Kurt Loder: I heard an outtake from the Infidels sessions called Blind Willie McTell. Is that ever going to come out? It’s a great song. Bob Dylan: I didn’t think I recorded it right. But I don’t know why that stuff gets out on me. I mean, it never seems to get out on other people.
~Kurt Loder interview 1984
[Blind Willie McTell] He was just a very smooth operating bluesman. His songs always reminded me of… As trains, but that ‘s just my hang up, you know, trains. And his vocal style, and his sound seems to fit right in with that lonesome sound. His kinda, you know, Ragtime… kinda thing on a 12 string guitar, so it made everything he did sound, you know, give it a little higher pitch. You know, you could probably call… You could probably call… you could probably say he was the Van Gogh of Blues. You could probably say he was the Van Gogh of the country Blues.
~Bob Dylan (Eliot Mintz Interview, March 1991)
Any fan of classic rock needs no introduction to Mick Taylor. The legendary guitarist first made his mark in the 1960′s playing with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers as the successor to Eric Clapton. As if this wasn’t enough, Mick Taylor would eventually go on to replace the late Brian Jones in The Rolling Stones. He would leave the Stones in 1974, but he was a big part on some of their most seminal albums, such as Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street. Over the years, Taylor would carve out his own solo career, but would continue to maintain contact with the Stones, eventually being present for the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
In 1983, Taylor joined Mark Knopfler and played on Dylan’s Infidels album. He also appeared on Dylan’s live album Real Live, as well as the follow-up studio album Empire Burlesque. In 1984, Dylan asked Mick Taylor to assemble an experienced rock and roll band for a European tour he signed with Bill Graham. Ian McLagan was hired to play piano and hammond organ, Greg Sutton to play bass and Colin Allen, a long-time friend of Taylor, on drums. The tour lasted for four weeks at venues such as Munich’s Olympic Stadium Arena and Milan’s San Siro Stadium, sharing the bill with Carlos Santana and Joan Baez, who appeared on the same bill for a couple of shows.
He played with The Stones again as a special guest on their 50 & Counting Tour in 2013.
His take on Bob Dylan’s Blind Willie McTell is faithful but playful, for instance he incorporates snippets from All along the Watchtower in the middle of the song. But it is his fantastic guitar playing that is the reason I chose this as todays video. There are not many guitarists in his league. Fantastic!
….I wanted to call my next album, whenever I made it, Surviving In A Ruthless World. I wanted to call it that. Before we even went into the studio, “The next album I do I’m gonna call Surviving in a Ruthless World”. But something was holding me back from it, because for some reason… somebody pointed out to me that the last bunch of albums that I made all started with the letter S. And I’d say, “Is that right?” There must be a story or something. I didn’t want to do another one beginning with S just f for superstitious reasons. I didn’t want to get bogged down in the letter S whatever the letter S stands for. And this Infidels came out, just came into my head one day, I guess. This was after we had that album done that it just came in my head that this is the right title for this album. I mean, I don’t know any more about it than anybody else really. I did it. I did the album, and I call it that, but what it means is for other people to interpret, you know, if it means something to them. Infidels is a word that’s in the dictionary and whoever it applies to… to everybody on the album, every character. Maybe it’s all about infidels.
~Bob Dylan (to Kurt Loder in March 1984)
Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
I traveled through East Texas
Where many martyrs fell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell
We’re playing over here with a lot of pride, it’s a big honor to play in this country, Great Britain. When I grew up, they used to tell me about the Battle of Britain, RAF, Winston Churchill, all that stuff. Now, we all know that Britain stood alone and without any allies; and that always meant a lot to me and everybody that I grew up With.
-Bob Dylan (Onstage, Wembley Arena, London, 5th October 2000)
Never Ending Tour 2000
March 10, 2000
November 19, 2000
No. of shows
75 in North America
37 in Europe 112 in Total
The year 2000 is regarded by many bobcats to be among the best N.E.T. years.
The year kicked-off with 2 great shows @ Anaheim, California on March 10. The early show featured 2 live debuts; Tell Me That It Isn’t True and Things Have Changed.
10 March 2000 Early show
Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
Charlie Sexton (guitar)
Larry Campbell (guitar, mandolin, pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar)
Tony Garnier (bass)
David Kemper (drums & percussion)
Tell Me That It Isn’t True
I have heard rumors all over town
They say that you’re planning to put me down
All I would like you to do
Is tell me that it isn’t true