Page by: Author / Chronologer  Craig Pinkerton
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New York Town Hall 1963
source: Mixdown Master Tape
Disc one
Ramblin' Down Thru The World (1)
Bob Dylan's Dream (2)
Talkin' New York (3)
Ballad Of Hollis Brown (4)
Walls Of Red Wing (5)
All Over You (6)
Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues (7)
Boots Of Spanish Leather (8)
Hero Blues (9)
Blowin' In The Wind (10)
John Brown (11)
Tomorrow Is A Long Time (12)
Hard Rain (13)
Disc two
Dusty Old Fairgrounds (14)
Who Killed Davey Moore?(15)
Seven Curses (16)
Highway 51 (Curtis Jones) (17)
Pretty Peggy-O (arr. by Bob Dylan) (18)
Bob Dylan's New Orleans Rag (19)
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (20)
Hiding Too Long (21)
With God On Our Side (22)
Masters Of War (23)
Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie (24) read
Staggering! There are simply no superlatives that could do this release justice. Sony brought the master tape of this show to light for consideration of the bootleg series. Why it was abandoned is anyone's guess. We have long petitioned them to create or work with an independent manufacturer that could afford to produce small quantity releases that might not have the appeal to the masses that Sony or Legacy would require to view it as a profitable venture. In this day and age of the Goliath Labels being wounded by greed and conquered by technology, one would think that an idea such as this would make Label executives giddy at the prospects, yet they continue to turn a deaf ear. To fulfill the demand, boot labels do their best to get the material to the public. Some are only looking for the quick bottom line, but there are a few who are truly interested in producing labor of love packages. Rattlesnake has long been at the forefront of those beautiful looking and sounding packages. A similar package was released six months earlier by Hollow Horn. Whether this recording is taken from that one or the same master is uncertain, but it is not a direct copy to copy. This release has been mastered independently, although the quality is nearly identical. Along with the brilliant package, this one also has a 16 page booklet! The title is not quite so imaginative, but who needs fantasy with a reality like this beauty. The package is full of photos and images, track information and concert reviews. With all the hoopla of the splendid visuals of this release laid aside, the sound recording is worthy of even more praise! There are a couple of minor technicalities that Legacy would have corrected were they to have issued the concert, but they would be hard pressed to be able to clean up the recording any more. It is simply perfection as it is. Dylan fans can finally rejoice at the release of this incredible masterpiece that has been locked away for nearly half a century! The Town Hall concert
is steeped in the rich tradition of Dylan folklore. It was, for all practical purposes, Dylan's first USA concert of any merit. There were about 600 people in the audience, far more than the young singer had ever faced before, and there are a few nervous moments evident in the show. But, what an incredible and historic show it is! The tape is turned on about a minute before the show, and the listener is transported into the middle of the audience as they anticipate Bob's arrival on the stage. About five seconds worth of hand clapping introduces the harmonica intro of the first song. There is no other introduction. Oh, to travel back to that first major performance and to be able to give this young man an introduction with the foreknowledge of what would come! The introduction would be as long as the concert! This ranks high as one of the most important boot releases of all time, and on top of that, it's simply a thrill and a joy to just sit back and listen to. If you're only planning on getting one bootleg this decade, choose either this one or the Hollow Horn release. Either choice is a winner. The main difference is the package. Both are beautiful beyond description. Hollow Horn is a folding cardboard digi-pack, while this release comes in a plastic jewel case.
© 2008 CD Pinkerton -
Notes by
1) Here is Bob's first "major" concert as a headline artist, and this version of a Woody Guthrie composition is a weak introduction to the world. Bob takes the moment to show the audience his "train rollin' down the track"abilities on the harp, but there is little of substance here. This track surfaced a couple of decades ago and has traded among collectors ever since.
Notes by
(2) The Freewheelin LP's release was a month away, so this was a new song to the audience, and Dylan stays fairly faithful to the recorded version in lyrics, timing, and delivery. There is a low mid frequency that produces a very slight feedback ring a few times, but it's barely noticeable, and diminishes quickly.
Notes by
(3) This live version has never before been heard. The original version had been released on the eponymously titled album a year earlier, so Bob has a little fun with it. He switches up the line with the buildings going up and the people going down among other things. He's performed this one several times, and seems more at ease now.
Notes by
(4) Another track that's new to collectors. This is the live debut of this song that would be recorded later in the Fall for inclusion on The Times LP. Bob introduces it as a true story, but I've never heard that it is factual from any other source. As it is brand new, even to Bob; he is fully into it and makes it an instant masterpiece with a menacing guitar riff and focused, articulate vocals. After the powerful song has ended, Dylan again returns to the nervous kid. He sounds like a shy Elmer Fudd as he mumbles "Uh-h-h... let's see..." and you can hear him making adjustments, and putting on the harp.
Notes by
(5) This track has long been available from COLUMBIA RECORDING STUDIO'S REFERENCE RECORDINGS. Bob has trouble with the harp throughout the intro. He claims it to be a bad harp, and it actually sounds as if it has mechanical problems. Once the vocals start, this becomes a powerful story that quickly lures you into hopelessness set to a catchy tune.
Notes by
(6) Here is another track of a song that Bob had just written that has been available as a CBS REFERENCE. He forgets the lines a few times, coughs a couple more, but generally has fun with this tongue in cheek song. The audience loves the double entendre as well, and responds with thunderous applause at songs end.
Notes by
(7) Before this song, Bob starts telling his hilarious joke about copying other artist's set lists. The audience, for the most part, remains stone silent throughout the entire concert (other than their thunderous applause after each song). Halfway through this joke, however, someone yells out for Hard Rain. It distracts Bob, and he can't recover enough to fall back into the groove of the joke. Instead, it just kind of whimpers out. This is another track making it's world debut among traders, as this version has never circulated. Bob has fun with it, and you can hear in his voice that he truly enjoys performing it. He had recorded it exactly a year earlier, and had performed it once at the Hootenanny Show the previous Fall. Promos of the Freewheelin' LP that contained the song were just being issued. Exactly a month later to the day came the infamous Ed Sullivan Show debacle. After being told that he couldn't perform this song, Dylan walked off the set of the CBS show, and CBS, in response, pulled the song from the Freewheelin' release.
Notes by
View enlarged images below


Source / Venue:
Town Hall  New York City, New York  April, 12 1963

Manufacturer / Catalog No.
Rattlesnake    /    RS 222/23

October 2008

10 stars
Other commercial releases of Town Hall
Stolen Moments

Bob's Boots ref  #

Thanks to Terry Farrington for scans

© 2008 CD Pinkerton -
Notes by (cond.)
Notes by
(8) One of the highlights of the set is this incredible world debut performance. Bob's finger picking lays a magical carpet on which he spreads a haunting melody that carries this lamentable tale of unrequited love. This version of the song now makes a world debut for the second time into the hands of collectors.
Notes by
(9) Before this song, Bob can be heard putting on and adjusting the harp. This will be the first time that an audience has heard this song, and he prefaces it by saying: This is  for all the, uh, boys 'at know girls 'at want 'em, uh, to go out and get themselves killed.
Notes by
(10) This beautiful and heartfelt version has never traded among collectors. Bob introduces it by saying “Here’s a song I wrote that’s been recorded..." referring to the smash hit by Peter Paul & Mary that sold a staggering 300,000 copies in it's first week alone. It rocketed to the number two position on the Billboard chart behind Easier Said Than Done by Essex. Warner Brothers recognized it as the fastest selling single that they had ever released. The audience's lack of response to the song is due to the fact that that release had not yet happened. It was still a few weeks away.
Notes by
11) There is some down time here as Bob tunes. An audience member asks for "Ridin' number nine" (Lonesome Whistle). Bob responds with:  "Here's another true story. Ridin' number nine's a true story too... but, you know..." Another person says "Seems like number nine, Bob" I'm not sure about the context or reference here, or why it would have been funny, but Bob viewed it as  a wisecrack and jokingly asked for the lights to come up. He then attempts to start but stumbles into a cough amongst some very light hearted and well meaning audience heckling. Even though he stumbles a couple of times, this is a powerful version and it's the first song from the show that was chosen to be on the ill-fated first live album. It did press to acetate, however, and has long circulated without the introduction.
Notes by
(12) It's good to have this song included for the continuity of the show. For the purposes of historical accuracy, we can overlook the fact that this is a pirate track, having been released on 1971's Greatest Hits II. It was also issued on the 1978 Japanese, Australian and New Zealand releases called Masterpieces. For an idea of the quality of this show, listen to the official release. The quality on this boot release is even cleaner and brighter than this officially released track.
Notes by
13) Always the showman, Bob pulls out the song that the audience had requested earlier as the closer for the first set. After recognizing it, the crowd breaks into applause. This is yet another track that has never been traded.
Notes by
(14) While this song was never released, Bob took the basic chord pattern and song structure and turned it into When The Ship Comes In. It was intended for release, however. This was another of the four songs from this concert that was scheduled for the first live album. As such, it has traded since that time from the acetate recording. Good thing too, as this was the one and only time that the song was ever performed.
Notes by
15) This is the third and final song from the show that was pressed as a CBS REFERENCE, and has been available to traders for many years. This full version, however, includes Dylan's poignant introduction to the song.
Notes by
(16) This song and the two that follow it are more versions that are making their world debut into the hands of collectors. Bob's rolling finger picking style is beautiful guitar work. It's a little faster than the released version, and, therefore, not quite as ominous. But, it's still splendid and an incredible listen.
Notes by
(17) Truly one of the delights of the package. This song has always been reported as being performed at the show, but because this was Dylan's debut as an original songwriter, some doubted the fact. Yet, here it is in full glory. Bob holds out the first "walkin" for a full eight seconds as well as "highway" from the second verse. He is comfortable with the song and throws everything he's got in his arsenal into it. The vocals, harp, and guitar are perhaps more expressive here than in any song of the concert. Simply an incredible find!
Notes by
(18) This has to take first place as the surprise of the evening. Bob is heading toward the end of the show and is getting ready to present his most powerful anti-war segment when someone yells out for this song. He not only cheerfully indulges them, but when he makes a mis-step, he incorporates into the song "Oh I'm fallin' down the stairs. pretty Peggy-O" The audience loves it.
Notes by
19) While he was in a jovial mood, Bob continues with this tongue in cheek ditty. This is the third of the four show songs that have always circulated from the acetate pressing of the unreleased In Concert LP.
Notes by
(20) A highlight among highlights! this is the tenth song so far that has never before seen the light of day. The first appearance of this song was at the Gaslight Cafe. This is the second performance. It's a tender and beautiful one with Bob's voice going into higher registers. He starts of joking that it's a difficult song to sing and that he might not be able to; but he pulls it of incredibly well.
Notes by
21) A great quality stereo version of this song first circulated among tape traders in the USA in 1992 as part of a career spanning compilation tape. Three years later it was included on an incredible silver disc release by Scorpio entitled The Genuine bootleg Series. This is the most shocking political finger pointing song that Bob has ever written. As the lyrics are hard to find, we've transcribed them from the show here. The crowd explodes with a thunderous standing ovation.
Notes by
(22) The audience is now putty in Dylan's hand (as if they weren't from the beginning of the show). He continues the powerful political statements with his final two songs. They are incredible. The audience doesn't dare breath as they hang on every syllable. This song sees them on their feet again. The only drawback here is that it has already been released as an official track on Bootleg Vol. 7.
Notes by
(23) The final song, again, has been released on The Bootleg series Vol. 7. However, this version includes one and a half minutes (and even that has been edited) between song talk when the audience is on their feet cheering and screaming and asking for songs, and... Bob is slightly overwhelmed and becomes hopelessly tongue-tied as he tries to introduce this one.
Notes by
(24) This is the complete version of the poem with an  intro  by Dylan. It was the final track originally planned to be issued on the CBS album BOB DYLAN IN CONCERT that was never released. It did press to acetate, however, and the acetate version has traded among collectors since the mid 1960's. Rumors have always floated around as to why the live LP was never pressed. One of them finds this track to be a long, meandering, pointless and self-indulgent exercise in escapism that would alienate the record buying public. It was eventually officially released on THE BOOTLEG SERIES (RARE & UNRELEASED) 1961-1991, Volume 1, in March of 1991. Bob's introduction to the poem, heard on this release, was not included on the official release. This is an insane mis-step encore after leaving the audience shredded by the previous songs, and the only reason that they remain pin drop quiet is out of respect of the young man that had just taken them to new places in their thoughts of what a concert can be. Bob would have done much better by reading this poem first in place of the opening song, and ending with the powerhouse political trio of songs that would have had the audience cheering to this day. Even as a twenty-one year old new kid on the block, Dylan wanted to do what Dylan wanted to do. Whether the crowed would hate it or love it was irrelevant. Read the Poem.
Notes by

© 2008 CD Pinkerton /

Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie

When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb
When you think you're too old, too young, too smart or too dumb
When yer laggin' behind an' losin' yer pace
In a slow-motion crawl of life's busy race
No matter what yer doing if you start givin' up
If the wine don't come to the top of yer cup
If the wind's got you sideways with with one hand holdin' on
And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone
And yer train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it
And the wood's easy findin' but yer lazy to fetch it
And yer sidewalk starts curlin' and the street gets too long
And you start walkin' backwards though you know its wrong
And lonesome comes up as down goes the day
And tomorrow's mornin' seems so far away
And you feel the reins from yer pony are slippin'
And yer rope is a-slidin' 'cause yer hands are a-drippin'
And yer sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys
Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys
And yer sky cries water and yer drain pipe's a-pourin'
And the lightnin's a-flashing and the thunder's a-crashin'
And the windows are rattlin' and breakin' and the roof tops a-shakin'
And yer whole world's a-slammin' and bangin'
And yer minutes of sun turn to hours of storm
And to yourself you sometimes say
"I never knew it was gonna be this way
Why didn't they tell me the day I was born"
And you start gettin' chills and yer jumping from sweat
And you're lookin' for somethin' you ain't quite found yet
And yer knee-deep in the dark water with yer hands in the air
And the whole world's a-watchin' with a window peek stare
And yer good gal leaves and she's long gone a-flying
And yer heart feels sick like fish when they're fryin'
And yer jackhammer falls from yer hand to yer feet
And you need it badly but it lays on the street
And yer bell's bangin' loudly but you can't hear its beat
And you think yer ears might a been hurt
Or yer eyes've turned filthy from the sight-blindin' dirt
And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush
When you were faked out an' fooled white facing a four flush
And all the time you were holdin' three queens
And it's makin you mad, it's makin' you mean
Like in the middle of Life magazine
Bouncin' around a pinball machine
And there's something on yer mind you wanna be saying
That somebody someplace oughta be hearin'
But it's trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head
And it bothers you badly when your layin' in bed
And no matter how you try you just can't say it
And yer scared to yer soul you just might forget it
And yer eyes get swimmy from the tears in yer head
And yer pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead
And the lion's mouth opens and yer staring at his teeth
And his jaws start closin with you underneath
And yer flat on your belly with yer hands tied behind
And you wish you'd never taken that last detour sign
And you say to yourself just what am I doin'
On this road I'm walkin', on this trail I'm turnin'
On this curve I'm hanging
On this pathway I'm strolling, in the space I'm taking
In this air I'm inhaling
Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard
Why am I walking, where am I running
What am I saying, what am I knowing
On this guitar I'm playing, on this banjo I'm frailin'
On this mandolin I'm strummin', in the song I'm singin'
In the tune I'm hummin', in the words I'm writin'
In the words that I'm thinkin'
In this ocean of hours I'm all the time drinkin'
Who am I helping, what am I breaking
What am I giving, what am I taking
But you try with your whole soul best
Never to think these thoughts and never to let
Them kind of thoughts gain ground
Or make yer heart pound
But then again you know why they're around
Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down
"Cause sometimes you hear'em when the night times comes creeping
And you fear that they might catch you a-sleeping
And you jump from yer bed, from yer last chapter of dreamin'
And you can't remember for the best of yer thinking
If that was you in the dream that was screaming
And you know that it's something special you're needin'
And you know that there's no drug that'll do for the healin'
And no liquor in the land to stop yer brain from bleeding
And you need something special
Yeah, you need something special all right
You need a fast flyin' train on a tornado track
To shoot you someplace and shoot you back
You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler
That's been banging and booming and blowing forever
That knows yer troubles a hundred times over
You need a Greyhound bus that don't bar no race
That won't laugh at yer looks
Your voice or your face
And by any number of bets in the book
Will be rollin' long after the bubblegum craze
You need something to open up a new door
To show you something you seen before
But overlooked a hundred times or more
You need something to open your eyes
You need something to make it known
That it's you and no one else that owns
That spot that yer standing, that space that you're sitting
That the world ain't got you beat
That it ain't got you licked
It can't get you crazy no matter how many
Times you might get kicked
You need something special all right
You need something special to give you hope
But hope's just a word
That maybe you said or maybe you heard
On some windy corner 'round a wide-angled curve
But that's what you need man, and you need it bad
And yer trouble is you know it too good
"Cause you look an' you start getting the chills
"Cause you can't find it on a dollar bill
And it ain't on Macy's window sill
And it ain't on no rich kid's road map
And it ain't in no fat kid's fraternity house
And it ain't made in no Hollywood wheat germ
And it ain't on that dimlit stage
With that half-wit comedian on it
Ranting and raving and taking yer money
And you thinks it's funny
No you can't find it in no night club or no yacht club
And it ain't in the seats of a supper club
And sure as hell you're bound to tell
That no matter how hard you rub
You just ain't a-gonna find it on yer ticket stub
No, and it ain't in the rumors people're tellin' you
And it ain't in the pimple-lotion people are sellin' you
And it ain't in no cardboard-box house
Or down any movie star's blouse
And you can't find it on the golf course
And Uncle Remus can't tell you and neither can Santa Claus
And it ain't in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes
And it ain't in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons
And it ain't in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices
That come knockin' and tappin' in Christmas wrappin'
Sayin' ain't I pretty and ain't I cute and look at my skin
Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow
Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry
When you can't even sense if they got any insides
These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows
No you'll not now or no other day
Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache?
And inside it the people made of molasses
That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses
And it ain't in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies
Who'd turn yuh in for a tenth of a penny
Who breathe and burp and bend and crack
And before you can count from one to ten
Do it all over again but this time behind yer back, my friend
The ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl
And play games with each other in their sand-box world
And you can't find it either in the no-talent fools
That run around gallant
And make all rules for the ones that got talent
And it ain't in the ones that ain't got any talent but think they do
And think they're foolin' you
The ones who jump on the wagon
Just for a while 'cause they know it's in style
To get their kicks, get out of it quick
And make all kinds of rnoney and chicks
And you yell to yourself and you throw down yer hat
Sayin', "Christ do I gotta be like that
Ain't there no one here that knows where I'm at
Ain't there no one here that knows how I feel
Good God Almighty
"That stuff ain't real!!"
No but that ain't yer game, it ain't even yer race
You can't hear yer name, you can't see yer face
You gotta look some other place
And where do you look for this hope that yer seekin'
Where do you look for this lamp that's a-burnin'
Where do you look for this oil well gushin'
Where do you look for this candle that's glowin'
Where do you look for this hope that you know is there
And out there somewhere
And your feet can only walk down two kinds of roads
Your eyes can only look through two kinds of windows
Your nose can only smell two kinds of hallways
You can touch and twist
And turn two kinds of doorknobs...

You can either go to the church of your choice
Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital
You'll find God in the church of your choice
You'll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital
And though it's only my opinion
I may be right or wrong
You'll find them both
In the Grand Canyon
At sundown

Go Back

(You've Bin) Hidin' Too Long
Transcribed by  from April 12, 1962

Come you phony super-patriotic people that say
That hating and fearing is my only way
That this here country has got to be
You're thinking of yourselves, you ain't thinking of me

You're not thinking of any George Washington
You're not thinking of any Thomas Jefferson
But you say that you are and you lie and mislead
You use their names for your aims, for your selfish greed

Don't speak to me of your patriotism
When you throw the Southern black boy in prison
And you say the only good niggers are the ones that have died
Don't think I'll  ever stand on your side

Though you make it so hard for me to love
My face will never feel the slap of your glove
My cards will never buy... (mistaken line started and abandoned)
My hands will never buy the cards that you play
My feet will never walk down the road that you lay

Get out in the open, stop standing afar
Let the whole world see what a hypocrite you are
I ain't joking and it ain't no gag
You bin hiding too long behind the American flag

Go Back