The relationship between The Beatles and Bob Dylan has always been one of admiration, even if that admiration was slightly stronger on the Liverpool half of the relationship.
Having first met in 1964, a time when Dylan reportedly got The Beatles stoned for the first time, the two creative forces were given a taste of each other’s styles. While John Lennon and Paul McCartney were somewhat in awe of Dylan’s writing style, Dylan himself became impressed with the amount of fame and success the Liverpudlian group were enjoying.
Some believe this first meeting between The Beatles and Dylan impacted the way Lennon and McCartney went about their songwriting; others believe this conversation played a massive role in Dylan’s decision to ditch the acoustic guitar and somewhat controversially move to electric.
While Dylan has always spoken of his admiration for the songwriting ability of Lennon, McCartney and George Harrison, he rarely put his own spin on The Beatles tracks. That is until one night in 1990 at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Canada, when Dylan decided to perform 1965 Rubber Soul track ‘Nowhere Man’ live.
The track, written by Lennon, was birthed out of frustration while trying to complete the band’s sixth studio album “I’d spent five hours that morning trying to write a song that was meaningful and good, and I finally gave up and lay down,” Lennon once said in an interview with Playboy. “Then ‘Nowhere Man’ came, words and music, the whole damn thing as I lay down.”
McCartney added: “That was John after a night out, with dawn coming up. I think at that point, he was a bit…wondering where he was going, and to be truthful so was I. I was starting to worry about him.”
For now though, let’s have a listen to what Dylan did with the song: