Remembering Bob Dylan’s spectacular live cover of The Rolling Stones song ‘Brown Sugar’
As we try to keep ourselves entertained amid the prolonged lockdown, we’re dipping back into the Far Out Magazine archives to remember when Bob Dylan surprised his fans attending a concert in Seattle with a rendition of The Rolling Stones’ hit song ‘Brown Sugar‘
The 2002 performance was a momentous one, marking the end of four weeks away from the stage for Dylan who, at the time, was taking a much-needed rest from his Never Ending Tour. Kicking things back off, at Seattle’s KeyArena, Dylan had changed up his routine and, to the shock of many, ended up at the side of the stage for large periods of the gig playing the piano.
While the set did still include a wide range of Dylan classics like ‘Tombstone Blues’, ‘Like a Rolling Stone‘ and ‘All Along the Watchtower’, the 21-song setlist threw up a number of interesting choices — most notably given the fact that Dylan decided to perform three cover versions of Warren Zevon songs much to the bemusement of the crowd. The more astute members of the audience understood the reference given that Zevon had recently been diagnosed with cancer. The majority, however, had no idea.
Dylan has made a career out of introducing cover versions to his live performances, especially in his later years. That said, putting his own spin on some of his more esteemed and well-known colleagues have always been a bit of a rarity. So, when he decided to perform The Rolling Stones’ track ‘Brown Sugar’ just six songs into the show you can imagine the crowd’s bewilderment.
“The Rolling Stones are truly the greatest rock and roll band in the world and always will be,” Dylan once famously said of his contemporaries. “The last too. Everything that came after them, metal, rap, punk, new wave, pop-rock, you name it… you can trace it all back to the Rolling Stones. They were the first and the last and no one’s ever done it better.”
Footage of the performance has since emerged online and, given the time of performance, the clip is severely lacking in visual quality — that said, the audio is still top notch.