When Bob Dylan performed at Dublin’s historic Slane Castle on July 8th, 1984, it was a moment truly noting of a place in the history books with Dylan bringing an action-packed, show-stopping performance out of the absolute highest order. His duet with Van Morrison on ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’, however, stands out as a highlight.
The first section of the epic show saw Dylan perform the likes of ‘All Along The Watchtower’, ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’, ‘It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ as well as a rendition of rarity ‘With God On Our Side’ which signified his first performance of the track in nine years. However, after rattling through a career-spanning set, the legendary wordsmith upped the stakes even further with the help of some very special guests.
The first of three accompaniments to give Dylan a helping hand was no other than Ireland’s very own Van Morrison who made his way on to the stage to a rapturous reception from his native crowd. Morrison performed two poignant numbers with Dylan, firstly they shared the stage for ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’ and on Van Morrison’s ‘Tupelo Honey’.
The choice of Dylan song for the duo couldn’t have been any more fitting considering that Van Morrison’s former group Them covered the track and after Morrison parted ways with the group, they both kept it in their set as it was one that remained close to their hearts.
Remarkably, on the very same day that Dylan recorded the track for his Bringing It All Back Home record on January 15, 1965, he also recorded ‘Gates of Eden’, ‘It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’, and Mr Tambourine Man’ — which exemplifies just how prolific Dylan was during this period in the mid-60s.
After Dylan had shared this moment with Van Morrison, it was then time to welcome his next guest in the shape of U2 frontman Bono who assisted Dylan on ‘Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat’ before Carlos Santana made his way on to the stage to close the show out in magnificent style with a performance of ‘Blowin’ In The Wind‘.
Former Rolling Stones man Mick Taylor was also playing with Dylan for this show and added an extra layer of steel with his dynamic performance on ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’ being particularly special. Unfortunately, the show would somewhat be marred by unwelcomed scenes that happened following the gig which was the result of over-exuberant fans and lapsed security measures for an event of this scale.
Around 1,000 of the fans who poured out of Slane, which was only a fraction of the number who was in the audience, decided to cause destruction and go on a rampage in the village. The locals were scared as they saw a mass riot break out as the attendees threw rocks, bottles and even looted shops. It took the arrival of the Garda riot squad from Dublin to get a handle on the rioters and security measures were considerably upped for future events.
Watch footage of Dylan and Van Morrison performing ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’, below.