Bob Dylan – Got To Be Holy (Thinman-135/136)

Got To Be Holy (Thinman-135/136)

Fox Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA – November 10th, 1979

Disc 1 (76:30):  Monologue/If I’ve Got My Ticket Lord, It’s Gonna Rain, Look Up And Live By Faith, Hold My Hand Oh Lord, Oh Freedom, This Train Is Bound By Glory (This Train), Gotta Serve Somebody, I Believe In You, When You Gonna Wake Up, When He Returns, Man Gave Names To All The Animals, Precious Angel, Slow Train, Covenant Woman 

Disc 2 (53:23):  What Are You Doing With You Heart?, Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking, Do Right To Me Baby, Solid Rock, Saving Grace, Saved, What Can I Do For You, In The Garden, Blessed Is The Name, Pressing On

Bob Dylan’s November 10th show at the Fox Warfield Theatre occurs right in the middle of the two week run of show.  Know as the first gospel tour, these concerts are marked by an earnestness in performance and message that is unmatched compared to the gospel tours of the coming two years.  Got To Be Holy is the first silver pressing of this show.  It is a good mono audience recording which is a bit away from the stage.  There is some echo surrounding the sound but it is enjoyable enough.  There is a cut before “When You Gonna Wake Up?” but is otherwise complete.

This tape is unique in having all of the performance including the non-Dylan songs and the long Regina  Havis ticket story monologue at the very beginning.  There are some rumblings from the audience throughout the show and someone shouts “hurry up” halfway through the monologue.  The audience react loudly to the message in “It’s Gonna Rain,” giving the singers a big applause.  This set is given much intimacy since they singing is accompanied only by the piano, replicating a church service.  

It isn’t until Dylan takes the stage for “Gotta Serve Somebody” that the entire band plays and while the studio version was lead by the creepy organ the live versions are much more guitar oriented and heavier.  “I Believe In You” is greeted by more uncomfortable mumbling which continues through the number.  

One of the emotional foci of the early sets is the stark and confessional “When He Returns.”  This one is characterized by extreme elongations of the some of the lyrics such as when he sings the words:  “reduce me to teeeeeaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrssssssss” and “he’ll replace wrrrrrooooooonnnnnngggggg with right.”  It carries enough force to quiet the audience for a while. 

By the middle of the concert there are more audible complaints from the crowd towards Dylan, voices shouting “Rock-n-roll!” “Where’s Bob Dylan?!” and “Come on!”  Dylan responds with the only real preaching of the show when he says:  “The rabble says the preaching of the cross is foolishness. To those who perish, but to those who are saved it is the power of God. The name of this is ‘Hanging On To A Solid Rock, Made Before The Foundation Of The World.'”

The performances that follow are truly firey and a wonder to hear as he rips through “Solid Rock” and especially one of the best early versions of “Saved” intermingled with “Saving Grace” and a tender “What Can I Do For You.”  He expends so much energy in these numbers that there isn’t much left over for “In The Garden” which comes off a bit limp. 

Before the final encore “Blessed Be The Name” Dylan introduces the band and tells the audience that, “we’re here tonight by the power of God – that’s the only power!”  Got To Be Holy continues the trend by Thinman in producing high quality silver editions from Dylan’s gospel tours.  They use thick and durable paper inserts with photos from the era for a high class production.  Since this is the only silver edition of the show this is definitive and essential for Dylan collectors.   

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