Bob Dylan And The Band 1969-1970 (Hook N Jab)
Johnny Cash Show, ABC-TV – May 1st, 1969: I Threw It All Away, Living The Blues, Girl From The North Country
Isle Of Wight Festival – August 31st, 1969: The Weight (The Band), I Threw It All Away, Highway 61 Revisited, One Too Many Mornings, I Pity The Poor Immigrant, Minstrel Boy (cut)
Isle Of Wight Festival (newsreel)
The Band, Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA – November, 1970: Time To Kill, The Weight, This Wheel’s On Fire, Up On Cripple Creek
Several years ago very rare footage of Bob Dylan’s set at the Isle Of Wight Festival on August 31st, 1969 surfaced and was almost immediately pressed. This title on Hook N Jab Productions is a direct copy of the first unlabeled release of this footage. Since it is very short the disc was supplemented with other footage from the same era to offer some kind of continuity of the era. The first part has Bob Dylan’s appearance on “The Johnny Cash Show.” This was videotaped at the Ryman Auditorium on May 1st, 1969, less than a month after the release of Nashville Skyline, and was broadcast on ABC on June 7th. He was joined on the first two songs by a backing band consisting of Norman Blake (guitar), Charlie Daniels (guitar), Peter Drake (steel guitar), Bob Wilson (piano), Charlie McCoy (bass), Kenneth Buttrey (drums). The third recording, “Girl From The North Country,” is played as a duet with Johnny Cash himself.
Since the release of the Hook N Jab disc, all three clips have seen official release. “I Threw It All Away,” and “Girl From The North Country” released on The Best Of The Johnny Cash TV Show 1969-1971 (Sony BMG 88697040269) on September 24th, 2007. “Living The Blues” and “Girl From The North Country” issued on the DVD Bob Dylan Live(Storm Bird STB 2456) on September 10th, 2007. “Girl From The North Country” was released on the CD Transmissions (Storming Music Company SMC2520) on December 3rd, 2007.
The Isle Of Wight Festival footage in is black and white and covers just about a third of the total fifty-eight minute performance. The Band playing “The Weight” is the first clip followed by three full songs and a fragment of a fourth. The footage is very rough since the cameraman points the camera between Dylan, members of the band, and John Lennon sitting in front of the stage. Dylan sings in the country twang he affected for the latest album and they play an interesting arrangement of “One Too Many Mornings.” The following newsreel has a snippet from Dylan’s press conference upon arrival in London where he says he doesn’t endorse drug use. There is silent footage of him and his wife Sara carrying their unborn son Jake walking through Heathrow Airport (the same tunnels as in Don’t Look Back) and catching the flight to the Isle Of Wight. There is also a short glimpse of George Harrison and his wife Patty Boyd catching a flight too.
The last part of the program has pro-shot color footage of The Band playing at the Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh in November 1970. Only four songs are included although the entire Dutch TV program runs: “Time To Kill,” “Wheels on Fire,” “Across the Great Divide,” “Up On Cripple Creek,” “King Harvest,” Interview with Robbie, “The Weight,” and “Strawberry Wine.” But the footage contained here is near pristine quality and is very rare. The DVD is pressed on NTSC region zero for world wide compatibility. Hook N Jab reproduce the lengthy liner notes found on the no label release, which states: “The video tape of this unique performance captured on this release, of four songs plus a small fragment of a fifth, is apparently all the footage that this early pioneered located in the VIP enclosure managed that evening.”If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)