Forgotten on the shelf of Rolling Stone co-founder Ralph J. Gleason for over four decades was a soundboard-quality 7” reel-to-reel tape of Bob Dylan’s pre-fame 1963 performance at Brandeis Unversity “until it was found last year in the clearing of the house after my mother died,” said Gleason’s son, Toby. Now the rare recording, which documents Dylan’s live repertoire just two weeks before The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan launched him into the stratosphere, will be officially released for the first time as a standalone (i.e. non-limited reissue) LP on vinyl and in digital formats.
Included on the 7-song set are future protest anthems, such as the game-changing “Masters of War” and “Talkin’ World War III Blues,” as well as more traditional tunes like “Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance.” As respected Dylanologist Michael Gray points out in the liner notes, this concert occurred “way back when Kennedy was President and the Beatles hadn’t yet reached America, wasn’t even on fans’ radar… It reveals him not at any Big Moment but giving a performance like his folk club sets of the period: repertoire from an ordinary working day.”
As a Dylan fanatic and completist, I can’t wait to hear this. Bob Dylan In Concert – Brandeis University 1963, which arrives on April 12, can be pre-ordered here.