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Bob Dylan – Burning Of The Page (Thinman-084/85)

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Burning Of The Page (Thinman-084/85)

Fox Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA – November 13th, 1980

Disc 1 (71:29):  Let It Ride, It’s Gonna Rain, Come On In This House, Saved By The Grace Of Your Love, Gotta Serve Somebody, I Believe In You, Like A Rolling Stone, Till I Get It Right [Regina Havis], Man Gave Names To All The Animals, To Ramona, Ain’t Gonna Go To Hell, Girl From The North Country, Slow Train, Walk Around Heaven All Day, Abraham Martin And John, Let’s Keep It Between Us

Disc 2 (53:04):  Covenant Woman, Solid Rock, What Can I Do For You, The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar, Just Like A Woman, Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power), In The Garden, Blowin’ In The Wind, City Of Gold, It Ain’t Me Babe

Thinman have done Bob Dylan collectors a great service the past couple of years with pressing tapes to silver from his neglected gospel tours.  Burning Of The Page is the second show from the San Francisco Musical Retrospective tour to appear recently.  No part of the November 13th show has ever been pressed before.  It is a very good, clear and atmospheric audience recording capturing the energy of the concert very well.  There are small cuts after “Man Gave Names To All The Animals,” “To Ramona,” and “Solid Rock.”  One collector comments the final two songs, “City Of Gold” and “It Ain’t Me Babe” come from a different tape source, but on listening to the show there really isn’t much support for such a claim.  The sound quality is consistent throughout maintaining a high standard.  And unlike many Thinman releases of late, there are no clicks or gaps between the tracks. 

Thankfully the tape is complete with the non-Dylan numbers including the opening four gospel songs.  Some commentators claim that Dylan, by reintroducing some of his older songs into the set, were caused by his weakening conversion to Christ.  They point to the fact that the more energetic gospel songs from the previous two gospel tours “Covenant Woman” and “Solid Rock” lacked the poignancy and that the creativity in the set lay with the new songs and the reworked classics.  Keeping the opening gospel set is a strong argument to the contrary.  The early eighties were a fecund period in Dylan’s songwriting and what is perceived as a weakening of faith is more likely Dylan placing his energies upon the newer songs in the set such as “The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar” and “Ain’t Going To Hell For Anybody.”

The opening of the show remains unchanged from the previous evenings at the Fox Warfield with the four song gospel set followed by “Gotta Serve Somebody,” “I Believe In You” and “Like A Rolling Stone.”  Regina Havis has her solo spot afterwards with “‘Till I Get It Right.”  Dylan gives rather strange intonations during “Man Gave Names To All The Animals” by singing in the lowest register possible.  Afterwards he addresses the audience, saying, “is there anybody out there that’s deaf? Now seriously now, is there anybody that’s deaf? Yeah? Pardon me? Excuse me? Fair enough. Well, the reason I ask is we have a deaf persons’ specialist here tonight. And, I dunno I guess if there’s anybody here that’s deaf, she’ll interpret it for you. And I’m gonna ask her to come up here now. Her name is Jenny Stair, she comes from San Francisco. I don’t know which way she’s coming from. Oh, here she is, right here. She’s a sign language expert. Oh all right, I don’t think she can play guitar. Can she play a guitar? I don’t know. Jenny, can you play a guitar? Oh yeah? Ok, we’re gonna try this one time and see if it works out you know. This is Jenny. OK, now you do your best.” 

A note perfect “To Ramona” follows with help from Jenny, but she’s unable to help out on the next, the new song “Ain’t Gonna Go To Hell For Anybody.”  The lyrics changed almost each night as Dylan tried to rewrite the track, but apparently never succeeded to his satisfaction and this fast paced, energetic rocking tune never has seen official release.  Another pretty, piano driven version of “Girl Of The North Country” is followed by Dylan’s manifesto for these years, “Slow Train” losing none of its import.  Dylan takes the piano for the cover “Abraham, Martin And John” and the new blues “Let’s Keep It Between U.”  

Many of the San Francisco shows had guest stars joining in such as Jerry Garcia and Michael Bloomfield.  On this evening Dylan is joined by Carlos Santana.  He says, “there is a friend of ours in the house tonight who’s gonna come and play with us. I know you wanna hear him, is he still here? Carlos Santana!”  He joins on and adds his guitar style to “Covenant Woman,” “Solid Rock,” “What Can I Do For You” and the very first live performance of “The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar.”  His guitar is very loud in the mix at first, but his style is unmistakable.  When he leaves the stage after that song, Dylan quips, “He may, he may just be walking by.”  The set closes with the band introduction and “In The Garden.”  The three encores have “Blowin’ In The Wind” and “City Of Gold,” two songs played at each show.  The final solo acoustic number is “It Ain’t Me Babe” and the response is so positive the audience won’t let him leave the stage.  “I’d love to stay here and play all night but I can’t. I’ve got too many songs, I got to keep some for tomorrow night.”

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Bob Dylan - Burning Of The Page (Thinman-084/85), 3.3 out of 5 based on 6 ratings

1 Comment

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  1. mwoodard9 says
    November 12, 2008, 7:59 pm

    Thanks for the review. Love this period. And thanks for the quality control check, good to see the Thinman is cleaning up his act.

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