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May 18th, 1966: "Play it fucking loud." Dylan heckled by fans in Manchester: Watch

'Play it fucking loud.' Dylan heckled by fans in Manchester: Watch

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1969.

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May 17th, 1966 - Bob Dylan performed at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England during his tour of Europe.

Throughout the tour Dylan had been performing a solo acoustic set, followed by a set with his backing band, The Hawks. Dylan's set with The Hawks was generally met with hostility at his shows in the UK, and the tension came to a head at the Manchester concert. Towards the end of the show, as the crowd went quiet between songs, one fan shouted "Judas!" from the audience. Dylan responded, saying to the crowd, "I don't believe you...You're a liar!" He then turned his back to the audience and said to his band, "Play it fucking loud" and erupted into "Like A Rolling Stone."

The man most likely to have shouted "Judas!" at Dylan was John Cordwell, (though several have claimed responsibility). When interviewed by Andy Kershaw in 1999, Cordwell was asked if he had the chance to speak to Dylan now what would he say. He replied, "I think I'd be embarrassed. And I think I'd be embarrassed if he could recall that concert. I don't know that he will. But I'd say, 'Look, a lot of water has passed under the bridge, I still like your music and, erm... you're forgiven."

Watch video footage of the incident below.

Manchester Free Trade Hall Setlist:

Acoustic:

She Belongs to Me
4th Time Around
Visions of Johanna
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Desolation Row
Just Like a Woman
Mr. Tambourine Man

Electric:

Tell Me, Momma
I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
Baby, Let Me Follow You Down
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
One Too Many Mornings
Ballad of a Thin Man
Like a Rolling Stone

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