We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Reposted from November, 2005. See "The Song and Dance Man" category for other good stuff. Even if you aren't a Dylan fan, you will find this video hauntingly beautiful.
Dylan Download Of The Day - "Restless Farewell," Ten Years Later
Today's featured download breaks new ground in that it offers video of Maggie's favorite guitar-strumming bard as well as audio - the file size is correspondingly much larger and will take longer to download, but I think you'll find it worth the wait.
The clip features Dylan performing at Frank Sinatra's 80th birthday celebration in November of 1995 (exactly ten years ago as of tomorrow), just a few weeks after completing a tremendous series of shows along the East coast. Featured at the very end of a long bill of entertainers ranging from Bruce Springsteen and Tony Bennett to Ray Charles and Peggy Lee, all of whom performed Sinatra songs, Dylan took to the stage backed by not only his regular touring band, but by a full string ensemble, and launched into his first performance of his own song "Restless Farewell" in over 30 years. Rumor has it that Sinatra himself requested the song, and given that its lyrics show it to be Dylan's own version of "My Way," this does not seem improbable.
In any event, the instrumental backing is quite unlike that of any other live Dylan performance, and the concentration Dylan brings to bear on the phrasing of the lyrics represents a high point of the Neverending Tour. Even with the grainy quality of the video, the viewer can clearly detect a glint in Dylan's eye, a spark of renewed inspiration and creativity that would lead him to write his first original lyrics in over six years just a couple months later. (These lyrics, which would not be recorded until January of 1997, came together to form Dylan's Grammy-winning album "Time Out Of Mind.") On that November night, though, the crowd of celebrities assembled to pay homage to Frank probably did not even recognize the song, but the passion and honesty of the performance should have been evident to anyone lucky enough to have been there in person.