Bob Dylan - All along the watchtower

First performance: 20/01/1988


Coverinfo

Bruce performed the song 4 times:
 
Vini Lopez recalled that "All along the watchtower", was one that Springsteen performed live prior to 1970. The song however doesn't appear in any of the few available audio recordings and confirmed setlists from the era. 
 
During the third annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony. The song was played with Bob Dylan and George Harrison on lead vocals, backed by The Rock Hall Jam Band, including Bruce Springsteen on rhythm guitar. Bruce Springsteen attended the event with then-wife Julianne Phillips and gave the induction speech for Bob Dylan
 
 
 
1995-08-10 - CHEERS, LONG BRANCH
During a guest appearance with local band Solar Circus. The song was played in a full-band arrangement with Springsteen on lead vocals and lead guitar. 
 
During the vote for change tour. The song was played in a full-band arrangement and featured a guest appearance by Neil Young. Bruce Springsteen shared lead vocal and played lead and rhythm guitar.  
 
During the "Flood Aid '04" benefit concert. The song was played during opening band Exit 105's set, and featured a guest appearance by Bruce Springsteen who provided shared vocals and lead guitar.  
  

Songinfo

"All Along the Watchtower" is a song written and recorded by Bob Dylan. The song initially appeared on his 1967 album John Wesley Harding, and it has been included on most of Dylan's subsequent greatest hits compilations. Since the late 1970s, he has performed it in concert more than any of his other songs. Different versions appear on four of Dylan's live albums. "All Along the Watchtower" is strongly identified with the interpretation Jimi Hendrix recorded for Electric Ladyland with the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The Hendrix version, released six months after Dylan's original recording, became a Top 20 single in 1968.
 
 
  

Bruce on the artist

 
1988-01-20 - WALDORF-ASTORIA HOTEL, NEW YORK CITY
 
"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

There must be some way out of here, said the joker to the thief
There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief
Businessmen they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth

No reason to get excited, the thief he kindly spoke
There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I we've been through that and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants too
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl