“I like this place, I really do,” Bob Dylan said at the Brendan Byrne Arena on July 21, 1986, as you can hear in the clip below. “I been here before and I hope I’ll be here again.”
He did in fact, play there two more times (after the venue’s name changed to the Continental Airlines Arena). But he will play there no more. The building, now known as the Izod Center, will present its last concert (by Maroon 5) on Sunday.
The ’86 show was part of the True Confession Tour, on which Dylan was backed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (who also played some songs of their own). Joining Dylan, Petty and the Heartbreakers on this clip — which features one of Dylan’s most towering masterpieces, “Like a Rolling Stone” — is Al Kooper, re-creating his organ part from the original recording.
The clip also includes an unusually long introduction by Dylan, in a rarely garrulous mood; he spends a fair amount of time goofing around and also has the band play “Happy Birthday to You” for Heartbreakers bassist Howie Epstein, who turned 31 that day. (If you want to hear just “Like a Rolling Stone,” skip to the 5-minute mark.)
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.
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