We are dipping into the Far Out Magazine vault to look back at a stunning moment that includes George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Neil Young in some special footage. It’s very rare to see so much talent on one stage, as those who attended the Bob Dylan 30th anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden in 1992, began to flex their rock and roll muscles. The show featured some of Dylan’s closest friends including, of course, Clapton, Harrison, Young, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam and more.
What’s even rarer than a performance from these juggernauts, however, is to see is this incredibly talented group of musicians working together as they fine-tune their playing and chat amongst themselves.
The footage has been doing the rounds for some time and it’s little wonder why. Not only does it feature the headline act of the upcoming tribute but also a selection of rock and roll’s finest musical exports. It was a line-up befitting Dylan’s influence of music during his then 30 years on the scene.
The clip sees the aforementioned acts working on the performance of one of the night’s big hitters, the brilliant ‘My Back Pages’. On stage is not only the acts mentioned above but also Roger McGuinn, G.E. Smith, Booker T. and the M.G.s guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn, Jim Keltner and organist Booker T. Jones.
The audio isn’t quite where you’d hope it to be, missing out, sadly, on the intimate conversations the group share in shadowy corners of the rehearsal space — tragically denying us the opportunity to listen in on candid conversations between Tom Petty, George Harrison, Eric Clapton or Bob Dylan. However, what we do have is documentation of some of the finest guitarists in the world showing off their skills in a relaxed environment.
Nearly all of the artists in question had been cast in the creative fires of the swinging sixties. It meant that they were perhaps most comfortable in the jam session style of rehearsals. The freedom of which, and perhaps despite the cameras, allows Clapton and the rest to start noodling through the song, adding extra licks and tricks with every moment passed.
Of course, all of the musicians are extremely tight in their playing, despite many of them not touring during this period. George Harrison had barely set foot on stage since 1974 before he was asked to join the all-star lineup. However, they all pull through with aplomb, except, of course, Bob Dylan.
Dylan seems to be the only member of the incredibly well-furnished lineup who is struggling with the number. Nevertheless, he pulls through, leaving this as a sincere piece of footage that any fan will enjoy.
See the clip, below