Saturday, October 30, 2021

Bob Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Revue- Night of the Hurricane: Madison Square Garden, New York City, 12-8-1975

In 1975 and 1976, Bob Dylan put on a concert tour called "the Rolling Thunder Revue." It's something he's never done before or since, because instead of putting on regular concerts with himself as the main musician and one or more opening musicians, this was more like a traveling road show. Yes, Dylan was the main star, but he shared the spotlight with other big stars too, as well as lesser knowns.

There have been two official releases related to the Rolling Thunder Revue: "The Bootleg Series, Volume 5: Bob Dylan Live 1975: The Rolling Thunder Revue," and "The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings." The first one contains selected songs from various concerts, and the second one contains no less than five complete Dylan sets from the tour, as well as rehearsals, and more. Yet all of these releases ignore the other musicians who played with Dylan (except for the duets he did with Joan Baez). I've always wanted to hear a complete show from this tour, with Dylan AND all the other musicians.

Here it is, in all three hours and 50 minutes of it! 

If you want to hear just one full Rolling Thunder Revue concert, this is the one, for several reasons. For starters, this concert had a special purpose, to help free professional boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter from prison. Dylan (and many others) felt Carter was unjustly imprisoned, so he wrote a song about it, "Hurricane," which would be included on his 1976 album "Desire." I don't want to go into the full story, but if you want to know more, I suggest watching the 1999 movie "The Hurricane" starring Denzel Washington. Although the concert was still part of the tour, it was given the special name "Night of the Hurricane." Many famous people attended it, and there was a lot of press about it, helped by the fact that it was held in New York City.

Given all that, it's a lucky break that there's a soundboard bootleg of this entire concert with fantastic sound quality. This sounds just as good as any of the officially released material from the tour. Also, it's from a sweet spot in the tour where the musicians had found their groove but hadn't grown bored or fatigued (as would happen with many of the 1976 shows on the tour). 

Furthermore, many of the musicians here played for all or most of the tour, like Roger McGuinn and Joan Baez. But this concert gets an extra lift with the special guests Joni Mitchell and Roberta Flack. Mitchell did play on some other shows during the tour, but this is as good as it gets in terms of sound quality for her set. And this was the only show with Roberta Flack. Also, Robbie Robertson from the Band played guitar on "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" and possibly a couple other Dylan songs.

Another special guest was boxing legend Muhammad Ali. During the show's intermission, Ali came out on stage and gave a speech about the point of the show, raising public awareness and pressure to release Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter from prison. During this speech, Ali spoke on the phone to Carter from his prison cell. Some other lesser knowns spoke as well, including some politicians. All in all, this segment took up half an hour. It's fine to listen to it once, but I don't think it stands up to repeat listenings. So I've brutally edited than half an hour down to just five minutes, focusing on Ali's phone call with Carter. 

A lot of the what is cut out is unnecessary fluff. For instance, Ali got sidetracked and spent a few minutes praising a politician friend of his, who he claimed was going to run for president. (I looked it up, and that person did run for many offices, but never won anything.) Later on it the concert, Dylan, with his great sarcastic wit, makes a reference to this by introducing another musician and commenting that person is NOT running for president.

At nearly four hours, this is probably the longest album I've posted on my blog so far. It's so long that I've had to break the zip file into two. (Dylan prominently features in both.) If it was just one file, it would be over 500 mg, and Zippyshare has trouble with that. If it's too long, you might want to cut out some of the lesser known artists near the start of the show. Together, they make up about 40 minutes of music. But personally I find that part worthy of inclusion. Each one generally only played one song, probably their best or close to it, so nobody outstayed their welcome.

01 Good Love Is Hard to Find (Bob Neuwirth)
02 talk (Bob Neuwirth)
03 Sleazy (Bob Neuwirth)
04 talk (Bob Neuwirth)
05 Hula Hoop (T-Bone Burnett)
06 talk (Bob Neuwirth)
07 Too Good to Be Wasted (Rob Stoner)
08 talk (Bob Neuwirth)
09 Laissez Faire (Steven Soles)
10 talk (Bob Neuwirth)
11 Life on Mars (Mick Ronson)
12 talk (Bob Neuwirth)
13 Alabama Dark (Ronee Blakley & Bob Neuwirth)
14 talk (Bob Neuwirth)
15 Need a New Sun Rising (Ronee Blakley)
16 talk (Bob Neuwirth)
17 Cindy [When I Get Home] (Bob Neuwirth)
18 talk (Bob Neuwirth)
19 Mercedes Benz (Bob Neuwirth)
20 talk (Bob Neuwirth)
21 Shadows and Light (Joni Mitchell)
22 Coyote (Joni Mitchell)
23 talk (Joni Mitchell)
24 Edith and the Kingpin (Joni Mitchell)
25 Don't Interrupt the Sorrow (Joni Mitchell)
26 talk (Muhammad Ali & Rubin "Hurricane" Carter)
27 talk (Bob Neuwirth)
28 [Ballad Of] Ramblin' Jack (Bob Neuwirth)
29 talk (Bob Neuwirth)
30 Muleskinner Blues (Ramblin' Jack Elliott)
31 Pretty Boy Floyd (Ramblin' Jack Elliott)
32 talk (Ramblin' Jack Elliott)
33 Salt Pork, West Virginia (Ramblin' Jack Elliott)
34 talk (Ramblin' Jack Elliott & Bob Neuwirth)
35 Rake and Ramblin' Boy (Ramblin' Jack Elliott)
36 talk (Bob Neuwirth)
37 When I Paint My Masterpiece (Bob Dylan with Bob Neuwirth)
38 It Ain't Me, Babe (Bob Dylan)
39 The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (Bob Dylan)
40 Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You (Bob Dylan)
41 talk (Bob Dylan)
42 It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (Bob Dylan)
43 talk (Bob Dylan)
44 Romance in Durango (Bob Dylan)
45 talk (Bob Dylan)
46 Isis (Bob Dylan)
47 The Times They Are A-Changin' (Bob Dylan & Joan Baez)
48 talk (Bob Dylan & Joan Baez)
49 Dark as a Dungeon (Bob Dylan & Joan Baez)
50 Mama, You Been on My Mind (Bob Dylan & Joan Baez)
51 talk (Bob Dylan & Joan Baez)
52 Never Let Me Go (Bob Dylan & Joan Baez)
53 talk (Bob Dylan & Joan Baez)
54 I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine (Bob Dylan & Joan Baez)
55 talk (Bob Dylan & Joan Baez)
56 I Shall Be Released (Bob Dylan & Joan Baez)
57 talk (Joan Baez)
58 Diamonds and Rust (Joan Baez)
59 talk (Joan Baez)
60 Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Joan Baez)
61 Prison Trilogy [Billy Rose] (Joan Baez)
62 Joe Hill (Joan Baez)
63 Long Black Veil (Joan Baez)
64 talk (Joan Baez)
65 Please Come to Boston (Joan Baez)
66 talk (Joan Baez)
67 talk (Roberta Flack)
68 25th of Last December (Roberta Flack)
69 talk (Roberta Flack)
70 Why Don't You Move In with Me (Roberta Flack)
71 talk (Joan Baez)
72 Eight Miles High (Roger McGuinn)
73 Chestnut Mare (Roger McGuinn)
74 talk (Joan Baez)
75 The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Joan Baez with Roger McGuinn)
76 talk (Bob Neuwirth)
77 Love Minus Zero-No Limit (Bob Dylan)
78 Simple Twist of Fate (Bob Dylan)
79 talk (Bob Dylan)
80 Oh, Sister (Bob Dylan)
81 talk (Bob Dylan)
82 Hurricane (Bob Dylan)
83 One More Cup of Coffee [Valley Below] (Bob Dylan)
84 talk (Bob Dylan)
85 Sara (Bob Dylan)
86 talk (Bob Dylan)
87 Just like a Woman (Bob Dylan)
88 Knockin' on Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan with Roger McGuinn)
89 This Land Is Your Land (Bob Dylan & the Rolling Thunder Revue)

I believe the cover photo comes from the final bows after the last encore. Going from left to right, I believe that's Roger McGuinn, Joni Mitchell, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Dylan and Baez sharing the center microphone, then Rob Stoner, Bob Neuwirth, Steven Soles, and Ronee Blakely. Thanks to loneill for help with identifying everyone.


  1. Looks like a fantastic share but I will have to pass, I have to use a VPN to download from zippy and it can take forever to download a standard album from you. I have really enjoyed all the Dylan stuff you have been posting recently, I have been using them to upgrade my collection. Many thanks for all the work you put in to your posts.

  2. From left to right: Roger McGuinn, Joni Mitchell, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Rob Stoner (bass and musical director), Bob Neuwirth, Steven Soles, Ronee Blakely

    1. Thanks! I updated the info and credited you.

  3. Thanks so much! I'm familiar with the Dylan material from this famous show, but this will be my first time hearing the entire night.

    My first ever Dylan concert was a Rolling Thunder show, in Buffalo in either November or December '75. I'm not ashamed to admit that at a couple of moments there were tears of joy in my eyes.

  4. Thanks so much for this, definitely going to partake, love the "Desire"/Rolling Thunder Review era. BTW, there are 3 official releases available pertaining to the Rolling Thunder Review, you're forgetting the 1976 "Hard Rain" live album. I like it a lot.

    As always, this is a phenomenal blog. I don't comment much, but I'm here almost daily checking it all out. Thanks for all your tremendous effort, talent and generosity. Awesome stuff!

  5. I feel fortunate to have been at this awesome show!

  6. Thank you for this. I have the 2 official releases but; you are right. It is nice to have a whole show with the other contributions. I have gotten other copies of your work. I do appreciate all you put into it.

  7. Thank you very much for this! I just finished watching the film on Netflix, Outstanding!

  8. This is just marvellous...the quality of the the performances, the quality of the sound, the line-up, all the have the whole show of the legendary Hurricane benefit Listening to Diamonds and Rust at the moment...this is a treasure I didn't expect..thank you so much!

  9. Wonderful. Thanks so much for this!