Bob Dylan is due to perform in Salt Lake City on June 30, 2022, which was also the location of his final Rolling Thunder concert on May 25, 1976. That concert happens to be the Holy Grail of missing Dylan recordings.
Dylan fans have been searching for a tape of this historic show for decades, not least because of its most unusual song selection. The newly opened Bob Dylan Center and Archive in Tulsa, OK have also been searching. While they have discovered other lost Dylan recordings they could not find this one, concluding that it was not officially captured from the soundboard.
It would be beyond wonderful if someone had a recording that preserves this historic event for the world to hear! It would not be the first time a long lost tape resurfaced after being discovered in an attic or basement. Please ask family, friends and others who could possibly know, and also those who are attending the Salt Lake City June 30, 2022 concert. We are asking anyone who has either a recording or else any leads to please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter or Facebook.
The Salt Lake City 1976 concert was the final date in the second and last year of the highly regarded Rolling Thunder Revue. This concert received glowing reviews at the time, and these are reproduced below.
There have been three live album collections of Rolling Thunder shows, drawn from both 1975 and 1976 (Hard Rain, Live 1975, Rolling Thunder Revue), and Netflix recently produced an acclaimed Martin Scorsese documentary of the tour.
This upcoming concert provides an opportunity to try, perhaps one last time, to catch the attention of someone who might have brought a recorder with them to the show. This is not entirely improbable, as many audience tapes exist from that tour.
Several photographs from May 25, 1976 were taken by David Stratford and are viewable at his Instagram page: frommyseat.
May 25, 1976
Salt Lake City, UT
– Likely set list based on contemporary reports
1 Mr. Tambourine Man
2 Gates Of Eden
3 Vincent Van Gogh
5 Just Like A Woman
6 Maggie’s Farm
8 Blowin’ In The Wind
9 I Pity The Poor Immigrant
10 I Shall Be Released
11 Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts
12 Shelter From The Storm
13 Oh, Sister
14 Tangled Up In Blue
15 You’re A Big Girl Now
16 You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
17 Lay, Lady, Lay
18 Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
19 Black Diamond Bay (?)
20 Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
21 Gotta Travel On
Review by David Beck for the Salt Lake Tribune: “Need I say that this was superb – the finest rock show I think I have ever seen?”
Review by Jeff Howry for the Daily Utah Chronicle: “It was a very special night”
Joel Bernstein, guitar technician on the tour, was interviewed by John Bauldie (The Telegraph issue #35) about the concert: “The only show […] that Bob and Joan [Baez] did Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts together. The song has something like 18 verses, and Bob wrote the first lines down on the back of his hand, on his cuff, on his sleeve…”
Joel Bernstein writes further in a posting to rec.music.dylan in 1994 about the SLC performance of “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts”:
“I recall it well. It was sung by Bob and Joan, each on guitar, on one vocal mike. Bob had written the first word or two of each verse on his shirt cuff, I believe, though it might have been his wrist (I’m pretty sure it was on the cuff, so to speak). They each sang the lead vocal on some verses, and Joan joined Bob in harmony for others. […] You will find a copy that I sent John Bauldie of the lyrics to the song with notations “B”, “J”, and “B&J” in the margin, which was a previously worked-out arrangement of the singing, although I doubt whether they stuck to that strictly. I recall my amazement that there were _no_ lyric mistakes, and I believe that the verses were sung in the correct order. Perhaps if one day a tape surfaces of the show that will be confirmed. […] I remember wishing that that show had been videotaped and properly recorded instead of the show before at Fort Collins… it was far superior in spirit and performance.“
Review by Nick Snow for
Deseret News: “…gave Salt Lake City one of the most memorable concerts in its history. It was Dylan’s first Utah appearance”
Review by Becky Cantwell for the
The Park Record: “This concert was not only the finest rock show I’ve ever heard but a blood-rousing, spine-tingling reunion – long may this band of hobos, vagbounding about the country spread such joy”
Review by Jay Meehan for The Newspaper: “Its organization and seemingly unending positive musical energies had indeed made The Rolling Thunder Revue much more than the sum of its parts. We had been awarded a four hour respite from purgatory and we would never be the same”