Bob Dylan 1966 Scottish gig recordings to be released

Bob Dylan at a press conference in London in 1966. Picture: Getty Images

Bob Dylan at a press conference in London in 1966. Picture: Getty Images

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It remains one of the most notorious rock n’ roll concert tours of the 20th century, provoking fierce reactions from those that witnessed it.

Bob Dylan was at the height of his critical and commercial success when he arrived in the UK for a series of shows in May 1966.

The American songwriter was the darling of the burgeoning folk scene on both sides of the Atlantic, celebrated for his witty yet incisive lyrics.

But Dylan’s UK tour was far from a triumph. His decision to employ a backing band was enough for him to be deemed a sell-out by many diehard fans, who were used to seeing him perform only with an acoustic guitar.

Now a 36-CD box set – The 1966 Live Recordings – is to be released, shining a light on a tour that has since passed into legend.

It includes three soundboard recordings from Dylan’s shows at the Odeon Cinema in Glasgow on May 19, 1966 and the following night at the ABC Cinema in Edinburgh.

The music icon was famously pictured striding down Princes Street by his tour photographer Barry Feinstein shortly before his appearence at the capital venue in Lothian Road.

Dylan was joined on stage in Scotland by The Hawks, most of whom would later find fame in their own right as The Band.

Footage of the musicians fooling around on the 1966 tour was captured in the unreleased documentary Eat the Document, including a scene in which Dylan attends a police dog display in Glasgow city centre.

In another clip, Dylan is filmed performing an impromptu acoustic set with bandmate Robbie Robertson in the North British Hotel on George Square.

The hotel footage was later offiically released as part of Martin Scorsese’s 2005 documentary, No ­Direction Home.

Dylan’s decision ‘to go electric’ provoked differing reactions in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“There’s the famous Judas incident in Manchester but in Glasgow he got quite a good reception,” broadcaster and Dylan expert Tom Morton told the Daily Record in 2015.

“This is in the Scorcese film, people saying, ‘No, we support Bob Dylan going electric’. It was almost as if Glasgow was at the cutting edge of it and seeing there was a point to it.

“Whereas in Edinburgh, and I love this, apparently half the audience brought along harmonicas and tried to drown him out, which is just such an Edinburgh thing to do.”

The 1966 Live Recordings is released on November 11.

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