Classic Rock Bottom


It was 20 years ago TODAY, on October 16, 1992, that an all-star celebration of the 1962 release of Bob Dylan's first album took place at Madison Square Garden here in New York City.
The 30th Anniversary...and now amazingly, Dylan's career started 50 YEARS AGO!
This is the first of four parts in which I will play what I consider the highlights of the Concert.
Purely subjective, as it always is.
Simply, I could not fit all the performances into two hours, so choices had to be made.
Hope you like what I picked.
This short series seemed like a good idea because enough time has passed, 20 years, for there to be a good number of people who have not heard these performances in a long time- the CD's or vinyl records tucked away somewhere virtually forgotten.
And certainly an equal amount of people who have never heard anything from this Concert...don't even know it exists.
Plus I remind you, as all concert-goers know the Performing Stars get bigger as the evening goes on.
So stick with me, as we go along the stakes get higher, and the Music TAKES you higher!
Here are the links to get seats up front at the Concert, and to Mike Pell Rockollections:


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Comment by Mike Pell on October 25, 2012 at 12:51pm

Well I hope you enjoyed your time off.

That's what I told Scott, Kooper's playing kinda blacked out that screaming girl for me.

But now  don't think I can listen to her again, lol!


Comment by RJhog (Admin) on October 25, 2012 at 7:36am

I was off from work from last Thursday until yesterday, that's why I was a bit behind.  Once again, I plan on getting caught up today.  Two shows to go and I'm there.

By the way, I forgot to mention that Al Kooper's work on that first track was outstanding.  That was some great playing and it wasn't even a geetar.

Comment by Mike Pell on October 25, 2012 at 12:45am
It seems unanimous, everybody hates that backing vocalist- I'll probably never play that damn song again, even alone in the privacy of my house.
You guys should only know how much of a spoken intro I cut out of Stevie's rambling.
I didn't feel it was pertinent 20 years later, or even that coherent.
I am sure Eddie Vedder knew what he was singing because it was such a surprising choice by him and McCready- undoubtedly the two youngest guys playing one of Dylan's harshest and oldest songs at the concert.
I thought Tracy Chapman was surprisingly good with her choice.
This was very funny, hahahahaha..."the Golden Pell goes to Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, uh, I mean Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, for their performance."
Phoenix and Witherspoon were uncanny in their roles in that movie.
Too bad I had to talk over the song.
I'll try to send it, although sending things has become hit & miss for no other reason than due to the feistiness of damned computers!
Thanks for listening and writing bro, good to hear from you,
Comment by RJhog (Admin) on October 24, 2012 at 2:24pm

I must agree with Jon and Scott.  Mellencamp was excellen, the backing vocalists not so much.  I don't usually like all that dramatic vocalization (see later parallel comment regarding Stevie Wonder).

I like Stevie Wonder, but this performance was covered with dramatic vocalization, which, as you see from my previous comment, I don't care for.

Eddie Vedder also can get vocally irritating because of his dramatization and the inability to understand what the heck he is saying.  This wasn't too bad though.  And thumbs up for McCready's accompaniment, he's cool.

Tracy Chapman was okay, but the Golden Pell goes to Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, uh, I mean Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, for their performance.

Comment by Mike Pell on October 18, 2012 at 6:53pm
I was enjoying the song by Mellencamp, and like you was distracted by whoever that was coming in and screaming her lungs out.
Definitely a minor status Tina Turner...nice call, lol!
But honestly it didn't ruin the song for me- like I said it was a distraction.
I hadn't played that in many years, and so I was wondering to myself "What in the hell was Mellencamp thinking when he decided to add that"?
I din't know, maybe affirmative action, lol!
But the killer part for me was having Al Kooper on organ, as he was on Dylan's original release of that song.
That easily erased much of the other noise!
I much prefer Stevie's original...but for historical purposes and a comparison with what he sounded like 26 years later, I decided to go with it.
Plus, let's face it, he is still a big name.
All things considered, and although she is very good, I think I've just been lucky with you and Tracy Chapman, lol!
I hated to talk over the Cash tune- and I remember when FM Rock started, that was when I finally got to hear his version from 1964.
No AM Top 40 stations ever played it- so a nice memory for me.
I like Country Rock, and some of it bleeds over into Country...doesn't bother me.
So Eddie Vedder & Mike McCready get the Golden Pell!
An excellent choice.
It was a surprising pick for them, you can't rock that song because you would lose the very serious lyrics.
So it had to be acoustic, and they pulled it off with flying colors.
Thanks for the listen and writing some insightful thoughts about your tastes...sorry about the loudmouth...I didn't pick her, lol,
Comment by Scott on October 18, 2012 at 10:27am

I thought Mellencamp did a great job until "she" chimed in, scratch that, screamed her way through the rest of the song and ruined it.  At first I thought Tina Turner, but it wasn't...  One of Rocks greatest disrespected, who made the decision to allow that?  UGH!

Stevie did pretty OK, I would have preferred he remain truer to the original but he did well...

Some us actually like Pearl Jam, others?  Well...  Anyway, I like what Vedder did here, the hard hitting lyrics fits him/pearl jam perfectly, may even be the Golden Pell?

And then there's Tracey Chapman, every time you play her I like it.  Is she really that good or are you picking the best of her to play?

I didn't even mind the Johnny Cash tune.  Although I still swear to not like Country music and I'm sticking to that!

I like this show with the exception of the female singer on what should have been the best tune on here.

But alas..  Eddie gets the Golden Pell as predicted and I'm left waiting for part II.

Thanks Mike!

Comment by Mike Pell on October 17, 2012 at 9:42pm
You know, I had the same feeling about that girl or girls background singing.
I said their names so people would know who to BLAME, LOL!
Jesus, you abhor Pearl Jam?
I seem to be much more lenient about Music than you are.
I'll listen to anything, give it a chance, and while I don't necessarily like everything I hear, almost never do I abhor anything.
Hell, it's ONLY Music!
Steve Wonder's 1966 version of that song is far superior, but for historical purposes I felt I had to play his contribution to the concert.
Tracy Chapman's choice of such an old song turned out to be a great version.
For myself, Johnny Cash will ALWAYS be among the BEST!
Seems to me Part Two will be much better, with some kickass rockers and other niceties.
But I can't answer for such a fuddy-duddy who "abhors" groups and singers and songs, LOL!
Thanks for listening, writing, and complaining Mr. Happy, lol,
Comment by Jon on October 17, 2012 at 5:04pm

Is part two better? I swear I cannot get the SCREAMING BANSHEE OUT OF MY HEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Jon on October 17, 2012 at 5:03pm

Wow. And not wow good.

I'm sorry (not) but it was cool listening to Melonhead start off, but what in the hell was that screaming banshee crap about? Good golly, the screaming ruined the song. Eddie Vedder? No thanks. That warble voice has gotta go (and that's why I abhor Pearl Jam).

Steve Wonder was ok, but it really picked up with Tracy Chapman. Great version. I think I;m missing something else, but the last song didn't do anything for me, even though it was George Jones. Oops...Kenny Rogers...oops...Hank Williams...oops, Ray Stevens....oops, Johnny Cash.  

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