Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert: All-Star Lineup

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The list of artists at Bob Dylan‘s 30th anniversary concert on October 16, 1992 is a mile long, with dozens of A-Listers performing the Bard’s songs that evening at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The lineup played a 39-song setlist that given the classic rock legend’s songwriting output barely scratched the surface.

Among the many stars (and their performances): Stevie Wonder (“Blowin’ in the Wind”), Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash (“It Ain’t Me, Babe”), Neil Young (“All Along the Watchtower”), Eric Clapton (“Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”), George Harrison (“If Not For You”), Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (“Rainy Day Women #12 and #35”)… you get the picture.

The concert’s house band were Booker T. Jones, Donald “Duck” Dunn and Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the MG’s, and drummers Jim Keltner and Anton Fig. Saturday Night Live‘s then-band leader G.E. Smith, served as the program’s musical director.

Tickets were priced at $35 to $80. Those who got shut-out in that pre-StubHub era relied on scalpers and other resources to get in, or could watch it at home on pay-per-view.

(One of the amazing things to see in the video below are the empty seats directly behind the stage, known as “kills,” because their views of the performers are blocked in some manner. For concerts without elaborate staging with screens, they are often the most coveted seats due to their proximity.)

Dylan wrote “My Back Pages” in 1964 and it was included on his Another Side of Bob Dylan album from the same year. It’s been covered many times, most notably by the Byrds, who released it as a single in 1967. Their version reached #30 in the U.S.

Related: A previously lost interview with Columbia Records’ legendary exec John Hammond, talking about signing Dylan

Watch a rehearsal of “My Back Pages.” Although the sound is compromised it’s a unique opportunity to see the fraternity of so much talent enjoying each other’s company.

Dylan’s official video of the actual performance begins with a few seconds of the backstage rehearsal before we see the stars assembled on stage. Taking turns singing lead: the Byrds’ Roger McGuinn, followed by Petty and Young. Clapton then does a guitar solo before going to the mic to sing the next verse. Next up is Dylan, followed by Harrison’s beautiful, final verse. Our Classic Video…

The performance was the 37th song of the evening. The entire lineup then sang “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” before Dylan closed with “Girl From the North Country.” 31 of the songs were included on Columbia Records’ August 24, 1993 2-CD release.

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  1. Tim
    #1 Tim 24 December, 2017, 00:16

    The Clancy Brothers also played, you left them out. Irish folk legends.

    Reply this comment
    • Greg Brodsky
      Greg Brodsky 24 December, 2017, 09:27

      The Clancy Brothers were among dozens of great acts on the bill, Tim. We chose to focus on just a handful for this story.

      Reply this comment

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