Photo from the Philadelphia Inquirer collection at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Library & Archives
“I don’t believe you. You’re a liar.”
“Play f*cking loud.”
This was the simple yet striking dialogue between a fan and Bob Dylan 50 years ago (May 17, 1966) at the Manchester Free Trade Hall, and in my opinion this is the single greatest moment captured on tape at a rock concert.
The voice of the betrayed fan is a like a shot in the dark, accusing Dylan of turning his back his protest-song-singing past, which in retrospect barely lasted four years. However, it was a transition that the folk community that accepted and propelled Dylan was unwilling to recognize.
When I was a new Dylan fan in the mid-1990s, this concert was the bootleg to acquire. At that time there was still a debate over where the show actually took place – in Manchester or at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I ended up buying a compilation of tracks from the May 1966 tour of England, and I didn’t hear the full concert until it was released by Columbia as the 4th volume of Dylan’s Bootleg Series ...
In September 1995, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opened its doors in Cleveland. It was a dream more than a decade in the making and one that continues to grow as the Hall prepares to open its Library and Archives in 2012, advancing its mission to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music.
The Hall of Fame and Museum was the brainchild of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, the nonprofit organization launched in 1983 and led by Atlantic Records Founder and Chairman Ahmet Ertegun, along with Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann Wenner, attorney Allen Grubman, manager Jon Landau, record executives Seymour Stein and Bob Krasnow, and attorney Suzan Evans. The group sought to establish an organization that recognized "the people who have created this music which has become the most popular music of our time.”
Officials from Cleveland and the State of Ohio approached the Foundation in 1985 and suggested the construction of a major museum. For more than a year, the Foundation considered Cleveland and numerous other cities, including New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Memphis and Chicago ...
U2 played the next-to-last show on their 360° World Tour on Tuesday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. I was fortunate to have been there to witness this amazing spectacle. The tour kicked off back in 2009, ostensibly in support of the band’s No Line on the Horizon album, and it has grossed more than $700 million. The stage set is unbelievable, with a claw-shaped stage structure that is 168 feet tall, with massive video screens. I’ve never seen a stage set that comes close to this one.
U2 opened the concert with four songs from their 1991 Achtung Baby album: “Even Better Than the Real Thing,” “The Fly,” “Mysterious Ways” and “Until the End of the World.” They then played “I Will Follow” from their 1980 debut album, Boy. “Get on Your Boots” and “Stay” followed. Astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, then appeared on the giant video screens to say, “Hello, Pittsburgh!” and introduce the next song, “Beautiful Day.” From that point, the show continued to get better and better, as U2 played hit after hit, including “Elevation,” “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “City of Blinding Lights,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “Vertigo,” “Walk On ...
Today is Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday! It’s hard to believe that rock’s poet laureate has been making music for a half-century! To celebrate his birthday, Rolling Stone magazine put together a panel of 13 music writers and musicians to select Dylan’s 70 greatest songs. I was extremely honored to have been a part of that panel. Each panelist had to submit a list of their top 25 Bob Dylan songs. My list featured “Like a Rolling Stone” at number one. I guess the other panelists agreed, as that song was number one in the final rankings. The song was really revolutionary. Even though it clocked in at more than six minutes, it became a hit, reaching Number Two on the charts. The musicianship, as Bono wrote in his Rolling Stone essay about the song, “is so alive and immediate that it’s like you’re getting to see the paint splash the canvas.” But most important are the lyrics, as Dylan attacks the “all the pretty people,” the ones “thinkin’ they got it made.”
The rest of my top ten was as follows: “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Tangled Up in Blue,” “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Subterranean Homesick ...