Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Bob Dylan - I Threw It All Away; Living the Blues; Girl from the North Country

Note that the first few seconds of this 9-minute clip - Johnny Cash's introduction of Dylan - has no audio. Mislabeled on Google Video as simply the duet of Girl from the North Country with Johnny Cash, this is actually Dylan's full May 1969 performance at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville for The Johnny Cash Show.

As with the One Too Many Mornings clip below, this shows Dylan in full "new" country-western voice that he'd use for Nashville Skyline and for many of the songs on 1970's Self Portrait where the very Hank Snow-like Living the Blues would appear.

Dylan seems very nervous throughout, licking his lips between songs, looking everywhere except at the the audience. Probably not all that surprising as it was only Dylan's second public performance after his 1966 motorcycle crash (in 1968 Dylan had performed at a tribute for Woody Guthrie in New York City, and later in 1969 he would take the stage again for the Isle of Wight Festival). Added to that was the pressure of his performing in front of a Nashville audience that might react poorly and the risk Dylan was taking of alienating his core audience with this radically changed approach to his music.

After the show, a visibly relieved Dylan returned to Johnny Cash's house with a group that included Earl Scruggs, Graham Nash, Nash's then-girlfriend Joni Mitchell, and Kris Kristofferson. Nash recalls Sara Dylan sitting there crying at the drama of the moment.

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