on the whole messy subject – the portrait of a man romantically, spiritually and physically bereft is always clear enough.

Perhaps taking its cue from Hank Williams’ I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You), another song in which the narrator observes from afar his former girl moving on to new romantic vistas, Dylan’s leading man in You’re A Big Girl Now is haunted by the realisation that her instincts were correct. The songs share some lyrical qualities as well. Compare Williams’, “Today I passed you on the street / And my heart fell at your feet / I can’t help it if I’m still in love with you” with lyrics from You’re A Big Girl Now, “Out conversation was short and sweet / It nearly swept me off-a my feet / And I’m back in the rain, oh, oh / And you are on dry land / You made it there somehow / You’re a big girl now”.

You’re A Big Girl Now is one of many songs from Blood On The Tracks in which Dylan pulled down the masks that had previously obscured the line between his song’s narrators and their author. Peter Hamill, in his Blood On The Tracks liner notes, quotes Irish poet WB Yeats (“We make out of the quarrel with others rhetoric, but of the quarrel wuth ourselves poetry”) in portraying the songs on Dylan’s masterful collection as the confessional product of a man searching for the emotional truth at the core of human interaction. It is a quarrel that can be heard in lines like, “I can change, I swear, oh, oh / See what you can do / I can make it through / You can make it too”. And it a quarrel that can be observed on every great work – be it a panel on the Parthenon frieze or In The Wee Small Hours, Frank Sinatra’s assemblage of introspective, brokenhearted ballads. Sinatra did not even write any of these songs, yet it is obvious that he chose them for the same reasons that Dylan settled on the final track-list of Blood On The Tracks – they are songs that ut to the marrow.

Dylan always denied that the tortured, agonisingly vulnerable songs on Blood On The Tracks were autobiograpgical, but somehow the denials could never ring true. When speaking of You’re A Big Girl Now in the liner notes to Biograph, he observed, “I read that this was supposed to be about my wife. I wish somebody would ask me first before they go ahead and print stuff like that. I mean, it couldn’t be about anybody else but my wife, right? Stupid and misleading jerks sometimes these interpreters are. Fools, they limit you to their own unimaginative mentality. They never stop to think that somebody has been exposed to experiences that they haven’t been. Anyway, it’s not the experience that counts, it’s the attitude towards the experience.”

Okay, so call us stupid.

A song overflowing with remorse, You’re A Big Girl Now was first performed with the 1976 version of The Rolling Thunder Revue as Dylan sang it as though he was both chiding his soon-to-be ex-wife Sara and still pining for her big-time – an odd but strangely effective contradiction. Dylan kept the song close by for some shows during the globe-trotting 1978 tour but did not return to it until one 1987 concert with Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers. A frequent Never Ending Tour inclusion, You’re A Big Girl Now was performed in the late-1980s and throughout the 1990s, but rarely in the early-2000s.

Clinton Heylin

Published lyric/s: Lyrics 85; Lyrics 04.

Known studio recordings: A&R Studios, NYC, 16 September 1974 – 1 take; 17 September 1974 – 2 takes [BIO - tk. 2]; 19 September 1974 – 1 take; Sound 80, Minneapolis MN, 30 December 1974. [BoTT]

First known performance: Hattiesburg, MS, 1 May 1976.

“I had a couple of years there where I went out to be by myself quite a bit of the time, and that's where I experienced those kinds of songs on Blood on the Tracks. I'll do anything to write a song. I used to anyway.” Dylan to Lynne Allen, December 1978

If the New York recording of Tangled Up In Blue ultimately failed to satisfy its author, the version of You're A Big Girl Now recorded the same week seems to have made him plain uncomfortable. The first of a punnet of ultra-personal songs now entered in the notebook, it would be one of only three which would make the album. You're A Big Girl Now was pain personified, that pain remaining red raw when he cut the exquisite New York version originally intended for the album (only released ten years later, on Biograph). It is to just such a recording that Blood On The Tracks engineer Phil Ramone is surely alluding when he suggests, “Emotionally he was in a state of revealing his life, and most writers don't want to tell you they're writing their autobiography, but it's there in the atmosphere, as you hear the songs unfolding.”

In You're A Big Girl Now, Dylan is writing from the vantage point of someone who, having reached the top, discovers he is really “on the bottom”. Without any secrets to conceal, he discovers a brutal honesty in the pain of loneliness (“I'm going out of my mind / With a pain that stops and starts”). He also finds an inner strength. As he told the sympathetic Julia Orange in 1978, “There's strength in that loneliness. You must have that kind of strength coming from an unbearable place to remain focused. Everything else must go. If there's anything in the way, it will interfere.”

Here, nothing is allowed to interfere. Even on its entry into the notebook, barely a word is out of place. But time not only heals, it sometimes deceives. And when Dylan's brother convinced him that the album was a little too pared-down (to the bone) it was this song, along with Idiot Wind, that he decided to re-record the two most naked, searing expressions of hurt on the whole album. On a radio show, shortly after the album's release, Dylan expressed mystification that, “People tell me they enjoy [Blood On The Tracks]. It's hard for me to relate to that. I mean, people enjoying that type of pain.” The strength that had led him to write and record this song had drained away by the time he entered Sound 80 Studios on 27 December 1974, to be replaced by a ghostly memory of its all-consuming hurt.

Not surprisingly, the song went unattempted live after he and Sara became ostensibly reconciled. Only on the second leg of The Rolling Thunder Revue, in the spring of 1976, did he remember why he wrote it, playing it long and hard enough to warrant inclusion on the Hard Rain album. Though there have been subsequent restorations, he has not returned to said “unbearable place” since (save perhaps for the Rundown rehearsal version from 1 February 1978). Throughout 1978 and the GE Smith era of the Never Ending Tour (1988-1990), as Dylan waved a fond farewell to Love Minus Zero / No Limit, it acquired a nonchalance not altogether befitting such a baring of the soul.


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PostPosted: Sun May 6th, 2012, 23:20 GMT 

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The best live version I've heard, same arrangement as Hard Rain but a much better and more nuanced performance from Bob and the Revue:

1976-05-03 New Orleans, LA (evening show)
FLAC: http://www.sendspace.com/file/li5oeo
source: SBD/"Friends And Other Strangers" (bootleg)


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PostPosted: Mon May 7th, 2012, 02:47 GMT 
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^Agree - it's pretty much the same only better.


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PostPosted: Mon May 7th, 2012, 12:56 GMT 
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The Mighty Monkey Of Mim wrote:
The best live version I've heard, same arrangement as Hard Rain but a much better and more nuanced performance from Bob and the Revue:

1976-05-03 New Orleans, LA (evening show)
FLAC: http://www.sendspace.com/file/li5oeo
source: SBD/"Friends And Other Strangers" (bootleg)


Wonderful, thank you!


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PostPosted: Sun January 6th, 2013, 23:55 GMT 
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Here's another Big Girl that's hard to beat. Been trapped in my head all day.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_PFymGadh8A

From the 1978 Rundown Rehearsals...exquisite!


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PostPosted: Mon January 7th, 2013, 00:01 GMT 

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Beautiful, pensive and tender song that anyone who has ever loved and lost will be able to relate to immediately.

There is a resignation to his love being unrequited that is most touching.

You mentioned covers - The Waterboys did a beautiful and deeply respectful job at Finsbury Park in 2011, as I am sure many others hear heard.


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PostPosted: Sat May 25th, 2013, 22:48 GMT 
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Still Go Barefoot wrote:
Here's another Big Girl that's hard to beat. Been trapped in my head all day.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_PFymGadh8A

From the 1978 Rundown Rehearsals...exquisite!

Article about this on today's front page.


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PostPosted: Sun May 26th, 2013, 01:27 GMT 
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You’re A Big Girl Now, 1978.

“It’s not me. It’s the songs. I’m just the postman. I deliver the songs.

That’s all I have in this world are those songs!

That’s what all the legend, all the myth, is about – my songs.” -Bob Dylan



Towards the end of 1977, Bob Dylan phoned Rolling Thunder Revue bassist, Rob Stoner, asking him to bring some musicians along to California to rehearse for a tour he was planning.

Dylan had rented an old warehouse in Santa Monica and converted it into Rundown Studios (named, apparently, because of the shabby state of the surrounding neighbourhood). He had two engineers on his payroll – Arthur Rosato and Joel Bernstein.

After a good deal of chopping, dropping out and changing, Dylan finally settled on a large number of musicians – including saxophone, violin and backing singers.

“I started recruiting this band last January. It was difficult. It was hard. A lot of blood has gone into this band. This band understands my songs. It doesn’t matter if they understand me or not. They understand my songs!”[3]


There may have been some unlikely sources of inspiration for the big band idea. Dylan went to see Neil Diamond play at the Aladdin Theatre over the 4th July weekend in 1976[1]and both Cameron Crowe and Clinton Heylin suggest that this was instrumental in him re-thinking and re-shaping his 1978 stage shows.

He also signed with Diamond’s manager, Jerry Weintraub, several weeks after attending that show.

There may have been another influence, too.

On 16th August 1977, Elvis Presley died. Dylan had made no secret of his admiration – and debt – to Elvis.

“It was so sad. I had a breakdown! I broke down… one of the very few times I went over my whole life. I went over my whole childhood. I didn’t talk to anyone for a week after Elvis died. If it wasn’t for Elvis and Hank Williams, I couldn’t be doing what I do today.” [3]

“When I first heard Elvis’ voice, I just knew that I wasn’t going to work for anybody, and nobody was going to be my boss. He is the deity supreme of rock and roll religion as it exists in today’s form. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail. I thank God for Elvis Presley.”

Rob Stoner suggested as much:

“He had in mind to do something like Elvis Presley. That size band and the uniforms…he wasn’t very sure about it, which is why he opened way out of town. I mean, we didn’t go close to Europe or England or America forever, man…and I don’t blame him. I think he knew, subconsciously, he was making a big mistake.”[2]

This tour was being approached very differently from previous incarnations. Due to the size of the band Dylan had assembled, his usual penchant for spontaneously changing keys, tempos and arrangements had to be largely suppressed. I think this is another reason why he wanted such radical rearrangements of his songs – to keep it interesting for himself within the relative confines of a bigger band.

Big Band 78
The Rehearsal Versions

There’s something about listening to rehearsals that I like – the pleasure in hearing the discovery, evolution and excitement when the right arrangement or groove is found.

Also, because it isn’t a performance as such, or a released recording, there is no (or very little) production or mixing, so the instruments (and voices) sound far more natural.

I feel less judgemental when listening to practises – the pressure is off. It isn’t a finished ‘product’ and hasn’t been put out into the world all dressed up with a suit and tie, so I listen with a different attitude.

As a Dylan ‘fan’, I also love to hear him trying out new phrasings, keys and styles. My respect for him as a musician has been vastly enhanced by hearing him rehearsing.

There are two versions that are currently available from the Rundown Rehearsal Tapes – one almost certainly from 30th January 1978 and the other is simply attributed to ‘January 1978’.

The dated version has at least three guitars, sax, organ, bass and drums as well as vocals.

It’s good, with Dylan’s laconic croon sounding nice and loose, but the guitars and sax are still at the stage of elbowing each other to get some space, and although there are a couple of very nice passages, I prefer the undated version.

It has less going on – piano, two guitars, drums and bass – and a very quiet sax. I would say that this is a much earlier run-through, with everyone playing with more uncertainty and simplicity, but I love it.


Dylan’s vocals are brilliant – gritty, smooth and expressively elastic. It’s amazing that in most of the rehearsals I have heard, he puts a lot of care and effort into his vocals. I know of many performers who don’t.

The drums are quiet and seem to me to be played by someone other than Ian Wallace – possibly Bruce Gary or Denny Seiwell. The style of playing seems quite different. It may be that it was a very early attempt and he was hanging back, getting a feel for the song before taking the lead, but I would put money on it not being Wallace.

Billy Cross’ guitar sounds lovely – rich, warm but with bright, silvery bursts of highs. His amp is set up nicely, over-driving the tubes and breaking up when he gives the strings some passion and force and I am a big fan of the way he plays. On Street Legal, the solo at the end of Where Are You Tonight is one of my favourite moments from any Dylan album and I love the nasty, sexy, violent licks he employs on New Pony too.

I’m not sure who plays the piano at this rehearsal but it sounds pretty similar to some of the playing on tour, so I would suggest it is Alan Pasqua. The loose, loungey style sprinkles the whole song with blue, sleazy funk. The occasional interplay between the piano and guitar is a treat as well.


Sydney, April 1st, 1978

Dylan’s Stratocaster starts, he sings, “Our conversation…” and the cheers fire up.

Steve Douglas comes in with his growling sax, low-key and lounge-perfect – you can tell that the dream groove has been captured and this is going to be good.

Though naturally quicker than rehearsal (adrenaline), it is still slow, sinewy and libidinous, with Alan Pasqua’s honky-tonk piano keys rolling around like some Cajun hooker.

Stoner’s bass is lazy and loping and Wallace is right on it too. They lock together and let the others swing.

Dylan’s vocals are just superb. Gritty, rasping and howling through the verses, holding the long notes before the punch line, sounding as strong and powerful as I have ever heard him. There’s a very masculine and predatory edge to his voice, like a tomcat stalking an alley.*

The dynamics are great, all driven by Dylan’s (or is it David Mansfield?) sparse rhythm guitar stabs, but everyone is on form, creating the perfect soundtrack for Dylan’s ragged delivery and those brilliant words.

Billy Cross.

In magazine lists of guitar players, I never see his name, but he is in my top ten. On this song, he is perfect; bending, pinching and driving those strings, making the pick-ups squeal like a hot, drunken lover, then dancing and sparring with the dirty sax, lifting the whole performance up a level.

It builds and builds and then – bam! – it’s over, like some fantastic, musical x.

In short, I like this version very much.


Sounchecking at Budokan, Japan.

At 15 years of age, Bob Dylan At Budokan was the first record I bought with my own money. It will always have a place in my heart, but I know it isn’t a true reflection of how good Dylan and his band were in 1978.

I don’t know why critics and some people were negative towards the new arrangements and sound, but then I don’t understand why some people booed when he ‘went electric’, or sang ‘religious’ songs or started singing ‘country’ or ‘gospel’ or ‘swing’…all those elements were there from the start as far as I’m concerned.

If music moves me – emotionally, spiritually, sexually or simply makes me happy to be alive – I’m okay with it and I don’t care what it’s called.

Dylan’s music almost always moves me one way or another, and I love that he has embraced so many styles. I think he is a master musician, and the 1978 rehearsals and tour illustrate that so well. Complete reinterpretations of his songs are common-place at his concerts, and that is a risk that very few artists are prepared to take. His lyrics aren’t too shabby either.

Not everyone disliked the new (1978) direction:

“These latest live versions of his old songs have the effect of liberating Bob Dylan from the originals…the method here is hit-or-miss, and the results are correspondingly spotty”

“The fire and brimstone are behind Dylan, [but] this hardly means the fight has gone out of him: Bob Dylan at Budokan is a very contentious effort—and, for the most part, a victorious one.” [4]

The 1978 tour grossed more than $20 million, with 114 shows in Japan, the Far East, Europe and the US. They played to a total audience of two million people. Dylan played almost every night for 3 months and the shows were regularly 3 hours long.

At the time, it was dubbed ‘Alimony Tour’ and was seen, by some, as avaricious. I fail to see how working hard to earn money is a negative and, besides, people got their dollars’ worth.

“I had a couple of bad years. I put a lot of money into the movie, built a big house … and it costs a lot to get divorced in California.”

“I earn everything I make. I’m not getting nothing for nothing…I put in an eight-hourday in two hours on stage…there’s a pool of sweat on the floor for every dollar I make.”[6]

Even though I was living in Australia in 1978, I was a little too young to go to this Sydney show – and I am so, so glad I can hear it now.

I hope that one day, there will be an official Sony Bootleg Series release, so everyone can enjoy this magnificent music.


1978

That evening’s introduction of the band

“Thank you. Playing in the orchestra tonight we have, from Reno Nevada, on tenor saxophone Mr. Steve Douglas…

…on the keyboards, from the Bahamas, Alan Pasqua. All right, conga drums Bobbye Hall from Detroit.

From Kingston Jamaica, one of the founders of punk rock, on the drums Ian Wallace.

My eyes are betraying me tonight. On the violin and the mandolin, he just learned how to play three weeks ago. We’re very proud of him David Mansfield.

All right. What you been smoking ? Wouldn’t mind some of that.

On the rhythm guitar from San Antone, Texas, one of the founders of what they call outlaw music. A great friend of Willie Nelson, very proud to have him in this band. Mr. Steven Soles.

On the bass guitar from New York City, Rob Stoner.

On the background vocals tonight. On my right we have the love of my life Miss Debbie Dye. In the middle my cousin my favorite cousin, first cousin Jo Ann Harris.

And on the left, girl that makes me cry every night, has a great great future, and a great behind Miss Helena Springs.

Lead guitar tonight from Albuquerque, New Mexico Billy Cross…”


I nearly made it…


Come gather round people…



Factoids

You’re A Big Girl Now was performed 39 times on the 1978 tour and 213 times to date, since its initial airing on 16th August 1976.

The released, album version was recorded on December 27, 1974 at Sound 80 studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In a simple twist of fate, Rob Stoner was replaced by Elvis Presley’s bassist, Jerry Scheff, after the first leg of the 1978 tour.

Denny Seiwell, who rehearsed a couple of times, played in Paul McCartney’s Wings (the band The Beatles could have been, according to music and style guru, Alan Partridge).

Rundown Studio engineer, Joel Bernstein, later took the inner sleeve photos for Street Legal and most of the shots used on Bob Dylan At Budokan.

Rundown Studios was located at 2501 Main Street, Santa Monica and Richmond Shepard Theater Complex, 6472 Santa Monica Blvd.

Prior to releasing Blood On The Tracks, Dylan visited Neil Young in his home in Florida to showcase the songs and even ran through some of the songs with Crazy Horse! [5]

Elvis Presley covered Tomorrow Is A Long Time, which was, for Dylan “the one recording I treasure the most.”

1978 was tiring.


You’re A Big Girl Now

Our conversation was short and sweet

It nearly swept me off-a my feet

And I’m back in the rain, oh, oh

And you are on dry land

You made it there somehow

You’re a big girl now



Bird on the horizon, sittin’ on a fence

He’s singin’ his song for me at his own expense

And I’m just like that bird, oh, oh

Singin’ just for you

I hope that you can hear

Hear me singin’ through these tears



Time is a jet plane, it moves too fast

Oh, but what a shame if all we’ve shared can’t last

I can change, I swear, oh, oh

See what you can do

I can make it through

You can make it too



Love is so simple, to quote a phrase

You’ve known it all the time, I’m learnin’ it these days

Oh, I know where I can find you, oh, oh

In somebody’s room

It’s a price I have to pay

You’re a big girl all the way



A change in the weather is known to be extreme

But what’s the sense of changing horses in midstream?

I’m going out of my mind, oh, oh

With a pain that stops and starts

Like a corkscrew to my heart

Ever since we’ve been apart

Copyright © 1974 by Ram’s Horn Music; renewed 2002 by Ram’s Horn Music



Sources and thanks
1 – (The Salt Lake Tribune – July 18, 1976)

2 – from Wikipedia. Original source not given?

3 - Robert Shelton/Melody Maker. July 29, 1978.

4 – Janet Maslin/Rolling Stone.

5 – “Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography” by Jimmy McDonough.

6 – Robert Shelton/Rolling Stone


*“I want my woman dirty, looking as though I’d just found her in some alley … ” – Bob Dylan.



http://williamhenryprince.com/youre-a-b ... -now-1978/


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PostPosted: Sun May 26th, 2013, 05:16 GMT 
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I love this song. The "New York" version is far better than the one that ended up on BOTT, imo.


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PostPosted: Sun May 26th, 2013, 12:55 GMT 
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toilandblood wrote:
I love this song. The "New York" version is far better than the one that ended up on BOTT, imo.


Is that the one that's on Biograph? Love that version. I think Hard Rain's my favorite though. The pain in his voice is something else, and those strings are top notch.


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