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On the Road with Bob Dylan - Part Four - They love ya then they hate ya!

Words By: Roland Ellis & Sam Pethers | May 11th, 1965

On the Road with Bob Dylan - Part Four - They love ya then they hate ya! Dylan walks on stage at The Royal Albert Hall

Before taking to the stage at London’s Royal Albert Hall on May 10th 1965, Bob Dylan was nervous. He paced back and forth in the greenroom area, Pennebaker’s camera honed on him at all times. It’s really the only time Dylan appears nervous throughout Don’t Look Back, but who can really blame him? He was 24 years old and about to perform at one of Britain’s premier music venues in front of an audience primed to see the "voice of a generation". If that wasn’t enough to deal with already, Bobby Neuwirth surely gave anxiety levels a boost when he announced, "Hey, The Beatles are here!"

Bobby Neuwirth surely gave anxiety levels a boost when he announced, "Hey, The Beatles are here!"

Significantly, Dylan's May 10th performance marked the close of the 'acoustic only' period of his live career. He was noticeably relaxed on stage throughout the show -- altering the "Talkin' World War III Blues" lyrics to include the line, "I looked in the closet and there was Donavon!" He even introduced "It's Alright, Ma" as a song called “It's Alright, Ma, I'm only bleeding, Ho Ho Ho."

Upon returning to The Royal Albert Hall one year later, Dylan’s jovial stage persona had vanished. So too had the warm crowd reception that met him at every turn in ’65.

During the ’65 UK tour, Dylan commented to one reporter, "God knows a year from now I might be doing something else completely." He was, of course, spot on with that prediction. God knows, though, whether even Dylan himself could've predicted just how much the tables were going to turn.

Watch below a montage filmed at The Royal Albert Hall concert, from D.A Pennebaker's Don't Look Back.


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