November 1: Watch Bob Dylan performing a lovely “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” in New York 1998

When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez
And it’s Eastertime too
And your gravity fails
And negativity don’t pull you through
Don’t put on any airs
When you’re down on Rue Morgue Avenue
They got some hungry women there
And they really make a mess outta you

Madison Square Garden
New York City, New York
1 November 1998

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
  • Bucky Baxter (pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar)
  • Larry Campbell (guitar)
  • Tony Garnier (bass)
  • David Kemper (drums & percussion)

Now if you see Saint Annie
Please tell her thanks a lot
I cannot move
My fingers are all in a knot
I don’t have the strength
To get up and take another shot
And my best friend, my doctor
Won’t even say what it is I’ve got

Sweet Melinda
The peasants call her the goddess of gloom
She speaks good English
And she invites you up into her room
And you’re so kind
And careful not to go to her too soon
And she takes your voice
And leaves you howling at the moon

Up on Housing Project Hill
It’s either fortune or fame
You must pick up one or the other
Though neither of them are to be what they claim
If you’re lookin’ to get silly
You better go back to from where you came
Because the cops don’t need you
And man they expect the same

Now all the authorities
They just stand around and boast
How they blackmailed the sergeant-at-arms
Into leaving his post
And picking up Angel who
Just arrived here from the coast
Who looked so fine at first
But left looking just like a ghost

I started out on burgundy
But soon hit the harder stuff
Everybody said they’d stand behind me
When the game got rough
But the joke was on me
There was nobody even there to call my bluff
I’m going back to New York City
I do believe I’ve had enough

2 thoughts on “November 1: Watch Bob Dylan performing a lovely “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” in New York 1998

  1. Egil, this too is my favorite live performance of my old friend singing Tom Thumb’s blues. His voice was clear and his guitar licks were true and on cue. In the 1950s, long before we both were a part of the Greenwich Village scene I lived near the Mexican border town of Nogales, Sonora and as a young man I spent many a “young mans” night wandering it’s dark, dusty and lusty back streets, When I first heard this song I knew that someday I would have to sing it. Here’s a comment on my quiet cover by one viewer who listened carefully to my performance of this great song poem:

    Psicosis CZ
    3 months ago
    “Finally someone who understands the feeling of Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues! Excellent job! 👍🏻

    And here’s the URL link to the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi5hgnhktOY

    Thanks for keeping the door open for an Old Troubadour JRW

  2. What a terrific performance of a tremendous song! Bob was totally into it, it appears. … If you love this song, there’s another great version by Bryan Ferry, if anyone wants to check it out.

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