Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited

First performance: 16/11/1990


Coverinfo

Bruce performed the song 5 times:
 
First two times during the two Christic Institute benefit shows. This was the world debut of Highway 61 Revisited. On these shows, the song featured Bruce Springsteen on vocals and harmonica, Jackson Browne on vocals and acoustic guitar, and Bonnie Raitt on vocals and tambourine.
 
 
 
Christic Institute Benefit
 
off-tour in New York City, NY, Bruce and Neil Young guest in the third encore at a Bob Dylan show in New York, both playing guitar.
 
at Cafe Eckstein in Berlin, Germany, during a gig with Wolfgang Niedecken and Leopardefellband to tape the HUNGRY HEART music video. 
 
performed once during The Rising Tour with guest appearance of Bob Dylan: "Yeah….we have my great friend and inspiration with us tonight, Mr.Bob Dylan…"
  

Songinfo

 "Highway 61 Revisited" is the title track of Bob Dylan's 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited. It was also released as the B-side to the single "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?" later the same year. Highway 61 runs from Duluth, Minnesota, where Bob Dylan grew up in the 1940s and 1950s down to New Orleans, Louisiana. It was a major transit route out of the Deep South particularly for African Americans traveling north to Chicago, St Louis and Memphis, following the Mississippi River valley for most of its 1,400 miles (2,300 km). The song has five stanzas. In each stanza, someone describes an unusual problem that is ultimately resolved on Highway 61.
 
 
  

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

Oh, God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son"
Abe says, "Man, you must be puttin' me on"
God say, "No," Abe say, "What?"
God say, "You can do what you want, Abe, but
The next time you see me comin' you better run"
Well, Abe said, "Where do you want this killin' done?"
God said, "Out on Highway 61"

Well, Georgia Sam, he had a bloody nose
Welfare Department, they wouldn't give him no clothes
He asked poor Howard, "Where can I go?"
Howard said, "There's only one place I know"
Sam said, "Tell me quick, man, I got to run"
Ol' Howard just pointed with his gun
And said, "That way down on Highway 61"

Well, Mack the Finger said to Louie the King,
"I got forty red white and blue shoe strings
And a thousand telephones that don't ring
Do you know where I can get rid of these things?"
And Louie the King said, "Let me think for a minute, son"
And he said, "Yes, I think it can be easily done
Just take everything down to Highway 61"

Now, the fifth daughter on the twelfth night
Told the first father that things weren't right
"My complexion," she says, "is much too white"
He said, "Come here and step into the light"; he says, "Hmm, you're right
Let me tell the second mother this has been done"
But the second mother was with the seventh son
And they were both out on Highway 61

Now, the rovin' gambler, he was very bored
Tryin' to create a next world war
He found a promoter who nearly fell off the floor
He said, "I never engaged in this kind of thing before
But yes, I think it can be very easily done
We'll just put some bleachers out in the sun
And have it on Highway 61"