Thursday, August 21, 2008

BOB DYLAN AND TOM PETTY - Sydney, Australia 1986

Having seen Tom Petty at the Hollywood Bowl this past June, I can certainly vouch for the quality of his recent concerts (look for that very show somewhere below, in fact.) As for Bob Dylan, hallelujah and hot diggity-damn, I'm seeing the Bard in two weeks at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

This is a brief but brilliant Westwood One broadcast from the so-called Hard to Handle Tour in the depths of the Awful Eighties. Today, everyone -- including Dylan himself -- talks about how lousy he sounded on these big moneymaking tours back then, with Petty and/or the Dead. (Not to mention how ghastly were the Empire Burlesque and Knocked Out Loaded albums, which now serve only as recorded evidence of Dylan's mid-'80s nadir; their slick-n-sterile production sounds even worse today, if possible. The Wilburys and Lanois rescue squads were still a few years away.) Anyway, I never got close to seeing any of these dudes back then, having been more of a Van Halen/Zeppelin/Queen/Metallica fan in high school.

But the two sure sound nice together for this gig. And you can never lose with "Masters of War", especially these days. Talk about a tune that is, sadly, more relevant than ever...

Entertainment Centre - Sydney, Australia - February 24-25, 1986 (FMB)

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