Thursday, October 16, 2008

POSITIVELY 33RD STREET

video


16 years ago today, Madison Square Garden played host to a celebration of Bob Dylan's 30 years in music. It was a star-studded event that featured the likes of such heavyweights as me and my girlfriend, George Harrison, Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty. Kris Kristofferson, The Band (although I don't remember Robbie Robertson,) Al Kooper, Richie Havens, Roger McGuinn, Willie Nelson and Neil Young. There were many others, and from what I can remember, every minute, with the exception of an uncomfortable five minutes with on again/off again lunatic Sinead O'Connor, was a complete blast. The opening snare smack into Al Kooper's signature organ on "Like A Rolling Stone" which kicked off the evening, still resounds in my head. It was that very moment that I decided John Mellencamp was a-ok. (Yes, even after that obnoxious Ford truck commercial, which Mellencamp later explained, "No one else was going to play my record.")

But still, after 16 years, what I thought was the highlight then, remains the highlight for me now- Rosanne Cash, Shawn Colvin, and Mary Chapin-Carpenter's flawless take on "You Ain't Going Nowhere." If you have seen Colvin and Chapin live, you have witnessed a musical partnership that in some ways resembles Lennon & McCartney; two singers who know each other so well, it's more of an effort to not sound perfect. Add to the mix the elegant command of Rosanne Cash and what you have is a supergroup that desperately needs to make a record.

15 years ago today, my girlfriend and I got married. I toyed with offering a video of us having some conch by the pool on our honeymoon, but decided to go with the fabulous ladies I just mentioned.

And for all you Dylan freaks, click HERE for a totally bizarre yet absolutely wonderful live take of "Don't Think Twice," from the Apollo Theatre in NYC, that features Zimmy backed by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra a whole bunch of Marsali.

6 comments:

Dan Levy said...

Sal, thanks for the reminder of that great evening.

My favorite moment that night was Richie Havens. Alone on stage with his guitar he managed to bring the entire Garden to total silence when he played "Just Like A Woman."

There were so many fantastic performers that night. I peg Bob's personal resurgence as a performer to his experience on stage. Could it be a coincidence, after seeing his buddies Eric, Neil, George and Tom ripping up the stage, that Bob began playing much better guitar, fronting a better band, and beginning a ten year run of superb performances?

Sal Nunziato said...

You know Dan, I remember being hypnotized by Havens' guitar playing. I can also remember scrambling for a copy of "Richard P. Havens, 1983" which at the time was out of print, thanks to brilliant performance.

Meanstreets said...

Sal,
We were there also, Oh " Such A Night "......Robbie was not there as Levon's " to the death " feud " with him was ongoing.....
Excellent job with your Burning Wood.......

Theresa K. said...

Hey Sal,

Thanks for the memories! I can't believe it was that long ago. I was working at PBS at the time, and we presented that show on the TV a month later (remember, it was also a pay-per-view?) and one of the most treasured pieces of other-wise bulky and obnoxious VHS tapes I own are the rough-cuts of the PBS sequence of that show, burned in time code and all (we put in black spots where pledge breaks would be, etc).
I too LOVED those ladies performing "You Ain't Going Nowhere," and in my mind, I fantasized about them sometime in a future where I get my musical way, performing Bruce Springsteen's "Factory" with each of them representing a wife of that Everyman Factory guy...
I think for me, the biggest suprise was that Mellencamp didn't need to consult his teleprompter to sing "Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat." Nearest and dearest to me was George Harrison's fragile "Abosultely Sweet Marie," with his famous stagefright overcome only by his love of Bob.

Congratulations on 15 years of wedded bliss!

Sal Nunziato said...

HEY TK!!

Thanks for the note and the anniversary wishes. There were so many great moments from that Bob celebration. 16 years later and I still remember little details--where Al Kooper was positioned, how Richie Havens held his guitar, Johnny Winter going berserk. It was all so good.

Michael in New York said...

Never listened to the show -- generally avoid all-star tributes. But this sounds like a corker. Those ladies could give Trio a run for their money (and I wish that supergroup of Dolly and Linda and Emmylou would record more). The best thing about your blog today? You can talk about great stuff and show it to us immediately. Makes writing about music a whole lot more fun.