Bob Dylan - IT TAKES A LOT TO LAUGH IT TAKES A TRAIN TO CRY

First performance: 14/05/1971


Coverinfo

Bruce covered the song, as far as it’s known, two times during the the only two performances ever of Dr. Zoom & The Sonic Boom (the other show was outdoors the following day). The song is occasionally (incorrectly) known as "Group Therapy".
 
1971-05-14 - SUNSHINE IN, ASBURY PARK, NJ

It was one show, triple bill. This is the first of only two performances ever of Dr. Zoom & The Sonic Boom (the other show was outdoors the following day). Much of the long-standing confusion about how many Dr. Zoom shows were performed stems from the fact that some people count the March-April gigs as Dr. Zoom events, while others don’t count them. Technically speaking they weren’t Dr. Zoom shows, but they did contain most of the musicians and the same party-like atmosphere. The members of Dr. Zoom & The Sonic Boom were Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt (guitar), David Sancious (keyboards), Garry Tallent (bass), Vini Lopez(drums and backing vocals), Southside Johnny (harmonica and vocals), Bobby Williams (drums), Albee 'Albany Al' Tellone (tenor saxophone), and Bobby Feigenbaum (alto saxophone). There was also an eight-member backing vocal troupe nicknamed "The Zoomettes", consisting of Jeannie Clark, Robin Nash, Connie Manser, Fifi Longo, Sherl Tallent, Kevin Kavanaugh, Steve Large, and John Luraschi. The MC was Kevin "Bird" Connair. Big Danny Gallagher handled the on-stage props. Danny Federici was not involved in the Dr. Zoom shows.
 
 

The ten-song setlist has been culled from a document (in Bruce’s handwriting) that is probably the song schedule for this debut Dr. Zoom gig.
 
IT TAKES A LOT TO LAUGH, IT TAKES A TRAIN TO CRY / GOIN’ BACK TO GEORGIA / SIX DAYS ON THE ROAD / JAMBALAYA (ROLL OVER) / CRY TO ME / FAST BLUES SHUFFLE / ZOOM THEME / SLOW BLUES / ONE MORE TRY / ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN - REELIN’ AND ROCKIN’  

Songinfo

"It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" is a song written by Bob Dylan, that was originally released on his album Highway 61 Revisited. The version of the song on Highway 61 Revisited is an acoustic/electric blues song.
 
 
 

Other cover versions

 

Bruce on the artist

 
1988-01-20 - WALDORF-ASTORIA HOTEL, NEW YORK CITY, NY  
 
“ The first time that I heard Bob Dylan I was in the car with my mother, and we were listening to, I think, maybe WMCA, and on came that snare shot that sounded like somebody kicked open the door to your mind, from ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ And my mother, who was – she was no stiff with rock and roll, she liked the music, she listened – she sat there for a minute, she looked at me, and she said, ‘That guy can’t sing.’ But I knew she was wrong. I sat there, I didn’t say nothin’, but I knew that I was listening to the toughest voice that I had ever heard. It was lean, and it sounded somehow simultaneously young and adult, and I ran out and I bought the single. And I came home, I ran home, and I put it on my 45, and they must have made a mistake at the factory, because a Lenny Welch song came on. And the label was wrong, so I ran back, and I got it, and I played it, then I went out and I got Highway 61, and it was all I played for weeks. I looked at the cover, with Bob, with that satin blue jacket and the Triumph Motorcycle shirt. And when I was a kid, Bob’s voice somehow – it thrilled and scared me. It made me feel kind of irresponsibly innocent. And it still does. But it reached down and touched what little worldliness I think a 15-year-old kid, in high school, in New Jersey had in him at the time. Dylan was – he was a revolutionary, man, the way that Elvis freed your body, Bob freed your mind. And he showed us that just because the music was innately physical, it did not mean that it was anti-intellect. He had the vision and the talent to expand a pop song until it contained the whole world. He invented a new way a pop singer could sound. He broke through the limitations of what a recording artist could achieve, and he changed the face of rock and roll forever and ever. Without Bob, the Beatles wouldn’t have made Sergeant Pepper, maybe the Beach Boys wouldn’t have made Pet Sounds, the Sex Pistols wouldn’t have made ‘God Save the Queen,’ U2 wouldn’t have done ‘Pride in the Name of Love,’ Marvin Gaye wouldn’t have done ‘What’s Goin’On,’ Grandmaster Flash might not have done ‘The Message,’ and the Count Five could not have done ‘Psychotic Reaction.’ And there never would have been a group named the Electric Prunes, that’s for sure. But the fact is that, to this day, where great rock music is being made, there is the shadow of Bob Dylan over and over and over again. And Bob’s own modern work has gone unjustly under-appreciated for having to stand in that shadow. If a young songwriter – if there was a young guy out there writing ‘Sweetheart Like Me,’ writing the Empire Burlesque album, writing ‘Every Grain of Sand,’ they’d be calling him the new Bob Dylan. That’s all the nice stuff that I wrote out to say about him. Now it’s about three months ago, I was watching TV, and the Rolling Stones special came on, and Bob came on, and he was in a real cranky mood, it seemed like, and he was kind of bitchin’ and moaning about how his fans don’t know him, and nobody knows him. And they come up to him on the street, and kind of treat him like a long-lost brother or something. And speaking as fan, I guess when I was 15, and I heard ‘Like a Rolling Stone,’ I heard a guy that, like I’ve never heard before or since. A guy that had the guts to take on the whole world, and made me feel like I had ’em too. And maybe some people mistook that voice to be saying somehow that you were gonna do the job for ’em. And as we know, as we grow older, that there isn’t anybody out there that can do that job for anybody else. So I’m just here tonight to say thanks, to say that I wouldn’t be here without you, to say that there isn’t a soul in this room who does not owe you their thanks. And to steal a line from one of your songs, whether you like it or not, ‘you was the brother that I never had.’ Congratulations.” 
 
 
 

Lyrics

Well, I ride on a mail train, baby, can't buy a thrill
Well, I been up all night leanin' on the windowsill
Well, if I die on top of the hill
And if I don't make it, you know my baby will
Don't the moon look good, mama, shinin' through the trees
Don't the brakemen look good, mama, flaggin' down the "Double-E"
Don't the sun look good goin' down over the sea
But don't my gal look fine when she's comin' after me
Now, the wintertime is comin', the windows are filled with frost
I went to tell everybody but I could not get across
Well, I want to be your lover, baby, I don't want to be your boss
Don't say I never warned you when your train gets lost