Bob Dylan with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, ‘Live In Nagoya – Complete’ (Wisteria WISCD 2020-002)

Bob Dylan with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, ‘Live In Nagoya – Complete’ (Wisteria WISCD 2020-002)

Disk 1 – Bob Dylan – Justine / Positively 4th Street / Clean Cut Kid / I’ll Remember You / Trust Yourself / That Lucky Old Sun / Masters Of War – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Straight In To Darkness / Breakdown – Bob Dylan – It Ain’t Me Babe / To Ramona / It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) / I’ll Forget More Than You’ll Ever Know / Just Like A Woman / I’m Moving On / Bob talk / Lenny Bruce / When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky (75:04)

Disk 2 – Lonesome Town / Bob talk / Ballad Of A Thin Man – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – So You Want To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star / Refugee – Bob Dylan – Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 / Seeing The Real You At Last / Across The Borderline / Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues / I and I – Band intro / Like A Rolling Stone / In The Garden / Blowin’ In The Wind / Rock ‘Em Dead / Sukiyaki / Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (70:53)

Aichi-ken Talikukan, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. March 8th, 1986. 

We’ve written a lot about the Bob Dylan / Tom Petty a lot recently with the various Empress Valley / Tarantura / Crystal Cat releases. The latest label to join in is the relatively new Wisteria label with this audience recording from Nagoya, 1986. Part of the Australian / Asian tour of that year, the first part of Bobby’s alliance with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, this Asian leg was extremely short at only 4 shows long, however, coming off the back of playing double figures in Oz, Dylan may just have been playing it cautious.

A wonderful stereo tape that sits us not to far from and not too close to the front, it’s complete with a couple of sound fluctuations at the beginning (Always a good way of determining the vintage of a tape, it seems) while the taper, or his next door neighbour, unfortunately seems to have an intermittent cough. This all settles down after a while and leaves a fantastically clear sound from around the ground. The set is a jolly affair – Dylan, Petty and the Heartbreakers all seem to be having a great time. It begins with a bouncy version of ‘Justine’, which neatly fits beside a jangly version of ‘Positively 4th Street’ which then leads in to a giddy, ‘Clean Cut Kid’. Wait until you get to ‘It’s Alright, Ma ..’, Dylan is rapid, happy and concise. It’s a flawless rendition. 

The magic of these early tour dates is in the fact that Dylan decided to play different songs than when he’d return to America and after these dates, changed his mind for the Summer shows in the states, thus, ‘Justine’, and, of course, ‘Sukiyaki’, became flash in the pan appearances, quite unique to this first leg of shows. 

The aesthetics to this release are marginally better than the CD sounds, a nice, clear production – The images are of Dylan and Petty on stage, overlaid with Japanese text on the ‘reverse’ (It’s a double sided cover but for a geeky Westerner like me, the kanji is just so much cooler), the rear of the CD case cover is mainly white and yellow text over an alternate stage shot and is a tonic for even the most tired eyes. I’ll admit, I have very few recordings of the Asian leg in my collection – This recording – Despite the mysterious cougher and the slight fluctuations at the very start is really enjoyable and for the few rare takes on tracks that were only played on this 4 date stint, a good reason for picking up this one up. 

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