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PostPosted: Wed August 22nd, 2018, 10:45 GMT 

Joined: Sat December 27th, 2014, 12:09 GMT
Posts: 202
Baltimore wrote:
Was the first live performance of Visions of Johanna at the Baltimore Civic Center in 1965? There is some evidence of this, but it seems unclear & unconfirmed....


Nobody knows what he played at Worcester and Princeton do they? And the setlist for Baltimore 'from memory' looks dubious and certainly incomplete. And what about the story that VoJ was written in a snowstorm in NYC in early November? That would fit better with its known first recording date and its first outing being at Berkeley.

Nothing is impossible...….

Was anybody there at Princeton, Worcester, Baltimore?


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PostPosted: Wed February 13th, 2019, 14:17 GMT 
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Joined: Wed November 29th, 2017, 04:04 GMT
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I have recently become very obsessed with this song. I suppose obsession with Visions is a stage every Dylan fan goes through. I'm enjoying this obsession! Especially his Larry Campbell era live versions with Dylan's guitar solos.

Today I read that the Blonde on Blonde recording was made in one take on Valentine's day 1966.

Visions of Johanna is a perfect song for Valentines day. 8)


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PostPosted: Thu February 14th, 2019, 05:24 GMT 
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Joined: Sat October 27th, 2007, 12:44 GMT
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Location: Workin' as a postal clerk
GirlsWon'tLeaveMeAlone wrote:

Today I read that the Blonde on Blonde recording was made in one take on Valentine's day 1966.




I didn't know that, great factoid :)


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PostPosted: Fri March 8th, 2019, 18:00 GMT 
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There are some epic 66 performances, obvs, and some stellar ones from East Rutherford 1999, but what are some memorable performances from the 1993-1995 acoustic gigs? Anyone know?


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PostPosted: Sat March 9th, 2019, 14:02 GMT 

Joined: Mon January 9th, 2006, 09:01 GMT
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Location: Manchester UK
If I had to chose one Dylan song as my favourite, it would be Visions of Johanna. (I used the Blonde on Blonde version as a ringtone for a while - always great to hear the opening harmonica.)

I'm surprised people think it is surreal or difficult. It always seemed to me to about Dylan bored and trapped (his life is the cage that corrodes), having achieved everything he ever wanted to achieve, and knowing he's not got what it was he wanted, and he cannot even remember what that was anymore. And it would never have been enough. He's got as far away from himself as he can, and still he's stuck.

The best song by anyone because Dylan describes the awfulness and beauty of existence without any self pity. "We're sitting here stranded, but we're doing our best to deny it". We have episodes where he's aware of being stranded, episodes where he's doing his best to deny it. Some of the lines are him observing his surroundings (the heat pipes that cough, the country music station, the nightwatchman) and some of him are his memories, slightly warped. And he pretends that he hopes that if Johanna shows up things will be better, but he knows perfectly well that she isn't going to show up and that even if she did she'd just be another episode and he'd still be stranded.

The best versions are from 1966. I've heard NET versions I like, but they aren't in the same league as the live 66 versions. And I suspect the version on Blonde on Blonde is actually the best, but I'm never going to argue with anyone who feels any of the live 66 versions are better.


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PostPosted: Sat March 9th, 2019, 17:40 GMT 

Joined: Sat December 27th, 2014, 12:09 GMT
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Yes VoJ is my favourite too. And I probably agree re the BoB version, although the version from San Jose/Berkeley from Dec 65 seems a good example of the first live performance of a song being one of the best.

As to meaning, this must be one of the songs Baez had in mind when referring to 'keeping things vague'. The genius of the song is that it allows enough space for the listener to put their own construction on it. It could be an appeal to a muse from a stranded poet--- had BD written anything in the previous three months since the outpouring of June and July? It could be a song contrasting an earthly relationship with a spiritual one. It could be a song about emptiness, the fourth verse especially. It could be all of those and more.

I feel the closing line is essentially hopeful but in a way the message is less important than the medium. It is a sublime piece of performance art. Many operatic arias are best enjoyed without bothering too much about what the words mean!


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PostPosted: Sat March 9th, 2019, 21:50 GMT 
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Joined: Mon October 18th, 2010, 03:16 GMT
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Birmingham 2007 is pretty terrific, though.


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