Ticket for Bob Dylan's May 1965 solo acoustic gig at The Free Trade Hall. Sadly I wasn't old enough to attend (I was 9 at the time!) - this precious ticket was kindly given to me by my friend Pat George, who was cool and smart enough to be there!
Just at this time, Bob was at the top of his game and really starting to hit his stride as he moved away from protest singer to performing artist and all round genius. The set he played that night was:
1. The Times They Are A-Changin'
2. To Ramona
3. Gates Of Eden
4. If You Gotta Go, Go Now
5. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
6. Love Minus Zero / No Limit
7. Mr Tambourine Man
8. Talkin' World War III Blues
9. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
10. With God On Our Side
11. She Belongs To Me
12. It Ain't Me, Babe
13. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
14. All I Really Want To Do
15. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
He raced through ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ – he couldn’t wait to finish it because he’d moved on and was now bored by it. It was no coincidence that ‘It’s All Over Now Baby Blue’ was the final song of the gig. He was still only 23 years old.
He’d arrived in England at 9.35pm on 26th April for an 8 date tour to promote his new LP, ‘Bringing It All Back Home’. He was in a country that had been governed by Harold Wilson’s Labour party for only seven months; where the cinemas were showing ‘The Sound Of Music’ and where the charts were dominated by Roger Miller’s ‘King Of The Road’ and The Beatles’ ‘Ticket To Ride’.
Bob played in Sheffield, Liverpool, Leicester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Manchester – in that order. Just two days after this show, he played a pair of stunning Royal Albert Hall gigs that were attended by The Beatles and which were to be his last ever solo concerts. Accompanying himself on his beautiful Gibson ‘Nick Lucas’ guitar, he played these same fifteen self-penned songs in the same order at every gig of the tour. The whole thing was filmed by D. A. Pennebaker for what would eventually become the classic road movie, ‘Don’t Look Back’.
Almost exactly one year later, Bob was to be back at the Free Trade Hall promoting his seventh LP, ‘Blonde On Blonde’, and causing mayhem with his electric band and their ‘thin wild mercury sound’. On that occasion, he provoked some poor bewildered chap into calling him ‘Judas’. That's another story!