KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON - BOB DYLAN 1994 by Olof Björner
January A Carlene Carter CD-single with tracks from the album
"Little Love Letters" is released. An extra non-album
track is Trust Yourself with background vocals by
Dwight Yoakim, Howie Epstein, Joe Romersa, Kevin Welch
and Bob Dylan. For once Bob's vocal is quite audible and
it is a pretty good version. This session probably dates from
January Dylan gives Cooper & Lybrand the right to use a recording
of The Times They Are A-Changin' done by Ritchie Havens in
their commercials. When published it causes great traumatic
reactions from fans all over the world.
January A *stereo* copy of the promotional Freewheelin' is found in
California and sold at auction at a five figure price.
February 4 Akihiko Yamamoto interviews Dylan in the lobby of Hotel Okura.
It is later printed in the April issue of CROSSBEAT.
February 5 Dylan starts his first tour in Japan since 1986 in Sendai.
The surprise opener is Jokerman, not played since the 1984
European tour followed by another surprise, If You See Her,
Say Hello. The latter being performed last time in Osaka Fu,
Japan February 14, 1978. Also included is In The Garden, which
had been absent in both 1992 and 1993. Jokerman turned out to
be the standard opener during 1994.
February 16 During the show in Hiroshima a reworked acoustic version of
Master of War is performed. A breathtaking version, that Dylan
apparently likes and plays regularly during the rest of the
year. Masters Of War haven't been played acoustic since April
12, 1963 in New York City.
February 22-25 The Far East Tour ends with three shows in Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong, all "first countries"
March 23 Dylan makes a surprise performance at The Rhythm and Blues
Concert at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles. He
tries a duet with Trisha Yearwood on Tomorrow Night.
April 5 An extensive Spring tour starts in Springfield, Illinois.
Jokerman is played live for the first time in the US.
April 6 The show at The Adler Theater in Davenport Iowa contains an
acoustic version of Tim Hardin's Lady Came From Baltimore.
It is played only twice and proves to be the only live debut
April 7 A new interview with Dylan is published in St. Louis
May 8 The Spring tour ends with a show at "The Memphis In May
Beale Street Festival".
May 9-11 Dylan records at least five different tracks at the Ardent
Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. All songs are covers.
May 20-22 Dylan participates in The Great Music Experience, a three day
concert in Nara, Japan co-sponsored by UNESCO's World Decade
For Cultural Development Project. This is the first of a series
of events which will be staged at important and beautiful
cultural sites each year until 2000. This year the "western
world" artists that joined various artists from Japan included
Joni Mitchell, INXS, Ry Cooder, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.
Dylan performed the same three songs each day: A Hard Rain's
A-Gonna Fall, I Shall Be Released and Ring Them Bells. He was
backed by the New Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and a backing
group with the ubiquitous Jim Keltner on drums and the
inevitable Ray Cooper on percussion. Dylan's performance was
nothing short of stunning. Made grown men cry, as Q put it.
Each concert ended with I Shall Be Released (again!) with all
the participating artists on stage. The last day was broadcast
live on radio and TV in over 50 countries around the world.
May 22 Release of STEVIE NICKS: STREET ANGEL, which includes Just Like
A Woman on which Dylan plays guitar and harmonica. This track
is probably recorded in December 1993.
July 3 The perennial European tour starts in Paris. For once the
opener is not Jokerman, but To Be Alone With You.
July 16 The Czech President Vaclav Havel with wife attend the show in
July 17 The show in Krakow, Poland has to be interrupted after the
acoustic set after heavy raining during the entire set.
July 25 Last show in Europe takes place in Kiel, Germany.
August 10 After only two weeks rest the next tour starts in Portland,
August 14 Dylan plays Woodstock '94 as part of the US Summer Tour.
The first electric set is only four songs, making this the
only 1994 show without Tangled Up In Blue. The whole show is
broadcast on radio and TV all over the world. Highway 61
Revisited ends up on the official audio release.
August 16 Release of the CD box ALLEN GINSBERG: HOLY SOUL, JELLY ROLL -
POEMS AND SONGS (1949-1993). The set includes three tracks
from the Record Plant session in New York City, November 20,
1971: Vomit Express, September On Jessore Road and A Dream.
The latter is not previously in circulation. Dylan plays guitar
and sings backup vocal. Also included is Airplane Blues from
Dylan's own studio in Santa Monica, Rundown Studios, February
23, 1982. The released take is the so called "slow version".
Dylan plays bass.
August 21 Concert #600 on the Never-Ending Tour takes place in
August 23 Release of the soundtrack to Oliver Stone's NATURAL BORN
KILLERS. Dylan sings a song from 1952 called You Belong To Me,
written by Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart and Chilton Price.
It's an acoustic solo recording that could very well have been
recorded at the same time as Good As I Been To You or World
Gone Wrong. Unfortunately the soundtrack producer, Trent Reznor
from Nine Inch Nails, decided to overdub the last instrumental
part of the track with dialogue from the movie.
August 29 The short US Summer Tour ends in Detroit, Michigan.
September Dylan sues Apple Computers for using the name DYLAN (Dynamic
LANguage) for a programming language.
September 16 Columbia Records employees are called to the 20th floor
conference room between 12.30 and 1.30 to listen to a selection
of tracks from the season's new products. First out is
Dignity from Dylan's forthcoming Greatest Hits Vol. III!
October 1 After a month off the road Dylan resumes the never-ending
touring in Ithaca, New York.
October 9 The last of three shows in Boston Dylan plays two extra
encores, the first being Two Soldiers (aka Blue-Eyed Boston
Boy). This is the only live performance of a song from
World Gone Wrong in 1991.
October 17 The day before his first concert at The Roseland Ballroom
Dylan joins Grateful Dead in The Madison Square Garden for an
embarrassing listless version of Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.
October 20 Seen in the VIP-part of Roseland Ballroom during the last
concert are Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen. They join Dylan
for two extra encores: Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 and Highway 61
Revisited playing guitars but not singing.
October 22 The show in Rochester, New York, is interrupted after the
first encore, Like A Rolling Stone, due to audience invasion of
the stage. Later it turns out that the whole thing was arranged
and filmed for an ongoing documentary about Bob Dylan! The
same crew that filmed Supper Club is working on this project.
They also filmed Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young at Roseland
Ballroom in New York.
October 26 Second take of "the-enthusiastic-audience-has-invaded-the-
stage-we-can't-go-on" scene, again after Like A Rolling Stone.
November 1 Third and last take.
November 2 Ruth Tyrangiel files a palimony suit against Dylan. She claims
to have lived with him between 1974 (!!) and 1993. She also
says that she helped Dylan to write some of his songs and that
he promised to marry her. Ruth Tyrangiel played "The
Girlfriend" in Renaldo & Clara and appears in three scenes.
All this is of course very strange, Why has nobody heard of
her during all these years? And 1974? Then why wasn't she
mentioned in the 1977 divorce? Note though the thanks to
"Ruthie" on the Knocked Out Loaded cover (only on the original
November 8 Release of Woodstock 94, containing "Highway 61" from Dylan's
November 9 Drawn Blank is published. This book contains almost 100
drawings by Dylan, many in pencil and some in charcoal and ink.
Also included is a foreword by Dylan dated September 1994.
November 10 In Jackson, Tennessee Carl Perkins joins Dylan for a third
encore and sings Matchbox.
November 13 This year's last show, in New Orleans, ends with an extra
encore, rainy Day Women #12 & 35. This is show #104,
making 1994 the year with most concerts since 1978!
November 15-16 After just two days rest Dylan and his band starts the
rehearsals for MTV Unplugged. Dignity is tried at least
four times as well as other songs not played during the
November 15 Release of Greatest Hits Volume 3. Dignity from the Oh Mercy
session is included. Brendan O'Brien, who produced Pearl Jam's
second album has produced an instrumental backing. Only Dylan's
vocal and piano is left from the original recording.
November 17-18 Taping of MTV Unplugged at Sony Studios in New York City.
The band is enhanced with keyboards played to great effect
by Brendan O'Brien. For set-lists please refer to section 4.
November Release of MIKE SEEGER: THIRD ANNUAL FAREWELL REUNION on
Rounder Records. Dylan sings Ballad Of Hollis Brown accompanied
by Mike Seeger on banjo. This track is recorded at Grandma's
Warehouse in Los Angeles, May 19, 1993.
December Release of a three-track CD single containing two versions of
Dignity, the album version and a "radio edit" omitting four
verses. The third track is A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall from
May 22 in Nara, Japan with The New Philharmonic Orchestra.
December 14 First broadcast of Bob Dylan Unplugged on US MTV. The broadcast
version contains 8 songs taken mostly from the second taping
session. A notable exception is the exquisite rendition of
With God On Our Side in which the verses about World War II and
"The Russians" are timely omitted.
December 24 First broadcast of Bob Dylan Unplugged on MTV Europe. The set
is identical to the one shown in US.
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