Bob Dylan live in San Francisco & San Jose 1965 – 2CD – December 11 & 12

Ok, here we go…buckle up.

I had a chance to listen to the two Dylan concert items in the Stanford Library Archive labeled as:
MO733 Box 119, reel 7, Bob Dylan, San Jose 1965, Dec 12th
MO733 Box 134, reel 5, San Francisco, undated

The following is taken from notes that I took while listening:

Box 119 contains the entire San Jose Civic Auditorium concert from December 12th, complete acoustic and electric sets
Setlist:
She Belongs to Me
To Ramona (Epic version)
Gates of Eden (easily the definitive live version of this song, singing/phrasing is unreal)
Baby Blue
Desolation Row
Love Minus Zero
Mr. Tambourine Man

Tombstone Blues
I Don’t Believe You
Baby Let me Follow You Down
Tom Thumbs Blues
Long Distance Operator
It Ain’t Me Babe
Ballad of a Thin Man
Positively 4th Street
Like a Rolling Stone

The Berkeley December 4th show does NOT exist. It has been mislabeled all these years, it is actually the San Jose set. The electric set from San Jose is the exact circulating recording that has been available over the years labeled as Berkeley Community Theater. I guess I’m making a habit of correcting Sony mislabeling stuff, kinda funny.

Box 134 contains the entire San Francisco Masonic Memorial Temple concert from December 11th, complete acoustic and electric sets (except for She Belongs to me which is missing)
Setlist:
To Ramona
Gates of Eden
Baby Blue
Desolation Row (in the conversation for definitive live version)
Love Minus Zero
Visions of Johanna (first recorded live performance and in the conversation for definitive live version, epic, introduced as “Alcatraz to the 9th Power Revisited”, has the nightingale’s code line, hard to make out but he appears to tell the audience that “I sang this song last week in concert” – which would likely mean he played Visions at Berkeley)
Mr. Tambourine Man (rivals Sheffield and RAH2 as definitive live version. Harp solos rival Sheffield, unbelievably)

Tombstone Blues (cuts in at first chorus)
I Don’t Believe You
Baby Let me Follow You Down
Tom Thumbs Blues (very slight cut in)
Long Distance Operator (“Murder you with her smile”)
It Ain’t Me Babe (singing is better here than in the San Jose show)
Ballad of a Thin Man (“You’re positive something is happening here now but you ain’t got the faintest idea what it is”, better version than San Jose)
Positively 4th Street (This is the definitive live version of this song. The singing is unreal, “screeeam iiiiiiiit!” “To see yooooooooouu!” wow, Bob is clearly having fun. Garth crushes it)
Like a Rolling Stone (Epic, last chorus epic)

~the San Francisco show immediately enters the “best concert of his career” conversation. It is an unbelievable listen. Dylan’s interaction with the audience is special here, the entire crowd is sitting on the edge of their seats.
Dylan says to Ginsberg during the intermission of the San Jose show that “what you are seeing now is a typical concert, last night was wild, I sort of felt who they were out there”. Bob was still very much beaming from the SF show 24 hours later.

The San Francisco show is of lesser sound quality on both acoustic and electric sets, but still very good. SF electric set Dylan’s vocals are higher in the mix than on the SJ tape. The San Jose electric set is a sound quality upgrade from what has been circulating.

Ok, well there it is.

Here is some more from my notes. I think I got the exact quotes pretty good, probably a word or two off here or there.

Ginsberg is backstage with Dylan prior to the start of the San Francisco Masonic concert and has the recorder going, fascinating stuff.

Ginsberg tells Dylan: “this recorder cost $500, it is an absolute beautiful precision machine, it can do anything”.
Dylan responds: “I don’t why the **** I don’t get one of those” – “hey why don’t you tape some of the concert in the second half”
Ginsberg: “it will actually do it and do a good job” “I’ll give you the tape if you want it”
Dylan “well, no – I’d just like to hear what we sound like”

Dylan seems to be talking about how he’s not impressed with Hollywood… “nothing is really happening there”

Dylan talking to Ginsberg: “I spent a lot of time with Marlon Brando, I talked to him for about 3 hours. it was very pleasurable to say the least. He thinks about the universe, like you. He’s just a very plain, simple, common, ordinary Nebraska cat, that is all it amounts too, (laughs)”

Dylan talking to Ginsberg: “I talked to Phil Spector about recording you and he is very interested.”

The recording picks up The Hawks starting the sound check (in the background of the Ginsberg/Dylan talking), the sound is muddy of course, as it is behind walls – they seem to playing some sort of blues standard, Robbie is hitting high notes.

someone informs Dylan that “Boonie” has shown up. I assume they are referring to Bonnie Beecher?? Dylan says to Albert Grossman: “Bonnie can stand on stage. Don’t bring her back here though, I don’t want to see her, tell her you couldn’t find me- is that so hard?”. Grossman does not sound happy that he has to deal with this. HAHAHA.

Dylan: “I’ve never seen one of these machines before” referring to the tape recorder
Ginsberg: “do you want to hear the playback?”
Dylan: “yes”
– Ginsberg then flips the switch and an awesome sounding concert plays for about 15 seconds…don’t know what band this was unfortunately. lyrics were “leaving it way outside”…sorry couldn’t ID the song.

Ginsberg to Dylan: “you going to do anything different tonight?”
Dylan: “no, same show. can’t take a chance man- got a new drummer”

The Hawks are now sound checking “It Ain’t me Babe” the they run through pretty much the whole song.
Ginsberg listing to the sound check says to Dylan: “they sound good, I like the arrangement, sounds a little bit like Positively 4th street”

Dylan to Ginsberg: “you got all the tickets, right?” “you did give them to people who wanted them didn’t you?”
Ginsberg: “yes, 6 to the Hells Angels and some to some young cats”

Ginsberg tells Dylan he bought a “really good expensive Fender guitar”.
Dylan: “oh you did get one – that’s good”

Ginsberg invites Dylan to a party. Dylan declines.

Dylan: “I can go for a long time if I dig what is happening, I just never get tired.”

Dylan: “we go to San Jose tomorrow”

Hawks now sound checking “Tom Thumbs Blues and Ballad of a Thin Man”

Dylan: “they didn’t open the doors yet did they?”

Dylan to Ginsberg: “I felt kind of close last time I was here, to the concerts, because of you, and it was very groovy, that seldom happens” “when I played here last weekend (referring to Berkeley) it was the first time in a very long time, since England actually, that when I began playing – I felt actually embarrassed, at being, uh, uh, uh…it got a hold of me somewhere, it’s not like that all the time, well obviously it can’t be.” “We played Texas man, that’s where we first started out, it was groovy down there too – it really was. different down there.”
Ginsberg: “I think the best places to play is where is the most resistance.” “what turns me on most is that they are so resistant that you actually have to get inside them”
Dylan: “Yeah, I don’t know man, I don’t know what the **** it is that I do, you know. I really don’t. I have no idea. I certainly didn’t start out to do anything like this, I didn’t know it was going to end up like this” “I got to accept it, and accept it on it’s own terms, and it’s terms are very…not many people are really aware what these terms do to you…because the songs aren’t ******** songs…there’s nothing that I sing that I don’t, uh / TAPE STOP /- The backstage tap ends here – and the San Francisco acoustic set begins with Dylan tuning his guitar and then into To Ramona. Ginsberg maybe/likely got to his seat late and missed the first song.

END

From Searching for a Gem:

“Allen Ginsberg donated almost all of his archive to Stanford University’s Special Collections.
MO 733, Ginsberg Papers Subseries 11.b. Reel-to-reel tapes; 7 in.
Box 119, Reel 7. “Bob Dylan, San José, CA, Civic Auditorium, 12 December 1965”
Box 134, Reel 5. “San Francisco, CA, Dylan undated” [AG had identified this tape as Berkeley 4 December 1965 after it was catalogued as ‘San Francisco, Dylan undated.’]
Box 120, Reel 1: “[Untitled] 1965 Dec 12”
I have not had the opportunity to listen to Box 120 Reel 1, and I would like to know who has reidentified these tapes, and on what documentary basis. No doubt, these are the Stanford archived tape reels. This means the Berkeley 4 December 1965 (Box 134 Reel 5) released by Jeff Rosen is actually 11 December 1965 San Francisco. What happened to 4 December 1965 Berkeley? I was there, and saw Reb Allen taping the electric segment, the acoustic ‘Freeze Out’ premiered that night, but he wasn’t able to tape it.”

So, it seems Allen Ginsberg himself suggested that the undated San Francisco tape was Berkeley. The reason we believe that the San Francisco tape is San Francisco is that AG asks Bob where he is playing next during their backstage conversation and the answer is “San Jose”, and the tour dates support that assertion.
It seems clear that the San Jose tape is definitely San Jose. The information contained in the fan interviews AG conducted prior to and after the show confirm that they are outside the Civic Auditorium. Also Bob confirms to AG during their interval conversation here that his next show is at Long Beach which again fits the tour schedule (although for some reason the Long Beach show on 17 December is not included at bobdylan.com.)
However, it does seem that there is another tape, Box 120, Reel 1: “[Untitled] 1965 Dec 12”, that perhaps hasn’t been digitised yet, or perhaps is not being offered as a listening experience to visitors to the Library. As Stephan reports that he saw AG taping the electric set at Berkeley (but not the acoustic set at which “Visions of Johanna” was premiered), I think one should assume that this mystery reel is actually the Berkeley electric set.

Fingerprints:

San Jose Fan Interviews 01 before concert.flac:f852e9b50f3d351707fcf5c2c5ee44c4
San Jose Fan Interviews 02 after concert.flac:e7a50c36ffe99f7618335a69f17c2c2f
San Francisco 11 Dec 651 Backstage conversation.flac:68858e1a48d5c61fdeba2656e272762a
San Francisco 11 Dec 652 To Ramona.flac:0d8030909924bab461fdb5cc94cf613e
San Francisco 11 Dec 653 Gates Of Eden.flac:8d209199f5096efe05d641dd3c619ee8
San Francisco 11 Dec 654 It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.flac:c4c3626dc51bdc577a77c95189a19411
San Francisco 11 Dec 655 Desolation Row.flac:db6a0aac05482b3e5b0c62f422d5cb3a
San Francisco 11 Dec 656 Love Minus Zero – No Limit.flac:9277f83ff7b7d5f3d2446512f96b903d
San Francisco 11 Dec 657 Visions Of Johanna.flac:046ab26c97fd155bbcc4560ddec9806c
San Francisco 11 Dec 658 Mr Tambourine Man.flac:223f816a9e206ebe5c980c1eb0ec8248
San Francisco 11 Dec 659 Tombstone Blues.flac:5f3d1330b5be5ca8a23c5b9c5b9665f3
San Francisco 11 Dec 6510 I Don’t Believe You.flac:db62cca20c87e8a1286c783b23512e3c
San Francisco 11 Dec 6511 Baby, Let Me Follow You Down.flac:cd8f1bfa35ba1558f02b1f8b44659d7c
San Francisco 11 Dec 6512 Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues.flac:4a2c96f0908f7b122d706d6264fe3efc
San Francisco 11 Dec 6513 Long Distance Operator.flac:2c878253750db1e5bb91adb3cc0175a2
San Francisco 11 Dec 6514 It Ain’t Me, Babe.flac:981138855259e214c0aad70949437530
San Francisco 11 Dec 6515 Ballad Of A Thin Man.flac:93aec831342aa125494003080f2e7b70
San Francisco 11 Dec 6516 Positively 4th Street.flac:f6c9f75efe46c6fe4b5a0a475c3cf62c
San Francisco 11 Dec 6517 Like A Rolling Stone.flac:295ecff28a34fad344809486c0e06700
San Jose 12 Dec 651 Audience conversation.flac:c0fc558e953d91412f5e9cff1cd42045
San Jose 12 Dec 652 She Belongs To Me.flac:66949529d1d542bfb67420546647ee11
San Jose 12 Dec 653 To Ramona.flac:0d99acb4bafd0fc4eea8e45d1a272af0
San Jose 12 Dec 654 Gates Of Eden.flac:93f7e6e860865e415c69ca192d08d12d
San Jose 12 Dec 655 It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.flac:e8486fea9940ad839c72279788c0a97b
San Jose 12 Dec 656 Desolation Row.flac:75e6d6b4058bde2df731fdfec92f4245
San Jose 12 Dec 657 Love Minus Zero – No Limit.flac:ea5dab29bc2d3654daf27dcd11864eee
San Jose 12 Dec 658 Mr Tambourine Man.flac:a7900264cd8dfdd5a83714940cf79857
San Jose 12 Dec 659 Interval conversation.flac:fbd2f3ef74e1a03fbf2d922ea82646b8
San Jose 12 Dec 6510 Tombstone Blues.flac:11c8e9bd7ae5a1033d73df71c87be45d
San Jose 12 Dec 6511 I Don’t Believe You.flac:1d14ba657fd09e473b13f6dd14cd6d99
San Jose 12 Dec 6512 Baby, Let Me Follow You Down.flac:57c4e45e8cf663beef3d51ea5706e16e
San Jose 12 Dec 6513 Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues.flac:b5cce719ca2ff46d51a452109c962c16
San Jose 12 Dec 6514 Long Distance Operator.flac:60c00c6571f1dbdc4d82b3b528305cd6
San Jose 12 Dec 6515 It Ain’t Me, Babe.flac:11f2733b18492fa114f3fc21f73cec8f
San Jose 12 Dec 6516 Ballad Of A Thin Man.flac:fb6267fc71315138844c944355032920
San Jose 12 Dec 6517 Positively 4th Street.flac:549ef69da9e371b112150247cf1370fd
San Jose 12 Dec 6518 Like A Rolling Stone.flac:855377a5a60fc87cb5dd989246a5bc00