Column

Best I've Ever Seen

Talking with artists about concerts they'll never forget

Gary Stoller is an award-winning editor, author, and journalist. He's written for USA TODAY and loves Bob Dylan and Blue Rodeo.

Best I've Ever Seen

Talking with artists about concerts they'll never forget

Gary Stoller is an award-winning editor, author, and journalist. He's written for USA TODAY and loves Bob Dylan and Blue Rodeo.

Best Ever? Bob Dylan Live in 1966

As the Peter Fonda character said in The Limey, "The '60s were really only 1966." If I had a time machine, at the top of my wish list would be one of those performances.

I'd wager that most buyers of this box set never listen to all the discs.  

I would stop at disc 29 I think...

The great thing about digital music is I loaded this box set into iTUNES and can listen to all 15 versions of “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”  back-to-back-to-back!

As with the limited release last year of all of Dylan's 65-66 studio recordings, the point is that they are there, not necessarily listening to all of them. But I will certainly take anyone up on the wager that some folks will listen to every song on every disc. If the NPR Music preview is any indication, the real treat may just be what's bewteen the songs. Dylan's introductions do not sound like an angry young man. Rather, he's affable and desires to engage the audience in a conversation. He wants to be understood. The audience, too, sounds engaged, respectful and quite pleased to be there. 

Fair enough although "the point is that they are there, not necessarily listening to all of them" reminds me of a friend who collected comic books and slipped them into plastic pockets for posterity without reading them.  

Interesting that he's affable and engaging...I've seen him twice...once he said nothing to the audience at all...the other time, only introduced the band, though had I not known the players anyway it wouldn't have mattered as he mumbled their names so they were unintelligible...however Amos, as you noted this was 1966...I was 12 at the time and I wasn't quite ready for Dylan...he was different then obviously too...

And you are no doubt correct...there are some people will listen to all of it...

I've read the real reason for these "limited edition" overpriced releases is because of a European Copyright law that extends copyright protection to 70 years but only on material that was released in the past 50 years.   

Many artists want to keep the materials left in the vaults but if they don't release it, someone else will.   The high price isn't just a money grab.   It's just another way of keeping it off the broader market.   

That makes sense Rudy. I am amazed at the number of these box sets.  With multiple soundboard recordings who needs audience tapes from the same tour? 

I can't remember where it was I saw that recently but here is an older article in the Times that explains it even better Hal.  

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/12/arts/music/european-copyright-laws-lea...