Thursday, March 05, 2020

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Bob Dylan in San Francisco

In 1964 my younger sister insisted that I go to a Bob Dylan concert with her at the Masonic Auditorium on Nob Hill, an acoustic performance before he went electric the next year. 

I had heard of Dylan, but I can't remember hearing any of his music, by him or by anyone else. The notable thing about the audience was that it was mostly young women and girls.

I remember Dylan doing Mr. Tambourine Man in that concert, but that may be a false memory, since it isn't included in the songs listed above. Joan Baez, pictured above, joined Dylan for a duet, though I don't remember the songs they did. One is included at the end of the video, which is only of historical value, since its sound quality is terrible.

At the 1965 SF press conference in the video above, Allen Ginsberg got some laughs when he asked Dylan, "What's the weirdest thing that's ever happened to you?"

San Francisco arrested City Lights book store owner Ferlinghetti in 1957 for distributing obscene literature for selling Ginsberg's Howl

It seems quaint by contemporary standards, but what bothered city authorities most were the sexual passages in the poem, like "who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy, who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors..." 

The city also busted the late, great Lenny Bruce for obscenity.

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