37 years after pulling out an electric guitar and hearing boos from the tight-ass folkies in the Newport Folk Festival crowd, Orpheus returns to Newport Folk Festival for the first time on August 3, 2002 and plays 2-plus hours in a fake beard and wig.
Orpheus opens with Subterranean Homesick Blues — the opening song on his first-ever electric album. Dig it.
August 1, 1971 ~ The Concert For Bangladesh” at Madison Square Garden in New York. George Harrison organizes the event to help victims of famine in that country. Performers include Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and Ringo Starr.
Not even Dylan can challenge a culture that refuses to listen, and “Murder Most Foul,” at 17 minutes long, became part of the ceaseless noise that only streaming subscribers have the privilege to admire or ignore. It should have been an event. Instead, its complacent reception shows that our popular culture has simply become indifferent. This new song, a summary of everything Dylan knows, bears witness to cultural revolution that is in fact a revolution in reverse.
July 20, 1965 ~ Orpheus releases “Like A Rolling Stone.”
Dylan struggled with the song. Al Kooper, his keyboard player, suggested a “rock” format and promptly improvised the famous organ riff.
Over the years, it became clear the song was revolutionary in more than its lyrics. It’s considered one of the most influential compositions in rock. It’s #1 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Perhaps the greatest homage comes from The Boss:
“Like a Rolling Stone” feels like a torrent that comes rushing towards you … floods your soul, floods your mind. Alerts and wakes you up instantaneously to other worlds, other lives. Other ways of being. It’s perhaps one of the most powerful records ever made and it still means a great deal to me along with all of Dylan’s work.”
When we say an all-star band, we truly mean it. Expect to see Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Stephen Stills, Ronnie Wood and Van Morrison are all on stage at once in the clip below.
~ Jack Whatley, Far Out Magazine
July 13, 1985 ~ Bob Geldof’s dream of an all-day concert at venues in the USA and Europe to benefit those suffering from the famine in Ethiopia comes to fruition.
The monster music event happens at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia and London’s Wembley Stadium with over 100,000 fans in the USA and 72,000 in the UK attending. The event is broadcast live across the world to an audience of around 2 billion people in 150 nations.
Estimates are that Geldof and crew raise upwards of $50M. However, according to a story done by SPIN Magazine, it’s debatable how much actually reached those in need versus the pockets of Mengistu Haile Mariam, Ethiopia’s corrupt head of state.
This week, Bob Dylan’s first album of new music in eight years, Rough and Rowdy Ways, rose to No. 2 on the Billboard albums chart, making him the first ever artist to have a Top 40 album in every decade since the 1960s. But Bob Dylan is not alone in making vital new music well into what some might call his “retirement” years. This past month has also seen releases by Neil Young (Homegrown), Willie Nelson (First Rose of Spring) and the late John Prine (“I Remember Everything”).