Recommended CDs

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Freewheelin' Revisited! Which albums should Bob perform live in their entirety?

In recent years several artists have been giving shows that consist mostly of a single album, played in its entirety. Van Morrison not so long ago played Astral Weeks live to critical acclaim, even releasing the result as a cd Astral Weeks Live At the Hollywood Bowl and a DVD (exclusive to Amazon: see inset).

A few years ago Elvis Costello gave a performance of his first and most widely loved album, My Aim Is True, even reuniting with the original musicians.

And in 2002 David Bowie played the whole of Low in one set and then came back to perform his then latest album Heathen in a second set.

Rufus Wainwright even performed the whole of Judy Garland's Judy at Carnegie Hall.

Anyway, you get the idea.I started off by thinking that Bob would never do something like this, then I suddenly realized, he already has -- exactly 30 years ago this month he started the first of two tours on which he performed the whole of Slow Train Coming and the then-unreleased Saved in their entirety (barring 'Satisfied Mind' off the latter, which can be regarded as a sort of 'bonus track.' Also, 'Are You Ready?' only emerged as very a late addition to the second tour, and was then played throughout the third gospel tour, when Bob dropped some songs and added others, some of which remain unreleased to this day).

So once again, Bob was way ahead of the pack. Except of course, the context was different. One album was Bob's latest release and the other would be his next album, and both were informed by his religious belief, giving him a burning desire to perform them to audiences. I cannot see Bob doing a show in which he rattled off the whole of Highway 61 Revisited and then came out and did all of Blood on the Tracks. And even if he did, of course, the songs would be unrecognizable from the versions on the original albums, and the musicians would be different (even if all the original ones were still alive, I can't see him choosing to play with the same people again). And of course, whereas someone like Van Morrison sounds much the same as he did in 1970, Bob's voice has gone through umpteen changes.

So this blog is purely for fun. Tell me which two albums you would pick to be played in their entirety for your fantasy, one-off Dylan live show. Also, who would you like to play with him for these revisited versions (stick to living musicians, please, just to make it a little more plausible)?

I'll go first. These aren't necessarily my favourite albums, I just think that they would make for a fantastic show.

First off, Bob should do the whole of Freewheelin'. Firstly, that will give us a few live debuts -- I don't believe that he's ever performed "Bob Dylan's Blues", "Down the Highway", or "I Shall Be Free" live at all, while there is just one circulating live performance of "Oxford Town" and "Corrina, Corrina" and two of "Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance" (ignoring home recordings). "Bob Dylan's Dream" hasn't been heard since 1991, and "Talkin' World War III Blues" since 1965.

And this half of the show should at least predominantly solo, because we haven't seen that for a while. Maybe he could be joined by some backing musicians on a couple of songs -- maybe we could even finally get to hear what the rocked up "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" might have sounded like (backing musicians are said to be on this track on the Freewheelin' liner notes! No such version has ever surfaced. There is even a rumored "Dixieland" take!) And while they were out there, they could perhaps play on the live debut of Mixed-Up Confusion... The only other "outtake" from the Freewheelin' album I would include in the show would be the all-time great love song Tomorrow Is A Long Time (strictly speaking, it was not recorded in the Freewheelin' sessions at all, but was demoed in between sessions). But hey, if he wants to debut Rocks and Gravel while he's out there, who am I to argue with Bob?

I even have my running order for this one-off live show (to be performed at a suitable small venue within a 20 mile radius of my house), which departs from the original sequence.

I Shall Be Free (starting where he left off in 1963) -- Bob on guitar. Gets Bob and us relaxed and warmed up. New lyrics with updated references, including to Alicia Keyes and Scarlett Johannson)
Masters of War (Bob on guitar).
Oxford Town (Bob on guitar) -- end of first 'protest' sectoin
Down the Highway (Bob on guitar & harmonica)
Bob Dylan's Blues (Bob on guitar & harmonica
Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance (Bob on guitar) -- concludes blues section.
Talkin' World War III Blues (Bob on guitar) -- Bob brings house down with new final line: "Barack Obama said that! At least I think that's what he said!)
Girl of the North Country (Bob on guitar and harmonica)
Tomorrow Is A Long Time (Bob on guitar, Donnie Heron on violin) [End of the Echo-Suze section]

"Ladies and gentlemen! I want to introduce my current band! That was Donnie Herron you just heard on violin. On lead guitar, Charlie Sexton! On bass, Tony Garnier! On the drums, the best drummer we could find tonight, George Recile! And the other guy who you can never actually hear but who follows me around, Stu Kimball!)

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Bob on keyboards, the rest as above, except Donnie on pedal steel rather than violin).

Bobtalk: "This next song was my first single. Hands up if you were the guy who bought it."

Mixed-Up Confusion (musicians as above)
Rocks and Gravel (musicians as above) -- OPTIONAL
Corrina, Corrina (musicians as above except Charlie and Bob on acoustic guitars, no drums)

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (Bob on guitar).

Bobtalk: "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen! That song was called "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall", and it certainly is. Goodnight!"

Long, sustained applause.


Blowin' in the Wind (Bob on guitar and harmonica, Joan Baez on backing vocals -- just kiddin'!)

Curtain falls on first part of show, leaving the audience stunned and amazed, especially a certain raggedclown...

Which album will Bob play when he comes back for the second half of the show? Will it be Christmas From the Heart? Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, do let me have your own suggestions for albums* Bob should play in their entirety live, with as much detail as possible. Let your fantasies run wild!

*I was thinking of his own studio albums, but if you think he should sing the whole of Sinatra in the Sands or Kate Bush's A Kick Inside, who am I to stop you? It's your fantasy.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Merry Christmas in the Heart, Everybody!

Right, here we go!

Two boxes of deep-filled mince pies -- check!
Frozen turkey dinner -- check!
Bottle of 'champagne' -- i.e. cheap sparkling plonk -- check!
Figgy pudding -- check!
One cracker to pull with oneself (yes, I am sad) -- check!
One copy of Bob Dylan's new hot waxing Christmas in the Heart -- check!

I'm all set for my best Christmas ever -- i.e. one without relatives.

Yes, just when you thought there was no other major cultural impact for His Bobness to have, having turned rock music from teenage pap into an art form, having made country cool, having brought poetry to the juke box, having messed with religion and women's knickers, having sung a knock-knock joke, and having written a song with Michael Bolton done lots of other cool things, the Mighty Bob has decreed that Christmas shall henceforth be celebrated in October!

The younger generation were quick to heed the call -- behold this similarly entitled offering, released the same day (today):

am reliably informed that this wee leprechaun is the most recent winner of American Idol, cunningly disguised as a diminutive fawn. I know whose voice I prefer...

I think this that Christmas in the Heart is the greatest album ever released on October 13th 2009 (sorry, David Achoochoo fans). And just what the world needs in the middle of a depression -- turning the clock back to good times and partying like it's 1955! It's cheesy, it's cheery, it's addictive and probably very bad for you -- just like Christmas itself in fact!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Michael Jackson: Suffer the Children

Michael Jackson's two outstanding talents were his voice and his dance moves. He wasn't a great songwriter like Smokey Robinson or a great song arranger like Quincey Jones (the latter responsible for much of the success of Jackson's Off the Wall-Thriller-Bad trilogy). But boy, could he sing and dance.

Here's a sentimental favourite of mine:

Here he still looks "normal", but looks are deceptive. If you'd been whipped with a belt from the age of 11 when you didn't learn your dance moves fast enough; if your older brothers had sex with groupies while you, a 12 year old, were in the same room; if those same brothers wondered aloud, when you reached puberty, if you were gay, and your father regularly expressed his contempt and hatred for homosexuals; well, I wonder if you'd be "normal." A psychiatrist who examined both Jackson and his accuser during the Gavin Arvizo trial found that Michael did not fit the pattern of a paedophile, but had himself regressed to the mental age of about 10. No wonder.

Now apparently Katherine Jackson (79), the ghastly matriarch who failed to protect Michael and her other sons from Joe's belt and verbal abuse, wants to adopt MJ's children so she can bring them up as good Jehovah's Witnesses.

Wonderful. Although that is possibly no worse than being brought up in the Nation of Islam (the psychopathic black separatist religion that teaches that whites are, literally, alien demons), to which Jacko was apparently a convert.

Another possibility is that the birth mother of the two oldest children, Debbie Rowe, who gave them away for $5 million, will sue for custody. According to some reports, she is threatening a "tell-all" book about Jackson if she doesn't get custody. The implication must be that she has information that could have incriminated Jackson (during the Arvizo trial, in which she was called as a witness, she broke down and refused to testify, saying that Michael was a better parent than she was).

Other reports suggest that she just wants greater access to the children she gave away for money.

Meanwhile, we're being treated to the nauseating spectacle of Jacko's elder brother Jermaine feigning tears about the little brother he'd spent years trying to shaft in return for money. In 2006 Jermaine (whose own career foundered after the flop of his 1991 record, You Said, which included a song attacking Michael) failed to get his book Legacy: Surviving the Best and the Worst published. In the book proposal, he said that he "feared" (i.e. 'I have no evidence but I'm willing to allege by innuendo') that Michael may have been guilty of child molestation. Naturally, now the hypocritical Jermaine is calling for the family's privacy to be respected...

The idea that this dysfunctional and abusive bunch of chancers and money-grabbers is going to be able to pass their brand of physical, religious, emotional abuse and commercial exploration onto a new generation is the most tragic thing about this whole affair. Michael Jackson is gone, but they can continue their legacy of abuse with his children.

Oh, and by the way, if anyone cares, this is my all-time favourite song:

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

War, the End of the World, and Women on Bob Dylan's Mind in Strasbourg...

War and apocalypse (and, er, women!) were very much on Bob's mind in Strasbourg tonight, it seems... Maybe he knows it was Hitler's birthday yesterday. Or perhaps he was inspired by being in a city that has been fought over by France and Germany more than once. One of the Nazis' first acts on taking the city in 1940 was to raze to the ground Strasbourg's synagogue (pictured), one of the largest in Europe, the Jewish community in Alsace being one of the oldest on that continent. The city was heavily bombed by the allies in 1944.

Let's go through the setlist...

1. Cat's In The Well
2. Masters Of War
3. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
4. Lonesome Day Blues
5. Under The Red Sky
6. Rollin' And Tumblin'
7. Beyond The Horizon
8. John Brown
9. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
10. This Wheel's On Fire
11. Highway 61 Revisited

12. Just Like A Woman
13. Thunder On The Mountain
14. Like A Rolling Stone


15. All Along The Watchtower
16. Spirit On The Water
17. Blowin' In The Wind

1. Cat's in the Well -- dogs are going to war.
2. Masters of War.
3. [No direct mention of war, but reindeer armies and seasick sailors, an orphan with a gun, and "the dead" feature]
4. Well, my pa he died and left me, my brother got killed in the war
5.[Again, no direct mention of war, but this sinister nursery rhyme is every bit as much about the betrayal of innocence as John Brown; note also that after Baby Blue and a Blues, we now have a red sky!]
6. [No direct mention of war, but "sooner or later you too shall burn "and "early doom" and "long dead souls" hardly lift the mood!]
7. [Some light relief at last, though the song is a tad ambiguous]
8. When John Brown went off to war
9. Are this nasty pair supposed to be Bob's comment on gay marriage?
10. Another sinister song...
11. ...tryin' to create a next world war
12. Just Like A Woman -- No war connection, but as Horace says, cunnus taeterrima belli causa, which I won't translate in deference to any ladies who might be visiting my blog, but you can google it...
13. I need a real good woman to do just what I say...
14. How does it feel? The third "woman" song ends with her downfall. Bob's not only in a belligerent, doom-mongering mood, he's feeling pretty misogynistic too.
15. The end of the world, portents of which were seen in 1 and maybe 10.
16. Quite placid, apart from the "I killed a man" line
17. Too many people have died... This might be the audience's feeling after this setlist!

All in all, one of the most doom-laden concerts Bob's given for a while. Thanks to Bill Pagel for the set list.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Correction: New Dylan Album Is Down in the Groove Revisited!

A Columbia spokesman has now confirmed that nine out of the ten songs on Together Through Life were co-written with Robert Hunter.

The liner notes will read “All music by Bob Dylan except ‘My Wife’s Home Town’ (music by Bob Dylan and Willie Dixon) - All lyrics by Bob Dylan with Robert Hunter except ‘This Dream Of You’ which is lyrics and music by Bob Dylan.”

If you remember, Bob's main reason for going into the studio was to record a song for a forthcoming movie. He seems to have enjoyed the experience enough to have wanted to make a complete album. Or maybe he just wanted to cash in on his recent commercial success.

Quite clearly, he didn't have much other material in the tank, hence the "collaboration." What would be interesting to know is: whether this is a real collaboration, or whether Bob just raided the Robert Hunter notebooks for unused lyrics (presumably rejected as second-rate or unfinished by Hunter himself), as he did with Silvio and the unspeakable Ugliest Girl in the World on the near-disastrous Down in the Groove(1987)* (*liking a couple of songs does not change my view of that album as a total failure as an album).

The sneaky point is that Hunter can write a reasonable pastiche of second-rate Bob (Silvio is like an inferior Up to Me), so that many people have difficulty in distinguishing between the two.

Robert Hunter is of course an accomplished lyricist in his own right, who should not be judged on rejected offshoots of his pen mined for the use of a lyricist whose own muse has deserted him. A genuine collaboration between Dylan and Hunter (i.e. one in which they actually sat down together to cook up a song or songs) could, in fact, be a very interesting affair. Alas, my head tells me that Together Through Life will consist of rehashed cast-off lyrics, no doubt with equally "borrowed" and derivative music (Otis Rush has already been identified as the source of the music for "Beyond Here Lies Nothing", while the great Willie Dixon, the self-styled "poet of the blues" and the most significant blues writer of the 20th century, is actually honoured with a co-writing credit for the music of one song).

Please note, that the title of this blog entry is somewhat tongue in cheek, and of course, I may turn out to be pleasantly surprised by Together Through Life, collaboration or no.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

New Dylan Tracks Are 'Knocked Out Loaded'

Well, it may be unfair to assume that Bob was tight ("loaded") when he recorded these new tracks, but they certainly sound like he cooked them up and knocked them out in the studio without much thought or deliberation. Beyond Here Lies Nothing might as well be entitled "Here Lies Nothing," and for all its (highly derivative) musical charm, I Feel A Change Coming On isn't even as interesting lyrically as the slightly underrated Under Your Spell from one of Bob's least successful albums. The refrain is quite catchy, but most of the rest of the lyrics are trite. Also, I'm a bit fed up with Bob telling us who he's listening to or reading all the time. This is a lazy way of filling in a couple of lines. Still, if that's what he likes, here's a suggestion for his next album:

I'm listening to Britney Spears
I almost forgot the taste of fears

The second line is a near quotation from Macbeth (V.v) , which gives you the impression that something clever is being said, a bit like "I'm listening to Billy Joe Shaver and reading James Joyce/Some people say I've got the blood of the land in my voice," but you see how easy it is? I could write dozens of couplets like this, and I'm sure you could too, but it's a cheap trick.

Also, the refrain seems a bit exploitative, tapping into the expectations generated by Obama's "change we can believe in" slogan, while refraining from commenting on those expectations. Again the comparison is with a Knocked Out Loaded song, one of Dylan's very worse, the execrable Got My Mind Made Up:

Well I'm going off to Libya
There's guy I gotta see
He's been living there three years now
In an oil refinery

Lines so bad, and at the same time, so deliberately evocative of an interest he has no intention of satisfying, and therefore exploitative, that I have always taken the easy way out and blamed poor Tom Petty for them!

Musically, I Feel A Change Comin' On is somewhat reminiscent of Handy Dandy, a much better song.

For the benefit of anyone who has problems with streaming audio files, I include below mp3s of these two pre-release songs. If you do download them, please delete them if you don't like them or if you do not buy Together Through Life when it's released.

Also, if you have time and inclination, please click on some of the Google links!

Beyond Here Lies Nothing (pre-release from, 192 kb/s)

I Feel A Change Comin' On (mp3, 192 kb/s captured via soundcard from streaming mp3)

Monday, 30 March 2009

Whan that April with his shoures soote...thanne longeth folk to buy new Dylan albums!

I was hoping to finish my piece on 'Joey' and post it here (see previous blog), but I am still unwell and can't spend too long on line these days. Thanks for the get well messages, I will respond to every one of them individually when I'm fully recovered.

One of the few things I've been able to do since getting out of hospital is sit up in bed and read. Over the past six weeks I've read lots of Dryden, Pope, Keats, Coleridge, Byron, Arnold, Plath and much more besides. I also ordered a new copy of my Riverside Chaucer, a splendid work of American scholarship that makes it easy to read Chaucer in the original almost as quickly as in a modernized version (and with a good deal more satisfaction). My old paperback version was falling to bits, so I got a lovely hardback one from Amazon at a very reasonable price.

This was before I heard about Dylan supposedly quoting Chaucer in a modern translation on his new album, Together Through Life
(link to the Deluxe Edition). However, it wasn't long before I stumbled across an earlier borrowing from England's greatest comic writer (bar Shakespeare) in The Franklyn's Tale:

Aurelius, with blisful herte anoon,
Answerde thus: "Fy on a thousand pound!
This wyde world, which that men seye is round

Bob quotes the italicised line in Ain't Talkin', of course. (Incidentally, it was well known in the Middle Ages that the earth was round -- the myth that before Christopher Columbus's voyage people believed that the earth was flat entered the popular imagination in the 19th century thanks to Washington Irving's novel about the explorer. Chaucer's tale is set in ancient Britanny and the line adds a touch of realism). That indefatibable sleuth Scott Warmuth has discovered that Bob also lifts another line for the Tell Tale Signs outtake of the same song from The Reeve's Tale.

This (and no doubt the quotations on the new album) are of a piece with Bob's Modern Times quotations: in other words, he is not "intertextualizing" at all, i.e. there appears to be no attempt at an ironic counterpoint or other creative contact with the original. He doesn't expect the listener to make a connection with Chaucer, the Franklyn, or his Tale. He has simply filched the line because it sounds nice. To quote something I wrote about this subject some weeks ago:

When Virgil quotes or adapts lines from the earlier Roman poet Ennius or from Homer, he actually wanted to send his audience to the original text, or rather, he assumes that the original text is familiar to his readers, and part of the pleasure is the mutual act of piety (it is more than just an intellectual tip of the hat) of the contemporary poet and his audience to the older master.

In 18th century literature, there is not only the assumption of a common store of classic learning that the poet shares with his audience, but also, especially in the works of Pope, an identification between the modern and ancient poet, both on a personal and a sociocultural level. Pope's garden retreat in Twickenham becomes Horace's Sabine farm, Johnson's London becomes Juvenal's Rome. It's a two-way exchange: you actually read Horace differently after reading Pope, and Juvenal differently after reading Johnson.

Nor does Dylan's use of cultural reference on Modern Times resemble that of T.S. Eliot, who echoes the lines of so many past texts (not just poets and other writers, but songs and snippets of conversation) to represent them as shards of a decaying culture ("these fragments I have shored against my ruin") in The Wasteland. That is at least somewhat akin to what Dylan is doing, on a much more accessible scale, in Desolation Row. Rather than lifting quotations wholesale like Eliot, he refers by name to well-known fictional characters (Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ophelia) and drops them into a completely new, usual ironic contexts. And he adds adds to this mosaic sly allusions to the work of Kafka and Eliot himself (as well as name-checking him), also bringing in a sinister flavour of the American South into these mostly European references with "postcards of the hanging". It's a skilful performance, an artistic tour de force. And Dylan does this again to some extent on "Love and Theft" with his amusing use of the names of Romeo and Juliet and Don Pasquale (from the world of opera), dropping them into modern, ironic contexts (the aged Don Pasquale -- in Donizetti's opera the archetypal old man opposing the happiness of the young lovers -- paying a "2am booty call" is priceless!)

But his use of quotation in Modern Times is different. He doesn't expect his listeners to make a connection to Ovid (if anyone reads Ovid, it's usually the Ars Amatoria -- "the art of love" is actually name-checked by Bob -- or the Metamorphoses, probably the most influential book on English literature after the Bible; not Ovid's self-pitying diatribes from exile on the Black Sea coast). Nor is he identifying himself with Ovid in exile or making a critique of modern culture by collecting its detritus. He's just using some lines he found in one of Ovid's modern translators to eke out his verses. There is no kind of cultural interchange between Dylan and Ovid or his translator at all. (The same can be said of Bob's use of Timrod on the same album, although his use of the Civil War poet in Cross the Green Mountain does seem more apposite). No one would ever suggest that Virgil borrowed from Homer and Ennius because he wasn't able to think up lines of his own, but that does seem to be the case, sadly, with Dylan's borrowings from Ovid on Modern Times.

(Oh, and the routine practice of Shakespeare and his contemporaries of borrowing plots from older literature doesn't really belong in this argument. The nearest equivalent would be something like Ben Jonson lifting whole passages of Tacitus verbatim for dialogue in Sejanus. But Jonson had a definite purpose for this near-plagiarism, whereas Dylan has no apparent reason or need to lift from Ovid.)

After the Franklyn's Tale I read the Nun's Priest's Tale, and while I didn't find any Dylan link (maybe there will be one on the new album), I have to say that this is one of the most delightful of all the tales, and if Dylan read it in his modernized version (link to David Wright's translation for Oxford World Classics, which appears to be the edition Bob is using), he would no doubt have appreciated this "animal song"! Perhaps his attitude to his sources can be summed up in a line from this tale: "Taketh the fruyt, and lat the chaf be stille."

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Dylan Wakes Up and Smells the Coffee in Stockholm

Another night, another NET show, again in Sweden, but a different (larger) venue than Monday's show. As I anticipated, there was no second night for Billy, but Bob whipped out another forgotten song from his mid-seventies back pages, a period that has rarely been revisited during the NET years. This was One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below), which according to the His Bobness database had till then been played only nine times since 1978, mostly in 1990 -- and the most recent performance (Nashville 2007) only counts as half a time really, as Jack White was squawking away on it (it's a difficult song to sing without sounding strained, and Jack sounds...well, strained). Apart from that, until last night, the only coffee Bob has treated us to was the excellent fifth show of his Theme Time Radio Hour.

According to reviews, Bob played this with acoustic guitar, standing centre stage. That must have been a sight for sore eyes indeed, but you can't really hear any acoustic on the recording below. I must say, though, the band is quite tight on this one: as with Billy, this is no half-hearted stab. Unfortunately there are a few lyrical flubs. Still, after the stagnant setlists of recent years, these surprises are very welcome, and let's hope they continue.

While on the subject of Desire songs, I would like to say something about Bob's claim in the second part of his interview with Bill Flanagan on (see page 9) that Jacques Levy wrote all the words to Joey. In short, "I don't believe you, Bob, you're a liar!"

I'm going to hold over my thoughts on this subject until the next blog entry, because I ended up writing much more than I'd intended. For now, here is an mp3 of last night's performance of One More Cup of Coffee, from the taper romeo's excellent recording of the show.

One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below) - Stockholm, Sweden 23-03-09

Once again, if you download, I'd appreciate it if you clicked on one of the Google ads, if you have time.

P.S. Oh the image above? It's the patron saint of the Camargue gypsies in the South of France, whose annual festival is celebrated on May 24th, which happens to also be Bob Dylan's birthday. According to legend, she was the (black) maidservant of one of the three Marys (Lazarus's sister Mary Magdalene; Mary Salome, mother of James; and Mary Jacobe, sister of St. Joseph) who fled Christian persecution in the Holy Land and landed on the South of France near the place now known as Saintes-Maries de la Mer. Dylan claims to have written this song after visiting the King of the Carmargue gypsies during the festival in the saint's honour. Her name? St. Sara.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Bob opens European tour with live debut!

I apologise for the lack of new posts lately; I fell seriously ill in January and have only recently left hospital.

It's nice to see that in my absence there has been quite a lot of activity on the His-Bobness front. Not content with preparing to release a new album, Bob has kicked off a new tour by including that rarity nowadays, a live debut of an old song... And what a left-field choice it is too -- Billy, from the 1973 soundtrack to Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (to be precise, Billy 4).

Unlike a lot of Bob's one-off (and who's to say this is a one-off?) choices, which often amount to no more than gestures, Bob really puts some effort into this. When I heard that he'd performed the song, I thought we'd just get a couple of desultory verses with a few half-remembered lines, but no! We get the whole damn song, every single verse, quite engagingly performed, and with a bit of harp too!

Typical of the old man with a new album in the can -- to treat us instead to a blast from the past! If past form is anything to go by, we will have to wait until the next tour to here live performances from the new album.

Here's the mp3, kindly uploaded to The Watchtower by the user named appleberry. I've taken the liberty of re-uploading it to sendspace, which I think is easily the best of these public upload sites.

Billy 4 -- Stockholm, Sweden 22nd March, 2009

If you download, I would appreciate it if you would take a second or two to click on one of the Google ads -- thanks.